The journey toward Super Bowl LII ended far too prematurely for the Pittsburgh Steelers, sending them into offseason mode before we were ready for it. But we are in it now, and are ready to move on, through the Combine, through free agency, through the draft, into OTAs, and beyond.
We have asked and answered a lot of questions over the years and will continue to do so, and at the moment, there seem to be a ton of questions that need answering. A surprise early exit in the postseason will do that to you though, especially when it happens in the way it did.
You can rest assured that we have the questions, and we will be monitoring developments all throughout the offseason process, all the way down to Latrobe. Pending free agents, possible veteran roster cuts, contract extensions, pre-draft visits, pro days, all of it will have its place when the time arises.
Question: How many quarterbacks will go in the top 10 picks of the 2018 NFL Draft?
In spite of the eternal search for quarterback, it has actually been a while since we have last seen five of them go off the board in the first round, and that was before there were even 32 picks in the first round. The 1999 NFL Draft is not only the last time five quarterbacks went in the first round, it’s the last time that the top three picks all went to the position.
The ‘new’ Cleveland Browns that year drafted Tim Couch with the first pick, followed by the Philadelphia Eagles taking Donovan McNabb and the Cincinnati Bengals drafting Akili Smith with the next two picks. I think it’s safe to say which was the best of the three in hindsight.
Daunte Culpepper also went to the Minnesota Vikings with the 11th-overall pick, just outside the top 10, and Cade McNown followed him at 12, also in the NFC North with the Chicago Bears. Five of the first 12 picks of that class, all quarterbacks, and only two of them even halfway decent.
There is a very real chance that this draft class could match that result, or at least come close. Many believe that the first three picks in the draft will all be quarterbacks with the Browns, New York Giants, and New York Jets owning the first three picks. The Jets traded up to get into that spot.
The Browns are next at four for a second time, but the Denver Broncos are another team that could take a quarterback at five. Picks six through 10 are all prime teams with starters locked in at least for now that could trade back with a team looking for a quarterback.
While there is no real consensus with any one quarterback prospect being a sure thing, there are advocates for at least five, if not six, quarterbacks all showing the capacity to be a franchise quarterback. It’s been six years since even four quarterbacks went in the first round, and seven since three went in the top 10.