A bunch of NFL teams that need a quarterback this year are screwed

Mark sanchezThomas B. Shea/Getty ImagesMark Sanchez is one of the best available free agents.

NFL teams looking to acquire a starting quarterback this offseason might have to get creative.

The free agency market is as thin, and the quarterback crop in the 2015 NFL Draft is as shallow as it’s been in years.

NFL Network draft expert Mike Mayock called quarterback position “one of the weakest in the 2015 NFL Draft” on Thursday night. Jameis Winston and Marcus Mariota are the only quarterbacks with 1st-round grades, and neither are considered can’t-miss prospects.

Winston has seen his stock rise over the last few weeks, to the point where he’s now the consensus No. 1-overall pick. But his off-field issues are still a serious concern, and Mayock compared his turnover-prone playing style to that of Jay Cutler, saying, “He has no conscience whatsoever. He’ll let it rip.”

Even assuming Winston and Mariota pan out, there’s simply not enough well-regarded quarterbacks (either free agents or college prospects) to fill all the open positions in the NFL.

Here are the teams that most need a quarterback this offseason:

  • Tampa Bay Buccaneers, No. 1 pick (current starter: Mike Glennon)
  • Tennessee Titans, No. 2 pick (current starter: Zach Mettenberger)
  • New York Jets, No. 6 pick (current starter: Geno Smith)
  • Cleveland Browns, No. 12 pick (current starter: Johnny Manziel?)
  • Houston Texans, No. 16 pick (current starter: Case Keenum)
  • Buffalo Bills, no 1st-round pick (current starter: E.J. Manuel)

The Rams and Redskins could very well be on that list too.

That’s at least six teams in desperate need of a quarterback. Once Mariota and Winston are off the board, the remaining teams will either have to take a flyer on a less-renowned prospect, or sign a free agent. The latter option isn’t exactly intriguing when you look at the free agents available:

  • Josh McCown
  • Brian Hoyer
  • Ryan Mallett
  • Mark Sanchez
  • Colt McCoy
  • Jake Locker
  • Shaun Hill

All of those guys saw significant playing time in 2014. None of them had above-average years. McCown, who the Buccaneers cut after signing him a year ago, is probably the best free agent.

It’s a bad year to need a quarterback.

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