NFL draft: How much each team has invested in quarterbacks the past decade

Yahoo Sports

Every NFL team has drafted at least one quarterback in the past decade. In fact, every team except for one (the Atlanta Falcons) has drafted more than one QB in that span. One team has drafted seven (!) over that time, and no, it’s not the Cleveland Browns.

We looked ahead the other day to see which teams might be the early favorites to target quarterbacks in the 2020 NFL draft. But we also wanted to look back and track the investment depth at quarterback of all 32 teams in terms of NFL draft capital to see which ones have put the most resources toward the position — and also which ones have received the most bang for their buck.

Scroll to continue with content
Ad

Naturally, investments can fail. The Cleveland Browns and New York Jets might have their saviors in Baker Mayfield and Sam Darnold, respectively, but it sure took a long time — and some brutal seasons — before they secured them. The Rams are the only team in this span to use multiple No. 1 overall picks on a QB, although they might have gotten it right with Jared Goff leading them to the Super Bowl this past season.

Teams such as the New Orleans Saints and Los Angeles Chargers (going back to their San Diego days) have had the luxury of longtime starters with excellent longevity and reliability to where they haven’t had to spend major resources at the position. That has allowed each to build two of the more talented rosters in the entire league. But have they waited too long to find potential successors to Drew Brees and Philip Rivers? We might not know for a few years.

And teams such as the New England Patriots and New York Giants have not taken the position for granted in the draft despite having Tom Brady and Eli Manning, respectively, starting for many years. The difference, of course, is that Brady is coming off a Super Bowl title and hasn’t seen his game fall off dramatically. Manning has regressed, despite what GM Dave Gettleman has said, and the recent selection of Duke’s Daniel Jones gives us plenty of reason to roll our eyes a bit at Gettleman.

How NFL teams build through the draft is a fascinating process, and the varying levels of QB investment can speak volumes about how it needs to be prioritized. So we decided to tally up all the quarterback draft picks each team has made — in a lot of cases with multiple GMs making the picks — since the 2010 NFL draft to see which ones have sunk in the most draft cost at the position … and which have gotten the most back from it.

One way of measuring it is through a weighted draft-pick formula, and we’ve eschewed the long-popular Jimmy Johnson trade-value chart for one we’ve actually favored for years. Chase Stuart has developed a more equitable pick-value system, we believe, that more accurately reflects what each draft pick is worth. His system only counts the first 224 picks, whereas most drafts last into the 250s. (We assigned a value of 0.1 points for every QB draft pick thereafter.)

Here’s the list, from the highest collective draft-pick value to the lowest, of how all 32 teams stack up:

1. Cleveland Browns

QBs drafted since 2010: 6

Day 1 picks (Round 1): Baker Mayfield (1st overall, 2018); Johnny Manziel (22nd, 2014); Brandon Weeden (22nd, 2012)

Day 2 (Round 2-3): DeShone Kizer (52nd, 2017); Colt McCoy (85th, 2010); Cody Kessler (93rd, 2016)

Day 3 (Rounds 4-7): none

Chase Stuart draft capital invested: 85.8 points

Skinny: It’s a story you know all too well. The Browns, despite drafting five QBs in their first 11 years after returning to Cleveland, were forced to keep investing relatively high picks in passers, hoping to find The One. There have been 61 first-round QBs since 1999, and five were from the Browns; the Redskins (four) are the only other NFL franchise to draft more than three first-round QBs in that span.

But now they might have found that special player in Mayfield. Was it all worth it? We shall see. Still, as you work your way down this list, it’s hard not to look at just how much draft capital they’ve sunk into empty investments along the way.

The 2.0 Browns have only used two Day 3 picks on QBs: Luke McCown in 2004 and Spergon Wynn in 2000. McCown ended up being a serviceable backup for a slew of other teams, but Wynn will forever go down as the QB taken over Tom Brady. Wynn lasted two years, started three games and had a career 1-7 TD-Int ratio.

2. St. Louis/Los Angeles Rams

QBs drafted since 2010: 4

Day 1 picks: Sam Bradford (1st pick, 2010); Jared Goff (1st, 2016)

Day 2: Sean Mannion (89th, 2015)

Day 3: Garrett Gilbert (214th, 2014)

Chase Stuart draft capital invested: 75.6

Skinny: They sunk a ton into Bradford, considering he was part of the final pre-CBA rookie bonus draft class. Did you know Bradford was the NFL’s first $50 million man before he ever played a snap in the league? In all, they paid him more than $65 million over five uninspiring seasons where he played 49 of a possible 80 regular-season games and never led his team to the playoffs.

Goff already has done that twice in his two full years of starting, helping the Rams reach the Super Bowl. Following a disastrous rookie season, Goff has realized his potential under head coach Sean McVay. Although the Goff investment was made prior to McVay’s arrival, the coach has helped make it look like a smart one for now.

What’s not factored in is the trade cost the Rams incurred in moving up to No. 1 to get Goff. They traded four picks in 2016 (one first, two seconds and a third) as well as their 2017 first-rounder (which turned out to be No. 5 overall) and 2017 third-rounder (No. 100) to the Tennessee Titans for Goff, plus 2016 fourth- and sixth-round picks.

