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NFL Draft 2022
NFL Draft

NFL Draft 2022: 3 Surprise Teams That Could Draft A QB

  • Justin Melo
  • April 18, 2022
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The 2022 NFL Draft is fast approaching. It promises to be as exciting and unpredictable as any NFL draft in recent memory, possibly ever. 

The question marks surrounding this year’s crop of quarterbacks will take the first and second rounds of the draft in an incalculable direction. In previous editions, talents such as Trevor Lawrence and Joe Burrow had their destinations essentially pre-determined several months in advance. No quarterback in the 2022 class is expected to experience such a luxury, and their final landing spots remain up in the air.

While teams such as the Detroit Lions, New Orleans Saints, Carolina Panthers, Seattle Seahawks, Atlanta Falcons, and Pittsburgh Steelers are viewed as potential landing spots for any of the quarterback prospects, none of them qualify as shoo-ins and the who and where remains very much in question. The endless possibilities open the door for potential unexpected outcomes. Should the top quarterback prospects begin sliding down the board, several surprise franchises may begin considering drafting a quarterback of their own.

We’ve identified three surprise teams that could draft a quarterback in the first or second round.

TENNESSEE TITANS

The Titans have publicly flirted with just about every quarterback in the 2022 class. They’ve been routinely connected with Cincinnati’s Desmond Ridder, who was coached by head coach Mike Vrabel’s best friend, Luke Fickell. Fickell served as Vrabel’s best man at his wedding, and few teams will receive as honest and thorough of an evaluation of Ridder as the Titans will. 

Elsewhere, the Titans sent multiple coaches, scouts, and decision-makers to the pro days of North Carolina’s Sam Howell, Ole Miss’ Matt Corral, Liberty’s Malik Willis, Pittsburgh’s Kenny Pickett, and Western Kentucky’s Bailey Zappe, to name a few. General manager Jon Robinson is clearly doing his due diligence on the quarterbacks class.

The one-seed Titans were eliminated from the postseason in the divisional round following an extremely disappointing three-interception performance by starting quarterback Ryan Tannehill. Tannehill’s contract essentially made it extremely difficult for Tennessee to move on from him this offseason, but the Titans will have a realistic option to part ways with Tannehill next offseason should his performances in 2022 leave more to be desired. Tennessee may want to plan ahead and get their quarterback of the future in the room as early as this coming season. 

The Titans could also look to get younger and cheaper at the position with lucrative extensions on the way for A.J. Brown and Jeffery Simmons. The Titans currently own the 26th overall selection in the first round, and won’t pick again until 90th overall.

INDIANAPOLIS COLTS

The Colts made a significant change at the quarterback position earlier this offseason. The franchise was seemingly unhappy with Carson Wentz’s performances throughout the campaign following the decision to acquire him from the Philadelphia Eagles in exchange for multiple draft picks, including a first-rounder in 2022. Their investment in Wentz failed to secure the desired return. 

The Colts disappointingly missed the postseason following a disastrous Week 18 loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars in which Wentz failed to rise to the occasion. General manager Chris Ballard swiftly traded Wentz to the Washington Commanders earlier this offseason. Mere days later, Ballard would acquire veteran quarterback Matt Ryan from the rebuilding Atlanta Falcons.

So why would the Colts potentially consider drafting a signal-caller? Ryan is entering his age-37 season and undeniably finds himself in the twilight years of his career. The Colts are no stranger to employing a quarterback in the later stages of his playing days following a similar decision to roster Philip Rivers throughout the 2020 season. The lack of a succession plan following Rivers’ retirement ultimately forced the Colts into a precarious position, and Ballard would be wise to avoid repeating his mistake. 

The Colts privately worked out Ridder in mid-April and could have a real interest in drafting a quarterback should the opportunity present itself. Indianapolis isn’t scheduled to make a selection until 42nd overall as a direct result of the Wentz failure.

MINNESOTA VIKINGS

The Vikings went through significant front office and coaching changes earlier this offseason following yet another disappointing campaign. After failing to qualify for the postseason for the second consecutive season, the Wilf ownership family decided to relieve long-term general manager Rick Spielman and head coach Mike Zimmer of their duties. 

The Vikings officially ushered in a new era by hiring the forward-thinking Kwesi Adofo-Mensah as their new GM. Adofo-Mensah then helped lead a thorough search for the team’s next head coach before ultimately hiring the relatively inexperienced Kevin O’Connell, who won Super Bowl LVI as Sean McVay’s offensive coordinator in Los Angeles.

New regimes often mean a new plan for the future, particularly at quarterback. Starting signal-caller Kirk Cousins was initially acquired by the franchise’s previous decision-makers and will turn 34 years of age before the 2022 campaign officially begins. It’s worth noting Adofo-Mensah signed Cousins to a one-year extension that essentially guarantees he’ll remain a Viking in 2022 and 2023, but the future of Minnesota’s quarterbacking position will likely be determined within the next few draft classes. Should Adofo-Mensah and O’Connell identify a potential franchise quarterback in the 2022 class, things could get interesting when they come on the clock with the 12th overall selection.

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Justin Melo