For months, every draft expert and talking head was discussing how weak the 2017 quarterback draft class was. All of the top prospects were considered flawed at best, and since this class was flush with defensive talent, there were people who speculated that the quarterbacks would fall down the board.
Once again, the world was shown why mock drafts are a fruitless endeavor. After it seemed inconceivable that any of the top three teams would draft a quarterback, the Chicago Bears blew up the internet by trading three picks to San Francisco to move up just one spot to draft Mitchell Trubisky out of North Carolina. The ripple effect was felt throughout the draft, and the quarterback trades were far from done. Both the Kansas City Chiefs and Houston Texans traded away future first round picks to snag Pat Mahomes and Deshaun Watson, respectively. Regardless of how you feel about the moves (turns out Chicago was not pleased with the pick, there is one fact that remains in the NFL: the hunt for a quarterback is never ending.
It has become a cliché in the NFL that you need an elite quarterback to win a Super Bowl. There is a reason that the New England Patriots and Green Bay Packers are among the odds on favorites every year to hoist the Lombardi trophy. Any team that has Tom Brady or Aaron Rodgers is at a distinct advantage against just about anyone in football. As those players near the tail end of their careers (or so we think), the league is constantly in search of the next superstar quarterback. Despite the recent success of later round picks like Dak Prescott, Russell Wilson, and Kirk Cousins, the consensus remains that teams must spend a top draft pick in order to find their franchise leader.
Teams once again unloaded the war chest for quarterbacks this year, even though recent history has shown this to be a mistake. The Washington Redskins gave the farm up for Robert Griffin III, and five years later Griffin may be done playing professional football. The Browns traded up in the first round for Johnny Manziel, a move that can only be characterized as an abject failure. A year ago, both the LA Rams and Philadelphia Eagles traded up for quarterbacks, and while the jury is still out for both Jared Goff and Carson Wentz, the early returns have not justified the price. Even with all this evidence suggesting that trading up for quarterbacks is a bad idea; teams are still rolling the dice with these trades.
Finding a quarterback in the draft is, in a way, like trying to win the lottery for NFL teams. Teams are willing to keep spending whatever it takes in order to set them up for future success. No matter how steep the price, landing the franchise quarterback remains priority number one in the NFL because once you have that guy; you become a contender for the next 10+ seasons. Just ask Aaron Rodgers or Tom Brady.