We’ve seen teams take several different approaches to find a new quarterback this offseason from free agency to a pending trade and, eventually, the NFL Draft. But some franchises making short-term decisions could have long-term hopes to land a superb talent like Caleb Williams from USC or Drake Maye from North Carolina.
According to ESPN’s Matt Miller, some teams who aren’t in position to grab one of the top four quarterbacks could simply focus their attention on next year’s draft class instead, with Williams and Maye being the main targets.
“So many scouts are already enamored with those two prospects, and I do think there’s some truth to the idea that some teams are looking at where they are drafting in 2023, then looking at the caliber of QBs available next April and ultimately opting to wait until 2024.”NFL Draft analyst Matt Miller
Both Williams and Maye are viewed as potential No. 1 picks in the 2024 NFL Draft. Williams won the Heisman Trophy after passing for over 4,500 yards and 42 touchdowns while throwing just five interceptions, all while posing a threat as a rusher, where he chipped in ten more touchdowns on the ground.
Maye is similar in that he has been highly productive for the Tar Heels as a passer, yet also brings a dual-threat skillset that fits so well in the modern game of football. As a bonus, Maye is listed at 6-foot-5, compared to Williams at 6-foot-1, opening up the age-old ‘size’ debate between the two likely top picks.
This year’s hierarchy is already mostly established. We know the Carolina Panthers, Houston Texans, and Indianapolis Colts will all be selecting one of Bryce Young, C.J. Stroud, Anthony Richardson, or Will Levis. Yet, that’s just three teams, with a fourth mystery team emerging for the last man standing.
What about the others who don’t exactly have long-term solutions at the QB position yet aren’t in a position to take one of the expected first-round picks in April? A large group of organizations falls under this category, including the Buccaneers, Commanders, Titans, and Vikings.
For teams who are seemingly committed to seeing what they have on hand heading into this year’s draft, perhaps they’re keeping their options open, knowing a couple more extremely talented QB prospects will just be available again next year.
Related: Heisman Watch 2023: Best Heisman Trophy candidates 2023, 2022 Heisman results