Predicting Every Team’s Starting QB Following 2014 NFL Draft
The 2014 NFL QB Carousel Will be Wild
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.
Bills: EJ Manuel
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.
Browns: Johnny Manziel
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.
Bengals: Andy Dalton
Cincinnati is inconsistent like its quarterback, but the Bengals believe in Andy Dalton and they’ll be rewarded for that eventually.
49ers: Colin Kaepernick
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.
Buccaneers: Stephen Morris
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.
Bears: Jay Cutler
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.
Jets: Geno Smith
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.
Cardinals: Carson Palmer
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.
Vikings: Teddy Bridgewater
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.
Chiefs: Alex Smith
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.
Colts: Andrew Luck
Growing pains are common. This kid will finish his career as one of the all-time best.
Cowboys: Tony Romo
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.
Jaguars: Brett Hundley
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.
Broncos: Peyton Manning
No commentary necessary.
Chargers: Philip Rivers
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.
Dolphins: Ryan Tannehill
Miami might just make the playoffs this year, so this sophomore passer will be around for a while.
Eagles: Nick Foles
Squash the Michael Vick talk and don’t you dare bring up Matt Barkley. Foles is the man in Philly. Period.
Lions: Matthew Stafford
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).
Giants: Eli Manning
Two rings apparently trump a record-setting number of interceptions.
Raiders: Tajh Boyd
Oakland needs another quarterback (shocking) and it will take another big, athletic, overrated bust. The Raiders will just never learn.
Falcons: Matt Ryan
Money talks, which is why Ryan won’t be walking for a long time.
Packers: Aaron Rodgers
No commentary necessary.
Panthers: Cam Newton
With the year he’s having, Newton could be in line for a contract extension soon, along with his head coach.
Patriots: Tom Brady
Although Brady looked mortal this year without a bunch of weapons around him, there’s no way he’s leaving New England anytime soon.
Rams: Aaron Murray
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.
Ravens: Joe Flacco
Baltimore threw a truckload of money at No. 5, so he remains the guy for the foreseeable future.
Redskins: Robert Griffin III
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.
Saints: Drew Brees
New Orleans will let this guy suit up until he’s dead.
Seahawks: Russell Wilson
No brainer. This kid will likely win the Super Bowl in his sophomore season.
Titans: Zach Mettenberger
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.
Steelers: Ben Roethlisberger
No big changes here…yet. Don’t be surprised to see Pittsburgh draft a quarterback as Big Ben’s eventual successor.
Texans: Kirk Cousins
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.