Quarterback is the most important position in football, no question. So if a team doesn’t have a good one, they’re pretty much automatically destined for an early end to the season. Here are the teams that have the issue and need to fix it:
1. Cleveland Browns
Current QBs: Johnny Manziel, Connor Shaw, Josh McCown, Thad Lewis, Tyler Thigpen
Projected starter: Manziel
Let’s face it: Johnny Manziel is not the long-term answer in Cleveland. He went from Johnny Football to Johnny Rehab this offseason, and while he still has a chance to fix his off-field and on-field issues, it’s looking grim for the former Texas A&M star.
Lewis and Thigpen will likely be gone by week one, and McCown, at 35, is way too old be a solid starter for more than a few weeks.
Shaw started one game in his rookie season, but didn’t perform all that well. He failed to throw a touchdown and only completed 14 of his 28 passes.
2. Houston Texans
Current QBs: Ryan Mallett, Brian Hoyer, and Tom Savage
Projected starter: Mallett
Last season, Houston almost managed to make the playoffs with Ryan Fitzpatrick at the helm, but he was dealt to the Jets for a draft pick. This offseason, they have tried to replace him with former Browns starter Brian Hoyer and former Patriots backup Ryan Mallett, with Tom Savage, a rookie from Pitt last year, as the third-stringer.
According to the Texans’ official website, Mallett is the starter with Hoyer backup him up.
That arrangement may not last long, as Hoyer proved his worth as a solid starter with the Browns last season, before getting injured. Mallett, the apparent heir to Tom Brady in New England at one point, never really succeeded there and was replaced by Jimmy Garoppolo.
Savage made a couple appearances for Houston last season, but he did nothing significant in two non-starting displays.
3. San Francisco 49ers
Current QBs: Colin Kaepernick, Blaine Gabbert, and Dylan Thompson
Projected starter: Kaepernick
Now, we know Kaepernick is a proven starter with plenty of ability. But last season, he started to falter a bit, and with a new coach leading the team, who knows whether he will get back to his original form.
So in case he blows up mid-season, San Francisco is going to need somebody to fill in. But they don’t have a viable backup.
Blaine Gabbert was a draft bust of monumental proportions in Jacksonville, and pretty much everybody shares the opinion that is not a very good NFL quarterback. College, okay. But the NFL? Not a chance.
Dylan Thompson played in college at South Carolina and went undrafted in 2015, signing in free-agency with the 49ers. He currently doesn’t even have a page on pro-football-reference.com, so that basically tells the story.
Credit all authors of images used in both article and as cover image : Harrison Hamm