Predicting Every Team’s Starting QB Following 2014 NFL Draft

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The 2014 NFL QB Carousel Will be Wild

Kirk Cousins
Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Remember the quarterback carousel following the 2012 NFL Draft? We had five starting rookies on opening day that year — the most in league history — and it was awesome. Two opening-day starters were drafted in 2013, but they weren’t anything like the class of 2012, which hasn’t even shaken out yet because Kirk Cousins and Robert Griffin III are still on the same team. We had 10 solid quarterback prospects in the 2012 draft, which was one of the richest in recent memory as it pertains to quarterbacks. However, 2014 could be even better.

Now that last statement should have an asterisk because there is no Andrew Luck this year. No player is a surefire future Hall of Famer coming out of college like Luck was, although there are certainly some players who could put together that kind of career. But the bottom line is this: The 10 relatively high-profile quarterbacks in the 2014 NFL Draft class will change the passing landscape of the NFL next season and beyond.

We could have new starting quarterbacks for a third of the teams in the league because we’ve also got free agency to get through. So buckle up because the NFL quarterback carousel of 2014 is going to make 2012 a distant memory.

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Bills: EJ Manuel

Bills: EJ Manuel
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He may have been plagued by injury this year, but Manuel has shown a lot of promise as a rookie and Buffalo is excited to see what he can do as a healthy sophomore.

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Browns: Johnny Manziel

Browns: Johnny Manziel
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Leave it to Cleveland to waste another draft pick on a quarterback not capable of winning in the NFL. Johnny Football will be one of the biggest busts in Browns history.

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Bengals: Andy Dalton

Bengals: Andy Dalton
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Cincinnati is inconsistent like its quarterback, but the Bengals believe in Andy Dalton and they’ll be rewarded for that eventually.

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49ers: Colin Kaepernick

49ers: Colin Kaepernick
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His stats aren’t great, but Kaepernick is effective for the 49ers, who are still figuring out their offensive identity. And after the tough decision Jim Harbaugh made to go with Kap instead of Alex Smith, the youngster will get more than enough chances to prove he’s worth it.

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Buccaneers: Stephen Morris

Buccaneers: Stephen Morris
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Mike Glennon may have shown promise this year, but a new coach will likely want his own quarterback for a fresh start. Morris is the best man available for Tampa Bay.

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Bears: Jay Cutler

Bears: Jay Cutler
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Word in Chicago is the Bears will use the franchise tag on Jay Cutler, although they should use this opportunity to draft a new passer in the quarterback-rich 2014 NFL Draft. Expect to see No. 6 on the field in the Windy City again next year.

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Jets: Geno Smith

Jets: Geno Smith
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New York will suffer through another roller coaster season foolishly believing Smith will be the man long-term. We’ll revisit this in 12 months.

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Cardinals: Carson Palmer

Cardinals: Carson Palmer
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With the season the Cardinals had, Palmer has earned at least one more year under center in Arizona’s eyes. The Birds may take a quarterback, but not as the opening-day starter.

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Vikings: Teddy Bridgewater

Vikings: Teddy Bridgewater
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Minnesota was all set to start Marcus Mariota in 2014 until he decided to return to Oregon for another season. So now the Vikings will end up with the ultimate high-risk/high-reward pick in Bridgwater, who could be the next big thing or the next big flop. One thing is for sure: the Vikings will not start Matt Cassell, Christian Ponder or Josh Freeman in 2014.

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Chiefs: Alex Smith

Chiefs: Alex Smith
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Just because he doesn’t throw for 300 yards every week doesn’t mean he’s not a capable quarterback. Smith fits Andy Reid’s offense like a glove and he’ll remain the starter for the foreseeable future.

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Colts: Andrew Luck

Colts: Andrew Luck
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Growing pains are common. This kid will finish his career as one of the all-time best.

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Cowboys: Tony Romo

Cowboys: Tony Romo
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Say what you want, but Jerry Jones’ $100 million quarterback isn’t going anywhere. And frankly, he shouldn’t because the Cowboys’ real problems have nothing to do with Romo.

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Jaguars: Brett Hundley

Jaguars: Brett Hundley
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Thanks to the Jaguars’ late-season winning streak, they won’t end up with the No. 1 overall pick. Hundley will be the best quarterback available when Jacksonville is on the board, so they’ll have no choice but to pull the trigger.

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Broncos: Peyton Manning

Broncos: Peyton Manning
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No commentary necessary.

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Chargers: Philip Rivers

Chargers: Philip Rivers
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Just when we thought things in San Diego were about to change, Rivers reminded us he’s still legit, so he’s bought himself at least one more season with the Chargers.

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Dolphins: Ryan Tannehill

Dolphins: Ryan Tannehill
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Miami might just make the playoffs this year, so this sophomore passer will be around for a while.

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Eagles: Nick Foles

Eagles: Nick Foles
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Squash the Michael Vick talk and don’t you dare bring up Matt Barkley. Foles is the man in Philly. Period.

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Lions: Matthew Stafford

Lions: Matthew Stafford
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As long as this kid is throwing for close to 5,000 yards and putting points on the board, he’ll remain the guy in Detroit. Oh, and his new contract is partially to blame for the city filing bankruptcy (kidding).

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Giants: Eli Manning

Giants: Eli Manning
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Two rings apparently trump a record-setting number of interceptions.

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Raiders: Tajh Boyd

Raiders: Tajh Boyd
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Oakland needs another quarterback (shocking) and it will take another big, athletic, overrated bust. The Raiders will just never learn.

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Falcons: Matt Ryan

Falcons: Matt Ryan
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Money talks, which is why Ryan won’t be walking for a long time.

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Packers: Aaron Rodgers

Packers: Aaron Rodgers
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No commentary necessary.

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Panthers: Cam Newton

Panthers: Cam Newton
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With the year he’s having, Newton could be in line for a contract extension soon, along with his head coach.

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Patriots: Tom Brady

Patriots: Tom Brady
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Although Brady looked mortal this year without a bunch of weapons around him, there’s no way he’s leaving New England anytime soon.

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Rams: Aaron Murray

Rams: Aaron Murray
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

St. Louis will be smart and wait to draft a quarterback like Murray, who is coming off an ACL tear. Put simply, that will work out well for the Rams.

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Ravens: Joe Flacco

Ravens: Joe Flacco
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Baltimore threw a truckload of money at No. 5, so he remains the guy for the foreseeable future.

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Redskins: Robert Griffin III

Redskins: Robert Griffin III
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In the battle between coach and quarterback, Mike Shanahan loses this round. RGIII stays and he goes, so there will be at least one more year of craziness in D.C.

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Saints: Drew Brees

Saints: Drew Brees
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New Orleans will let this guy suit up until he’s dead.

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Seahawks: Russell Wilson

Seahawks: Russell Wilson
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No brainer. This kid will likely win the Super Bowl in his sophomore season.

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Titans: Zach Mettenberger

Titans: Zach Mettenberger
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Tennessee’s brass has already admitted Jake Locker’s days as the franchise quarterback are done. Mettenberger is a perfect fit for the Titans and he’ll be a value pick coming off an ACL tear.

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Steelers: Ben Roethlisberger

Steelers: Ben Roethlisberger
Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports

No big changes here…yet. Don’t be surprised to see Pittsburgh draft a quarterback as Big Ben’s eventual successor.

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Texans: Kirk Cousins

Kirk Cousins
Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Here’s the monkey wrench in all of this. This is by far the smartest move for Houston because the Texans are a team that’s ready to win now — they’re only lacking a solid quarterback. Cousins will be much better than a rookie on opening day and he’ll put H-Town back on the map in no time.


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