2024 NFL Draft: Ranking Bears, Commanders, Patriots, Vikings, and 10 More QB-Needy Teams

Which teams need quarterbacks in the 2024 NFL Draft? Ranking 14 clubs that could consider a QB in the upcoming draft, from the Bears to the Buccaneers.

Multiple teams will be interested in selecting a quarterback in the 2024 NFL Draft, but not all QB needs are created equally.

Clubs at the top of the board — like the Chicago Bears and Washington Commanders — are all but assured of landing the signal-caller of their choice at the top of Round 1. However, other teams without the luxury of selecting an elite prospect may need to get creative.

Let’s run through 14 teams with a more-than-passing interest in drafting a quarterback in 2024 and rank them based on their level of QB need. We’ll factor in each franchise’s existing quarterback depth chart, future draft capital, salary-cap situation, and competitive window as we assess how badly they’ll need to consider a QB in this year’s draft.

Which Teams Need QBs in the 2024 NFL Draft?

14) Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Why they need a quarterback: While Baker Mayfield’s new contract with Tampa Bay was nominally a three-year, $100 million deal, it’s really more like a one-year, $40 million pact.

The Bucs can exit the Mayfield accord if he turns back into a pumpkin in 2024. That’s not necessarily a likely outcome, but Mayfield finished dead last in QBR (26.3) as recently as 2022 and won’t have OC Dave Canales — now the Carolina Panthers’ head coach — next season.

Potential QB draft path: Developmental pick, bank on Mayfield.

Tampa Bay wisely built an escape hatch into Mayfield’s deal, but the club doesn’t want to use it. In an ideal world, Mayfield will lead Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, and Co. to another NFC South title and a deeper run in the postseason.

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The Buccaneers have a win-now, veteran-laden roster and can’t risk the opportunity cost of adding an early-round QB instead of a potential contributor at another position. If anything, the Buccaneers could pluck a late-round option to develop as Mayfield’s potential backup.

13) New Orleans Saints

Why they need a quarterback: New Orleans will give it one more try with its Dennis Allen-Derek Carr combo, but the club can move on after 2024. Allen will almost surely be handed his walking papers if the Saints don’t make the postseason, while Carr will likely be a post-June 1 release unless he rebounds next year.

Potential QB draft path: Late-round pick, cross fingers on Carr and Jake Haener.

The Saints have far too many other holes on their roster to waste any picks on a quarterback who won’t play, especially after spending a fourth on Haener in 2023. New Orleans needs improvement at premium positions like WR, OT, and CB and depth almost everywhere else on its depth chart.

If the Saints struggle, they could bench Carr to ensure none of his injury guarantees kick in over the back stretch of next season (like the Denver Broncos did with Russell Wilson). But Haener would get the first crack under the center in that scenario, reducing New Orleans’ need to take a shot on a late-round QB with upside.

12) Seattle Seahawks

Why they need a quarterback: Seattle might not require a QB for the upcoming season, but Geno Smith will turn 34 in October. He’s entering the final year of his contract in 2024.

Seahawks general manager John Schneider is calling the shots for the first time in a post-Pete Carroll world, while Mike Macdonald is heading into his first season as Seattle’s head coach. It wouldn’t be entirely surprising if this semi-new regime is looking beyond Smith and into the club’s quarterback future.

Potential QB draft path: Stick with Sam Howell as QB2.

Seattle probably already found its intriguing backup quarterback when it traded for Howell last month. Early reports even suggested that Howell could compete with Smith for the Seahawks’ starting job. Even if that’s not true, the team’s decision-makers clearly like Howell enough to eschew QB in this year’s draft.

However, if Michael Penix Jr. starts to fall on Day 2, Seattle could be interested in pairing him with Ryan Grubb, the ex-University of Washington OC who now holds the same title with the Seahawks. Reuniting Penix and Grubb would be tantalizing, but the Seahawks would need to trade back into Round 2 after dealing their second-round pick for DT Leonard Williams in 2023.

11) New York Jets

Why they need a quarterback: While Aaron Rodgers is signed through 2025, he hasn’t committed to playing beyond the upcoming season. He’s also 40 years old and coming off a torn Achilles.

New Jets backup QB Tyrod Taylor turns 35 in August. Zach Wilson is still on New York’s roster but is unlikely to see another snap for Gang Green.

Potential QB draft path: Late-round pick.

General manager Joe Douglas has no reason to plan beyond the 2024 campaign. It might not entirely be “Super Bowl or bust” for the Jets, but Douglas, head coach Robert Saleh, and others will likely be fired if New York doesn’t at least make the playoffs.

