Pats QB options in 2021

Shelterdog

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Sounds like Deshaun is pretty unhappy, I should have included his quote.

Understood on why Houston might not want to partake.
Texans definitely need an overhaul. But unless for some reason Watson can't get along with ownership--which was a remote possibility in the bob mcnair era--hard to imagine anything that would be worth parting ways with Watson over. (Any sense on whether new ownership are any bad than Cal?)

Thinking about the league, I'd place Watson is somewhere between about the second and fifth most valuable assets out of all players, coaches, draft picks and GMs. Mahomes is better, Wilson is great but seven years older, Rodger and Brady are way too old, Allen is maybe a push, and Lawrence and Fields are so untested. QB is just so important and career longevity is so long at that position relative to others that having a very good QB should guaranty that you'll almost always be 500 or better if you're competent. (So of course Houston is 4-12).
 

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Contracts can always be renegotiated to facilitate a trade.
What does this mean in concrete terms? Or put another way, how did the Pats make the (incoming) Moss trade work? I seem to recall they sent out minimal draft capital (a 4th + something??) and then almost immediately redid his contract.

So in the case of someone like Wentz (and I'm not advocating for him) or Odell or Matty Ice, we know there are bad dead cap ramifications for the team tracking him away, but what, if anything could the Pats do to mitigate the remaining contract?
 

nattysez

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For those who can't see twitter, Lynch says he expects Jimmy will be their QB

View: https://twitter.com/Eric_Branch/status/1346201643977560064
This is a good read on the Jimmy G situation: https://www.nbcsports.com/bayarea/49ers/john-lynch-addresses-when-49ers-can-guarantee-jimmy-garoppolos-return

The moment the 49ers restructure Garoppolo's contract to convert salary to up-front money, it will be the point of no return and guarantee his spot on next season's roster.
 

Harry Hooper

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This doesn't seem like that great a year to risk on QB prospects, considering many of them didn't play much at all.
For the same reason, odds of plucking a plum in the 4th round or later might be enhanced (with a little luck).
 

Average Game James

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What does this mean in concrete terms? Or put another way, how did the Pats make the (incoming) Moss trade work? I seem to recall they sent out minimal draft capital (a 4th + something??) and then almost immediately redid his contract.

So in the case of someone like Wentz (and I'm not advocating for him) or Odell or Matty Ice, we know there are bad dead cap ramifications for the team tracking him away, but what, if anything could the Pats do to mitigate the remaining contract?
The player can agree to redo the remaining terms of the deal (e.g. agree to a lower salary) to help make a trade happen, but there is no avoiding the dead money consequences for the team trading the player away. Cap consequences for the team trading the player away are usually the bigger issue.
 

BaseballJones

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So let's say, just for fun, that the Eagles would take a 2nd rounder for Wentz, and eat all that money, and the Pats could redo his contract for reasonable (~20m/yr) money. Would you guys pull the trigger on that?

 

BigSoxFan

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So let's say, just for fun, that the Eagles would take a 2nd rounder for Wentz, and eat all that money, and the Pats could redo his contract for reasonable (~20m/yr) money. Would you guys pull the trigger on that?

Absolutely. Wentz had a terrible year and I have no idea what the cause of it was but he just turned 28 and has had multiple successful seasons. You throw a 2nd round pick at a guy like that 10 times out of 10. Problem is that Philly will surely want much more than that, especially given the money they'd have to eat to make it happen.
 

Cellar-Door

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So let's say, just for fun, that the Eagles would take a 2nd rounder for Wentz, and eat all that money, and the Pats could redo his contract for reasonable (~20m/yr) money. Would you guys pull the trigger on that?

I probably would want to make it a 3rd (ours is too low, but we can pick one up in a trade down from 15 or 45), I think 45 on a cheap contract is too much for a Wentz rehab on big money.
I might consider a late 2nd if we trade down in the 1st and picked one up from someone like SEA or CLE.
 

BigJimEd

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No. He just signed an extension. Would be $67 million in dead money if they traded him. Cap considerations aside, ++ would probably need to be something like 3 or 4 more first round picks for Houston to even consider trading a 25 year old franchise QB.
Are you sure? For some reason, contract page isn't loading on my phone right now.