If you throw in the fact that the Rams didn’t get much return on the Mannion or Gilbert picks, they’ve been incredibly spendthrift. It’s a bit like scoring a really solid Acura but paying sticker price in Beverly Hills versus talking it down a bit in Reseda.

3. Arizona Cardinals

QBs drafted since 2010: 5

Day 1 picks: Kyler Murray (1st pick, 2019); Josh Rosen (10th, 2018)

Day 2: None

Day 3: Logan Thomas (120th, 2014); Ryan Lindley (185th, 2012); John Skelton (155th, 2010)

Chase Stuart draft capital invested: 62.5

Skinny: The Cardinals made strange history when they became the first team to select back-to-back high first-round quarterbacks since the 1982-1983 Baltimore Colts. Those Colts ended up trading the rights to John Elway that second year after taking him, which is basically the inverse of what Arizona did with Rosen and Murray. It just goes to show how a coach – or an owner – can influence a high draft pick, especially when quarterbacks are involved.

Prior to trading up (sending third- and fifth-rounders to Oakland) to take Rosen, the Cardinals had put themselves in a hole with some bad Day 3 picks who couldn’t help bridge the gap from Kurt Warner to Carson Palmer or provide a reasonable Palmer replacement. Thomas is now a tight end with the Lions, and Lindley and Skelton never panned out despite starting games.

So in dealing Rosen to the Miami Dolphins for dimes on the dollar and handing the keys to Murray, it puts even more pressure and more sunken cost on the head of the rookie. No pressure.

No team has spent more draft assets on quarterbacks lately than the Arizona Cardinals, taking quarterback Kyler Murray first overall this year. (Getty Images)
No team has spent more draft assets on quarterbacks lately than the Arizona Cardinals, taking quarterback Kyler Murray first overall this year. (Getty Images)

4. Tennessee Titans

QBs drafted since 2010: 5

Day 1 picks: Jake Locker (8th pick, 2011); Marcus Mariota (2nd, 2015)

Day 2: None

Day 3: Rusty Smith (176th, 2010); Zach Mettenberger (178th, 2014); Luke Falk (199th, 2018)

Chase Stuart draft capital invested: 55.8

Skinny: And this number could go up next year if Mariota (or Ryan Tannehill?) don’t show something significant in what appears to be a critical season. Mariota has been consistently underwhelming to date, despite injuries affecting his performance and despite him leading the team to a road playoff upset two seasons ago.

Locker was retired by age 27, and the three Day 3 picks amounted to little. Mettenberger stuck around for a bit and started 10 games, but the Titans lost every single one of them. This is a team that could be jumping into the Round 1 QB derby in 2020 or 2021.

5. New York Jets

QBs drafted since 2010: 5

Day 1 picks: Sam Darnold (3rd pick, 2018)

Day 2: Geno Smith (39th, 2013); Christian Hackenberg (51st, 2016)

Day 3: Greg McElroy (208th, 2011); Tajh Boyd (213th, 2014); Bryce Petty (103rd, 2015)

Chase Stuart draft capital invested: 54.7

Skinny: After years of milling around in the middle rounds with provisional QB picks — after failing to make Mark Sanchez work — the Jets finally stepped up their draft investment a bit. Of course, we know how Smith and Hackenberg worked out. At least Smith proved to be low-end starter quality for a few years … Hack couldn’t even get on the field!

Neither of those picks were good, but we’re hopeful about Darnold. The Jets might actually leapfrog the Titans on this list if we included the trade-up cost: their first-round pick and two second-rounders in 2018, along with a 2019 second-rounder. As if playing in New York wasn’t hard enough, Darnold also must break the trend of failed Jets QB picks and do so as an above-market cost player.

6. Washington Redskins

QBs drafted since 2010: 4

Day 1 picks: Robert Griffin (2nd, 2012); Dwayne Haskins (15th, 2019)

Day 2: None

Day 3: Kirk Cousins (102nd, 2012); Nate Sudfeld (187th, 2016)

Chase Stuart draft capital invested: 54.0

Skinny: The Redskins did a wild thing in making a huge investment to land Griffin and then take Cousins 100 picks later in the same draft. It turned out to be a pretty shrewd move, but kicking the can on Cousins’ contract for years cost them in the end. Both are now gone, and the Redskins started a new generation by taking Haskins in Round 1 this year.

Credit to the team’s scouts over that span: All four picks remain in the league and in important spots, too, with Griffin backing up Lamar Jackson in Baltimore and Sudfeld backing up Carson Wentz in Philly. If the Haskins pick pans out, we’ll have to give Bruce Allen additional credit for not having to trade up to land the QB.

But overall, they’ve paid a premium on QBs and received insufficient return on investment to date: two playoff appearances and two losses in this span.

