The 2022 NFL Draft is still six months away, but one thing has become increasingly clear: there is no consensus top quarterback in the class. In fact, none of the presumed top signal-callers has solidified himself as an elite, franchise-changing talent. That lack of top prospects will undoubtedly leave quarterback-needy teams scrambling for solutions.
Many believe Pitt's Kenny Pickett is emerging as the top quarterback in the 2022 class. The 6-foot-3, 220 Pickett has been excellent this year and has plenty of experience, with 43 career starts. But he's been beating up on a very weak ACC and looks completely different this season than in the past, leading many to question if it's a fluke. He'll also be 24 before he takes an NFL snap which is a knock against him.
After Pickett, guys like Ole Miss' Matt Corral, Cincinnati's Desmond Ritter and Liberty's Malik Willis are talented, but none have really put it all together and all have holes in their games. The result of this talent gap is going to be significant on the NFL.
There are a lot of teams that could use a young quarterback. The Pittsburgh Steelers, Detroit Lions, Carolina Panthers, Washington Football Team and Denver Broncos are five right off the bat that need to find a long-term solution under center. With the draft not providing the answers, those teams might look to the trade market to make something happen.
You can bet the lack of a consensus top quarterback in the 2022 draft has a lot to do with the Houston Texans refusing to lower their asking price for Deshaun Watson. They know teams are desperate to find a new quarterback and won't have easy answers in a few months. Despite Watson facing a litany of off-field problems related to sexual assault complaints against him, several teams appear willing to import him. That shows how desperate NFL franchises are for talented quarterbacks right now.
Guys like Pickett, Corral, Ritter, Willis and North Carolina's Sam Howell will be drafted and I wouldn't be shocked if they're all off the board in the first three rounds. That said, given their relative flaws, who knows if they'll be starting next season.
The pulse of an NFL franchise begins at the quarterback position. Several teams will likely continue to struggle there through next season due to a lack of new blood available.