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At What Point Are There Too Many Quarterbacks Available in The NFL?

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Over the weekend, the Jets won their second game of the season, securing the Jaguars the number one overall pick, which will inevitably be Trevor Lawrence. This got me thinking.. at what point is the quarterback market oversaturated in the NFL?

First let’s take a look at the starting QB for each team in 2020. I’ll color code them in categories of :
GREEN = in the market for a new QB after this season
YELLOW = might be in the market for a new QB
RED = not in the market for a new QB

Arizona Cardinals – Kyler Murray
Atlanta Falcons – Matt Ryan

Carolina Panthers – Teddy Bridgewater
Chicago Bears – Mitch Trubisky
Dallas Cowboys – Dak Prescott/Andy Dalton
Detroit Lions – Matt Stafford
Green Bay Packers – Aaron Rodgers
LA Rams – Jared Goff
Minnesota Vikings – Kirk Cousins
New Orleans Sa ints – Drew Brees


New York Giants – Daniel Jones
San Francisco 49ers – Jimmy Garoppolo/Nick Mullens/CJ Beathard
Seattle Seahawks – Russell Wilson
Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Tom Brady
Washington Football Team – Alex Smith
Baltimore Ravens – Lamar Jackson
Buffalo Bills – Josh Allen
Cincinnati Bengals – Joe Burrow
Cleveland Browns – Baker Mayfield

Denver Broncos – Drew Lock
Houston Texans – Deshaun Watson
Indianapolis Colts – Phil Rivers
Jacksonville Jaguars – Gardner Minshew/Mike Glennon
Kansas City Chiefs – Patrick Mahomes
Las Vegas Raiders – Derek Carr
LA Chargers – Justin Herbert
Miami Dolphins – Tua Tagovailoa

New England Patriots – Cam Newton
New York Jets – Sam Darnold
Pittsburgh Steelers – Ben Roethlisberger
Tennessee Titans – Ryan Tannehill

For the sake of debate, let’s count all teams in green and yellow to be searching for a new QB. That would make 11 teams in the market.

Now let’s take a look at the QB class for the 2021 Draft. I will be using Pro Football Network’s Dalton Miller’s 2021 Mock Draft for reference.

  • With the first pick, the Jaguars are obviously going to be taking Trevor Lawrence.
  • Miller has the second pick being QB Zach Wilson out of BYU going to the Jets.
  • The next QB taken is Trey Lance out of North Dakota State going to the Carolina Panthers with the 9th pick.
  • Next is the Denver Broncos with the 10th pick, taking Justin Fields from Ohio State University.
  • With the 11th pick, Miller has the Dallas Cowboys taking QB Caleb Farley out of Virginia Tech.

There will likely be more QBs taken in the later rounds of the draft, but Dalton Miller’s mock draft has just those 5 being picked in the first round. It’s too early to tell if anyone other than Lawrence will start in 2021, but let’s just say that is 5 QBs taken off the board.

An update of who’s still in the market after the draft:

Carolina Panthers – Teddy Bridgewater / Trey Lance
Chicago Bears – Mitch Trubisky
Dallas Cowboys – Caleb Farley / Dak Prescott? (Free Agent)
New York Giants – Daniel Jones
San Francisco 49ers – Jimmy Garoppolo/CJ Beathard
Washington Football Team – Alex Smith
Denver Broncos – Drew Lock / Justin Fields
Indianapolis Colts – No One (Phil Rivers Free Agent)
Jacksonville Jaguars – Trevor Lawrence
New England Patriots – No One (Cam Newton Free Agent)
New York Jets – Sam Darnold / Zach Wilson

That leaves just 6 teams still in the market for a quarterback.

Now, let’s take a look at the free agents in 2021. I’m only including those that have started or has played a significant amount this year (and Jameis because he deserves a job).

Dak Prescott
Dwayne Haskins
Phil Rivers
Jacoby Brissett
Mitch Trubisky
Ryan Fitzpatrick
Andy Dalton
Cam Newton
Jameis Winston
Nick Mullens
Mike Glennon

Now let’s take a look at the rest of the quarterbacks expected to be drafted:

Kyle Trask
Mac Jones
Jamie Newman
Kellen Mond
Brock Purdy
Sam Ehlinger
Tanner Morgan

Obviously, a lot of those guys are going to be backups, but that leaves 11 free agents with recent playing time and 7 QBs expected to be drafted, all fighting for a starting spot on just 6 teams looking for a new QB. And on those 6 teams are already starting QBs whose jobs are looking to be taken.

Many of those free agents, like Cam Newton, Jameis Winston, Phil Rivers, and Ryan Fitzpatrick are all quarterbacks that have proven they can play in this league. Unfortunately for them, they may not find a starting spot on a team because the market for quarterbacks has become so full.

Year after year, there’s new generational quarterbacks like Mahomes, Watson, Jackson, Burrow, and Lawrence. And year after year there’s better technology and medical care to allow players like Brady, Rodgers, Roethlisberger, and Brees to continue playing years after their prime.

This makes it extremely difficult to find a job in the NFL as a quarterback.

Look for Bears, Giants, 49ers, Washington Football Team, Colts, and Patriots take their pick of the litter with the stacked amount of quarterbacks available for 2021.

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