Sep 11, 2016; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz (11) audibles at the line of scrimmage against the Cleveland Browns during the first quarter at Lincoln Financial Field. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports
Not all NFL teams are created equal. It takes a lot of work to balance a roster by way of the draft and free agency. However, all the picks at the combine will do nothing for a franchise without a team leader.
All 32 NFL teams are different. They play in different cities, host games in different stadiums, and wear opposing logos.
However, amidst all their differences, they share two common goals, win the division and raise the Lombardi Trophy.
Most teams live by the process that you build a team through the draft while other teams use the plug and play method by way of free agency.
If you’re a general manager, if doesn’t matter how you fill your roster.
What does matter is who leads your team. You can draft defense all day long. You can have the best receiver in the game, but until you have that effective game manager, you won’t achieve the ultimate goal of being the best in the league.
Some teams might feel as though they’ll never have that fearless leader due to countless failed attempts while other franchises draft that team leader without even trying. One thing’s for sure, he’s out there, and three teams in specific have already found him in this years draft.
The Philadelphia Eagles bet the farm, and the pride of the organization, to move up and select quarterback Carson Wentz with pick number two overall in this years draft.
Statistically, Wentz looked the part, but as we’ve seen countless times before, the transition from college to the pros isn’t a sure thing. With 42 touchdowns and nearly five-thousand yards as an upper-classman, the Eagles felt that he was worthy of the early pick. So far, their gamble has paid off.
.@PFF assigned Carson Wentz the highest passing grade by a rookie quarterback in Week 1 since Cam Newton in 2011. https://t.co/udyYXupFrB
Aug 19, 2016; Arlington, TX, USA; Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott (4) celebrates a touchdown in third quarter against the Miami Dolphins at AT&T Stadium. Dallas won 41-14. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports
In preseason, the Dallas Cowboys saw their franchise quarterback hit the ground with a thud. He was ripped to the ground by Seattle defensive end Cliff Avril and on the next play he was officially out of the game.
In the wake of their 27-17 loss to the Seahawks, the Cowboys were informed that quarterback Tony Romo would miss at least 10 weeks due to a broken bone in his back.
It’s never a good time to lose your starting quarterback, but it’s even worse one week before the start of the regular season.
So who did the organization turn to? Enter the savior and the future of the Cowboys franchise, quarterback Dak Prescott.
DAK PRESCOTT 15 of 22 217 YDs 100.0 pass RTG And now this rushing TD.
At Mississippi State, Prescott threw for 9,376 yards, over 7,000 of those yards came in his final two seasons. He threw for 70 touchdowns versus 23 interceptions.
If that doesn’t impress you, throughout his four years in college Dak never averaged less than a 126.6 quarterback rating. He’s also a dual threat under center with over 2500 career rushing yards.
In Week 1, he not only looked comfortable in the pocket, but he gained the confidence of his team by almost pulling out the win. Had he been able to hook up with his number-one receiver Dez Bryant, who knows what the outcome would have been.
One thing’s for sure, with Romo’s return in somewhat of a grey area, Prescott looks like the future of the Dallas Cowboys.
Aug 27, 2016; Denver, CO, USA; Denver Broncos quarterback Trevor Siemian (13) makes a pass attempt in the second quarter against the Los Angeles Rams at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports
With pick No. 250 in the 2015 NFL draft, the Denver Broncos selected Northwestern University quarterback Trevor Siemian.
After the first-round selection of QB Paxton Lynch, Siemian appeared to be a backup at best, or even on his way to the practice squad. After a strong showing during the preseason, it’s Lynch who looks like the practice squad player.
Only a year ago, Siemian was three picks shy of locking up the name, Mr. Irrelevant. After four weeks of play, he’s the most relevant quarterback on the roster.
After almost seven full rounds of the NFL draft, the pick once again proves that there is value in the later rounds. Another great example is the selection of quarterback Tom Brady by the New England Patriots.
He was taken in the sixth round at pick No. 199 in the year 2000. Sixteen seasons later, he’s the pride of the franchise and by far the best quarterback in team history.