7. Jacksonville Jaguars

QBs drafted since 2010: 5

Day 1 picks: Blaine Gabbert (10th pick, 2011); Blake Bortles (3rd, 2014)

Day 2: None

Day 3: Brandon Allen (201st, 2016); Tanner Lee (203rd, 2018); Gardner Minshew II (178th, 2019)

Chase Stuart draft capital invested: 50.7

Skinny: The level of investment feels higher, but perhaps that’s because neither Gabbert nor Bortles really worked out. The first- and second-round picks to move up for Gabbert, and taking Bortles at three was a shocker then — just as it is now. You can understand why the team felt the need to dish out big money (and perhaps bid against themselves) in signing Nick Foles to solidify a trouble spot for the past several years. Dipping their toes in the Round 6 waters on three QBs in a four-year span hasn’t borne fruit yet, although Lee and Minshew (and 2018 Seahawks seventh-rounder Alex McGough) are dueling to be Foles’ backup.

The last time the Jaguars drafted a QB in Rounds 2 through 5 was back in 2002. It worked out pretty well, as they got David Garrard, who was a solid starter for parts of a decade.

8. Carolina Panthers

QBs drafted since 2010: 3

Day 1 picks: Cam Newton (1st pick, 2011)

Day 2: Jimmy Clausen (48th, 2010); Will Grier (100th, 2019)

Day 3: Tony Pike (204th, 2010)

Chase Stuart draft capital invested: 50.5

Skinny: The Panthers drafted Clausen and Pike in 2010, but it didn’t stop them from taking Newton first the next year. And eight years passed from the Newton pick to taking Grier at the end of Round 3 this spring. Perhaps Newton’s balky shoulder prompted that move to a degree.

Newton’s good durability was tested last year late when that shoulder became too much to play through. But for years, the Panthers didn’t really have to worry about developing a young passer behind Newton as he missed only three games in his first seven seasons.

9. Denver Broncos

QBs drafted since 2010: 7

Day 1 picks: Tim Tebow (25th pick, 2010); Paxton Lynch (26th, 2016)

Day 2: Brock Osweiler (57th, 2012); Drew Lock (42nd, 2019)

Day 3: Zac Dysert (234th, 2013); Trevor Siemian (250th, 2015); Chad Kelly (253th, 2017)

Chase Stuart draft capital invested: 48.0

Skinny: The seven QBs drafted since 2010 are the most in the league, and six of those picks were made under John Elway’s watch over the past eight drafts. He’s gone in deep (trading up for Lynch in Round 1) and scratched off a few cheap lottery tickets (Dysert, Siemian and Kelly). And let’s be honest: Neither strategy has been that good.

But Elway’s best investments might have been on Day 2. Say what you will about Osweiler, but he started seven games – winning five – during a Super Bowl-winning season and earned them a third-round compensatory pick in 2017 after signing with Houston. And the hope is that Drew Lock can sit for some length of time behind Joe Flacco (and learn what not to do?) before taking over.

If Lock develops in time, perhaps Elway’s rough record with QB evaluation can earn a silver lining to it.

10. Philadelphia Eagles

QBs drafted since 2010: 5

Day 1 picks: Carson Wentz (2nd pick, 2016)

Day 2: Nick Foles (88nd, 2012)

Day 3: Matt Barkley (98th, 2013); Mike Kafka (122nd, 2010); Clayton Thorson (167th, 2019)

Chase Stuart draft capital invested: 47.7

Skinny: They’d probably jump up a few spots on this list given what it cost to get Wentz. In essence, they traded Byron Maxwell, Kiko Alonso, their original 2016 first-round pick (No. 13), plus third- and fourth-rounders that year and a future first (2017) and second (2018) for Wentz and a 2017 fourth-rounder. He has 70 TD passes in 40 NFL starts and was the presumptive MVP before suffering a season-ending ACL injury in 2017 and watching Nick Foles go win it all with his team.

But even with Foles gone, there’s big pressure on Wentz to perform, especially following his lucrative recent extension. The Eagles for decades have placed a high premium on stocking the QB position, back to Andy Reid’s first year. But now that they’ve paid Wentz, it is the most they’ve ever invested — money plus draft capital — in a QB in the team’s history.

They also have the distinction of being the only NFL team since the 1970 merger to draft two Northwestern quarterbacks in any round, Kafka and Thorson. For you Wildcat fans out there.

11. Buffalo Bills

QBs drafted since 2010: 5

Day 1 picks: Josh Allen (7th pick, 2018); EJ Manuel (16th, 2013)

Day 2: None

Day 3: Cardale Jones (139th, 2016); Nathan Peterman (171st, 2017); Levi Brown (209th, 2010)

Chase Stuart draft capital invested: 44.8

Skinny: The Bills drafted a quarterback each year from 2016 to 2018, and yet Allen is the only one left standing with the team. They sent two second-rounders to the Buccaneers to get him, so the team’s QB investment has pretty high. Especially when you consider they only took Manuel — who retired this offseason right after his 29th birthday — only six years ago.

The Bills have a lot invested in QB Josh Allen (Getty Images).
The Bills have a lot invested in QB Josh Allen (Getty Images).

