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Josh Norris

Draft Decisions

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Shoot Your Shot at QB

Tuesday, March 13, 2018


This idea came to me and hopefully it connects with all of you. Each week I’ll share three topics with varying levels of confidence. Let me know what you think on Twitter @JoshNorris, and while you’re at it, subscribe to the Rotoworld Football Podcast.




What I Know: The Buffalo Bills will trade into the top five for a Quarterback


Recently the Bills moved up from pick No. 21 to No. 12 when trading away Cordy Glenn to the Bengals. Buffalo also acquired pick No. 65 after trading Tyrod Taylor. The team now has five selections in the top 65 picks (12, 22, 53, 56 and 65).


The lock of the 2018 NFL Draft is the Bills trading up for a quarterback. And it will be in the top five picks.


The Bills are mirroring the Eagles' blueprint from 2016 when Philadelphia moved up to pick No. 8 from No. 13 after unloading Kiko Alonso and Byron Maxwell. That offseason, the Eagles realized that if future seasons went according to plan the team would not sniff the top 10 for a number of years. So they took advantage of that top 10 selection and sent extra assets to get in position for Carson Wentz, the quarterback of their choice. That same draft process, Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie traveled to visit with a number of quarterback prospects. Expect the Bills ownership to do the same (in fact, they participated last year).


Who knows which quarterback the Bills will select in late April. They likely don’t have that narrowed down at this point since private workouts and visits are still to come. But I guarantee you the Bills have already begun conversations with teams in the top five at the NFL Combine, and those will continue at the Owners meetings.


So when will the Bills trade up? I doubt the Bills move up before draft weekend. The Rams traded up to No. 1 for Jared Goff two weeks prior to the draft. The Eagles moved up one week before. That was possible due to the league knowing who would be selected at No. 1, and then No. 2 following the second deal. I doubt that information is public ahead of the draft this year. That means a draft night trade… with one caveat. What if the Browns select the Bills quarterback of choice at No. 1?


What I Think I Know: The Browns waiting until pick No. 4 for a Quarterback would be ludicrous


The Browns are selecting a quarterback early in this draft. John Dorsey made that known from the first time he spoke as the team’s general manager. That means the team cannot wait until No. 4 overall to select said quarterback, for a multitude of reasons. Let’s outline them.


Sitting and waiting for a quarterback at No. 4 is passive. Teams are rarely passive when addressing the quarterback position at the top of the draft. The Rams traded up for Jared Goff. The Eagles traded up for Carson Wentz. The Bears traded up for Mitchell Trubisky. The Chiefs and Patrick Mahomes and the Texans and Deshaun Watson. There are other recent examples, but you get the point.


Waiting until pick No. 4 allows other clubs to determine what quarterbacks will be available. If the Browns go in a different direction at No. 1, two quarterbacks could easily be picked before they are on the clock again at No. 4. Quarterback is unlike any other position in that you cannot settle for the second, third or fourth name on your list at the top of the draft. The public might be split on these quarterbacks, but individual teams won’t be. They will be firm and confident in their evaluations and positional ranking, and the quarterback that tops their list is the one they plan on building the offense around. The only one they want to be the face of their franchise.


Again, someone on the outside might not see a difference between the top five quarterbacks and exiting with one delivers the same outcome. But teams will not see it that way, especially in a class with so many different types at the position.


There is a contract impact to this as well. If Saquon Barkley is the first pick in the draft he will roughly be the 4th highest paid running back in the NFL. Immediately. A quarterback selected first would roughly be the 25th highest paid player at his position. Having a quarterback on a rookie deal instantly creates a window to win thanks to the value it presents.


Saquon Barkley is the easy evaluation, and if the Browns must exit the draft with him, they should move up from pick No. 4 to No. 2 rather than selecting the running back first overall. Because any team could move ahead of the Browns at No. 4 and select the passer who tops their list.


I know Saquon Barkley is an outstanding prospect. Some are even referring to him as generational. But the quarterback(s) that hits quality starter status will ultimately be more important.


What I Want To Know: Are the Giants planning on finding their future quarterback this year?


It is difficult to know the Giants true intentions. Is Dave Gettleman’s goal to build a team around Eli Manning for the next two or three years? Or, at 67 years of age, is his goal to create a foundation for the Giants to be a winning team by adding a young quarterback? Hopefully the next few weeks clear this up, as Gettleman has plenty of options with the second pick, including trading out.


I believe teams should take their shot at quarterback when in position to do so. As I mentioned earlier, the goal for the Giants is to build a roster that will never be picking in the top 10 again. So, down the line, when quarterback becomes an immediate need, future assets will need to be dealt in order to get in position to select one. Skip that future headache and select one now… if your type is out there.




Josh Norris is an NFL Draft Analyst for Rotoworld and contributed to the Rams scouting department during training camp of 2010 and the 2011 NFL Draft. He can be found on Twitter .
Email :Josh Norris



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