During this weekend’s NFL Draft, we should get a good understanding of just how smart (or dumb) NFL franchises are. We’ll find out the intelligence level of each individual franchise and the league as a whole based on when quarterbacks are drafted in this historically-weak class at the quarterback position.
To be blunt, there’s no quarterback available that has any business being selected anywhere in the top 20, and no more than one or two quarterbacks that should even be considered first-round material. Of course, NFL teams tend to draft on need, and with roughly a quarter of the league seeking a quarterback, there is a possibility that teams will reach in a desperate attempt to find a franchise quarterback.
No matter how much teams may need a quarterback, they need to understand that there is little drop off in the caliber of quarterback that can be drafted in one round to one that can be drafted at the same point in the following round.
Furthermore, there is little distinction between the top 10 quarterbacks available and little consensus on the pecking order. The takeaway is that if a team feels that they must draft a quarterback, it doesn’t matter which one they take. Whichever round a team thinks it’d be best to draft a quarterback is probably one round too early, and they’d be better off addressing other needs and taking a quarterback one round later.
So how does this help us figure out the intelligence level of teams around the league? If there is a high volume of quarterbacks taken during the first 50 picks of the draft, it’ll be a sign that teams are reaching for a quarterback in a weak year for that position.
If this is the case, there will be a lot of mistakes made and we’ll know that NFL teams aren’t all that smart. But, if a majority of teams wait a while to draft a quarterback and most don’t get drafted until the third round or later, it’ll be a sign that teams are making sound decisions and that they’re a lot smarter than we give them credit for.