2016 NFL Draft Preview

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The NFL’s obsession with quarterbacks continues into a draft where the ability of the top quarterbacks has been questioned throughout the process.

It seemed like the draft was settling into a rhythm where the offence took precedent over the defence in one year and the next it would reverse.

Many times the offensive years were led by a quarterback or two quarterbacks that got every team excited.

If the top team didn’t need a quarterback they could easy get a host of picks to allow a QB-needy team to move up the draft board to take that quarterback.

This year was set to be a defensive draft though as the talent on the offensive side of the ball wasn’t necessarily groundbreaking.

The quarterback crop for the year seemed to be packed with good talent but not talent that could change a team in Week 1.

There was no Jameis Winston or Marcus Mariota in the draft and throughout the 2015 season, there was no set leader in the race to be the first QB taken.

Through the process, it seemed clear that Carson Wentz and Jared Goff were set to be the top two quarterbacks in the draft but both were not as talented as other players in the draft.

Wentz was the perfect looking quarterback with the size that teams love but his top level experience came under question.

He had started for North Dakota State for two years and won two national championships but two championships in NCAA’s Division-I FCS, a level below the big schools.

That could scare some teams that like his winning ways and his natural abilities but could be scared of how big a leap from FCS to the NFL could be.

Goff is slightly different as he was by far the top quarterback in the NCAA D-I FBS for the Cal Bears facing the top competition in college football.

He is not necessarily pro-ready though as he struggled with accuracy at times and might struggle, as most young quarterbacks do, to ready NFL defences in order to be successful.

That could mean that he needs some time to develop but if he can learn fast he might be ready to lead a team fairly quickly in the NFL.

Despite the concerns, both QBs seemed to be getting the attention that first overall picks get thanks to the needs of countless teams in need of a starter.

Teams that were usually fine in the middle of the draft to pick either of these quarterbacks now saw that they might be gone faster than most thought.

So the dealing began and Tennessee became the most popular team in the NFL with everyone trying to move up to the #1 spot in the draft.

After all, the Titans didn’t need a quarterback after drafting their QB of the future in Mariota last year.

The Los Angeles Rams were the ones who won the fight moving up to the top pick and making no secret of the fact that they moved up to get a QB.

After signing Case Keenum the Rams seemed like they were not necessarily going to be a part of the battle at the top for a QB.

That has changed and the Rams now get their pick of the QB that is going to likely become the face of the NFL’s newest location, Los Angeles.football-sidebar

For most that means Goff who played at Cal and is already familiar for many fans who will be coming out to see the new LA team.

The Rams have yet to say who they will take and rumours have swirled about both Wentz and Goff but the fact is they will take a QB with the pick and an interesting battle in training camp between the new QB and Keenum.

With the Rams’ move, it seemed to many that the top two quarterbacks were set to be taken 1 and 2 as the Cleveland Browns were set to take a QB that could develop behind new signing Robert Griffin III.

Then the Browns moved out of the #2 spot in the draft when the Philadelphia Eagles sent a group of picks including their first round pick in 2017 and second round pick in 2018 to the Browns for the second spot.

The Eagles seemed to have the same though as the Rams in that they wanted to get the quarterback they wanted and were willing to trade to get there.

The Eagles are in an interesting situation as Sam Bradford is an expensive back-up if a rookie takes over the starting role this year.

Bradford has been given a vote of confidence but it is clear that the Eagles are taking whoever is left when the Rams make their decision.

The trades nearing the draft were a perfect example of how important a quarterback is for an NFL team.

With the level of talent in both of these quarterbacks, the risk of moving up could pay off or completely fall apart.

There are never sure things in the draft but these quarterbacks are not at the level of the QBs that came a year before and might not be to the level of what is coming next year in Deshaun Watson and Brad Kaaya.

The need to win now and how having a QB translates to winning has been shown in such an obvious way.

Neither of these quarterbacks would be at the top in other classes but both are set to be franchise QBs after being taken first and second overall as teams continue to scramble to find that QB that can change a team.

The question becomes whether either can truly make that much of a change right away or if they are the type of QB that needs a few years as a back-up to be effective.

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