I think that number might be if he was cut since I don't believe his bonus was that high, just a lot of guarantee salary which would carry to the next team.
 

lexrageorge

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Are you sure? For some reason, contract page isn't loading on my phone right now.

I think that number might be if he was cut since I don't believe his bonus was that high, just a lot of guarantee salary which would carry to the next team.
Most of Watson's dead cap hit would be the salary guarantees that Houston offered. In the event of a trade, those typically become the obligation of the acquiring team. I believe that in the event of a trade, Houston would be responsible for the $21.6M of paid but unamortized signing bonus. The acquiring team would be responsible for the 2022 salary guarantee of $35M, which would count to the 2022 salary cap. Because this is guaranteed salary, reducing this number by a restructure is tricky.

The one question is the $10.5M in 2021 base salary; I believe that remains on Houston's cap, but that may depend upon the timing of a trade.

There is also a no-trade clause in Watson's contract, so he would need to agree to waive it.
 

sodenj5

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Mac Davis is not a first-round QB, but I can see Lance going to Atlanta - he's the perfect prospect to pick with Matty Ice still in position for another year or two. That said, if Sewell is available at #4, the Falcons will surely be tempted to take him and hope they can coax another good-to-great year or two out of Ryan instead behind a better offensive line. I'm just really, really glad the Falcons didn't screw everything up by winning a few too many late-season games like they have in each of the last few years and will definitely be able to take either a hotshot QB or someone like Sewell.

By the way, if you're Miami and you want to move on from Tua, what would you need to get in return for him? Would a high 2nd round pick be enough? (Asking for a friend.)
Cardinals got a mid 2nd rounder the night of the draft after they selected Kyler Murray.

Hypothetically, I would assume a low 1st or high 2nd would be the threshold.
 

Cellar-Door

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Cardinals got a mid 2nd rounder the night of the draft after they selected Kyler Murray.

Hypothetically, I would assume a low 1st or high 2nd would be the threshold.
I think they'd probably be looking for something like a 2nd and a 4th or 5th or I guess a late 1st. Tua should have more value than Rosen (assuming his medicals look good)
 

Saints Rest

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So let's say, just for fun, that the Eagles would take a 2nd rounder for Wentz, and eat all that money, and the Pats could redo his contract for reasonable (~20m/yr) money. Would you guys pull the trigger on that?

This is a bit of a follow up on my earlier question. In this example, the Eagles aren’t “eating” any money in terms of new cash outlay, right? The pain comes in the form of accelerating what would be pro-rated/amortized signing bonuses that have already been paid into one lump sum today.
Right?
 

Super Nomario

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So let's say, just for fun, that the Eagles would take a 2nd rounder for Wentz, and eat all that money, and the Pats could redo his contract for reasonable (~20m/yr) money. Would you guys pull the trigger on that?

You don't leverage to negotiate Wentz' deal down, because he knows you're not going to cut him, because you just traded a 2 for him and you'd have to eat $25 MM in guaranteed salary.
 

Cellar-Door

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You don't leverage to negotiate Wentz' deal down, because he knows you're not going to cut him, because you just traded a 2 for him and you'd have to eat $25 MM in guaranteed salary.
Also, if I'm the Patriots, why do I want to negotiate Wentz down? The only way you could really do it is by reducing 2021 by guaranteeing part of 2022. I think the Pats would rather have him at 22/20/21 all non-guaranteed, so if he's good you're happy at those prices, if he sucks you cut bait for free.
 

Seels

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There's no way Wentz would get a 2nd after this year and considering his contract and the fact that he wants out. I can't see any team willing to bite on that. I think a 3rd might even be a stretch.
 

BaseballJones

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You don't leverage to negotiate Wentz' deal down, because he knows you're not going to cut him, because you just traded a 2 for him and you'd have to eat $25 MM in guaranteed salary.
?? You would have all this worked out ahead of time and if he doesn’t go for it, don’t trade for him.

I don’t get your point.
 

Oil Can Dan

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Do you want the Eagles to trade him?
No.I’m a believer.

Edit to elaborate - Wentz has taken a massive beating. I don't have the stats but I suspect he leads QBs in hits taken over the last four years. He's tough as nails but that adds up. Wentz carried the Eagles to the playoffs last season with scrubs that were washing cars before signing with the Eagles. He can make all the throws, he's smart, he studies. There's not a lot to not like about him except that he's a little careless with the football and fumbles more than you'd want, and again, I feel like he gets too uptight at times. I don't know much of anything about Hurts but you can see that he's much calmer than Wentz in-game.

