By Wanda Wiedman // @WandaW63
The 2019 NFL Draft has only a handful of quarterbacks that can possibly fill a team’s need under center. The New England Patriots should be looking for their franchise QB successor to Tom Brady as well as the Pittsburgh Steelers, the New Orlean Saints, the Los Angeles Chargers.and the New York Giants.
After watching the NFL Combine, only two QBs demonstrated the ability to throw the long bomb down the field, Ohio State’s Dwayne Haskins and Auburn University’s Jarrett Stidham. With the exception of Oklahoma State Kyler Murray holding out for his Pro Day, the QB pool was slim pickings.
However, West Virginia’s Will Grier and Missouri’s Drew Lock faired well in their drills and workouts. But with the swirling rumors that the Arizona Cardinals, who have the number one pick in the draft, are shopping first-year starter Josh Rosen, Murray is sure to be the starter in the desert.
The Giants need someone ready to start in the even that quarterback Eli Manning continues to perform at a sub-par level. Did he have enough protection? Not at all since he was sacked 47 times, the third most in 2018 after QBs Russell Wilson and Derek Carr who tie with 51 sacks. But no one can deny how inaccurate he has been in the past several years.
Either way, the new American Alliance of Football league has been showcasing some very talented quarterbacks, one in particular. The Orlando Apollos have 27-year-old signal caller Garrett Gilbert, who has displayed incredible poise in the pocket, great leadership in the huddle and leads the only undefeated team in the league.
In just four weeks, Gilbert has thrown for 1,077 passing yards, completed 61.9% of his passes, has thrown for 6 touchdowns and has zero interceptions. The stats do not do him justice when watching him step up in the pocket and sail the rock through the air with sheer beauty.
GARRETT GILBERT ONLY ACCEPTS PAYMENT IN THE FORM OF DIMES pic.twitter.com/3SFQ3V4AoK
— AAF&XFL Daily?? (@AAF_XFL_Daily) March 4, 2019
Yeah, I’m a homer.
Gilbert is the only one right now who can step on the field for any NFL team right now and play lights out. He was drafted by the Los Angeles Rams in 2014 and logged in only 13 regular season snaps in his NFL career, all of those with the Carolina Panthers last season. However, Gilbert did have 266 preseason snaps from 2015 and 2018 and a rating over 70%.
He deserves to be a starter in the NFL with the ability to play for a team that will allow him to showcase his talents. Though he is doing that now with the AAF, both the Giants and the Pittsburgh Steelers are in need of a strong signal caller who can step. Roethlisberger struggled last season and seems to be a shell of himself after so many injuries. Gilbert can lead either team and at the same time groom a young quarterback such as Jake Browning of Washington, Ryan Finley of N.C. State or Kyle Shurmur of Vanderbilt.
The AAF will continue to develop players, showcase talent, and send them to the NFL ready to start without a hitch. At this point, it’s just a matter of when.
Talk AAF with Wanda on Twitter // @WandaW63