If you have not started with 2023 NFL Best Quarterback Room Part One: NFC North, please do so for a brief explanation of how this series originally came into existence and why it reads as it does. After that, check out Part Two: NFC West and Part Three: NFC East and Part Four: NFC South. As always, I hope you enjoy…
Houston Texans/Davis Mills:
Davis Mills is a main reason why the Texans have the 2nd overall pick in the draft this year. Mills is just not a very good QB. Last season he threw for 3,118 yards, 17 TDs, and 15 INTs. The year before that Davis threw for 2,664, 16 TDs, and 10 INTs. The Texans ARE going to DRAFT a QB, and lucky for them, the Panthers are going to screw up and take the wrong QB (Bryce Young), and the Texans will get the best QB in the draft (C.J. Stroud). Mills in in contract for the next two years at the low bottom-basement price of $1.4M and $1.7M each year, and will be the “capable” backup to whomever they draft. Let the building continue in Houston!
UPDATE (April 6th): The Texan will have a shot at Stroud, Young, Anthony Richardson or Will Levis (should be that order). In the meantime, they went out and singed a true journeyman QB, Case Keenum, who actually already played for the Texans in ’13 and ’14. Since then Keenum has been with the Rams, Vikings, Broncos, Redskins, Browns and Bills…in the last eight years. Wow.
UPDATE II (May 1st): The Texans were very fortunate that Carolina took Bryce Young and left CJ Stroud on the board.
This was the best-case scenario for the Texans, and they jumped all over it. Stroud IS going to be a better QB than Young. Mills is QB2 and Keenum is QB3; not a bad backup QB situation.
Indianapolis Colts/Matt Ryan:
Matt Ryan’s days in Indy are numbered whether it’s because he’ll retire, or that the Colts will swallow a very big pill and cut him. Either way, he’s done. The backup is Super Bowl winning QB, Nick Foles, who will remain the backup because the Colts are going to be TRADING UP FOR THE #1 PICK IN THE DRAFT to get their next franchise QB. It makes sense, right? The Colts do well at drafting QBs No. 1 (Manning, Luck) and they are horrible at signing new ones (Rivers, Ryan). They have all their draft picks, and it won’t cost them much to move up with the Bears. Lots of rookie QBs in the AFC South so far!! Sam Ehlinger is the QB3 as of now.
UPDATE (March 24th): The Colts have released Matt Ryan, saving $17M in cap space. They have also signed Gardner Minshew, who has spent the last four years with the Jaguars and Eagles as a backup. Indy is also NOT moving up in the draft due to Carolina making a trade with the Bears for #1. The Colts will be staying at #4, which means they will get whatever the third “best” of the Top 3 QBs will be; most likely Richardson, but in a long shot, it will be Levis. If they don’t like this option, they could still go after Lamar, which has been rumored. We will probably have to wait until draft day to find out.
UPDATE II (May 1st): After the Panthers picked Bryce Young and the Texans picked CJ Stroud (and then Houston traded into the #3 spot to snag a DE), the Colts had their choice of Richardson or Levis. They chose Richardson to likely backup Minshew or Foles (?) for the time being, and bumped Ehlinger to QB4. I’m sure it will be a preseason battle, but I’ll give the nod to the handlebar-mustache-wear’n, Minshew with the horseshoe on his helmet, YEEEHAAW!!
UPDATE III (May 8th): Apparently having four QBs on the team was too much for Indy so they decided to release 34-year-old Nick Foles.
Foles had signed a two-year contract last year, but in the city of Indianapolis, old quarterbacks are being put out to pasture (see Matt Ryan and Phillip Rivers). I’m sure he’ll find another gig soon enough as a backup.
Tennessee Titans/Ryan Tannehill:
This is an interesting situation. Ryan Tannehill is 34, and in the last year of his contract with Tennessee, which is worth $36.6M. However, the backup QB, Malik Willis, is absolutely terrible; barely completing 50% of his passes with 0 TDs and 4 INTs last season. The Titans drafted Willis in the third-round of the 2022 draft in hopes that he would replace Tannehill after learning from the bench for a year. Then the Titans could release Tannehill and save all that money. The joke is on them, however, and now they need Tannehill, so they’ll have to pay him. Tennessee is even shopping Derrick Henry to save money…oof! The Titans have only six draft picks, so they should drop back in the draft to pick up more (they currently have the number 11 pick). They should also find themselves a new QB in the second or third round.
UPDATE (May 1st): After a long, drawn-out “nothing burger” over darn near two months, the draft has commenced, and the Titans actually did something that I didn’t believe they would. They drafted a QB with the second pick of the second round; Will Levis from Kentucky. This was actually a really good pick considering someone in the NFL media was hyping up Levis to go to Tennessee with the 11th overall pick. Levis will no-doubt be listed as the QB3 until he whoops Harris’s butt in the preseason, and eventually takes over for Tannehill. I’m still betting on the Titans to try and trade Ryan T before the deadline because they won’t be re-signing him after this season is over and they’ll want to try to get something for him.
Jacksonville Jaguars/Trevor Lawrence:
Jacksonville Jaguars/Trevor Lawrence: The Jags are set. They currently have four QBs on the roster with Lawrence in contract for two more years. They have nine draft picks, but I don’t expect them to take a QB. That just means the Jags can spends those picks on other positions and continue to get better in this awful division.
UPDATE (May 1st): In the “Land of No News”, the Jaguars did not draft a QB despite having 13 draft picks! That’s just how much they DON’T need a QB.
UPDATE II (May 11th): In more Non-News, the Jaguars have released QB EJ Perry. Don’t worry, they still have CJ Beathard and Nathan Rourke, who was signed from the CFL in January.
Best Quarterback Room?
Nobody can even argue that Trevor Lawrence isn’t the best Quarterback in this division. But what happens if Lawrence gets injured? His backup, C.J. Beathard has been in the league for five years, but has played in only 25 games and attempted 500 passes, amassing 18 TDs and 14 INTs. Most of that came when he was in San Fran; poor guy hasn’t seen much action since he’s been backing up Lawrence. In Houston, C.J. Stroud has the most experience behind him with Davis Mills and Case Keenum, but both of them have proven to not be very good starting QBs. Ryan Tannehill has literally no experience behind him, and who knows who’s actually going to start in Indy between Richardson and Minshew. Seeing as how I think Stroud was the best QB in the draft and he has two former starting quarterbacks behind him, I think the Texans “fall off” the least if something happens to Stroud. That being said, I still have the Jaguars winning the most games in the AFC this year behind Lawrence and Co. Come back for more Quarterback Room breakdowns, and thanks for the “read”!