I think Wentz can be a top-five or so QB in this league but like most QBs he needs help. He needs an OL that can give him at least a little bit of time and a coach that will play to his strengths. I think the Eagles failed him more than he failed the Eagles this season. He's made chicken salad out of chicken shit in 2018 & 2019, and this year the wheels fell completely off. Is that because of the abuse he's taken, did the coaching change or did he just forget how to play QB? People like to attribute his success in 2017 to Frank Reich but Wentz had at least as good of a season in 2018 without him.

It's going to be interesting to see how this all plays out. I'm pretty sure he's going to be a very successful QB in the league for another decade, and I think him and the Pats would be a great fit given the high level coaching he'd get.
 
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lexrageorge

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?? You would have all this worked out ahead of time and if he doesn’t go for it, don’t trade for him.

I don’t get your point.
FWIW, Wentz's future salary:

2021: $15.4M plus $10M roster bonus, both already guaranteed. Pats would incur a $25M cap hit anyway that cannot be reduced by a restructure.

Future years (not guaranteed):

2022: $22M (guarantees at start of league year)
2023: $20M
2024: $21M

Plus there are some incentives; not sure how they are accounted for.
 

JokersWildJIMED

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Not sure the Pats would be the high bidder for Wentz...seems that the Colts would be the logical landing place.
 

54thMA

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No.I’m a believer.

Edit to elaborate - Wentz has taken a massive beating. I don't have the stats but I suspect he leads QBs in hits taken over the last four years. He's tough as nails but that adds up. Wentz carried the Eagles to the playoffs last season with scrubs that were washing cars before signing with the Eagles. He can make all the throws, he's smart, he studies. There's not a lot to not like about him except that he's a little careless with the football and fumbles more than you'd want, and again, I feel like he gets too uptight at times. I don't know much of anything about Hurts but you can see that he's much calmer than Wentz in-game.

I think Wentz can be a top-five or so QB in this league but like most QBs he needs help. He needs an OL that can give him at least a little bit of time and a coach that will play to his strengths. I think the Eagles failed him more than he failed the Eagles this season. He's made chicken salad out of chicken shit in 2018 & 2019, and this year the wheels fell completely off. Is that because of the abuse he's taken, did the coaching change or did he just forget how to play QB? People like to attribute his success in 2017 to Frank Reich but Wentz had at least as good of a season in 2018 without him.

It's going to be interesting to see how this all plays out. I'm pretty sure he's going to be a very successful QB in the league for another decade, and I think him and the Pats would be a great fit given the high level coaching he'd get.
Thanks for the analysis; are you buying the reports that the relationship between Wentz and the organization/coach is beyond repair and Wentz wants out, or do you think any comments he might have made were made out of frustration with the situation?

He would be an intriguing choice for the Patriots, not sure if they can make it happen.
 

sodenj5

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No.I’m a believer.

Edit to elaborate - Wentz has taken a massive beating. I don't have the stats but I suspect he leads QBs in hits taken over the last four years. He's tough as nails but that adds up. Wentz carried the Eagles to the playoffs last season with scrubs that were washing cars before signing with the Eagles. He can make all the throws, he's smart, he studies. There's not a lot to not like about him except that he's a little careless with the football and fumbles more than you'd want, and again, I feel like he gets too uptight at times. I don't know much of anything about Hurts but you can see that he's much calmer than Wentz in-game.

I think Wentz can be a top-five or so QB in this league but like most QBs he needs help. He needs an OL that can give him at least a little bit of time and a coach that will play to his strengths. I think the Eagles failed him more than he failed the Eagles this season. He's made chicken salad out of chicken shit in 2018 & 2019, and this year the wheels fell completely off. Is that because of the abuse he's taken, did the coaching change or did he just forget how to play QB? People like to attribute his success in 2017 to Frank Reich but Wentz had at least as good of a season in 2018 without him.

It's going to be interesting to see how this all plays out. I'm pretty sure he's going to be a very successful QB in the league for another decade, and I think him and the Pats would be a great fit given the high level coaching he'd get.
I think Wentz is guilty of playing hero ball far too much. Part of it is he doesn’t have the most amazing supporting cast. The other part is he’s borderline reckless with the ball at times.

