[Editor’s note: the following has been updated in light of the Rams trading for the no. 1 overall pick. Updates are in square brackets or
If you scour the legion of mock drafts out there, it looks like some level of consensus is finally taking shape when it comes to quarterbacks.
We’ve known for a while who the QB-needy teams are: Cleveland (second overall), San Francisco (seventh overall), Philadelphia (eighth overall), and St. Louis (15th overall). (Some throw Dallas into that mix as well; not I.)
But just which pivot will hear his name called first has been a matter of debate all through the college season, thanks in large part to up-and-down years from two of the top-three prospects, Jared Goff (Cal) and Paxton Lynch (Memphis).
The slip-ups from that pair opened the door for Div. II QB Carson Wentz (North Dakota State). Wentz impressed at both the Senior Bowl and the Combine, and now is the odds-on favorite to hear his name called when the Browns step up to the podium at no. 2.
What’s going to happen after that is a bit murkier. Goff is edging Lynch on most draft boards, but which team will take the next QB isn’t clear. If the Niners can’t work out a deal for the embattled QB, they may roll with Colin Kaepernick (or even the surprisingly-not-terrible Blaine Gabbert) for one more year and hope that next year’s QB crop offers a more sure-fire bet than Goff.
That would mean the Eagles would have a chance to nab Goff at no. 8, and that may be a better fit anyway.
Goff isn’t the type of quarterback who’s going to come in and save the day in year one, RGIII-style. He needs time to develop, and the Eagles have serviceable signal-callers (Sam Bradford and now Chase Daniel) who should be able to provide a non-disastrous year of QB services. (Operative word: should.)
But what do the Eagles do if Wentz and Goff are both gone? Taking Lynch at no. 8 is a bit of a stretch and the team has a host of other needs. Chip Kelly made sure of that. If the top running back is still on the board (Ezekiel Elliott), do they bring him in to replace DeMarco Murray? If Joey Bosa or Vernon Hargreaves are still in the green room, do they take the best player available to shore up a horrid defense?
Given how replaceable running backs look these days, I’d go with the latter.
Assuming Wentz and Goff go early, that would leave Lynch for the Rams at no. 15. And God help me if they have a chance to draft him (or Goff) and bypass. I will personally acquire a massive fortune, purchase the Rams, and fire Jeff Fisher and everyone in that front office who thinks you can win with Case Keenum. I’d rather have Jase Jeenum as my QB. (Who’s Jase Jeenum? Hell if I know, but he’s better than Case Keenum.)
But I digress. I’m actually here to set some odds, not fire some sods. (The below are obviously subject to teams trading picks over the next two weeks.) [UPDATE: well that was fast; the Rams traded up for the no. 1 pick. The odds below have been updated in light of the trade.]
2016 NFL Draft QB Odds:
Odds to be the first QB drafted:
Carson Wentz (ND State): 2/3
Jared Goff (Cal): 2/1
Paxton Lynch (Memphis): 12/1
Odds the Browns draft a QB at no. 2:
1/7 1/4 [I still think the Browns take a QB – namely Goff – at no. 2.]
Odds the 49ers draft a QB at no. 7:
4/5 2/1 [The odds the Niners take Lynch at no. 7 are considerably lower than Goff.]
Odds the Eagles draft a QB at no. 8:
5/6 5/2 [It’s possible that all three QBs are gone by the time the Eagles pick at no. 8 and, realistically, the best case scenario is that Lynch is the top pivot available. Like Goff, he’d need at least a year before becoming a starter, so he could still be a good fit for the Eagles. But, like I said earlier, he’s a stretch this high in the draft.]
If the Eagles don’t draft a QB, odds they draft:
a defensive player: 2/3
a running back: 4/1
a receiver: 8/1
Odds the Rams draft a QB at
no. 15 no.1: 1/9 I wish I could make those Rams odds even shorter, but I just can’t given how little they seem to value the position. [There’s only one reason they made that blockbuster deal, and it wasn’t to get Laremy Tunsil.]
(Photo credit: Trevorpeelman (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)], via Wikimedia Commons. Photo may appear cropped.)