There’s pressure on every first-round QB to perform. But in this era of major trade-ups to land these prospects more often than not, players such as Allen face even steeper expectations. Or they should, anyway.

12. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

QBs drafted since 2010: 2

Day 1 picks: Jameis Winston (1st pick, 2015)

Day 2: Mike Glennon (73rd, 2013)

Day 3: None

Chase Stuart draft capital invested: 41.9

Skinny: Stuart’s draft-value chart isn’t as top-heavy as the Jimmy Johnson scale was, allotting a mock 3,000 points worth of value to the top overall pick and 590 to the last pick in Round 1. But it still shows how vital nailing the first overall selection is in light of the fact that the Bucs have our 12th-heaviest investment at QB despite only selecting two over the past decade.

Winston, like Marcus Mariota in Tennessee, faces a flashpoint season for his future in Tampa. If he thrives under Bruce Arians – and just as importantly stays out of trouble – the pick will start to yield more return. So far, it has been a disappointment. Glennon actually outplayed his draft position as a rookie before fading; he’s on his third team in as many years and his days of starting could be over, barring something unforeseen.

13. New York Giants

QBs drafted since 2010: 4

Day 1 picks: Daniel Jones (6th pick, 2019)

Day 2: Davis Webb (87th, 2017)

Day 3: Kyle Lauletta (108th, 2018); Ryan Nassib (110th, 2013)

Chase Stuart draft capital invested: 38.9

Skinny: It’s maybe a little surprising they’re not listed higher here, although recency bias plays into that. The Giants have drafted quarterbacks each of the past three years, all of them in Days 1 and 2, and Jones was a stunner at No. 6 this spring. Considering that Webb is gone and Lauletta might soon follow him, the need for Jones to develop into something is pretty darned high.

Eli Manning didn’t miss a start for a stretch that spanned parts of 14 seasons, and he led the team to two Super Bowl victories, so you can understand why they invested so sparsely for years at the position. But even with the recent rash of QB selections, there is no guarantee that the Giants will enjoy a seamless transition from Manning to the next generation.

14. Chicago Bears

QBs drafted since 2010: 4

Day 1 picks: Mitchell Trubisky (2nd, 2017)

Day 2: None

Day 3: Nathan Enderle (160th, 2011); Dan LeFevour (181st, 2010); David Fales (183rd, 2014)

Chase Stuart draft capital invested: 35.4

Skinny: After taking later-round fliers for years following the trade for Jay Cutler, the Bears switched gears dramatically. For the first time in their history they traded up for a quarterback in the first round and took Trubisky second overall, the highest they had picked any player since 1951. The comparisons of Trubisky to Patrick Mahomes and Deshaun Watson, we suspect, will always be there until the Bears win a Super Bowl.

15. Indianapolis Colts

QBs drafted since 2010: 2

Day 1 picks: Andrew Luck (1st, 2012)

Day 2: None

Day 3: Chandler Harnish (253rd, 2012)

Chase Stuart draft capital invested: 34.7

Skinny: It’s a bit funny to think that both of the Colts’ drafted QBs came from the same draft, but the laughs end for Colts fans when they were saddled with games started by the likes of Josh Freeman, Scott Tolzien, a 40-year-old Matt Hasselbeck (who actually won five of seven starts) and Jacoby Brissett when Luck was injured. Nothing against Brissett, who handled himself about as well as could be hoped in 2017, but it was striking that the team didn’t better protect its best asset.

Luck appears healthy now, and he’s still very much in his prime at 29. The Colts have had a luxury few teams can relate to over the past few decades, with Manning followed by Luck. Even with each of them missing a full season to injury, that’s incredible QB fortune. The Colts theoretically could move on from Luck in the next few years, but that won’t happen if he proves he can stay healthy. That might mean this franchise won’t be drafting too many other quarterbacks — at least not up high — for years to come.

16. Minnesota Vikings

QBs drafted since 2010: 2

Day 1 picks: Christian Ponder (12th, 2011); Teddy Bridgewater (32nd, 2014)

Day 2: None

Day 3: None

Chase Stuart draft capital invested: 31.3

Skinny: The Vikings rate as close to the mean (which is 32.2) for any team on our draft-value list, and that’s pretty interesting. That means, in essence, that spending one relatively early first-rounder and then the final pick of the first round is about average for an NFL team to invest in quarterbacks over a 10-year period.

We’re not exactly sure what that means beyond the idea of a team trading multiple first-rounders to draft one QB comes with some real risk. Or, if you take one with the first or second overall pick (without trading up) — the 31.3 Stuart value comes in just between Nos. 1 and 2 overall. You’re essentially sinking 10 years’ worth of assets for the position into one pick. But then again, we know what happens when you don’t have a QB …

The Ponder pick really didn’t work out, and we’ll never know what might have been with Bridgewater. We suspect he always would have been just shy of being that untouchable-level quarterback who wasn’t vastly above replacement. And now the Vikings also have another big QB investment in Kirk Cousins that was strictly monetary but massive nonetheless.