Could it be coached out of him? Probably. Will he be motivated to succeed somewhere else? Probably. Is the Patriots skill group a significant upgrade over New England’s? I don’t think so. So will he be better in New England than what we saw this season? Not without better receivers, IMO.
 

DJnVa

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Added DeShaun Watson as a trade candidate, and Taylor Heinecke as a UFA.
According to Heinicke he is an RFA...


“I think my contract is up in February, I believe, and then free agency starts in March,” the former Old Dominion star told “The Sports Junkies” radio show on D.C.-area 106.7 FM The Fan. “But yeah, I am a restricted free agent. Whatever Washington wants to do, that’s their choice. I want to be here. I love it here. Love Ron. I love Scott (Turner, the offensive coordinator). Love the guys in this locker room.”
 

Mooch

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Boy, I like what I’m seeing from Mac Jones so far tonight. Good accuracy and touch. Are we sure that we don’t want him at #15?
 

Mugsy's Jock

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Re: Jones, it helps to throw to guys that get so open... but you have to like what the announcers were talking about in terms of how he processes and makes decisions. A lot.
 

Deathofthebambino

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I'm firmly in the Wentz camp with @Oil Can Dan. I wrote this in a game thread in early December:

I still disagree with Wentz being broken. And I certainly don't buy that his talent around him is better (and even if it is better, it's not by much). Cam has one of the best offensive lines, and best running games in the NFL to work with. Wentz, umm, doesn't. The Eagles are like 20th in rushing yards per game, and Wentz leads the NFL in sacks at 50. Their leading receiver is Greg Ward, with 44 catches, and he's only started 7 of 12 games. Jalen Reagor may be good some day, but he's nothing more than a burner who can make a play on occasion (think John Ross from Cincy) at this moment. Fulgham has been serviceable, and then what after that at WR? The corpose of Alshon Jeffery?

They are stacked at tight end, but they aren't healthy. Ertz just missed 5 straight games with injury before returning this week, Goedert has missed 4 games. Their backs don't really catch anything (between Scott and Sanders, they average less than 4 receptions per game). Miles Sanders has a 17.9% drop rate, he's dropped 7 of the 39 balls thrown his way.

The Eagles are a bad football team on offense. Like really, really bad. And I don't know how folks can give up on him based on what he's had to work with this year. If Philly makes some moves and gives him some help and he still fails, I'll be the first to admit I'm wrong, but I think he shines on a better team. He makes throws each week that Cam Newton could only dream about making at this point in his career.
 

Cellar-Door

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I'm firmly in the Wentz camp with @Oil Can Dan. I wrote this in a game thread in early December:
He's almost certainly not going anywhere now that Pederson is gone

Re: Jones, it helps to throw to guys that get so open... but you have to like what the announcers were talking about in terms of how he processes and makes decisions. A lot.
I don't really like his footwork, and last game he had several throws that made me wonder if he has an NFL arm.
Also... that's what announcers always say about guys with subpar tools on really good teams, I remember all the talk about how great Fromm was at making reads.

I'd be fine with Jones in say, the third? But at 15 I'd be pretty pissed about a guy who looks like he has borderline tools.
 

DJnVa

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Todd McShay's first mock draft has Fields falling to the Patriots at #15, but says only because he isn't predicting trades.

OK, it's time. And what a terrific outcome this would be for coach Bill Belichick. Fields fell to No. 15 here because we aren't doing trades in this mock. There's little chance he makes it this far down the board, especially after his six-touchdown performance in the Sugar Bowl quieted some big-game concerns. Someone will move up to get him.

But what a nice fit Fields makes in New England. The Patriots tied the Giants for the fewest passing touchdowns in the NFL this season with 12, and New England joined the Broncos as the only teams with more interceptions thrown than TDs (14). Cam Newton, who was largely ineffective this season, will turn 32 in May and is set to be a free agent again. Jarrett Stidham doesn't appear to be the guy, either. Tom Brady is no longer walking through that door, and it's a different era for the Patriots' passing offense. Fields would change that, with plenty of zip on his vertical shots and an ability to create when things break down.
 

rodderick

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He's almost certainly not going anywhere now that Pederson is gone


I don't really like his footwork, and last game he had several throws that made me wonder if he has an NFL arm.
Also... that's what announcers always say about guys with subpar tools on really good teams, I remember all the talk about how great Fromm was at making reads.