Almost any other NFL team whose top two QBs have a combined age of 75 would likely be searching for a long-term option — but the Jets are in a unique position.

10) Dallas Cowboys

Why they need a quarterback: Reports have suggested that Dak Prescott could reach free agency after his contract expires in March 2025. Cowboys owner/GM Jerry Jones hinted that Dallas does not plan to extend Prescott’s deal despite his massive $55+ million cap charge.

Potential QB draft path: First-round pick or bust.

The Cowboys won’t have a shot at the draft’s top four signal-callers, while Penix and Bo Nix are unlikely to last until Dallas picks at No. 56 in the second round. Taking a mid or late-round lottery ticket doesn’t make sense for the Cowboys, who already have former No. 3 overall pick Trey Lance on their bench.

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If Dallas wants to find Prescott’s successor, it probably needs to draft Penix or Nix at No. 24. But the Cowboys — who arguably had the NFL’s worst offseason — need to use their first-round pick at a different position like WR, OT, or CB.

9) Los Angeles Rams

Why they need a quarterback: Matthew Stafford isn’t getting any younger. He turned 36 in February and has dealt with myriad injuries in recent seasons, including a thumb injury in 2023, concussion and spine issues in 2022, and a fractured back in 2019.

Potential QB draft path: Mid-round pick (or surprise Round 1 choice?).

The Rams papered over their defensive backfield needs by signing veterans Tre’Davious White, Darious Williams, and Kam Curl this offseason. However, they could still use their early-round selections to bolster a now-Aaron-Donald-less front seven. A Round 3 pick like Spencer Rattler could make sense if GM Les Snead wants to gamble on a potential Stafford replacement.

Los Angeles has also been mentioned as a potential suitor for Penix, who could be a solid fit for Sean McVay’s offense. But the Rams probably need to earmark the 19th pick for a force player to line up alongside 2023 rookie standouts Kobie Turner and Byron Young.

8) Pittsburgh Steelers

Why they need a quarterback: Pittsburgh overhauled its quarterback room this offseason, signing Wilson and trading for Justin Fields while shipping 2022 first-round choice Kenny Pickett to the Philadelphia Eagles.

Wilson signed a one-year deal, while the Steelers will decline Fields’ expensive option for 2025. They don’t have a quarterback on their books for next season.

Potential QB draft path: Hope to extend Wilson or Fields.

General manager Omar Khan is probably hoping one of Wilson or Fields distinguishes himself next season, giving Pittsburgh an answer under center for the next couple of years. It’s hard to imagine the Steelers using a Round 1 pick on a QB when they need more immediate answers at WR, OL, LB, and CB.

Pittsburgh never bottoms out under Mike Tomlin, which means the club might never be able to land a top-five QB prospect. Settling for Wilson or Fields-level options may be the Steelers’ best choice.

7) New York Giants

Why they need a quarterback: The Giants will take on $47 million in dead money by making Daniel Jones a post-June 1 release next offseason, but that seems like the most likely outcome.

Jones struggled to capitalize on his above-average 2022 campaign, posting just a 36.3 QBR in six starts before tearing his ACL. While Jones will likely begin next season as New York’s starting QB, he could face competition from newly-signed backup Drew Lock.

Potential QB draft path: Day 1 or 2 pick.

Recent reporting suggests the Giants are unlikely to take a quarterback in the first round. Still, they should have a chance to move up if the New England Patriots pass on a QB at No. 3. New York only needs to move up from No. 6, giving the club a decided advantage over other QB-needy teams with picks in the teens.

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If the Giants don’t land one of the draft’s top four signal-callers, they could try to get back into the end of Round 1 if Penix or Nix is still available. Big Blue might need to move up from pick No. 47 into the 25-30 range, which would likely cost them a future second if not a future first.

6) Las Vegas Raiders

Why they need a quarterback: The Raiders signed NFL journeyman Gardner Minshew II to a two-year, $25 million deal this offseason. He nearly guided the Indianapolis Colts to the playoffs last season, finishing 13th in QBR.

Whether Minshew can repeat that sort of production for Las Vegas is an open question, and he won’t be handed the starting job. Raiders head coach Antonio Pierce has already said that 2023 fourth-round rookie Aidan O’Connell will compete for QB1 duties after starting 10 games last season.

Potential QB draft path: Day 1 or 2 pick.

Raiders owner Mark Davis has reportedly given the club’s brain trust the authority to trade up for a quarterback in the 2024 draft. But Las Vegas might not have the draft capital to compete with an offer from, say, the Minnesota Vikings, who hold two first-round selections.

