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Two Minute Warning: Which young quarterback can you build a franchise around?

Dak Prescott
Photo Credit: New York Post

There’s an age-old question of which came first: the chicken or the egg? The egg turns into a chicken that then repeats the cycle and produces more eggs. Much like how some people believe the earth is flat, people feel the chicken came first.

Much like the stupidity mentioned above, the NFL world has always had theories on how to run an organization. In our own twist of the dumbest game invented, we ask what comes first; the quarterback or his arsenal?

When trying to maneuver through an offense, there are two types of people out there: those who prioritize with finding a top-level quarterback and those who would instead build around an average one. Both methods can work, but money will always play a factor.

If a QB enhances a roster, teams will allow their high-quality receiver walk in free agency to clear cap space. The same could be said when addressing the needs of the stars around them. The most significant difference, however, is the number of skills at the position. A receiver could have a stellar season, get paid and regress within a year or so of their massive contract. Franchise quarterbacks are hard come by, making general managers open up their wallets to keep even average players in the building.

With all 15 starting QBs looking to become the new face of the NFL with Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers heading into the twilight years, a strong outing can put them on the map.

But much like the old question, what do you consider more important? The quarterback or his arsenal?

Meet the Candidates

They say no two snowflakes are identical. The same could be said about the QB position. Although some share similar passing motions, check-downs, and flaws that hold them back, they all don’t have the exact same foundation.

Of the 15 starting quarterbacks, two have proven they have the skills to be the next great name under center. Patrick Mahomes took control for the Kansas City Chiefs last season in place of Alex Smith. The former Red Raiders electrified stadiums and amazed crowds with his 50 touchdown MVP season, thus becoming the front runner for the heir to Brady’s throne.

The Los Angeles Rams’ looked to have made the wrong choice when they selected Jared Goff ahead of Carson Wentz. And while Wentz did just receive a hefty payday, Goff took the proper steps in years two and three to become a top contender. The former No.1 pick has thrown for 60 touchdowns throughout the past two seasons and led the Rams’ offense to Super Bowl LIII.

For this exercise, believe in it or not, Mahomes and Goff are out of the running to become the face of your franchise. Don’t worry; you still have 13 potential capable starters to build your team around.

Each quarterback has different skills, but there’s one defining factor in helping separate the pair; clutch ratio. Any Kirk, Joe or Matt can take a snap under center and drive a team down the field. Sometimes, all a quarterback has to do is throw a ball up and wait for his reliable target to come down with the ball. What matters is can the signal caller handle the pressure when the game is on the line.

Window shopping the quarterbacks

If you’re a GM, you have the option to spend top dollar on your signal caller or build around him. Let’s say you like to spread the wealth and put solid players together on the field and pay them all at once. You likely would need to go with a quarterback who is successful thanks to his supporting cast.

(Now entering a car dealer voice)

Step right up partner and take a look at our top model, Dak Prescott. This 2016 product was late to the party but has become a household favorite in the Lone Star State. He might cost you a pretty penny, but two playoff appearances and 10,000 passing yards and 67 touchdowns in three years could be paired with any successful, well-established offense.

Well, shoot, if he’s too much, how about to test drive the Mitchell Trubisky model? This Tar Heel struggled his rookie season but thanks to his team building an excellent supporting cast, he shined a year ago. While there are still some kinks he’ll need to correct – he did finish second in his division with 24 touchdowns. If you want a quarterback who you won’t have to pay that much because he’s slightly above average thanks to his support system, here’s your guy.

We also have in stock our boom or bust collection. Some little fellas are just too young to tell what’s going to happen to them. Thankfully, they have a proper supporting cast to help them grow. Josh Allen of the Buffalo Bills, Lamar Jackson of the Baltimore Ravens and Sam Darnold of the New York Jets all have the skills to become stars. They now have rosters to help.

But if you want to risk it all, go for the mystery box. A quarterback’s a quarterback, but the mystery box could be anything. It could even be a franchise quarterback; you know how badly our teams need that. Hey, Josh Rosen, Dwayne Haskins, Daniel Jones, and Kyler Murray: looking at you.

