If you want to guarantee a jam-packed draft full of excitement, all it takes is to have a buzz-worthy strong quarterback class. Last year, we saw the Bears, Chiefs, and Texans all move up to take a quarterback in the first round but unfortunately the Cowboys couldn’t benefit much as they picked 28th overall. This year, Dallas is slated to pick at 19, which means a lot of these moves could end up sliding some quality prospects their direction.
Already, the Bills swapped first round picks with the Bengals to move up from 21st overall to 12th. The Bills and the Browns are the only two teams with two first round picks and both teams need quarterbacks. Though the Browns traded with the Bills for Tyrod Taylor, there is little doubt that Cleveland, who has two picks in the Top-5, will take a quarterback this time around. In fact, they will have their pick of the litter at first overall, which brings us to another exciting move:
The Jets have needed a quarterback for many seasons because they have relied on veteran journeymen like Ryan Fitzpatrick and Josh McCown for far too long. It’s a pretty pricey move to have to give up in excess of approximately 740 points on the Draft Value Chart to move up three spots. Those three second-rounders together are the equivalent of the 24th overall pick but that’s the price to pay for franchise quarterbacks. Without a doubt, the Jets will be looking for that signal-caller but they’re not alone.
One small detail in the Jets trade is how it affects the Bills, when New York was at six, Buffalo had more options to jump. Now, Buffalo will likely have to package picks to move up behind the Jets just to assure they get a quarterback they like. Do they have enough to persuade another Top-3 team to move back?
There’s a few other dominoes to fall, one of which could be the New York Giants with the second overall pick. Are they really riding it out with Eli Manning? If so, they only have five picks and could easily bail to add more so Buffalo should be calling. If they’re not so sure about Eli, will they hang up the phone and jump into the quarterback pool with both feet for a Josh Rosen, perhaps?
Then you have the Broncos at five, John Elway can feel however he wants about snagging Case Keenum, it shouldn’t stop him from considering a quarterback. The Dolphins at pick 11 are rumored to be interested in moving on from Ryan Tannehill. The Cardinals can’t be ruled out either though they signed Sam Bradford for a load of dough (one-year, $20M, $15M gtd). Seriously, has any injury-riddled player made more money in the NFL than Sam Bradford?
Quarterbacks decide the trajectory of the draft and always will because it’s the most important position in football. Finding a franchise quarterback is priority one for general managers in this league. This year, you have Sam Darnold, Josh Rosen, Josh Allen, Baker Mayfield, Lamar Jackson - and even Mason Rudolph has entered some conversations. If all six guys found homes in the first round, that would help teams like the Cowboys out tremendously.
In the most ideal situation, you would hope that a quarterback is still on the board at 19 so you may have trade partners. No matter if they all go before the Cowboys or not, it’s a win-win situation for Dallas. With needs at safety, defensive tackle, linebacker, guard, and receiver, it’s very promising that a top talent at one of those positions will be there for the taking.
The more moves that those quarterback-needy teams make the better off the rest of the draft will be. It’s not only likely to push talent down in the first round but it changes the landscape for the remainder of the draft, too. Think about some fringe first-rounders that could fall to day two and the amount of capital the Cowboys have at their disposal to move around.
Dallas has ten picks but it would be surprising to see them draft that many players. Now that comp picks can be traded, the Cowboys could package picks to do anything they wanted. In a draft like this that’s not too top heavy but has depth in rounds 2-3, it wouldn’t be surprising to see the Cowboys try and load up on talent in the Top 100 picks.
For the Cowboys, they want as many teams to fall in love with a quarterback as possible. This is shaping up to be a very exciting first round and we’re still more than a month away from the festivities.