The following is a cursory look of the odds the teams in front of the Jets in the Draft will select a quarterback. To say it another way, this is a look at whether Matthew Stafford and/or Mark Sanchez, the consensus top two quarterbacks, will be there for Gang Green.
1. Detroit (0-16)
No team in front of the Jets is more likely to select a quarterback than Detroit. This team needs everything. There has been some buzz they will look to build the offensive line, but nothing would energize a weary fanbase like taking a new franchise quarterback, a signal the team has turned the page.
2. St. Louis (2-14)
Marc Bulger is in the middle of a big contract. Even though he has struggled over the past two seasons, St. Louis might have too many pressing needs to replace an expensive player who has a record of success when given a quality supporting cast. This is not likely.
3. Kansas City (2-14)
The Chiefs just traded Matt Cassel and will likely lock him up to a big contract. That filled one need. Many others remain. This team is not taking a quarterback.
4. Seattle (4-12)
The Seahawks are picking in the top five because they were decimated by injuries, not because their starting quarterback position is weak. They still have to believe with a healthy Matt Hasslebeck, they can compete in the NFC West.
5. Cleveland (4-12)
There is no way the Browns go for a quarterback. They are still in the process of determining whether Brady Quinn was worth a first round pick two years ago.
6. Cincinnati (4-11-1)
Part of the reason the Bengals were so lousy was that Carson Palmer was injured for most of the year. They are not ready to turn the page on him.
7. Oakland (5-11)
Replace Brady Quinn's name with JaMarcus Russell's, and this is identical to Cleveland's.
8. Jacksonville (5-11)
David Garrard had an awful 2008 season, but the Jaguars gave him a big contract less than a year ago. They are not about to give up on that investment so soon. The powers that be in Jacksonville stated in public they blame his supporting cast for Garrard's struggles.
9. Green Bay (6-10)
Green Bay had a rough first year after Brett Favre left, but Aaron Rodgers looked like a keeper. The defense was the culprit behind the ten loss season. They have to go defense with this pick.
10. San Francisco (7-9)
A lot of people fully expect the Niners to pick a quarterback here. I am not so sure. Shaun Hill has hit 64% of his passes and put up a 90.5 quarterback rating for the club while starting meaningless games at the end of 2007 and 2008. Would San Franciso invest in a top ten quarterback without first giving a cheaper, more proven option a chance? This team is probably a bit gun shy after the way gambling on Alex Smith set back the franchise.
11. Buffalo (7-9)
The Bills could be interested in a quarterback, but they probably want a better look to see whether Trent Edwards is the answer before making such an investment.
12. Denver (8-8)
This is a wild card. Odds are Jay Cutler kisses and makes up with the Broncos. He really has no leverage. It would be silly for Denver to trade a promising 25 year old quarterback who is under contract. Cutler's only options would be to sit out the season or play in the United Football League. That would be a case of Jay cutting off his nose to spite his face. If the Broncos decide Cutler is more trouble than he is worth, Josh McDaniels might want to put his stamp on the franchise by taking his own signal caller. Stay tuned, but it is a longshot at this point.
13. Washington (8-8)
The Redskins seem satisfied with Jason Campbell.
14. New Orleans (8-8)
Drew Brees had an MVP caliber season. The Saints may need help, but it is not at quarterback.
15. Houston (8-8)
The Texans showed signs of life at the end of the season, and Matt Schaub's quarterback rating was over 90. This is a team looking to make the leap, not start over at the most important position on the field.
16. San Diego (8-8)
Philip Rivers is developing into one of the league's best quarterbacks. San Diego is not taking one.
While Matt Ryan and Joe Flacco broke the mold in 2008, teams are usually weary of selecting a quarterback high. A club has to spend a lot of money gambling a man in his low 20's will become a franchise savior, while there is no scientific way to measure how any given player will develop. It is a roll of the dice in a game where missing can set a franchise back for years because of the importance of the position and financial implications. Because of this, teams usually shy away from picking a quarterback early unless there is an obvious need. Of the teams picking before the Jets, only Detroit has one, meaning the presence of either Sanchez or Stafford likely will give the front office a major decision.