I'd be fine with Jones in say, the third? But at 15 I'd be pretty pissed about a guy who looks like he has borderline tools.
The whole question is: are the Patriots willing to simplify their offensive approach to make things easier for a young QB? We've seen more toolsy, raw QBs have early success in the NFL than in years prior because the offensive game is much simpler and more similar to what they run in college than it was in the past. Is a young guy going to come here and have to run Tom Brady's offense? If the answer is yes, maybe you do look for decision making and ability to process the game as THE traits for a QB. On the other hand, if that's the case, I can't see them willing to go with a guy they drafted as the starter for 2021.
 

DJnVa

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The whole question is: are the Patriots willing to simplify their offensive approach to make things easier for a young QB? We've seen more toolsy, raw QBs have early success in the NFL than in years prior because the offensive game is much simpler and more similar to what they run in college than it was in the past.
That's interesting--I've not heard modern offenses defined as "much simpler". Isn't it that college offenses have risen in complexity?
 

sodenj5

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Feels like Trey Lance is being slept on because he played in a single game this season and because Zach Wilson went supernova.

He probably feels like the most likely guy to slip to within striking range for New England. He and Wilson feel pretty similar in athletic profile, so I imagine neither one of them would gain or lose significant ground in the pre-draft process.
 

sodenj5

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That's interesting--I've not heard modern offenses defined as "much simpler". Isn't it that college offenses have risen in complexity?
Not really. They’re typically half field reads based on man or zone and college QBs are asked to make one or two reads and either get the ball out or scramble.

If you’re looking for a knock on Lawrence, that might be it. Clemson’s offense isn’t super complex, typically a half field read and he’s either hitting A or B. He’s still an immense talent with all the other tools you look for, but he isn’t being asked to perform big brain stuff at the line and it might take him a little while to adapt to the NFL in that regard.
 

rodderick

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That's interesting--I've not heard modern offenses defined as "much simpler". Isn't it that college offenses have risen in complexity?
You don't really see college QBs get to the NFL and be asked to make line calls and do full field reads anymore and they sure aren't doing that in college. The days of first round picks coming in and being expected to execute a thousand page playbook and be an OC on the field from the jump are over. Which is a good thing in my opinion. I'm glad we don't have to watch Justin Herbert struggle for years before figuring things out, just get him in a spot where his skills can be immediately put to work.
 

DJnVa

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I'm not doubting anyone, I just don't recall stories or segments on NFL shows talking about offenses getting simpler. It very well could be.
 

DJnVa

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Here's a good 2018 article on it.
That's a good article. Here's a line from it:

This is a far cry from years past, when essentially all NFL offenses could be boiled down to three styles: the West Coast, the Erhardt-Perkins system, and the Air Coryell. Every hire that was made typically ran an offense similar to the one that came before them, further hindering innovation. The NFL was essentially a closed loop.
I guess maybe it's a semantic issue on my part. I'm thinking innovation and tying it to more options, more things to do, but it could be the case of less things to do but more variation within those.
 

Cellar-Door

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That's a good article. Here's a line from it:



I guess maybe it's a semantic issue on my part. I'm thinking innovation and tying it to more options, more things to do, but it could be the case of less things to do but more variation within those.
Yeah, the whole thing about the spread is it moves towards getting the most playmakers on the field and getting them making plays. It reduces the amount of reads for QBs because getting the ball out quick means the playmaker gets the ball, it also (along with qb mobility) takes some pressure off the O-line.

Notably, this started with an argument that the Patriots offense is so complex, but as that article notes, they were one of the first teams to really start stealing from the College spread. They did a bit less than others once it took off, but that was likely more about having a dwindling collection of explosive playmakers, and a QB in Brady whose strengths didn't really suit a full spread.

I don't think Belichick would draft an athletically mediocre QB because he wanted to run a particular offense. If anything, looking at his recent QB selections (draft and FA) he's shown an interest in athletic profile. Brissett and Cam being the obvious ones, but even Stidham was a dual threat coming out of HS who didn't show it much due to the Auburn offense.
 