17. Kansas City Chiefs

QBs drafted since 2010: 4

Day 1 picks: Patrick Mahomes (10th, 2017)

Day 2: None

Day 3: Ricki Stanzi (135th, 2011); Aaron Murray (163rd, 2014); Kevin Hogan (162nd, 2016)

Chase Stuart draft capital invested: 27.7

Skinny: When the Chiefs traded up 17 spots to draft Mahomes two years ago, it was the team’s first first-round QB selection since Todd Blackledge in 1983 (over Jim Kelly and Dan Marino, yikes). The Chiefs’ recent take-a-flier-in-the-fifth-round approach simply wasn’t working out, so Andy Reid and then GM John Dorsey took the aggressive approach. It appears to have paid off pretty well.

And it might have kick-started a mini-trend around the league. Deshaun Watson went two picks after Mahomes to the Houston Texans, and there were five first-round quarterbacks the following year in 2018. All six of those QB selections went to teams that traded up into that spot. That trend didn’t hold as much in 2019, with two of the three first-round QBs going to teams originally holding that pick, but it also was viewed as something of a down year at the position this spring.

By the way, for you trivia buffs out there: The longest current first-round QB drought for a team is the New Orleans Saints at 48 years! Yep, it was Archie Manning in 1971.

18. New England Patriots

QBs drafted since 2010: Six

Day 1 picks: None

Day 2: Ryan Mallett (74th, 2011); Jimmy Garoppolo (62nd, 2014); Jacoby Brissett (91st, 2016)

Day 3: Zac Robinson (250th, 2010); Danny Etling (219th, 2018); Jarrett Stidham (133rd, 2019)

Chase Stuart draft capital invested: 25.3

Skinny: Only the Broncos have drafted more quarterbacks over the past 10 years, as the Patriots have kept the QB till sluicing in Tom Brady’s Super Bowl twilight. The difference is that the Patriots haven’t used high picks at the position; taking Garoppolo at the end of Round 2 was a surprise at the time and actually fueled talk about the Brady succession plan before he went on to lead the team to three more titles.

Here’s a wild stat: Of the 674 Day 2 draft picks across the NFL since 2010, only 23 of them were quarterbacks. But the Patriots have drafted three of them, and they’re one of six franchises combined that account for 14 of those 23 QB picks in that range. Quarterbacks are just far more likely to go early (10.7 percent of all of the first-rounders since 2010) or late, recent history shows us, than in Rounds 2 or 3.

The Patriots have drafted 10 quarterbacks since Brady joined the team. Etling and Stidham are on the roster now. Matt Cassel might try play a 15th season somewhere but is currently unsigned. Brissett and Garoppolo are on other teams’ rosters. Rohan Davey and Mallett are out of the league. But three other QBs New England drafted are still in the NFL as coaches — Kliff Kingsbury (sixth round, 201st) is head coach of the Cardinals; Kevin O’Connell (94th, 2008) is the Redskins’ offensive coordinator; and Robinson (250th, 2010) is the Rams’ new QB coach.

New England has made mostly smart investments with its QB picks, viewing them as assets and insurance for Brady, even if the team hasn’t been able to maximize those players’ trade values. They got a seventh back for Mallett, a second for Garoppolo and WR Phillip Dorsett for Brissett.

19. Houston Texans

QBs drafted since 2010: 3

Day 1 picks: Deshaun Watson (12th, 2017)

Day 2: None

Day 3: T.J. Yates (152nd, 2011); Tom Savage (135th, 2014)

Chase Stuart draft capital invested: 24.8

Skinny: Similar to Kansas City, the Texans had tried the middle-round lottery approach to drafting quarterbacks after making David Carr their inaugural pick in 2002, and that strategy just wasn’t paying off. Neither Yates (who won a playoff game) nor Savage were terrible, but they just weren’t starter-grade. So the trade up two years ago for Watson was a departure from their previous approach, and like the Chiefs’ move for Mahomes, the Texans’ gamble has paid off thus far.

Are the Texans playing with fire with Watson the way the Colts did with Luck, not properly investing in their offensive line and allowing their prized QB take too many hits? We’ll have to wait to see how their first- and second-round investments in linemen this year pay off, but it’s a question worth posing. And it almost makes you wonder if the Texans might not dip back into the QB pool next year to add a different layer of insurance.

20. Oakland Raiders

QBs drafted since 2010: 3

Day 1 picks: None

Day 2: Derek Carr (36th, 2014)

Day 3: Tyler Wilson (112th, 2013); Connor Cook (100th, 2016)

Chase Stuart draft capital invested: 21.7

Skinny: The Raiders have had such a poor drafting history at quarterback that goes back generations, to the point where maybe Carr is a bit underappreciated at this point. He was a super value early in the second round, and you could make the argument that he’s the best QB pick they’ve made since before the NFL merger. Who else you got … Steve Beuerlein? Marc Wilson? Yeah, it definitely wasn’t JaMarcus Russell.

