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Lucky 11's: The Year of the Backup

The way I see it, there are eleven quarterbacks worth bringing in this off-season, and none of which are long term starters. Also we should carry five total in camp. You know, so we can have, "options"....

Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Well, well, well, here we are once again. With the combine getting ready to kickoff - and free agency right around the corner - the Rams find themselves, yet again, in search of some QB help. Back in early November, long before all the current Bradford talk, or all the restructure chatter, or even before Peter King's MMQB extremely well put piece about the QB market crashing I told the world the Rams would be bringing back Bradford. I never for one second believed the whole, there will be "competition" for Sam spill. 

As I stressed back on Mr. Bradford's birthday, the market for a QB sucks this year. Albeit, via free agency, draft, or even a trade. There just aren't many quarterbacks available that you can bring in to make a difference, or be that missing piece. Is there a chance for someone to surprise? Of  course! That chance always exists, but it carries a different weight each time. This time, it's as light as a feather. It's for this very reason that in about six short weeks, Jeff Fisher has quickly changed his tune, and now the team is looking for "options".

I am only comfortable saying there is only one quarterback out there that can be had this off-season, that I am 100% confident will be a franchise signal caller. That player is Jameis Winston. After that you have a lot of questions, but even more frightening is there's also a lot of answers. For guys like Mark Sanchez, Brian Hoyer, Michael Vick, we already have the answers, and the feedback is not good.

However, it is what it is. No use in crying over spilled milk. Everyone has to play the hands they were dealt, although in some cases like the Rams for one, the hand they picked. That's why this is the year of the back-up. If you're in need of a QB, you have two options: A.) just roll with the punches and try again next year. B.) take a shot in the dark and hope for some luck that you got the guy that'll surprise the world.

The way I see it, there's only 11 QB's that I wouldn't mind seeing in horns this season. That is 11 total, whether by way of draft, free agency, or trade. Each guy comes with a load of risks though. So there'll be a buyer beware tag with every move made this off-season. I'll tell you all now, there is no way you're going to find Mark Sanchez's name on this list:

  1. Jameis Winston - By way of draft, which would most likely cost a 1st this yr and next and a 2nd this yr with a mid round and a late round tossed in there somewhere, so in other words a pretty heavy price tag to move up
  2. Chase Daniel - Very manageable contract and could probably be had for a conditional 5th round pick or two late rounds.
  3. Garrett Grayson - Can be had by way of the draft, and most likely will be available in the early third.
  4. Colt McCoy - A cheap signing and you know what you're getting, he played well in his few opportunities this yr.
  5. Tyrod Taylor - Another cheap signing, but brings loads of potential with an extremely live arm and tons mobility, also a smart player
  6. Nick Foles - A trade that would include a second round pick would suffice, the talk of a first is insane and laughable, and there are major questions as to how he would fare away from Chip Kelly's ultra QB friendly system
  7. Sean Mannion - Can be had via draft probably in the 5th or 6th round, he would be a very safe pick, and ran a very similar system in college, and ran it with a lot of success
  8. Michael Vick - In his twilight years, but he has become the leader you want on your team, and he is a much better passer at this point in his career, just don't expect 16 games out of him, should be a super cheap signing
  9. Ryan Fitzpatrick - Would require a trade of probably a conditional 5th round pick, he is the definition of hot then cold, with more cold than hot
  10. Shane Carden - Will most likely still be available in the 5th or 6th round of the draft, as an accurate QB that plays the game like each snap is his last, could be an intriguing find, although at times reminds me of Fitzpatrick....
  11. Ryan Mallet - Mr. Drafted-By-The-Wrong-Damn-Team, he has a lot of arm talent and is known to be a very smart player, but after 4 years in the NFL to not have a single question answered about where you stand is ridiculously intimidating.

There you have it, these are the guys I would bring in. No there is no Mark Sanchez. You see? I'm a man of my word. Truth is - in my honest humble opinion - the answers we have on Sanchez are worst than the answers and questions we have on all the guys listed above. Also, no, I did not list Marcus Mariota. If there's no way I would be willing to trade a first for Foles - who is a much better QB - than there is no way I would want to spend a first on Mariota. If he had a second round projection or if that was even remotely possible he'd be available I would then consider it. Sorry Marcus lovers..

Considering I would like to see Rams carry five QB's into camp, if I had to pick a five I would go with this:

  1. Sam Bradford
  2. Chase Daniel
  3. Tyrod Taylor
  4. Austin Davis
  5. Garrett Grayson

That's right I left off Jameis. I bet no one saw that coming. It's just too high of a price tag for me to move up for him. Maybe if there's a draft day slide for him and he's sitting there at either five or six, then we can talk.

I chose these five because I trust the variety and the "options" it would give. In my personal opinion I have long felt two of the best back-ups the NFL has had to offer were Chase Daniel and Tyrod Taylor. I would give the edge to Chase due to his accuracy and anticipation. I also would love to see Austin Davis brought back, over Shaun Hill. As for Garrett Grayson, I am just simply liking what I see more and more. That includes Shane Carden as well, although I will have more on those two in the near future.