NFL

When Should Each Team Draft A QB In The AFC West?

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Quarterbacks are the most valuable assets in the National Football League.  There was no truer example of that then the handsome contract that Brock Osweiler was granted by the Houston Texans.

QB’s can be used as insurance, trading chips and give franchises more stability.  We know that 32 quarterbacks won’t be selected in the 2016 NFL Draft. With that in mind, we are going to look at each team’s quarterback situations and when they should think about drafting one.

Denver Broncos

Current quarterbacks on the roster- Mark Sanchez, Trevor Siemian

The Denver Broncos are in a unique situation, as they are the defending Super Bowl champions who are looking for an answer at quarterback.

Peyton Manning’s retirement was certainly expected, and if he would have decided to come back the team would have likely failed him on a physical.  What was unexpected was backup-turned starter- turned backup Brock Osweiler’s departure in free agency, leaving the team with a major hole at the position.

Mark Sanchez came over from the Philadelphia Eagles via a trade, and although he would be the likely opening night starter, nobody in Denver feels comfortable with that.  Sanchez is a former first-round pick, but it’s been quite some time since he’s been a full-time starter and even longer since he’s been productive.

Trevor Siemian is little more than a developmental prospect who can’t reasonably be expected to even be a backup at this point in his career.

So when should they think about adding a quarterback?

The Broncos have a major hole at the position, perhaps the biggest hole of any team in the NFL. They should take a quarterback early, and it wouldn’t surprise anyone if it was in Round 1.  If they can’t take a quarterback in the first round, they will most certainly take one in Day 2.  Memphis QB Paxton Lynch is the player most associated with the Broncos, but he is somewhat of a project who won’t be ready to play in 2016.

Don’t be surprised if the Broncos select more than one quarterback in the draft.

Kansas City Chiefs

Current quarterbacks on the roster- Alex Smith, Aaron Murray, Tyler Brae

The Kansas City Chiefs finished the regular season winning 10 straight games and then won another in the playoffs.

With that said, there are still major questions to whether or not Alex Smith is a championship level quarterback.  Smith is a fantastic game manager who is more athletic than he gets credit for, but his lack of arm talent always seems to limit his offenses.

To win with Smith, a team needs to have an unbelievable supporting cast with a 2015 Denver Broncos-esque defense.

Smith’s backups, Aaron Murray and Tyler Brae are little more than developmental prospects and although they have name value as they both played their college careers in the SEC, they are largely unknowns at this level.

So when should they think about adding a quarterback?

Alex Smith will be 32 years old before training camp begins, and it’s tough to imagine that he’s going to get much better at this point in his career.  The Chiefs are in a position where they can draft a quarterback early and then take the time to develop him behind Smith.

With that said, Kansas City isn’t likely to select a quarterback early, as they believe that they have a chance to contend this season and can use every draft pick they can that can make somewhat of an impact.

The Chiefs need to add another veteran signal caller, as there is a major question about Aaron Murray’s ability as a backup.

Oakland Raiders

Current quarterbacks on the roster- Derek Carr, Garrett Gilbert

The arrow appears to be pointing up for the Oakland Raiders as Derek Carr looks the part of an ascending young quarterback.  The Raiders made some splashy moves in free agency, and with the Broncos quarterback situation-Oakland-like everyone else in the AFC West, believes that they can capture the division.

Behind Carr is Garrett Gilbert, who is little more than a developmental backup prospect.

Oakland needs to add a veteran backup to the mix, possibly a Brian Hoyer type of player.

So when should they think about adding a quarterback?

Don’t expect the Raiders to add a quarterback in the first two days of the draft, as Carr is entering his third season and is the current face of the franchise.  Oakland should and probably will select a quarterback late in the draft, as it’s always good to have a guy to develop on the practice squad, and it will give Gilbert some competition.

San Diego Chargers

Current quarterbacks on the roster- Philip Rivers, Kellen Clemens, Bryn Renner

The San Diego Chargers had a miserable 2015 campaign despite quarterback Philip Rivers staying mostly healthy.  Rivers signed a new deal before last season and it’s likely that the borderline future Hall of Famer will likely be under center for the Chargers for the foreseeable future.

Kellen Clemens is a solid, veteran backup behind Rivers and Bryn Renner is little more than a developmental prospect.

So when should they think about adding a quarterback?

With a star quarterback like Rivers, it’s very much an anomaly that San Diego is selecting third in the draft and it’s not likely that they will be in that position again.  If they decided to move on from head coach Mike McCoy and general manager Tom Telesco instead of retaining both, a first-round quarterback and franchise reboot would likely be more of a possibility.

The Broncos offseason missteps give the Chargers hope in 2016, and that likely figures in to their draft plan.  With that said, they do need to select a quarterback at some point, and it’s expected that it will come anywhere from the fourth round and beyond.


About Charlie Bernstein

Charlie Bernstein

Charlie Bernstein is the managing football editor for Football Insiders and has covered the NFL for over a decade.  Charlie has hosted drive time radio for NBC and ESPN affiliates in different markets around the country, along with being an NFL correspondent for ESPN Radio and WFAN.  He has been featured on the NFL Network as well as Sirius/XM NFL Radio and has been published on Fox Sports, Sports Illustrated, ESPN as well as numerous other publications.