The quarterback position is the most important on a football field. When a team has a quarterback who is unfit to lead a team to their ultimate goal of winning the Super Bowl, fixing them becomes a priority. When a team’s first pick is off the board in the NFL Draft, desperation can motivate them to select a prospect who doesn’t fit perfectly.
In this article, CBSSports examines ideal adjustments mixed with a pinch of reality.
It’s no surprise that Haener was one of the best players in Reese’s Senior Bowl. Haener lacks prototypical height or arm strength, but he is smart and competitive; the type of player you would expect to get off the plane and give a team the chance to win. Miami could have used that this season by using multiple quarterbacks and worrying about the long-term health of Tua Tagovailoa.
Miami are said to be committed to Tagovailoa, but they need a player who can step in to play at all times. Haener is that player. Haener is a bit undersized, so a team isn’t going to ask him to be a traditional pocket-sitting passer. The Dolphins used play-action on 24.1% of plays last season, according to TruMedia, which was the most in the NFL. Bringing Haener into space would allow him to create his own overtaking paths.
Hooker has yet to return to football activities after suffering a torn ACL during the season. In an ideal world, Denver would be able to bring in someone to push Russell Wilson while giving Hooker time to fully recover. The Broncos may not be willing to use a Day 2 draft pick on the quarterback given they already have a depleted draft war chest like a Sean Payton and Wilson trade result.
Detroit and New Orleans could also be possible tweaks as teams try to add competition for veterans. Minnesota needs a backup and might be interested in Hooker as well.
Indianapolis hasn’t hired a head coach, which will obviously impact the vision of the franchise. At present, General Manager Chris Ballard is the key figure in this organization. Since Ballard’s arrival, the Colts have turned to a very specific body type at quarterback: Andrew Luck, Jacoby Brissett, Philip Rivers, Carson Wentz and now Matt Ryan.
Levis is 6-foot-4, 230 pounds and has great arm strength. He now has more mobility than any of those quarterbacks during their respective careers with the AFC South franchise.
For a more comprehensive content draft, check out our latest ranking of prospects And fake drafts, as well as our new weekly podcast, “With the first choice,” featuring former Vikings general manager Rick Spielman.
Seattle and veteran quarterback Geno Smith are working on a contract extensionbut don’t rule out the possibility of the team taking over a quarterback. With two picks in the first round, including the No. 5 overall, the Seahawks would be well advised to prepare for life after the 32-year-old incumbent. Richardson is the most talented quarterback in the draft, but he has just over a year of starting experience. It’s incredibly raw. The opportunity to sit behind and learn from Smith would benefit Richardson.
The Gainesville native has averaged 8.6 carries per game this season. To maximize his skill, a team would design opportunities for his massive frame to be in space against a smaller defensive back. Seattle played in action on 15.9% of plays last season.
Levis also makes sense in Seattle, as Kentucky offensive coordinator Liam Coen worked alongside Seahawks offensive coordinator Shane Waldron in Los Angeles.
Stroud spent 84.8% of offensive plays in the shotgun last season. New Panthers head coach Frank Reich comes from Indianapolis, where he hasn’t had much mobility at quarterback. The Colts were in shotgun formation on 75.5% of offensive plays last season. Stroud showed rushing potential in the College Football Playoff semifinals against Georgia, but that’s not how he wants to play. He’s a pass-first quarterback who prefers to sit in the pocket and distribute the football.
Indianapolis held play-actions on just 11.7% of games, according to TruMedia, which was sixth at least in the NFL. The metrics suggest Carolina would allow Stroud to play the way he wants, and he possesses the physical stature that has often been associated with Reich.
Levis could also make sense for Carolina. General manager Scott Fitterer was a pitcher in the Toronto Blue Jays organization, so it stands to reason he might favor a quarterback with a background in the sport. Levis played two years of high school baseball as a shortstop and third baseman.
Houston has yet to hire an offensive coordinator, but based on the interviews requested, it looks like the hire will come from the Kyle Shanahan/Sean McVay trees, which is to be expected. We would imagine that new DeMeco Ryans head coach favors the wide area blocking pattern he has seen in practice over the past seven years.
Houston will have the second, if not the first, quarterback pick. Young is short in stature but also happens to be the purest quarterback in the draft. The Texans would have a consummate leader in the organization. A wide-area blocking system would move the defense organically and create passing windows for Young. San Francisco has had the seventh-fewest number of play actions on offense this season, so it would be interesting to see if that changes with a player like Young.
Young would make sense in most places, including Carolina and Seattle. Panthers general manager Scott Fitterer was in Seattle when the team drafted Russell Wilson, and the same goes for Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll. Atlanta holds the distinction of leading the second-most playing actions in the NFL last season, so it would be another good pick for the Crimson Tide signalman.
The 2023 NFL Draft will be held April 27-29 in Kansas City, Missouri.