LOS ANGELES -- There are multiple ways to find a quarterback. Making aggressive moves up the first-round board is increasingly the way of the NFL world.
That was a clear takeaway when I asked three NFL personnel evaluators to reselect the top 10 slots in the 2016 draft. The Philadelphia Eagles-Los Angeles Rams game on Sunday night game was a natural hook for the exercise even though Carson Wentz's back injury left Jared Goff to represent the top of the class.
The Rams (Goff), Eagles (Wentz), Kansas City Chiefs (Patrick Mahomes) and Houston Texans (Deshaun Watson) were the most aggressive quarterback-movers in the 2016 and 2017 drafts. The Chicago Bears (Mitchell Trubisky) moved up one spot within the top three picks in 2017.
Four of those teams won a division title with their new quarterback within two seasons, and a fifth, Houston, is on the verge of doing so. There were other factors at work, of course, as football is a team game. But in every case, the teams making the selections either already had excellent plans for their quarterbacks or recalculated effectively after Year 1.
It's something to keep in mind for 2019 because several teams near the top of the projected order already have quarterbacks, which could make them sellers. Until then, we proceed with the 2016 top 10 re-draft.
2016 NFL re-draft version 1: Original order with no trades
When I first reached out to the three evaluators -- GM1, GM2 and GM3 for our purposes -- the assumption was that we would re-draft based on the final order. That became the less interesting route, however, because the quarterback trade-ups by the Eagles and Rams set those teams on such a logical course. They basically had to take quarterbacks after moving up.
This first version of the re-draft resets the order with Tennessee and Cleveland holding the top two spots. We'll follow up this version with a look at the three general managers' picks for the post-trades 2016 order.
"You trade up for who you think is your guy," GM1 said. "It can work if the head coach, GM, coordinator and quarterback coach all think this is their guy, and they are all excited to come to work. Just look at these five teams."