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NFL Draft notes: Quarterbacks will shape first round

The NFL Draft won’t be until April 28.¬†However, the talk has been hot and heavy throughout the early stages of the offseason. Last year, the NFL draft was about defensive stars at the top. Accompanied by a mix of boom-or-bust quarterbacks including Patrick Mahomes, Mitchell Trubisky and Deshaun Watson.

In short, many believed that quarterback-needy teams should be patient until the spring of 2018, with one of the best crops coming out since 1983. There are a lack of answers about the quartet of signal-callers who are expected to go on the first night.

San Darnold, Josh Allen, Josh Rosen and Baker Mayfield are all being spoken about as potential top-10 picks. Darnold might be the safest bet. He is the early favorite to land with the Cleveland Browns at the first overall-slot. The New York Giants pick second and while Mayfield is an option, Rosen and Allen are probably the considerations. Rosen has all the tools but there are concerns about his demeanor and consistency. Allen has the draft’s best arm, but is full of accuracy and interception issues.

After the top two selections, there are questions abound. If the Indianapolis Colts don’t believe that Andrew Luck will ever fully recover from his shoulder surgery, maybe taking a quarterback would be the right choice. All that said, it would have to be clear on the Luck from for general manager Chris Ballard to make such a drastic move.

The Denver Broncos and New York Jets respectfully pick fifth and sixth-overall, and both are in dire need of help at the league’s most important position. Denver drafted Paxton Lynch two years ago but things have gone south, with Lynch barely earning playing time despite a competition with Trevor Siemian. New York is watching Josh McCown hit free agency, and starting Christian Hackenberg is no way to live.

 

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Theoretically, all four quarterbacks could be gone in the first six picks, but that’s unlikely. One or more of those teams will opt or a different position, perhaps offensive line or corner.¬†It always happens, and the ensuing reaction is one we often don’t see on TV; frantic calls in desperation to trade up and get the franchise quarterback. Only the successful team admits it, but the chase will be one for the passers who don’t go as early as expected.

With the NFL Draft Scouting Combine and pro days still ahead, there will be plenty of movement. One man might slide up the board (think Lamar Jackson0 while another could go toward the second round.

Still, two months out, it appears the most glamorous position in sports will be front and center when Cleveland goes on the clock.

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