One of the biggest storylines in the 2019 NFL and college football seasons will be which teams #TankforTua (Alabama QB Tua Tagovailoa) and #SuckforDuck (Oregon QB Justin Herbert).
I take a look at 8 NFL teams that may be in the mix for a QB in the 2020 NFL Draft, for one reason or another.
8. San Francisco 49ers
Niners definitely may seem like an odd choice and an outside the box option. Jimmy Garappolo played 5 games after a trade from the Patriots in 2017. His 2018 was basically all wiped out due to injury. If he gets hurt again in 2019 or struggles, San Fran will likely will have another high pick and will have a serious decision to make. Jimmy G has only started 10 games total in his career and will be 28 years old when the 2019 season ends. 49ers have passed on several QBs the last couple of years, can they afford to pass again if the opportunity presents itself?
7. Denver Broncos
This is likely a long-shot after Denver drafted Drew Lock in the second round (42nd overall) but what if Joe Flacco flops (he probably will) and Lock is terrible (I don’t think this will be true)? If both QBs stink it up and Broncos have a top 5 pick, it might be hard to pass up an elite-level QB prospect.
6. Tennessee Titans
Of the 8 teams on this list, the Titans have the most talented roster and, in my opinion, are the most likely of the 8 to make the playoffs in 2019. However, Marcus Mariota has one year remaining on his contract and has struggled with consistency and health. GM Jon Robinson and coach Mike Vrabel inherited Mariota from a previous regime and if the Titans take a huge step back, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see them move on.
5. Jacksonville Jaguars
Despite signing Nick Foles to a big contract, the Jaguars still need to identify their QB of the future. Foles is 30 years old and is no guarantee to pick up where he left off in Super Bowl LII and at the end of last season with the Eagles. The Jaguars defense might be too talented for them to regress to the point of a high enough draft pick to secure one of the top QBs. But this is a team worth watching for future QB markets.
4. Miami Dolphins
It seemed for a while like the plan for the 2020 season was going to put the team in position to win as few games as possible and secure a franchise QB in next year’s draft. Acquiring 2018 #10 pick Josh Rosen may or may not change that plan. The Dolphins roster is bottom five in the league and Rosen’s contract is cheap enough to move on from without major cap consequences. Should he struggle again in year two and the Dolphins finish at the bottom, I could certainly see them making a move for a QB.
3. Cincinnati Bengals
By passing on the top QBs in the 2019 Draft, new head coach Zac Taylor showed his commitment to Andy Dalton. But how long will that last? Dalton’s contract becomes easy to get out of, with minimal guaranteed money moving forward, if the team decided to move on. If Dalton doesn’t fit Taylor’s system or the offense and team goes backwards, Cincinnati could definitely be a landing spot for one of the 2020 Draft’s top QBs.
2. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Like Mariota above, Jameis Winston does not have a long term contract and has struggled with turnovers (58 interceptions in four years). Now with a new coaching staff, Bruce Arians will have no reason to keep Winston if the Bucs struggle in 2019 or if Winston can’t find some consistency.
1. Oakland Raiders
Jon Gruden has repeated over and over how much he loves Derek Carr. But will Antonio Brown love him? That has to be the question that gets answered in 2019. Brown has been the best, most consistent WR in football the last six years (100+ catches, 1,200+ yards, 8+ TDs each year). There was plenty of smoke about the Raiders drafting a QB in 2019 draft and I think if Oakland finishes bottom 5 again, they will most definitely move on from Carr.