The San Francisco 49ers are in a great position heading into the 2018 NFL Draft two weeks from today. They have plenty of needs, but they have already checked off the most important need, quarterback. They landed Jimmy Garoppolo for a second round pick, and an offseason extension has them settled for the foreseeable future.
But the sizable class of quarterbacks could open the door for serious talent dropping, or a potential move back from pick No. 9. We know the Cleveland Browns and New York Jets will be drafting a quarterback. The Buffalo Bills are a near certainty, with plenty of rumors they want to move up. The Arizona Cardinals have no long-term answers, so look for them to draft a QB as well. And the list goes on, with CBS Sports’ Will Brinson pointing out how as much as half the league could be in the market for a quarterback in two weeks.
There are a few ways this could get interesting. The New York Giants sit at No. 2, with Eli Manning likely nearing the end of his career. There has been some talk that they might move down if Sam Darnold goes No. 1. We are now seeing a ton of talk and odds movement for Josh Allen to go No. 1. If that happens, I suspect the Giants take Darnold No. 2, and then the Jets take either Josh Rosen or Baker Mayfield at No. 3.
That gets us three quarterbacks off the board. After that, the Denver Broncos at No. 5 need a long-term answer at quarterback, but we don’t know how they value Rosen, Mayfield, Lamar Jackson, and Mason Rudolph. Speaking of Rudolph, the New England Patriots have been doing work on him, and mock drafts have started to suggest maybe they go after him with one of their two first round picks. Of course, they are also doing work on Lamar Jackson, so who knows what might come of that.
The Miami Dolphins are an intriguing team to consider in the QB race given Ryan Tannehill ACL tear last year, along with general questions about if he can be a true franchise quarterback. Do we see them dive in for a quarterback? Even if they don’t trade up for one, other teams behind them might feel the need to move ahead to get the QB they want. The Dolphins sit at No. 11, which means everybody from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at No. 7 to the Oakland Raiders at No. 10 could be in play for a trade. I’d say those four picks are what could potentially swing just how many quarterbacks go in the first round.
How many do you see going in the first round?