The 2016 NFL Draft class at the quarterback position has been criticized to say the least. Hardly anyone thinks that this quarterback draft class is filled with studs. There are a lot more questions. A lot of people think that quarterbacks like Carson Wentz and Paxton Lnych could really benefit from sitting on the bench for a year to learn the game yet both players are now being considered to go in the top 10 of the entire draft. Why?
Look no further than the head coaches in the race of needing a quarterback like Jeff Fisher, Doug Pederson or possibly even Chip Kelly. Drafting a quarterback high in the first round with questions is a sign of desperation not only from a quarterback need perspective, but also from the perspective that head coaches and even some general managers around the league are trying to hold on to their jobs a little longer.
For the head coaches and general managers involved, it is worth it in this day and age to gamble on taking a quarterback high even if they decide to trade a lot of draft picks for it. Each year counts the same whether they draft a quarterback or not. So if the Los Angeles Rams were to struggle without having a strong investment at the quarterback position and just decided to ride the 2016 season with Case Keenum as the starter, Fisher's job security becomes in question even more.
But if Fisher drafts Goff for example, he buys time for himself to stay as the Rams head coach. Fisher buys time to say to his owner that he is molding his Goff and that it takes a while. Drafting a quarterback in the first round could give a head coach an extra two or three years on the job. So compare that with keeping your draft picks and hoping Keenum can solidify the quarterback position. How much patience is Rams owner Stan Kroenke going to have if Keenum doesn't improve? Not as much patience as he would have with a rookie quarterback in Goff or Wentz in all likelihood.
You see, the rush in taking quarterbacks high in the first round with question marks isn't to the benefit of the quarterback himself. The quarterbacks are somewhat of a pawn in the grand scheme of things because those in front office are trying to save their own jobs with the hope that they hit the jackpot. And if they don't hit the jackpot, they will eventually be fired but they still bought themselves a couple of years most likely by drafting a quarterback high in the first round.
The NFL is a league where there is a sense of urgency for every team to win as soon as possible as unrealistic as the case may be for certain organizations. If teams around the league were really worried about the development of quarterbacks, then Goff, Wentz and Lynch wouldn't be considered to go where they are expected to go. Now, the pressure is on all three of those quarterbacks in particular to perform. Is that fair if they are not ready to start on day one of the 2016 NFL regular season? No, but they are just going to have to deal with it f they are indeed going to start on day one.
So in the end, drafting quarterbacks high in the first round isn't really about whether or not those players are ready. It's about head coaches and general managers buying time to keep their job so that they have a long term project to work with.