Carr was sandwiched around two fourth-round picks that were busts, so the Raiders have had to mine other teams’ flotsam and jetsam to find quality backups behind him. When we wrote our piece about the teams most likely to draft a QB in 2020 the way things stand now, we had the Raiders just outside the top 10. But since writing that, we’ve reconsidered a bit. It wouldn’t shock us in the least to see Jon Gruden put some pressure on Carr (or move on from him) depending on how this season goes.

Can Derek Carr play well enough this season where the Oakland Raiders won't draft a QB in 2020? (Getty Images)
Can Derek Carr play well enough this season where the Oakland Raiders won't draft a QB in 2020? (Getty Images)

Carr’s contract allows them to break free if they want. Jon Gruden has been hunting that elusive star QB for years now. The Raiders have made huge investments in their offensive skill players, dealing Carr a better hand but also issuing some pressure along with it. With the team moving to Vegas, it would be a very Raiders-esque move to use one of their two first-rounders in 2020 to handpick the next QB.

21. Miami Dolphins

QBs drafted since 2010: 2

Day 1 picks: Ryan Tannehill (8th, 2012)

Day 2: None

Day 3: Brandon Doughty (223rd, 2016)

Chase Stuart draft capital invested: 21.6

Skinny: Tannehill and Dan Marino are the franchise’s only two first-round QBs since the merger, but nearly everyone believes that could change next spring. The Dolphins passed on drafting a quarterback this spring, instead signing Ryan Fitzpatrick and trading two draft picks for Josh Rosen. We frankly should consider that in our equation, which might have bumped them up a spot or two.

If Rosen pans out this season, perhaps the Dolphins won’t feel the urge to draft a quarterback high next spring. But by no means are they out of the mix for one, we suspect. If the Dolphins finish the season with a top-10 draft pick, they also will have two second-rounders and additional ammo (compensatory picks are likely) to move up for the right one.

This is going to be a fascinating season for the Dolphins under new head coach Brian Flores, even if the team isn’t that great right now. We can’t wait to see how they rebuild this thing.

22. Cincinnati Bengals

QBs drafted since 2010: 4

Day 1 picks: None

Day 2: Andy Dalton (35th, 2011)

Day 3: A.J. McCarron (164th, 2014); Logan Woodside (249th, 2018); Ryan Finley (104th, 2019)

Chase Stuart draft capital invested: 19.2

Skinny: From 1992 to 2003, the Bengals drafted three quarterbacks in the first round. They’ve done so zero times since. Is 2020 the year we see that come to an end? Dalton has outplayed his draft status when you really think about it, even if he’s perennially on the replaceable quarterback lists.

We wrote in our 2020 QB draft story that the Bengals might be one of the more likely teams to be in the mix for a first-round quarterback, depending on how things play out. Four of the past five and five of the past seven Bengals first-rounders have been offensive players, and the defense looks like it needs big reinforcements, but new head coach Zac Taylor is likely going to have a sizable say in who his next QB is after Dalton, we’d assume.

23. San Francisco 49ers

QBs drafted since 2010: 4

Day 1 picks: None

Day 2: Colin Kaepernick (36th, 2011); C.J. Beathard (104th, 2017)

Day 3: B.J. Daniels (237th, 2013); Jeff Driskell (207th, 2016)

Chase Stuart draft capital invested: 17.5

Skinny: Ever since the team parted ways with Kaepernick, its best QB acquisitions have come from outside of draft picks. They paid a second-rounder for Jimmy Garoppolo and signed undrafted Nick Mullens, who might have the edge on Beathard in the battle for QB2 this coming season. Beathard felt like a reach at the time, just as it does now, and the Daniels and Driskel picks didn’t work out (even though Driskel wasn’t brutal with the Bengals last season).

Although the shine is off Garoppolo a bit, he still could prove to be a very good quarterback and perhaps worth the massive contract they signed him to. There’s a chance the 49ers don’t draft a QB high for a few years as they try to make him work with Kyle Shanahan, although all bets would be off if he gets put on the hot seat or Garoppolo can’t stay healthy.

24. Baltimore Ravens

QBs drafted since 2010: 4

Day 1 picks: Lamar Jackson (32nd, 2018)

Day 2: None

Day 3: Tyrod Taylor (180th, 2011); Keith Wenning (194th, 2014); Trace McSorley (197th, 2019)

Chase Stuart draft capital invested: 16.1

Skinny: The Ravens have actually had some Round 6 QB success, even if they didn’t fully take advantage of it. They got Derek Anderson there in 2005 and Taylor in 2011, although neither started a game for Baltimore. Instead, the team went with its higher investments: Joe Flacco, 2008 first-rounder, followed by Jackson, who is the new face of the franchise. They traded up into the 32nd pick to land him and now have built around him.

We won’t know if that will prove to be the right move for the long term, but for right now it appears that the price was pretty smart. And they even have immediate plans for McSorley, who is working as a punt returner and could be on the field with Jackson in some two-QB formations (which we hope will work better than the Flacco-Jackson failed experiments early last season).

Overall, the Ravens have received a pretty decent ROI on their QB draft investments over the past 15 years or so — basically everything since the Kyle Boller disaster. Even if you’re not a Flacco fan, you’ve got to admit that.