Barring a trade-up, the Raiders could settle for Penix or Nix at No. 13 or hope one member of that pair slips to No. 44. Either way, it will be surprising if Vegas doesn’t emerge from Day 2 with a rookie passer on its roster.

5) New England Patriots

Why they need a quarterback: New England gave up on Mac Jones this offseason, shipping the former first-round pick to the Jacksonville Jaguars. Free agent signing Jacoby Brissett is a more-than-capable starter, but at 31, he’s not a long-term solution for the Patriots.

Potential QB draft path: Drake Maye, J.J. McCarthy, or trade back.

The Pats may be undecided on how to proceed with the No. 3 overall pick, but they will have their choice of two of the draft’s top four quarterbacks. With Caleb Williams installed as the presumptive No. 1 pick and the Commanders reportedly leaning toward Jayden Daniels at No. 2, New England should be left with Maye or McCarthy.

Alternatively, New England could trade back into a spot where it could land a top-tier wideout like Marvin Harrison Jr., Malik Nabers, or Rome Odunze while landing additional capital to take Penix, Nix, or Rattler later in the draft.

4) Denver Broncos

Why they need a quarterback: The Broncos will absorb the largest dead money hit in NFL history this season while processing the $53 million left behind by Wilson’s release. Jarrett Stidham, who would be Denver’s QB1 if the season began today, has started four games and attempted 197 passes in his NFL career.

Potential QB draft path: Second-tier option, or wait until 2025.

The Broncos already sacrificed a haul of draft picks to acquire Wilson and head coach Sean Payton. They can’t afford to give up more capital in a trade-up for Maye or McCarthy.

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Denver could consider Penix or Nix with the 12th overall selection, but choosing one of those signal-callers after trading back probably makes more sense. The Broncos don’t have a second-round pick in this year’s draft, so they can’t catch a falling QB at the top of Day 2.

If Denver misses out on Penix or Nix, it’s probably better off taking its lumps during a 2024 semi-tank and reassessing its quarterback situation next offseason.

3) Washington Commanders

Why they need a quarterback: The Commanders have been searching for a QB since Kirk Cousins departed after the 2017 season.

Washington is starting fresh everywhere. A new owner (Josh Harris), GM (Adam Peters), and head coach (Dan Quinn) are in place. They’ve cleared out the Commanders’ quarterback depth chart by trading Howell and letting Brissett walk, setting up an obvious pick at No. 2 in the draft.

Potential QB draft path: Mr. Daniels Goes to Washington.

Daniels is the betting favorite to become the Commanders’ next QB1, while ESPN’s Adam Schefter recently indicated Washington fans are safe to start buying Daniels jerseys. This pairing appears all but set in stone.

2) Minnesota Vikings

Why they need a quarterback: The Vikings finally parted ways with Cousins this offseason after failing to match the four-year, $180 million contract he signed with the Atlanta Falcons.

Minnesota gave Sam Darnold $10 million to replace Cousins, but that could be a tall task for the former No. 3 overall pick. While Darnold has shown few brief splashes throughout his NFL career, he’s never been consistent enough to hang onto a starting role.

Potential QB draft path: Trade up for Maye or McCarthy.

The Vikings earned the No. 11 pick and acquired the No. 23 choice from the Houston Texans in March. General manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah acknowledged last week that his club would likely use those selections to move up for Maye or McCarthy.

The Patriots (No. 3), Arizona Cardinals (No. 4), and Los Angeles Chargers (No. 5) stand out as potential trade partners for Minnesota, which will likely need to send both its 2024 firsts and a first-rounder in 2025 (and potentially more) to get into the top five.

1) Chicago Bears

Why they need a quarterback: The Bears swung and missed on their last two first-round quarterbacks. Mitchell Trubisky made the Pro Bowl and took Chicago to the playoffs in 2018 but was benched by 2020. Fields was traded to the Steelers this offseason after three years of unpredictable play.

Fortunately, the Bears have the No. 1 overall pick in the upcoming draft thanks to general manager Ryan Poles’ master stroke of a 2023 trade with the Carolina Panthers. After fortifying its roster by adding WRs DJ Moore and Keenan Allen, EDGE Montez Sweat, and others over the last two years, Chicago is ready to drop in its missing piece under center.

Potential QB draft path: Williams.

This one’s pretty easy, right? Williams is considered one of the best QB prospects of the past decade and could make the Bears a playoff contender as early as his rookie season.

KEEP READING: Top 10 Players Who Could Be Traded During the 2024 NFL Draft

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