ST. LOUIS, MO- Missouri quarterback Drew Lock ultimately heeded the advice of an NFL advisory panel which urged him to stay in Columbia for his senior season instead of entering the draft. We’re left to wonder if, had he declared and was drafted as a first rounder, if last night the 2018 class would have tied the 1983 class which saw six quarterbacks selected. Instead, five were selected. Over the last 10 years, an average of three have been taken in the first round annually.
While everyone fully expects Lock to be focused on his opponents this fall, thanks to the results of Round One, he and we can take stock of who could be in the market for a quarterback this time next year. Here’s a look at the possibilities, in no particular order.
CHARGERS: Phillip Rivers will be 36 this coming season, and is only under contract through 2019. With the team moving to Stan Kroenke’s new stadium for the 2020 campaign, having a new franchise quarterback ready to usher in the new era makes sense.
DOLPHINS: Ryan Tannehill is coming off a knee injury that cost him the 2017 season. He’s led the team to the playoffs only once since coming to South Beach in the 2012 draft. They were reportedly already telling him before the 2018 draft that he’d still be the starter, even if the team snagged one in this year’s draft.
GIANTS: This year, the team has decided to go all-in for another season with Eli Manning, who like Rivers, was a product of the 2004 draft. He’s under contract through 2019. He didn’t exactly sound thrilled at the prospect of mentoring his replacement had the Giants taken one this year, but a year later he could feel differently. The team’s stance could also change. If the Giants turn things around in 2018, they may not be in the market for a first round signal-caller.
PATRIOTS: Despite his best efforts, Tom Brady will not play forever. He’ll be 40 this season. If the Patriots have a Patriot-like season, they’ll likely be in the back half of the first round again. They traded Jimmy Garoppolo, who was seen as an heir-apparent, last year to San Francisco. It wouldn’t be a surprise for them to take one in the later rounds here in 2018.
SAINTS: Drew Brees just signed a new two-year contract that would take him through his age 40 season. After wasting some of his recent years because of a horrid defense, the team rebuilt on that side of the ball and are still a serious playoff threat. They don’t have a first round pick in 2019, so would they be willing to trade up and take resources away from what could be Brees’ last season in the Big Easy?
COLTS: Andrew Luck was the can’t-miss QB, but he’s been dogged by a shoulder injury that kept him out all last season and nobody is 100 percent sure he’ll be ready to go in 2018. It could be time to invest in the future.
BENGALS: Andy Dalton got the Bengals back to the playoffs from 2011-2014, but hasn’t been able to get the monkey off his back with a win. It seems like every year the Bengals and Head Coach Marvin Lewis seem to be on the edge of parting ways. If that happens after 2018, a new regime may want a new QB. It could help that Dalton is under a very team-friendly contract through 2020,