After this week's release of Ryan Fitzpatrick, the Buffalo Bills have just two quarterbacks on the roster - Tarvaris Jackson and Aaron Corp - and will very obviously be in the market for a quarterback in the 2013 NFL Draft, perhaps as early as Round 1. Now that the opening surge of free agency has settled a bit, we wanted to quickly review the Top 8 teams drafting next April to re-assess which of them might take a quarterback ahead of the Bills.
1. Kansas City Chiefs: After trading for new starting quarterback Alex Smith and spending considerable cash on new backup Chase Daniel, the Chiefs seem to be squarely out of the quarterback business in Round 1.
2. Jacksonville Jaguars: There's a new regime in town (led by GM David Caldwell and head coach Gus Bradley), and new regimes mean new quarterbacks, regardless of how recently the team used a Top 10 pick on Blaine Gabbert. Jacksonville is definitely a player in the quarterback market.
3. Oakland Raiders: Unless well-regarded GM Reggie McKenzie views an inherited player (Terrelle Pryor) as his franchise quarterback - he probably doesn't - then the Raiders are definitely in play for a quarterback, considering the contract and age (33) of Carson Palmer.
4. Philadelphia Eagles: Despite the re-worked contract of Michael Vick, the only prospect with long-term upside is Nick Foles, and it's questionable how he fits into Chip Kelly's offense. Most of the Eagles' decision-making brass got an up-close look at Geno Smith last week for a reason.
5. Detroit Lions: Matthew Stafford is pretty dang good. Detroit clearly won't be taking a quarterback.
6. Cleveland Browns: Again, new regimes (GM Michael Lombardi, head coach Rob Chudzinski) mean new quarterbacks. Add in the fact that Brandon Weeden will be 30 this October, and I don't see why the Browns wouldn't be looking hard at quarterback.
7. Arizona Cardinals: GM Steve Keim is an internal promotion, but new head coach Bruce Arians needs a quarterback. He's already brought in a free agent familiar with his offense (Drew Stanton), but a competition with John Skelton, Ryan Lindley and Brian Hoyer is not exactly going to inspire much confidence.
Of those seven teams, we count five as distinct possibilities for taking a quarterback ahead of the Bills - though some teams (Arizona) are more likely to pull the trigger than others (Philadelphia), as well. Knowing that the pickings are slim at this position in the first round, we have two questions for readers this morning:
- In what scenario would you advocate a trade up for a quarterback (i.e. how far would one have to fall before you'd pull the trigger)?
- How comfortable would you be if the team took its top-rated quarterback in Round 2 with designs on making him the opening-day starter?