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NFL Draft 2021: Which teams could be looking for a franchise quarterback?

Justin Fields of Ohio State will be one of the first QBs drafted in 2021.
Justin Fields of Ohio State will be one of the first QBs drafted in 2021.
Walter Sharp
ANALYST
Modified 24 Oct 2020, 07:59 IST
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Four franchises are in position to take a potential future star at quarterback early in the 2021 NFL Draft.

As this NFL season enters Week 7, there are four teams that have shown they need help at the quarterback position.

Not all of those teams are bad. One of them, in fact, sits atop their division with a 5-1 record and has a QB on the roster who was taken No. 2 overall in a recent draft.

One of those teams even has a stable veteran QB on the roster who won league MVP not too long ago and guided said team to the Super Bowl. But that signal-caller may be near the end of his career, and the NFL is all about preparing for the future.

Here are the teams that should be in the market for a QB high in the upcoming NFL Draft.


New York Jets

The New York Jets selected Sam Darnold with the No. 3 overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft. The Jets had high hopes for Darnold and believed he was the answer to their quarterback issues. Darnold has not panned out.

About midway through his third pro season, Darnold has thrown for 6,681 yards with 39 touchdowns and 32 interceptions. Since drafting the USC quarterback, the Jets have a record of 11-27.

New York is the only winless team in the NFL and it is looking to make Darnold's overall record worse. This is more reason to why the Jets need to go out and draft a quarterback who can lead them to victories. There answer is in this year's draft.

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The quarterback that the New York Jets should draft -- assuming they'll have a top pick -- is Trevor Lawrence from Clemson. Lawrence has been nothing less than amazing since he started for the Tigers. Lawrence has thrown for over 8,000 yards with 81 touchdowns and just 13 interceptions. He has added to his passing stats with being mobile.

Lawrence has rushed for 794 yards and 14 touchdowns. Many people would knock Lawrence's win-loss record because of the schedule Clemson plays, but being 34-1 with a national championship, it's hard to not call the kid a winner. Trevor Lawrence would answer a lot of the problems the Jets have with quarterbacks.


Atlanta Falcons

Coming into the 2020 season, the last thing on the Atlanta Falcons' minds was replacing QB Matt Ryan. The 35-year-old veteran Matt Ryan has not played terrible, but he is coming toward the end of his career. The Falcons backup is 39-year-old Matt Schaub, so the team needs to get younger at the position.

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The Atlanta Falcons did not expect to be sitting at 1-5, either. If Atlanta continues to play poorly and ends up with a top two or three pick in this year's draft, they would be insane to not take a quarterback.

The Falcons have already fired their head coach and general manager. They're going to be starting over this offseason. When the new coach and GM step on to the scene they will be looking to change things up, and that first change could be at the franchise headlining position.

If the season plays out like it has started, the Falcons will have a top pick in this year's NFL Draft.

One player that stands out as a great fit for the Falcons is Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields. He would give Atlanta a mobile quarterback that can make time for himself in the passing game.

Fields has thrown for over 3,000 yards and has scored a total of 59 touchdowns at Ohio State. The Falcons would have the opportunity to draft Fields and let him sit for a year to learn from Ryan and get adjusted to the speed of the NFL. Fields would be the perfect fit for the Falcons.

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Washington Football Team

The Washington Football Team has been through some changes over the past two seasons. They have changed their name from the Redskins to the Football Team (until they find a real nickname), they moved on from head coach Jay Gruden, and let quarterback Kirk Cousins sign with the Minnesota Vikings.

Washington went out and acquired Alex Smith to be their starting quarterback, but he went down with an injury in 2018 that almost cost him his career.

Not knowing Smith's status, Washington would go out in 2019 and draft quarterback Dwayne Haskins out of Ohio State. Haskins had an amazing year for the Buckeyes and gave Washington hope that he would carry that over to the NFL. Since being drafted by Washington, Haskins has not played up to standards. He has thrown for 2,304 yards, 11 touchdowns and 10 interceptions. The biggest knock on Haskins since entering the NFL is his maturity. Haskins once missed the final snap of a Washington win because he was taking a picture with a fan.

Haskins was named the starter for Washington to open this season but has been replaced and knocked down to third-string. Washington will be looking for a quarterback who can win football games and make plays with both his arm and his legs. The best selection for Washington would be Trey Lance from North Dakota State.

Lance has thrown for 2,947 yards and has rushed for 1,325 yards at NDSU. He has a combined total of 48 touchdowns and has not lost a game in college. Trey has opted out of the college football season to work out for the NFL Draft. This could make him NFL-ready to start right away for Washington.

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Chicago Bears

The Chicago Bears took a gamble drafting Mitchell Trubisky with the No. 2 overall pick in 2017, and that gamble has backfired. Chicago went out this offseason and acquired Nick Foles from the Jaguars, hoping it would give Trubisky motivation to improve his play on the field.

Chicago replaced Trubisky with Foles early this season and it still does not feel like a good situation at the quarterback position for Chicago. Combined, Nick Foles and Trubisky have thrown for 1,438 yards, 12 touchdowns, and 7 interceptions this season. It's time for the Bears to pull the plug on Trubisky and return Foles back to being a backup QB in the NFL.

When the Chicago Bears walk into their draft room this offseason, the first thing on their mind should be: We need a young quarterback who can win football games. They need a quarterback who can stand his ground and take hits from NFL defenses. Kyle Trask of Florida would be the best choice for the Chicago Bears.

Trask is 6'5", 240 pounds. He has thrown for over 4,000 yards and has 40 touchdowns in his career at Florida. Trask has the NFL build already. The big key to Trask is that he plays against NFL talent weekly in the SEC.

Published 24 Oct 2020, 07:59 IST
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