The NFL Draft has left us with one big question. Are the days of reaching for QBs over? In a time when taking a quarterback in the first round has been viewed as smart and necessary, the 2022 NFL Draft became the black sheep. One QB was taken in round one, and the second did not come off the board until round three. Here are some reasons why.

No Elite Prospects

Leading up to the draft most had Liberty’s Malik Willis as their top QB on the board. Willis has the great arm strength and good mobility but is someone with high upside but not ready to play immediately. Going into day two I slotted Willis to Tennessee… at the top of the second round… he did go to the Titans, but it was not until pick 86 in the third round.

Kenny Pickett was the number two quarterback for most, but he was the first QB off the board at pick 20 by the Pittsburgh Steelers. The Steelers caught a lot of flack for this selection as most do not see Pickett as an upgrade to incumbent Mitch Trubisky. Pickett is viewed as the most NFL-ready QB in the draft, but again, shows nothing elite in his skillset.

There may be no QB viewed as elite, but there is plenty of potential in this group as Desmond Ridder landed in Atlanta, and Matt Corral was selected by the Panthers. These four quarterbacks selected could all have decent careers in the NFL, but the expectation is they are more similar to Andy Dalton than Tom Brady.

The Atlanta Falcons and Arthur Smith did not reach for QB and still got Desmond Ridder in round three. FILE PHOTO: Jan 2, 2022; Orchard Park, New York, USA; Atlanta Falcons head coach Arthur Smith looks on against the Buffalo Bills during the second half at Highmark Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports.

Next Year has more talent

Several teams have begun to stockpile picks for next year to take advantage of the talent coming in 2023. The draft next year should include some top-tier QB talent. Many teams seem to be waiting to take their chances with them. Alabama’s Bryce Young and Ohio State’s CJ Stroud are currently the favorites to be the first two draft selections next year. Teams like the Texans, Lions, Seahawks, and Giants could all be in the market for QBs next season.

Learning from the Past

The last time QBs were passed on so often was in 2013 when EJ Manuel was the only first-round QB selected, he went 16 to Buffalo. This year’s draft had a chance to be the 2011 draft when the league was definitely reaching for QBs, but wisely went the path of 2013. In 2011, Cam Newton was clearly number one, but after that, it was a slew of overrated quarterbacks and the NFL could not contain themselves. The Titans took Jake Locker at 8, the Jaguars went with Blaine Gabbert at 10, and Christian Ponder went 12 to the Vikings. The 2022 draft had the potential to go down that path, but maybe teams have learned from the past.

The Titans reach for Jake Locker in 2011 but chose to be patient this year. They selected Malik Willis in the third round.

Standing Ovation

We should applaud the NFL teams that did not overreact to need or public opinion. The Falcons, Titans, and Panthers landed QBs with potential and did so in the third round. The Steelers got “their guy” and did not trade up, but patiently let him come to them. Will any of these QBs be elite? I would guess not, but time will tell. If the teams miss on their QB this year, it will not doom them for years to come. What do you think? Are the days of reaching for QBs over, or will the NFL revert back to their bad habit soon?

Follow me on Twitter for more thoughts and opinions. Listen to The Sports Stove Podcast as I continue to cover the latest NFL news and opinions.

About Author

Vince Stover

Vince lives in Lexington, Kentucky, and hosts the Sports Stove Podcast. He covers Eastern Kentucky University athletics for Belly Up Sports. Vince loves to watch and cover NFL, MLB, MMA, NCAA BB, and NCAA FB. Follow @sportsstove on Twitter and IG to get more from Vince.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.