Saskatoon StarPhoenix

Will teams pivot around draftee quarterbac­ks?


Of the 10 quarterbac­ks selected in the NFL draft, which concluded Saturday, at least four will be parked behind veteran starters for some time. At least, that’s the plan.

The No. 10 overall selection, Patrick Mahomes II from Texas Tech, will back up Alex Smith in Kansas City. Similarly, third-rounder Davis Webb from Cal will back up Eli Manning on the New York Giants — as will fourth-rounder Joshua Dobbs from the University of Pittsburgh behind Ben Roethlisbe­rger on the Pittsburgh Steelers, and sixth-rounder Brad Kaaya from Miami-Florida behind Matt Stafford on the Detroit Lions.

But we all saw what happened last year with the Dallas Cowboys. Fourth-round pick Dak Prescott was targeted as a third-stringer, but injuries to starter Tony Romo and ostensible backup Kellen Moore thrust Prescott into the starter’s role to start the season. He shone, and won the job. Romo has since retired.

There’s no pressure on the four above rookie backups to do anything in 2017 but learn as fast as they can, providing the vets stay healthy.

The same cannot be said for the other six. If No. 2 overall pick Mitchell Trubisky doesn’t start from the get-go in Chicago, or at least overtake free agent signee Mike Glennon by season’s end, many will view his rookie season as a disappoint­ment.

Ditto for No. 12 overall pick Deshaun Watson in Houston, and maybe even second-rounder DeShone Kizer in Cleveland (what, he can’t beat out Cody Kessler?).

As for the other three — thirdround­er C.J. Beathard in San Francisco, fifth-rounder Nathan Peterman in Buffalo and the last pick of the draft, Chad Kelly in Denver, anything other than clipboard duty in Year 1 probably would be a bonus.

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Mitchell Trubisky
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