Quandary: Michael Vick
is in a federal penitentiary. And can anybody expect Joey Harrington
or Chris Redman
(who can become a free agent) to be the long-term answer?
Owner Arthur Blank is known for his patience, and he signed off on the Falcons' chopping a bunch of veteran players. That signaled a lengthy rebuilding process. New coach Mike Smith
is going to have some time, so it makes sense to use a top-five pick on a potential franchise quarterback who can grow with a young team.
Quandary: Steve McNair
might be washed up, and Kyle Boller
can't put points on the board. Alleged offensive guru Brian Billick never got much out of this offense, and that is why he is gone. Successor John Harbaugh needs a legitimate attack.
The Philadelphia Eagles
say Donovan McNabb
isn't on the market, even though Kevin Kolb
is waiting in the wings. McNabb-to-Baltimore rumors are out there, but in the long run, the Ravens might be better off just drafting a quarterback early.
The assumption is that Jake Delhomme
will come back as good as or better than before. But there are no guarantees with Tommy John surgery. Matt Moore
showed some promise late last year, and Brett Basanez
has the potential to be a nice backup. But the Panthers need an insurance policy for Delhomme, because coach John Fox won't survive a third straight season without making the playoffs.
Amazingly, David Carr
remains on the roster. But he won't for long. The Panthers need a veteran with some starting experience.
The Bears have been wasting a potentially great defense by trying to scrape by with Rex Grossman
and Brian Griese
at quarterback. You can't win a Super Bowl like that.
Maybe the Bears can twist the Eagles' arms -- or wings, if you prefer -- and bring home McNabb, an Illinois native, for instant respectability.
Kansas City Chiefs
Coach Herm Edwards makes it sound like Brodie Croyle
is his guy. He also doesn't seem to be a big fan of Damon Huard
. But what has Croyle done to earn anybody's confidence?
Maybe Croyle, who started nine games in 2007, will work out. But in case he doesn't, the Chiefs need to take a shot on a quarterback sometime after the first round.
Quandary: Trent Green
is gone. John Beck
, who didn't show much in four starts as a rookie, still is around. After their 1-15 season, the Dolphins hold the No. 1 overall pick, giving themselves a choice of rookie quarterbacks.
Miami needs more than a quarterback. The Dolphins would be wise to deal the top choice and get more picks to help elsewhere. Beck has some potential, and a free-agent veteran could hold down the fort for the short term. Keep in mind, Bill Parcells is running the Dolphins, and Phil Simms used to play for him with the Giants. Parcells might be inclined to take a chance on Chris Simms.
They have one of the game's most explosive players in running back Adrian Peterson
but nothing else on offense. Tarvaris Jackson
is not the answer.
McNabb's name also gets floated here because Minnesota coach Brad Childress used to work in Philadelphia. That could be a great solution. But the Vikings are a team that can afford to draft a rookie because Peterson will take away a lot of the pressure.
New York Jets
Quandary: Chad Pennington
was in and out of the lineup last year, and Kellen Clemens
received a lot of playing time. It might be too late for Pennington to revive his career with the Jets, and it's too early to say Clemens is the answer.
This will be a crucial season for coach Eric Mangini, but he could buy himself some time by adding a young quarterback to the competition.
Pat Yasinskas covers the NFL for ESPN.com.