25. Pittsburgh Steelers

QBs drafted since 2010: 3

Day 1 picks: None

Day 2: Mason Rudolph (76th, 2018)

Day 3: Landry Jones (115th, 2014); Joshua Dobbs (135th, 2018)

Chase Stuart draft capital invested: 14.8

Skinny: After taking Big Ben with the 11th pick in 2004, the team’s pattern was to use a Day 3 pick on a QB with varying degrees of success — Omar Jacobs, Dennis Dixon, Jones and Dobbs. Then they bumped it up a bit on Rudolph, perhaps a bit surprised he was still on the board at that point in 2018. Of course, Roethlisberger was confused by the Rudolph pick at the time, saying that the Steelers could have helped their defense with that selection and that he had no intention of mentoring the rookie QB.

We’ll see if Rudolph can be Ben’s successor. The Steelers seem to like him. (And looking at the defenders the Steelers passed on, maybe Da’Shawn Hand, Ronnie Harrison or Maurice Hurst could have helped in a more immediate way). But with Rudolph signed through 2021, plus Dobbs still on the roster, the Steelers might not be QB draft buyers for a few years.

26. Seattle Seahawks

QBs drafted since 2010: 2

Day 1 picks: None

Day 2: Russell Wilson (75th, 2012)

Day 3: Alex McGough (220th, 2018)

Chase Stuart draft capital invested: 7.4

Skinny: Check out the Stuart draft-value dropoff here — the Seahawks are exactly half the value of the Steelers, the next-highest team on the list. That’s pretty incredible, frankly, and underscores just how huge it is for them to have hit on Wilson where they did. If you want to argue that Seattle winning only one Super Bowl is disappointing, have at it. But the fact is that the Wilson pick was one of the best in all of football at any position over the past 15 or more years.

The Seahawks have played a little fast and loose with Wilson’s backups, finding undrafted free agents, late picks (such as McGough, who is now with the Jaguars), waiver-wire claims or reclamation projects (it’s Paxton Lynch vs. Geno Smith for No. 2!) to go with as their main insurance policies. Maybe that changes at some point, but the likelihood of the Seahawks going high for a QB in the draft in the coming few years feels pretty low with Wilson just into a banner contract.

27. New Orleans Saints

QBs drafted since 2010: 2

Day 1 picks: None

Day 2: Garrett Grayson (75th, 2015)

Day 3: Sean Canfield (239th, 2010)

Chase Stuart draft capital invested: 7.2

Skinny: If you missed our incredible trivia question up above, it’s worth repeating here: The Saints’ last first-round QB was … Archie Manning! He just turned 70 the other day. That’s an incredible streak — the longest active Round 1 QB drought — and we wonder when it might end. There were rumors the Saints were prepared to take Patrick Mahomes (could you imagine?) two years ago before the Chiefs swooped in a pick ahead of New Orleans to do so.

Are the Saints a sneaky candidate to go with a QB in Round 1 the next few years? Will Sean Payton still be around to coach the next QB? How many more years does Drew Brees have left? All fascinating questions as we ponder the immediate and long-term futures of the franchise.

The Saints’ past two draft picks at the position did not pan out; neither of them to date even attempted one NFL regular-season pass. And here’s one more fun Saints QB trivia: Canfield is the last lefty QB to be drafted by any NFL team. At least until Tua comes out ...

28. Dallas Cowboys

QBs drafted since 2010: 3

Day 1 picks: None

Day 2: None

Day 3: Dak Prescott (135th, 2016); Mike White (171st, 2018)

Chase Stuart draft capital invested: 5.3

Skinny: Two picks, both in the mid-100s. Prescott is on the verge of a monster contract extension. White has yet to take an NFL snap but could be the backup; the other option is Cooper Rush, an undrafted free agent. Without knowing how White or Rush would handle themselves, it’s safe to say that the Cowboys have gotten away with not going high on a QB in tremendous fashion.

Lucky? Sure. Jerry Jones missed out on a big trade up for Paxton Lynch, and we all watched as Jones clutched a draft card with the name “Johnny Manziel” on it in the first round before the owner was chloroformed talked out of it. But credit where it’s due. They’ve been able to play some high-level football without the need to use high draft picks at the position. It’s wild to think that Troy Aikman was their last first-round QB.

29. San Diego/Los Angeles Chargers

QBs drafted since 2010: 3

Day 1 picks: None

Day 2: None

Day 3: Jonathan Crompton (168th, 2010); Brad Sorensen (221st, 2013); Easton Stick (166th, 2019)

Chase Stuart draft capital invested: 4.2

Skinny: They’ve spent thriftily and received about as much as you might expect in return. None of the past four QBs the Chargers have drafted — those three above, plus Charlie Whitehurst — never attempted a regular-season pass for the franchise. That’s thanks to Philip Rivers’ incredible iron-man streak, which is 209 consecutive starts (despite him tearing an ACL in the middle there) and counting.

