2018 NFL Preseason Depth Chart Shuffle: Quarterbacks - Footballguys

Outlining the key strong and weak NFL depth charts at the quarterback position in advance of the 53-player roster cuts in 2018

Opportunity is king in projecting fantasy football production. Here is a look at the overly strong and weak NFL depth charts at each skill position and what potential cut players could quickly find 53-man roster spots elsewhere, starting with the quarterback position:


Potential Shuffle Players

Teddy Bridgewater: Sam Darnold is the future (and maybe the Week 1 starter) and Josh McCown returns as veteran insurance if Darnold is not ready. Bridgewater is a reclamation projection himself and appears healthy and ready for another shot under center. With an appealing take-a-shot contract of $6 million in 2018 and minimal dead cap, Bridgewater is an ideal trade target for another NFL team or to be retained by the Jets if they keep a third quarterback.

Robert Griffin III III: The biggest question is if Baltimore keeps three quarterbacks with Lamar Jackson clearly the future tab over Griffin, who has a low-level one-year contract at present.

Josh Dobbs: Mason Rudolph is the latest potential successor to Ben Roethlisberger brought in by the organization. Dobbs looks to be the odd man out unless he beats out veteran Landry Jones.

Blaine Gabbert, Luke Falk: Tennessee is one of the few teams who could keep three quarterbacks based on the specifics of their depth chart. Gabbert has looked like a solid NFL backup and Falk is a later Day 3 pick this year. Either would be viable upgrades on depth charts listed in the second below.

Paxton Lynch: Signs are pointing to Denver moving on from the former first-round draft pick. High-pedigree quarterbacks tend to get more opportunities than their original team even if on the bust track like Lynch through two years.

EJ Manuel, Connor Cook: Oakland has two backups better than many depth charts. if they only keep two, one of Manuel and Cook will be an upgrade for another team in the quarterback shuffle.

Davis Webb, Kyle Lauletta: The Giants have two functional NFL backups or at least they have not built the sample size to know they cannot play yet. Lauletta had his supporters in the 2018 NFL Draft process and landing in Round 4, while Webb was a recent Round 3 selection.

Nate Sudfeld: With Nick Foles the clear QB2, Sudfeld played late in 2017 and avoided big mistakes and offers some developmental upside as a QB2/3.

DeShone Kizer: While he performed poorly as the starter for 2017 Cleveland, Kizer is the type to get a few chances before flaming out of the NFL due to his size, movement, and arm strength allure. Based on his contract, Kizer would be more likely to be traded than cut considering his dead cap ratio.

Kyle Sloter: With Trevor Siemian brought in by Minnesota, Sloter will have an uphill climb to push for the QB2 role.

Taysom Hill: The Saints have been creative with Hill playing special teams and ancillary roles to keep him thus far despite not being the primary backup at quarterback. Hill is unlikely to hit the open market this season either but currently sits at QB3 on the depth chart.

Mike Glennon: With the drafting of Josh Rosen, Glennon is the clear big picture QB3 for the Cardinals. Glennon's contract is a low overall number for a backup quarterback but Arizona would save only $1 million in 2018 cap if released.

Weak Depth Charts

Bills: Beyond Josh Allen, there is little commitment to Nathan Peterman or A.J. McCarron. Peterman was a Day 3 pick and is more likely to be released than McCarron, who is more likely cut in 2019 than 2018 by the contract details.

Dolphins: Brock Osweiler and David Fales competing for the QB2 job inspires little confidence. Osweiler is on a league-minimum level contract at his point in his career.

Bengals: Matt Barkley lacks strong physical traits as the clear QB2 on the current depth chart and has already bounced around some in his early years.

Texans: Brandon Weeden is the clear QB2, which is a scary thought for Texans fans after Deshaun Watson missed more than half of 2017 with a season-ending injury.

Chiefs: Chad Henne is a low-level veteran backup and there is little upside beyond starter Patrick Mahomes, who is still a projection with one career regular-season start to date.

Chargers: Geno Smith inspires little confidence as the QB2, and Cardale Jones is still very rough around the edges as a developmental option.

Cowboys: Cooper Rush and Mike White are low-level backups behind Dak Prescott.

Lions: Matt Cassel is the veteran and Jake Rudock is losing steam as a viable developmental quarterback and could be a cut this year.

Panthers: Garrett Gilbert has yet to throw a regular season pass since being drafted in 2014 and is the leader for the QB2 role.

Seahawks: In the discussion for the weakest QB2/3 depth chart in the NFL, Austin Davis and Alex McGough inspire little confidence if Russell Wilson misses time.

Rams: Sean Mannion looks to be on the Paxton Lynch track for lack of progression in his early years.