NFL

When Should Each Team Draft A QB In The NFC East?

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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.

Dallas Cowboys

Current quarterbacks on the roster- Tony Romo, Kellen Moore, Jameill Showers

The Dallas Cowboys are in a unique position, being a team that, when healthy, can compete with anyone in the NFL, but are still selecting fourth-overall in this week’s NFL Draft.

The main reason why they’re selecting that high was the injury to quarterback Tony Romo last season.  When upright, Romo is a legit Top-7 quarterback in the league and he was an MVP candidate two years ago when he Cowboys won the NFC East.  Unfortunately for Dallas, Romo is 36 years old and he’s been injury prone and we won’t know the full effects of those injuries until they start playing.

Behind Romo is the diminutive, weak-armed Kellen Moore, who gets by on football smarts rather than athletic ability.  Moore got his shot last season after some failed experiments with Brandon Weeden and Matt Cassel, and played well enough to be brought back to at least compete for a back-up job.  Moore isn’t going to get much better and with him they would probably be okay if Romo went down for about 2-3 weeks.

Jameill Showers is little more than a developmental prospect.

So when should they think about adding a quarterback?

There was real talk about the Cowboys using this year’s fourth-overall pick for Romo’s eventual successor, but that faded when the Los Angeles Rams and Philadelphia Eagles both traded up to the top of the draft to presumably take quarterbacks.

It was probably a good thing that it happened that way, as the Cowboys are still a contender and the No. 4 pick in the draft can help them get a playmaker who could push them over the edge.

With that said, Dallas needs to invest in the quarterback position, and it could happen as early as Round 2.  It would be a huge surprise if Jerry Jones didn’t select a quarterback on at least Day 2, and a shock if they didn’t draft one at all.

Washington Redskins

Current quarterbacks on the roster: Kirk Cousins, Colt McCoy

To the surprise of many last season, Kirk Cousins snatched the starting quarterback job away from Robert Griffin, III and never looked back as he had a very productive season.  That caused the team to place the franchise tag on him and they are trying to work out a long-term deal with their former developmental, “insurance” selection in the 2012 NFL Draft.

With Cousins just entering his prime at 27 years old, the team doesn’t appear to have an immediate need for a starter in the draft.

Backup Colt McCoy is a great guy to have on the roster, as he can run the offense pretty well and there really isn’t much that’s lost if Cousins were to go down.  McCoy has a weak arm and that’s the main reason why he’s not a starter.

So when should they think about adding a quarterback?

With their starter being 27 and their backup being 29, Washington can just “punt” on the idea of selecting a quarterback in any round in this draft.  Sure, competition never hurts, but there are too many other areas of concern on the roster of the defending NFC East champs to really even think about a quarterback before the fifth round.  It’s much more likely that they wait until after the draft to bring in a player to compete.

New York Giants

Current quarterbacks on the roster: Eli Manning, Ryan Nassib, G.J. Kinnie

The most important ability is availability, and the Giants certainly have that with Eli Manning, who never misses a game.  Regardless of whether you believe he’s elite or not, Manning has led the team to a pair of Super Bowls and has flourished under Ben McAdoo’s offense.

At 35 years old, there’s surprisingly very little talk about New York looking at a possible successor, and a lot of that is because of the durability that Manning has displayed.

Ryan Nassib was selected in the fourth round to potentially be a successor to Manning, but after three seasons we only have a couple handfuls of preseason games to go on to evaluate the former Syracuse quarterback.  With Nassib entering the final year of his deal, the best case scenario for New York would be to continue to not know what they have in the young quarterback.

G.J. Kinnie is a developmental project who doesn’t project to hang around for long.

So when should they think about adding a quarterback?

When you break it all down, the Giants need to select a quarterback sooner, rather than later.  If they pick one on the second day, they could begin to look at trade options for Nassib.  Even if they can’t trade Nassib, it wouldn’t be a bad thing for a rookie to come in and compete for the backup job and at worst hold a clipboard for the 2016 season.

Selecting a quarterback buys the team four more years of insurance for Eli.

Philadelphia Eagles

Current quarterbacks on the roster: Sam Bradford, Chase Daniel, McLeod Bethel-Thompson

There’s virtually no quarterback situation in the NFL messier than the one in Philadelphia right now.  They decided to re-sign Sam Bradford and give him an $11 million signing bonus, as well as sign Chase Daniel away from Kansas City, where he played under Doug Pederson.

What makes the situation even messier is last week when the Eagles traded up to get the second-overall pick in the draft, where they’ll likely select Carson Wentz.

Bradford is certainly unhappy, and he doesn’t want to be a “stop-gap quarterback.”  Unfortunately for him, his play on the field hasn’t amounted to him being worth any more than that, and he’s been paid handsomely for that role.  It’s possible that the team will try and move him on draft night if a team like Denver or the New York Jets is interested.

Chase Daniel is ultra familiar with Pederson’s system, is an athletic quarterback, but his lack of arm strength has been the main reason why he hasn’t received a chance to start.  That could all change if Bradford’s demands are met and he is dealt.

Bethel-Thompson is simply a developmental prospect.

So when should they think about adding a quarterback?

The Eagles are selecting a quarterback with the second-overall pick in the draft, likely Carson Wentz.  They have a veteran starter/backup behind or ahead of him, he’ll serve as both and there really isn’t a need for another signal caller.  Perhaps the team can add someone after the draft to try and develop on the practice squad.


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.