The franchise guys

If you’re looking for a QB to take you to the next level with a bad roster, this is likely the bunch heading into the season. There’s little guarantee they will become stars and their early success has them ranked higher than most moving forward.

Wentz likely is the ideal candidate for a top franchise quarterback. Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson would probably be a close second. Both have taken their teams to grander heights in new seasons while also becoming leaders of the franchise. Their only real flaw would be durability as both have suffered season-ending injuries early in their careers.

Baker Mayfield would likely follow the “bad boy” of the NFL. While he talks a big game and loves his social media usage, the former No.1 pick can back it up. Last season, Mayfield set a new rookie record when he threw for 27 touchdowns in a single season, according to Pro Football Reference. The Browns only other significant addition that offseason: Jarvis Landry. Mayfield took Cleveland from the laughing stock of the NFL into legit playoff contenders.

If you can get past his attitude, he’s worth every penny when it comes to free agency.

A team’s success doesn’t always come down to their quarterback, but a majority of the time it does. Teams with legit franchises starters are seen making a run for a Lombardi Trophy every season, not the run of the mill signal callers. Every once and a while, an offense or defense will carry a roster to the postseason, thus canceling the argument.

Chicken? Egg? Franchise? Game-manager? Believe what you want. Only you can decide which direction you want to carry your team. So, we ask you, who of the young quarterbacks in today’s NFL would you want under center to build around? Leave your answers in the post below.

It’s a slow week in the NFL once again. Luckily, the Two Minute Warning should get you caught up on everything. Let’s dive into the league as players dive into their vacation time.

Shazier Update

Ryan Shazier is already a comeback hero. After making a tackle against the Cincinnati Bengals, doctors feared he would be paralyzed and never walk again. It was a long two-year process, but the middle linebacker is slowly recuperating from his near career-ending injury. Earlier this year, he was seen dancing with his wife at their wedding.

But Shazier is still determined to make his long-awaited return to the gridiron. Recently on The Pat McAfee Show, the Pittsburgh Steeler linebacker discussed his plan moving forward to help get him back on the field.

“I’m not going to give myself a timetable, but my doctor said if I keep grinding, there’s a very strong possibility that I can continue to get healthy, so my goal is the same as it was before… I’ll be honest; my goal is to still make the Hall of Fame,” Shazier said. “That hasn’t changed. That was my goal before I got hurt.”

The reality is, it will be hard for Shazier to overcome this battle. Spinal injuries take time to heal and years of physical therapy to correct. Add that with the amount of time he’s missed and Shazier might have lost a step or two in his overall game.

Still, at 26-years-old, Shazier can overcome this injury and at least give it a shot. Let’s hope he can beat the odds and play once again. Before the injury, he was a consensus top 10 linebacker in the NFL.

Kamara’s crazy draft story

New Orleans Saints’ running back Alvin Kamara is on his way to becoming one of the league’s top dual-threat runners in the NFL. Finishing with at least 1,500 total yards in each of his first two seasons, it’s incredible that he fell to the Saints in the third round of the 2017 draft.

Perhaps one team would have drafted him earlier if he had followed their instruction.

According to Kamara on Uninterrupted hosted by Master Tesfatsion, Kamara was asked by a general manager to remove his iconic nose ring during the interview. The former Volunteer “politely” declined.

“No… You don’t like it, then you don’t need to draft me,” Kamara said to the GM.

While we could spend hours guessing who it was, it’s a chance to learn a bit more about the drafting process. Teams will always like to run things their way, and players will sometimes have hard stances on a situation. If the two can’t meet in the middle, there’s a chance a player could be taken off the draft board.

Let’s give credit though to Kamara for staying true to himself. It’s safe to say he’s ok with his decision entering his third season.

Thompson talking draft

The NFL Supplemental Draft has become quite popular over the past two seasons. Last year, cornerbacks Sam Beal and Adonis Alexander were selected in the third and fifth-round respectively. Beal is expected to make an immediate impact in year two as the New York Giants’ potential starting corner.