Zincman

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Lawrence, Fields, Wilson and Lance will not get past the Panthers at #9. I've said before that its difficult to get a good read on Jones since he essentially plays pitch and catch with no pressure on him and a slew of talented receivers running free. I don't see a pro arm, but others may disagree. Moreover, the Pats have so many holes to fill or improve on, I can't see BB trying to move up for a top four QB. I've done a bunch of simulated mocks and don't see how a trade up for a QB wouldn't destroy the depth of both the 2021 and 2022 drafts. I will not be surprised if BB makes more than one trade down the board in order to collect draft assets so he can take multiple swings at WR in a WR rich draft and use choices on LBs and O-Line. Its not a great draft for DTs but I would still expect one to come out of the draft. None of this counts if BB identifies a future franchise QB that is reachable through trade. Otherwise, I'm expecting the signing of a veteran QB with the possibilty of a mid round choice if someome like Trask goes into free fall
 

Captaincoop

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Lawrence, Fields, Wilson and Lance will not get past the Panthers at #9. I've said before that its difficult to get a good read on Jones since he essentially plays pitch and catch with no pressure on him and a slew of talented receivers running free. I don't see a pro arm, but others may disagree. Moreover, the Pats have so many holes to fill or improve on, I can't see BB trying to move up for a top four QB. I've done a bunch of simulated mocks and don't see how a trade up for a QB wouldn't destroy the depth of both the 2021 and 2022 drafts. I will not be surprised if BB makes more than one trade down the board in order to collect draft assets so he can take multiple swings at WR in a WR rich draft and use choices on LBs and O-Line. Its not a great draft for DTs but I would still expect one to come out of the draft. None of this counts if BB identifies a future franchise QB that is reachable through trade. Otherwise, I'm expecting the signing of a veteran QB with the possibilty of a mid round choice if someome like Trask goes into free fall
Agreed on all counts. The only caveat I would have is if Bill absolutely loves one of the top 5 QBs and that guy happens to still be there at 15, MAYBE he uses that pick on a QB.

Far more likely, he's trading down and trying to add more young bodies at WR, TE, OL, DL, CB, and LB.
 
I strongly suspect that Lance is going to wow people at workouts and the combine (if they're allowed to take place) and wind up zooming up a lot of draft boards, probably into the Top 5. I have no idea whether he's actually good enough to deserve that sort of rise, but if he does have Mahomes-like tools, no QB-needy team is going to want to risk having to say that it let Mahomes v2 slip through their fingers.
 

rodderick

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I strongly suspect that Lance is going to wow people at workouts and the combine (if they're allowed to take place) and wind up zooming up a lot of draft boards, probably into the Top 5. I have no idea whether he's actually good enough to deserve that sort of rise, but if he does have Mahomes-like tools, no QB-needy team is going to want to risk having to say that it let Mahomes v2 slip through their fingers.
He even looks like Mahomes.
 

Super Nomario

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I strongly suspect that Lance is going to wow people at workouts and the combine (if they're allowed to take place) and wind up zooming up a lot of draft boards, probably into the Top 5. I have no idea whether he's actually good enough to deserve that sort of rise, but if he does have Mahomes-like tools, no QB-needy team is going to want to risk having to say that it let Mahomes v2 slip through their fingers.
Jordan Love was this kind of guy last year and he didn't wind up going until late 1.

Every year before the draft there's chatter that so many teams need QBs and there are only so many QBs and thus they're all gonna get pushed up the boards ... and it rarely happens. NFL decision-makers are pretty risk averse, and the thing about drafting a QB is, if you get it wrong, you get fired. GMs make stupid decisions all the time, but usually because they're too conservative; this is one I don't think they mess up as much as people expect them to.

I think the above point is particular relevant when we look at teams like Detroit and your beloved Falcons that will have new GMs. The GM taking the Falcons over, for instance, won't have had an opportunity to install his guys and have them go through a draft cycle (most scouts are hired and fired after the draft). So if he picks a QB, he's either going to have to rely on scouts he didn't hire, or essentially make the decision solo. I don't think he's going to be inclined to make the riskiest decision perhaps in his entire GM tenure in that situation, especially when he has a strong incumbent like Ryan (or Stafford in Detroit's case) in a good contract situation where he can easily just defer the decision another year instead (Carolina is a little murkier, because the HC will have been there a year and Bridgewater is not as entrenched).