Actually, this draft nugget is just too good not to share:

The Chargers have done their homework on draft QBs in recent years, and they took Stick in April. It appears they might try to employ his slot-receiver-type athleticism in other ways while he develops and Rivers remains in his prime years. But they certainly could jump back into the QB draft derby in higher rounds in the next few years.

It’s a catch-22 deal. They have a loaded roster and could be Super Bowl contenders, so they want as much immediate help as possible. But on the other hand, they can’t afford to botch the transition whenever Rivers, who turns 38 in December, starts waning.

30. Green Bay Packers

QBs drafted since 2010: 2

Day 1 picks: None

Day 2: None

Day 3: B.J. Coleman (243rd, 2012); Brett Hundley (147th, 2015)

Chase Stuart draft capital invested: 2.9

Skinny: Ron Wolf was the Packers’ general manager from 1991 to 2000. In that decade, Wolf traded a first-round pick for Brett Favre after his disastrous rookie season in Atlanta. In addition, Wolf drafted in that span seven quarterbacks: Aaron Brooks, Matt Hasselbeck, Ronnie McAda, Kyle Wachholtz, Jay Barker, Mark Brunell and Ty Detmer. Brooks, Hasselbeck, Brunell and Detmer went on to start 426 NFL games, all for other teams.

Wolf turned those QB picks into bonus assets. Brooks and Lamont Hall were traded for a third-rounder. Hasselbeck was shipped to Seattle, allowing the Packers to move from the 17th pick overall up to No. 10, and they also got a third-rounder in the deal. Brunell was sent to Jacksonville — first trade in Jaguars history, for those who keep score — for third- and fifth-round picks (Nos. 66 and 170 overall). Wolf consistently churned out good QB prospects behind Favre and flipped them like fixer-upper houses. It was a beautiful model and one that few franchises have been able to mimic since.

Wolf’s replacement, Ted Thompson, largely chose to ignore the position after famously taking Aaron Rodgers in Round 1 two-plus years before he could get on the field as the starter. On the one hand, it’s somewhat understandable in that the Packers were building a Super Bowl-caliber team and needed the help elsewhere. But on the other, Rodgers’ backup spot became a sore one when he suffered some injuries and his replacements never could come close to replicating QB1’s success.

The Packers moved on from Coleman and Hundley relatively fast; neither lasted more than two years with the franchise. DeShone Kizer was acquired for safety Damarious Randall, and it feels like the Packers lost that deal. Green Bay did have some interest in taking Missouri’s Drew Lock this year but ultimately passed on him twice before watching him go off the board two selections before the Packers’ third pick in 2019.

It will be interesting to see if the Packers are back in the QB draft market next spring, even with the strong possibility that Rodgers regains his all-world form this season with a change of coaching scenery and a new playbook and offensive approach.

31. Detroit Lions

QBs drafted since 2010: 2

Day 1 picks: None

Day 2: None

Day 3: Jake Rudock (191st, 2016); Brad Kaaya (215th, 2017)

Chase Stuart draft capital invested: 1.9

Skinny: The Lions took Stafford first overall in 2009 and basically have let it ride since then. After a few major injuries his first two seasons, Stafford has started all 16 games for eight straight seasons — a wild run of durability, especially when you hear about his reported broken back last season.

As we wrote the other day, we wonder how his tenure in Detroit ends. He’s largely been very good, or very solid at the very least. But with Matt Patricia in charge now — and perhaps feeling some heat in Year 2 — there’s no guarantee that Stafford will be a Lion for life. The team did some hard work on quarterbacks in this past draft cycle but ultimately passed on taking one or bringing in an undrafted free agent. To back up Stafford this year, they signed vets Tom Savage and David Fales, two former Day 3 picks of yore. Both Rudock and Kaaya are gone already.

So it would not at all be surprising to see Detroit reenter the QB draft mix in 2020, as Stafford’s dead money drops from $26 million during the 2020 season to $10 million in 2021. That might allow the team a more natural progression and not rush a rookie into the lineup down the road.

32. Atlanta Falcons

QBs drafted since 2010: 1

Day 1 picks: None

Day 2: None

Day 3: Sean Renfree (249th, 2013)

Chase Stuart draft capital invested: 0.1

Skinny: You might be able to win some bar bets with this one: Who was the last QB the Falcons drafted? Renfree was on the roster a few years, got into two games in mop-up time and was cut in 2016. The Falcons currently have soon-to-be 39-year-old Matt Schaub and 2018 undrafted free agent Kurt Benkert behind starter Matt Ryan.

The beauty for the Falcons is that they have not had to cultivate and groom a young quarterback with Ryan being so durable (his only time missing action in the NFL was a two-game stretch in December 2009). But it’s almost shocking they have not taken more than one QB in the past 11 drafts. In fact, we had to round the Stuart value up; his pick-value system only goes up to the 224th selection, so we just made it that same 0.1 number.

Ryan likely isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. He’s still relatively young (34 this season), has major dead money left on his deal and quietly had a phenomenal 2018 season statistically — 69.4 percent completions, a 35-7 TD-INT ratio and 4,924 passing yards — despite some OL issues and injuries all over the place.

More from Yahoo Sports:

What to Read Next