This season, another defensive back is looking to hear his name called.

Washington State junior safety Jalen Thompson announced he would enter July’s supplemental draft following the school’s announcement that he would lose his final year of eligibility. Thompson confirmed the news in a statement he posted via Twitter.

Thompson started three seasons for the Cougars at safety and tallied 191 total tackles, 23 pass breakups, and six interceptions. According to multiple scouts, Thompson should be selected when the draft is announced later this month. Some believe he could be the highest player selected in the Supplemental draft’s history.

Best of luck to Thompson as he looks to continue his career.

Parting Shots

10. Oakland Raiders wideout Antonio Brown was a star for the Pittsburgh Steelers during his nine seasons. In the end, his attitude cost him another season in the Steel City. Perhaps it posts like this where he calls himself the G.O.A.T. receiver doesn’t help.

Antonio, let me know how Jerry Rice likes that ring you bought him.

9. Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Randall Cobb might still be buddies with Aaron Rodgers, but he certainly is letting out his feelings when talking about his former team. In a recent interview with Jason Wilde, the former Green Bay Packers star expressed his feeling on his hopes that Lambeau will miss him this season.

“When you see [an ex] five years later, you hope you’re in a better situation than you were before–married, kids, and you’re able to say, ‘Yeah, I did better without you.'”

As someone who has said the same thing about a breakup, it’s true. Cobb will always be remembered for his success in Green Bay, but now he hopes to be better off in Dallas. I feel you there brother on wanting to look back and feel better about life.

Why doesn’t anyone love me? Not essential, moving on.

8. Is there anyone crazier than San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Marquise Goodwin? Probably not after this video no. That’s a live tiger, and he did it for a profile picture. Nothing but respect for you Marquise.

7. Speaking of Goodwin, if you were living under a rock, the NFL’s 40 Yards of Gold was this past weekend. Goodwin, an Olympic athlete, defeated Panthers’ cornerback Donte Jackson in the finals to claim the $1 million prize. Since you probably didn’t pay the surcharge to watch, here’s a clip of the event.

6. As part of the NFL’s 100 giveaway, Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce did his part to contribute to one lucky couple. Kelce surprised Taylor and Matt, a pair of Chiefs’ super fans to be a part of their wedding day. That includes going to the after party and getting his boogie down on the dance floor.

Please, NFL, send more videos to the account. We need more Kelece moves. Also, I too dance like this when it comes to the song “Shout!”.

5. As the United States Women’s team continues their run towards another championship, Philadelphia Eagles tight end Zach Ertz is there to watch it unfold. The Eagles’ top target supported his wife, Julie as the US defeated France 2-1 on Friday afternoon. The Ertz’s commemorated the win with a picture, showing who is the boss of their household.

Congrats to the Ertz family and the United States on another fantastic win thanks to the original homie, Meaghan Rapinoe.

4. We won’t hit on this long since there’s a bigger piece in the works. Kansas City Chiefs star wideout Tyreek Hill is expected to be reinstated to the team following a suspension that is expected to be announced before training camp by the league. Hill met earlier this week with NFL officials to discuss the on-going case of reports of child abuse regarding his three-year-old son.

3. New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady might be the oldest player in the league, but don’t tell him he’s washed up. According to his Instagram account, the 41-year-old gunslinger threw a ball at 61 MPH.

Seriously, good luck every other AFC East team against the ageless wonder.

2. Everyone remembers the crazy antics surrounding Hall of Famer Deion Sanders. The former cornerback was known in the NFL for his trash talking personality and wild, lavish style. This recent story told by his son, Deion Jr., easily should be ranked as one of “Primetime’s greatest hits”.

1. Make sure you check out the PFN’s Podcast network. This week, Eric and Zach break down Gil Brandt’s top 10 teams while Travis and Dennis discuss the Bengals’ options at replacing rookie tackle Jonah Williams.

Cole Thompson is the Lead NFL writer for Pro Football Network. Follow him on Twitter at @MrColeThompson


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