Tony Romo is set to retire, and his decision will have a ripple effect on the 2017 NFL Draft. Here are my takeaways on how his departure changes the outlook for NFL teams and this year's prospects.
- The Houston Texans are the team most affected by Romo's retirement. I can't see them believing in Tom Savage as a QB who can take them to the promised land. I now view the Texans, who hold the No. 25 overall pick, as the team most likely to take a QB in the first round -- I would put them ahead of the QB-needy Browns and Jets.
What are some realistic QB options for Houston in the draft?
Based on where they're positioned in Round 1, there's a chance they could have their choice of the best QBs available. North Carolina's Mitchell Trubisky, Clemson's Deshaun Watson, Notre Dame's DeShone Kizer and Texas Tech's Patrick Mahomes could each still be on the board when Houston is on the clock.
However, the Texans are a clear target for teams in need of a QB. A team like the Chiefs, drafting at No. 27, knows it needs to trade in front of Houston to get the QB it wants. So, it's also possible that the Texans will miss out on their No. 1 target if a team drafting behind them decides to be aggressive and vaults ahead of Houston.
- The trickle-down effect of this move is it puts another team in play (Houston) to pick a QB early in the draft, and potentially pushes QBs up the board. For teams like the Browns, 49ers and Chargers -- teams drafting at top of the second round that might have been hoping that they could get the third or fourth QB off the board -- the fact that Houston could be in the QB market could affect those plans. Will they feel a greater sense of urgency to trade back into Round 1 for a QB now?
- I think the Cowboys executed the plan perfectly when you have a QB who's aging like Romo. They took a shot on a middle-round QB last year and they struck gold in Round 4 with Dak Prescott. You're going to see other teams looking to see if they can pull off the same trick this year. Taking a QB is in play for teams like the Steelers, Giants, Chargers, Chiefs, Cardinals and Saints. I think you're going to see a run on QBs in the third or fourth round. That's when teams will start looking at guys like Cal's Davis Webb, Pittsburgh's Nathan Peterman and Tennessee's Joshua Dobbs.
Yes, the "Prescott effect" could be even more significant than the "Romo effect" in this draft.
- Romo's decision will affect the Broncos because of the potential opportunity that they lost, but I don't think it has any impact on them in the draft. After investing a first-round pick in Paxton Lynch last year, I've never thought they were going to invest an early pick in a QB this year.