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NFL Draft Needs: A lot of questions at quarterback, not enough answers

Anwar S. Richardson
Shutdown Corner
Johnny Manziel
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Johnny Manziel

Before the NFL draft on May 8-10, we'll be looking at all the key prospects and also breaking them down by position. In our "Draft Needs" series we will also examine which teams will be in the market at each position, looking to fill their remaining roster holes.

Quarterback

Cleveland Browns: Mike Pettine is a first-year coach who needs “his guy” at quarterback. Brandon Weeden was just a guy. Jason Campbell was just another guy. Cleveland allowed players to walk in free agency. Brian Hoyer played well before sustaining a season-ending ACL injury in 2013, but is not viewed as a franchise quarterback. That leaves Pettine in desperate need of a quarterback (or two) in the upcoming draft.

Cleveland has two first-round picks, and the latter could be used to select Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel. The Browns signed running back Ben Tate in free agency, plus have receiver Josh Gordon and tight end Jordan Cameron. Manziel can be plugged into a productive system and possibly have success as a rookie. In addition, Cleveland could select Virginia Tech’s Logan Thomas after the first-round to add another quarterback with potential. NEED LEVEL: Extremely high

Jacksonville Jaguars: There is no way Jaguars coach Gus Bradley went through the effort of convincing good players to sign during free agency to settle with Chad Henne. That is not a knock against Henne as a person, but he is not Jacksonville’s quarterback of the future. Yahoo’s Eric Edholm believes Jacksonville will draft Blake Bortles (University of Central Florida), and that move makes sense. Bortles is a solid quarterback with potential, but will need help. Jaguars receiver Justin Blackmon cannot stay out of trouble, while Ace Sanders and Cecil Shorts III are good, but not great. If Jacksonville can add Bortles and a quality receiver in the draft, this team will have a lot of upside. NEED LEVEL: Extremely high

Houston Texans: It is hard to imagine Houston will use the No. 1 overall pick on a quarterback. Most NFL draft experts believe defensive end Jadeveon Clowney or Buffalo linebacker Khalil Mack will go first, which would leave Houston searching for a quarterback in the second-round. Pittsburgh’s Tom Savage or LSU’s Zach Mettenberger should be available after the first-round. The quarterback Houston selects will compete against Ryan Fitzpatrick to start. Fitzpatrick might be a short-term solution until this year’s addition is ready to play, but do not be surprised if the Texans select two quarterbacks. NEED LEVEL: High

Oakland Raiders: Dennis Allen is about to enter his third year as Oakland’s coach. Oakland has finished 4-12 in the past two seasons. Allen cannot hinge his long-term future on quarterback Matt Schaub. If the Raiders select receiver Sammy Watkins in the first-round, Alabama’s A.J. McCarron, Eastern Illinois’ Jimmy Garoppolo, Georgia’s Aaron Murray or Mettenberger will become solid options for Allen. Each quarterback could sit for one season and compete for a starting job next year. NEED LEVEL: High

Minnesota Vikings: With Matt Cassel signed for another two years, and Christian Ponder still hanging around, the Vikings do not need a quarterback. However, Cassel and Ponder are average, and neither are franchise players. Minnesota is facing another losing season with either quarterback under center, and the long-term future is bleak without a quarterback of the future. The Vikings could select Bortles in the first-round, or hold out hope Louisville’s Teddy Bridgewater slips to the second-round. If Minnesota cannot select Bortles, Bridgewater or Manziel, it might make sense for Minnesota to pick up a quarterback next year. NEED LEVEL: Medium

NFL Draft Needs series
April 18: Linebacker
April 19: Defensive line
April 20: Offensive line
April 21: Running back
April 22: Receiver/tight end
April 23: Quarterback
April 24: Defensive back
April 25: Running back

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Anwar S Richardson is a writer for Shutdown Corner on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at NFLAnwar@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!

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