By Danny Cox
It’s no surprise that quarterbacks are the prize catch in every single NFL Draft, and there’s a great class of them for 2016 as well. Numerous teams are looking for a new signal-caller to come in and start leading their team right away, but others want a back-up they can mold and shape behind a veteran for a few years.
For 2016, there is a lot of talent in the draft and at all positions on both offense and defense. While quarterbacks are usually who fans like to see drafted, there is just far too much talent all around for a lot of them to go early. Still, there are at least three projected to be drafted in the first round.
Paxton Lynch – Memphis
There is the slight possibility that Lynch could be the first quarterback off the board, but no matter what, he will go in the first round. If the Dallas Cowboys don’t end up taking a back-up for Tony Romo, then Lynch is going to be taken by the San Francisco 49ers at number seven. No matter who gets him, they’re going to have a future franchise QB on their roster.
Carson Wentz – North Dakota State
As of now, Wentz is seen as the top quarterback on the board and many mock drafts truly think he is the next leader for the Cleveland Browns who pick at number two overall. His stats had only improved each season for North Dakota State until a broken wrist sidelined him in his senior season. No-one seems to care about that, though, and still believe he’s going to be the first QB off the board.
Jared Goff – California
The third of the top three quarterback prospects in the draft and also the possibly first signal-caller to come off the board. The Dallas Cowboys have the fourth pick and a lot of interest in Goff who had 4,719 passing yards and 43 touchdowns in 2015, and those numbers simply can’t be ignored. After last week’s blockbuster trade, the Rams may pick him up first.
If he does end up falling, which has happened to quarterbacks in the past, the New York Jets would love to pick him at number 20.
Dak Prescott – Mississippi State
NFL teams love Dak Prescott with his skills and talent, and they’re thrilled at his running ability and how he can scramble out of just about any situation. The Denver Broncos are looking for a guy like him and that’s evident by their interest in Colin Kaepernick during the offseason as well.
Prescott may not end up being a starting quarterback in his first or second NFL season, but he will be in time. Look for him to fall to the end of the second round or possibly the third.
Connor Cook – Michigan State
The Michigan State star is currently seen as a second round pick on most mock drafts, but the Chicago Bears are hoping that he falls to the beginning of the third round. Jay Cutler isn’t getting any younger, and Cook would easily fit into their scheme with his arm strength and field awareness.
Cardale Jones – Ohio State
Cardale Jones took over for Braxton Miller at Ohio State and proved he was the better quarterback, but he never put up the most impressive numbers. In 2014, he passed for 860 yards and seven touchdowns. In 2015, his numbers improved, but split time means he only had 1,460 yards and eight touchdowns.
He’s going to have to learn a lot before taking over for an NFL franchise and he would benefit greatly from a few years at back-up for the Dallas Cowboys or even the New York Jets who could steal him in the third or fourth rounds.
Danny Cox knows a little something about the NFL, whether it means letting you know what penalty will come from the flag just thrown on the field or quickly spouting off who the Chicago Bears drafted in the first round of the 1987 draft (Jim Harbaugh). He plans on bringing you the best news, previews, recaps, and anything else that may come along with the exciting world of the National Football League. Danny is a freelance writer covering all things NFL. His work can be found on Examiner.com.