2025 NFL Draft: Ranking the top 5 teams expected to be in the mix for a QB

2025 NFL Draft: Ranking the top 5 teams expected to be in the mix for a QB
2025 NFL Draft: Ranking the top 5 teams expected to be in the mix for a QB

Six quarterbacks were selected with the first 12 picks in the 2024 NFL Draft, but not all teams with a quarterback need were able to select one.

And while right now the 2025 draft class of quarterbacks doesn’t appear to be as loaded as this year’s group, you can bet there will be many franchises that will look to address the most vital position on the field via the draft. Happens every year.

Let’s pinpoint those teams now.

I have no idea what’s going to happen with the Steelers at quarterback, and what this perpetually stable franchise plans to do at the position long term. Russell Wilson’s elementary stats weren’t brutal in 2023 — 26 touchdowns to just eight interceptions — but his 6.9 yards-per-attempt average was clearly the lowest in his career as was his average depth of target of 7.8 yards. The conversational Wilson simply didn’t work in Denver with Sean Payton last season.

Then there’s a very similar style and backstory — at least from the last few seasons — with Justin Fields on Pittsburgh’s roster.

Given the sturdiness of the Steelers defense, there’s absolutely a world in which Wilson’s more free-wheeling style can be accentuated — especially thanks to spiderman George Pickens — and Pittsburgh wins more football games than it loses and makes the playoffs.

But it doesn’t feel likely Wilson will play effectively enough to earn a multiyear extension at 36 years old. Is it completely out of the question? No. Which is why the Steelers are only at honorable mention on this list. And heck, if Wilson struggles, Fields would assume the starting gig, and it’s not unreasonable to envision him playing a dual-threat game-manager role that he can parlay into more job security in 2025 and beyond.

Wilson and/or Fields emerging as the steady force that propels the Steelers back to legitimate AFC contention feels unlikely though, and they’re both residing in Pittsburgh now on one-year deals, which is why I felt compelled to include them here.

Are the Cowboys really going to let Dak Prescott’s contract expire, and let him walk? I can’t believe that’s a strategy this front office would deploy.

While I don’t ever believe Prescott has been cemented as an elite quarterback, he led the NFL with 410 completions at a career-high 69.5% completion rate with a league-high 36 touchdowns in 2023.

And he’s not old! He’s entering his age-31 season. Derek Carr is 33. Geno Smith turns 34 in October. Matthew Stafford is 36. Kirk Cousins ​​will be 36 in August. Wilson will be 36 in November. Aaron Rodgers turns 41 in December.

All of this leads me to believe that the Cowboys will get a new deal done — maybe a “short” extension for two or three years with Prescott before the season concludes, particularly if the veteran quarterback continues to play high-caliber football throwing to CeeDee Lamb, Brandin Cooks, and others, new tertiary targets. While I’m relatively confident in Prescott’s ability to play consistently, if he even approaches his 2023 levels behind what is a majorly reworked offensive line, the former fourth-round pick will have significant leverage to earn that new deal.

But with their starter in the final year of his contract, into his 30s, on a team that despite front office repeatedly relaying an “all in” message has made many changes on the offensive side of the ball, the Cowboys deserve to be on this list as a franchise potentially in the quarterback market in the 2025 draft.

No quarterback in the 2024 draft for the Saints, and they enter the season with Derek Carr fresh off one of his typical seasons. The stats check out. The film does not. He completed 68.4% of his throws and had 25 touchdowns to eight interceptions.

Yet he may have been the most timid, ultra-conservative thrower in football. Carr did finish with 12 touchdowns to one interception down the stretch, but stinkers like a 13 of 18 for 110 yard performance against the Vikings, a 13 of 18 for 108 effort in the loss to the Packers and an unfathomable 23 of 37 for 127 yards outing against the Buccaneers lurk in the back of everyone’s minds.

Now he did have six 300-plus-yard games in 2023, so there is a glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel. Beyond his immensely up-and-down play and long stretches morphing into Captain Checkdown, Carr’s future finances get the Saints onto this list.

His 2025 salary jumps to $30 million, and he’ll represent a $51 million cap hit. Sure, if he’s cut before June 1, his dead cap will be $50M, but if Carr doesn’t show clear signs of improvement and the Saints play more competitively in a watered-down NFC South, New Orleans would have reason to cut the cord on the Carr experiment two years in.

The Raiders completely passed on the entire 2024 draft class of quarterbacks, although we can’t totally blame them for doing so in Round 1 after they witnessed history directly in front of them with six passers going in the first 12 selections for the first time in league history.

That means the first full year of the Antonio Pierce era begins with… Gardner Minshew and Aidan O’Connell as the two vying for the starting gig in Sin City. Now, I’ll give it to O’Connell – for a fourth-round rookie, he held his own in 2023, throwing 12 touchdowns to just seven interceptions. But his yards-per-attempt average was a minuscule 6.5 yards, and he completed just 62.1% of his throws, pretty low for a passer known for his quick delivery and underneath accuracy.

Minshew solidified his status as capable bridge quarterback last season on the Colts, as he got them to the doorstep of the playoffs without a star-studded group of receivers.

But, yeah, you don’t need to be a hardcore football analyst to understand that the Raiders are essentially locks to be in the quarterback sweepstakes in the 2025 draft.

Jordan Travis was drafted to be Aaron Rodgers’ backup and, in theory, a bridge-type starter in the post-Rodgers era. But GM Joe Douglas is smart. There’s a great chance he realizes the chances Travis seamlessly moves into the starting gig after Rodgers calls it quits is highly unlikely. Tyrod Taylor is there too and will be 35 in August.

Rodgers could continue to play in 2025, but he’ll be entering his age-42 season at that juncture, and his cap hit will be $51 million that year, with a $49M dead cap charge if released before June 1.

This one is clear as day. The Jets are aligned to be very interested in the 2025 quarterback class in the draft. The only reason they aren’t at No. 1 is because of Rodgers’ talent — that could lead to many wins in 2024 and thereby increasing the likelihood he returns for another season with Gang Green.

This couldn’t be more obvious, because the Giants already flirted with the quarterbacks in the draft just a few weeks ago. While we’ll probably never know exactly which 2024 passer they targeted or which offer they sent to either the Cardinals at No. 4 or Patriots at No. 3, we do know they actively passed on JJ McCarthy and Bo Nix, who were picked at No. 11 and No. 12 overall, respectively.

Daniel Jones should feel fortunate to still have the Giants starting gig after a disastrous two-touchdown, six-interception 2023 that ended prematurely due to a knee-ligament tear.

There’s a relatively clean out from the Jones deal for the Giants after this season. He represents a $41M cap hit in 2025 with $22M in dead cap if released before June 1. Outside of Jones miraculously playing much differently and more effectively than ever before in the NFL, the Giants will be the most “in” on the 2025 draft class of quarterbacks.

 
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