The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

Mann: NFL Franchise Day arrives

3d illustration of an NFL logo behind a transparent silver American football over a metallic silk background

Draft Day is finally here, and before the night is over we’ll know the fates of the best players in the draft, including such quarterbacks as Jared Goff, Carson Wentz, and Paxton Lynch. Will Goff go first and Wentz second, as we’ve been told? And who might swoop in at the last second and take forgotten man Lynch?

However things shake out, those teams will have new “franchise” quarterbacks. And if the lead-up to this year’s draft has already proven anything, it’s that having a franchise quarterback is the single most important thing in football.

There were two huge trades in the weeks leading up to the draft, with the Rams trading two years’ worth of rounds one through three draft picks for the top overall pick, and the Eagles gave up only slightly less for the second.

We don’t know the order yet, but it is a foregone conclusion that both top picks will be used on Goff and Wentz.

The trade packages were massive hauls for the Titans (former No.1) and Browns (former No. 2), which inversely means that the Rams and Eagles mortgaged their futures on their respective quarterbacks-to-be.

So aren’t fans in Los Angeles and Philadelphia concerned about giving up so much just to take a chance on a rookie?

Consider the scenario. With Nick Foles and Sam Bradford, the Rams and Eagles have perhaps the two most pedestrian and unremarkable incumbent starters in the league. The Rams specifically have the best and deepest front seven in the NFL, a star running back, and didn’t have a winning record in 2015.

With Todd Gurley and that defense, shouldn’t any quarterback worth his salt be able to make use of Tavon Austin and make a legitimate run at a playoff spot? Unfortunately for them, Foles is terrible.
So they have a good roster but don’t win games, yet are too good to earn one of the top picks in order to get a promising quarterback. After all, star quarterbacks rarely spend time in free agency or on the trading market. It has to be the draft.

In today’s NFL, a team needs a good quarterback if it has any intention of winning a championship.

Everyone knows it, so if a team gets one, it doesn’t let him go. Again, it has to be the draft.

It’s simple economics — low supply creates high demand. A team has to give up that many picks to get the quarterback at the top of the draft — and sure, it’s a big risk — but they know they need him.

You can have everything else, but if you don’t have a quarterback, you may as well have nothing
Assuming Goff and Wentz work out for LA and Philly, any fans who fear that they will regret losing those picks can find solace in this hypothetical, a few years from now: Here’s that first-round pick that was supposed to be ours until we traded it away … at least we have a stud quarterback. We can figure it out.
Just imagine it. Take a second to feel it. Your team could be middling, even bad, but if you have faith in your quarterback, then you have faith in the team. When you don’t, you’re just lost.

When the hell are we going to get a quarterback?

In Los Angeles and Philadelphia, it’s today.

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