Heading into the draft, there was eleven NFL teams that you could have legitimately argued were in need of a quarterback and following the 2011 draft only six grabbed a quarterback prospect. Those who drafted a quarterback would include: Carolina, Cincinnati Bengals, Jacksonville, Minnesota, San Francisco and Tennessee which leaves the Cardinals, Bills, Redskins, Seahawks and Dolphins as teams that still have some questions to answer.
Here’s a look at the teams that are still in need of a quarterback. – Free Agent Quarterbacks
I can understand why the Cardinals didn’t take a quarterback in this years draft. They drafted two QB prospects last year, both of whom still need time to develop, and this years quarterback class didn’t have “franchise” caliber talent. Arizona’s roster was in need of a talent infusion so employing the “best available player” strategy makes a lot of sense for them.
During the draft, rumors circulated that the Cardinals may already have an “understanding” with free agent-to-be Marc Bulger. Larry Fitzgerald has already supported the idea of bringing in a veteran quarterback and considering the youth that’s currently on the roster, adding veteran does make sense.
In Trent Dilfer’s opinion, Matt Hasselbeck will not be returning to Seattle and if that’s ends up being the case, Arizona could be a good landing spot for him considering his familiarity with the NFC West.
There’s still a chance that Arizona could trade for Kevin Kolb but they seem to be more interested in veteran QB’s rather than paying Kolb’s high price tag.
Chan Gailey stayed true to his word that he feels as though Ryan Fitzpatrick can be a solid NFL quarterback. The Bills draft was primarily geared towards improving their terrible defense and they did a good job of securing plenty of talent on that side of the ball.
While Gailey may feel that Fitzpatrick is a serviceable NFL QB, there is still little question that the team will need to find a “franchise quarterback” at some point in the future. Gailey has said that the team will look to add another quarterback to the roster but they do not appear to be looking at one of the top free agent options.
The Dolphins shied away from reaching for quarterback in the first-round and decided against trading into the second-round for one as well. Instead the Dolphins addressed specific needs on the offensive side of the ball such as interior offensive line and running back.
Chad Henne appears to be getting another shot at proving his worth to the franchise. It’s been hard to gauge Henne’s 2010 performance because of the teams collective offensive struggles. Some advanced metrics have shown that Henne was not as bad as it seemed last year but there’s little doubt that he’ll need to drastically improve his play if plans on being a starting quarterback beyond the upcoming season.
The Dolphins have been rumored to have interest in Vince Young, who’s still with the Titans but most likely not for long, and Carson Palmer. Both the Titans and Bengals drafted quarterbacks so Miami should have a shot at either player if they remain interested.
Seattle was another team that chose to address other needs rather than take a quarterback that they would have to develop into a starter. As of right the Seahawks have Charlie Whitehurst as their starting quarterback which is rather unsettling for any Seattle fan. Pete Carroll still thinks that they have a good shot to re-sign Matt Hasselbeck once free agency open but that’s no guarantee.
NFL Networks Jason La Canfora sees the Seahawks as the favorites for acquiring Kevin Kolb.
Seattle has been reported to have already made an offer to Eagles in for Kolb so this will most likely be a situation to watch in the coming weeks. If the Seahawks do pull the trigger and trade for Kolb, they will have to sign him to a contract extension on top of the draft picks that they send to Philadelphia because he is set to become a free agent following the 2011 season. A tough call to make but desperation leads teams to make even tougher decisions.
Mike Shanahan and the Redskins were very active throughout the draft and traded down multiple times in an attempt to secure more draft picks. Despite drafting twelve players, Washington didn’t grab a single quarterback in the 2011 draft.
Following the conclusion of the draft, reports came out that Mike Shanahan was comfortable moving forward with John Beck as his starting quarterback.
“When (Beck) came out in 2007 … he was by far my No. 1 guy,” Shanahan said. “I think the world of him.”
Good luck with that. Beck didn’t do much while in Miami so it would be surprising to see him turn things around in Washington but stranger things have happened in the NFL.
Donovan McNabb will most likely be let go or traded at some point in the near future and Rex Grossman is set to become a free agent. Shanahan showed support for Grossman during this past season so he may choose to keep him around as his backup.
Shanahan will be taking a calculated risk if chooses to move forward without McNabb and a pair of under-performing QB’s but I wouldn’t rule out the possibility that they pursue a free agent like Matt Hasselbeck just yet. Then again, this could be a strategy to land Andrew Luck next season, if there’s even a draft at that point in time.