Who Is Looking For A QB?

There are at least a dozen teams that legitimately need to find themselves a quarterback of some kind in the 2011 NFL Draft.

First, here’s the list of quarterbacks who threw at least one pass for all 32 teams during the 2010 season.

Here’s the list of QB-needy teams, in drafting order:

(1.) Carolina – In the 2010 season, the Panthers were the worst offense in the NFL, producing just 258.4 yards per game and scoring only 16 offensive TDs. In last year’s draft the Panthers used a second-round choice to draft Jimmy Clausen (above right) out of Notre Dame. His rookie season was not one to remember, although fairly typical for an unproven QB – 3 TDs, 9 INTs, 52.5% completion percentage and 5.21 yards per attempt. They also used a sixth-round choice to draft Tony Pike from Cincinnati. Carolina has not used a first-rounder on a QB since Kerry Collins in 1995, the year they came into the league. After going 2-14, the Panthers have a lot of holes in a lot of spots on their roster.

(3.) Buffalo – Ryan Fitzpatrick eventually become the starter for Chan Gailey with the Bills and he used that Harvard brain of his to survive rather than his physical abilities. Fitzpatrick is not the long term answer for Buffalo. But then there are a lot of players on the roster that are in the same class. Last year, the Bills had the worst defense against the run in the NFL, allowing an average of 169.6 yards per game. So that may have Gailey and GM Buddy Nix looking at defense with that third choice. The last time Buffalo drafted a QB was last year, grabbing Troy State’s Levi Brown in the seventh round.

(4.) CincinnatiCarson Palmer (left) says he’s done with the Bengals and if he’s not traded, he’ll retire. Whether that happens or not will depend on just how stubborn G.M. Mike Brown wants to be, and he has a history of being very stubborn. There is no heir apparent on the roster; since taking Palmer with the first pick of the 2003 Draft, they’ve used three lower round picks on QBs. In the past, the Bengals have never been shy about dropping a first-round choice on a QB. In their history, they’ve drafted six passers in the first round. Offensive weapons are probably more important for the Bengals to find than a QB right now.

(5.) Arizona – The handling of the QB position by the Cardinals in the last year was a crime and exposed the normal type of franchise blundering that all fans hoped was chased away with the team’s trip to the Super Bowl three years ago. Kurt Warner retired and the man they drafted to fill that spot, Matt Leinart was apparently not capable of filling the role. Their answer was to sign free agent Derek Anderson who was found wanting. Draft choice John Skelton got a chance to play, as did rookie free agent Max Hall. In the end, the Cardinals had the No. 31 offense, with the 32nd rushing attack and the 31st passing game. Big help is needed in the desert. The last time they used a first rounder on a QB was Leinart in 2006.

(7.) San Francisco – The Smiths handled the quarterback spot last year for the 49ers, helping cost Mike Singletary his job as head coach. The offense ranked No. 24 in yardage, gaining 313.3 yards per game and it really didn’t much matter whether it was Alex Smith or Troy Smith. They combined for 19 TD passes against 14 INTs. San Francisco is a team with talent, especially on defense and the offensive line. New head coach Jim Harbaugh needs a leader and triggerman to get his offense off the ground. Somewhere in this year’s draft, they will grab a QB.

(8.) Tennessee – Owner Bud Adams has said that Vince Young (right) will be somewhere else in 2011. Whether he sticks with that now that head coach Jeff Fisher has walked away remains to be seen. Veteran Kerry Collins isn’t the answer and last year they used a sixth-round choice on Rusty Smith out of Florida Atlantic, who in 40 passes threw four interceptions. If Young is out, the Titans must go for a QB in this draft.

(10.) Washington – The clock is ticking on the short-Donovan McNabb Era with the Redskins. Whether too much water has passed over the bridge between Mike Shanahan and McNabb is a soap opera that must be played out in the next few months. Whether McNabb stays or gets ticketed out of town, there is no QB of the future and that’s something Shanahan wants for his future in the world of Skins’ owner Daniel Snyder. The last Redskins first rounder that went for a QB was in 2005 with Jason Campbell.

(12.) Minnesota – Hopefully by now the Vikings are no longer sitting back waiting for Brett Favre to return from another retirement. Last year Favre was anything but a future Hall of Famer, with 11 TDs to 19 INTs. The two QBs that jumped in for him Joe Webb and Tarvaris Jackson did not get the job done either. It all ended up with the Vikings have the No. 8 defense paired with the No. 23 offense. That has to change; they have the weapons in RB Adrian Peterson and WR Sidney Rice, along with Percy Harvin. The last time they grabbed a first-round QB was in 1999 when it was Daunte Culpepper.

(15.) MiamiChad Henne (left) is the starter with the Dolphins right now, but that seems to be far from permanent with Tony Sparano and his coaching staff. They’ve been on the lookout all through the off-season at the draft class QBs and other passers around the league. Henne had 15 TD passes and 19 INTs last year, while completing 61.4 percent of his passes. But, he averaged just 6.7 yards per attempt and was sacked 30 times. The Dolphins have not used a first-round choice on a QB since 1983, when they drafted Dan Marino. Henne was a second-round pick in 2008.

(16.) Jacksonville – Last year was a tough QB season for the Jaguars. When starter David Garrard was injured, the rest of the QBs started falling as well. They ended up signing Todd Bouman and he came off the farm and ended up starting against the Chiefs in the space of 10 days. Garrard remains a solid NFL quarterback, but he’s 33 now and going into his 10th NFL season. They also added Trent Edwards as a backup last year. Jacksonville has drafted just four QBs in 16 drafts, the last one being Byron Leftwich, taken in the first-round of the 2003 Draft.

(25.) Seattle – The Seahawks duo of GM John Schneider and head coach Pete Carroll have quite a decision to make when it comes to the quarterback position. Long-time starter Matt Hasselbeck is a free agent and he’ll be 36 years old this fall. They made a deal last year with San Diego for Charlie Whitehurst, who struggled in limited playing time. That leaves little doubt that the Hawks are going to use a draft choice somewhere in this year’s Draft on a passer. The last time they went for a QB in the first round was 1993, when they drafted Rick Mirer with the second choice.

(48.) Oakland – At no time should anyone take anything for granted about the Raiders and what their plans are for the game’s most important position. Jason Campbell at times showed last year he could stabilize that team. But they’ve changed head coaches again, and whether Hue Jackson thinks Campbell is the answer is something we don’t know yet. Of course, they are still reeling from the complete bust of 2007′s first choice in JaMarcus Russell. At this point, the Russell pick now sits with giant busts like Ryan Leaf, Akili Smith and Cade McNown.

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