With NFL training camps starting next month, it’s time to look towards some of the kep positional battles that will take place.
The most intriguing battles will take place at quarterback, where seven teams have legitimate competitions at the position.
While each team might not make the right decision as to who will be the team’s starting quarterback for the season, I gave my best shot to project which quarterback will win each battle.
Matt Moore vs. David Garrard vs. Ryan Tannehill
The Miami Dolphins are a mess right now. On Monday they signed Chad Ochocinco, but even with him they have no chance of making the playoffs this season. With that being said, the team needs to make the most conservative choice when it comes to their starting quarterback.
Starting rookie Ryan Tannehill would only hurt his growth, as he has little to no chance to succeed with the current Dolphins receiving corp. Starting Matt Moore, a veteran game manager, is the most logical choice for Miami.
Winner: Matt Moore
Mark Sanchez vs. Tim Tebow
This quarterback battle may be the most intriguing one to follow. Will the New York Jets go with the player that gives them to best chance to succeed (Mark Sanchez) or will they let the media drive them to give the job to the more popular player (Tim Tebow)?
The Jets certainly are vulnerable to letting the media influence their decisions, but in the end they have a legitimate shot to make the playoffs and Sanchez gives them the best chance to do so.
Winner: Mark Sanchez
Brandon Weeden vs. Colt McCoy
The Cleveland Browns shocked the majority of fans when they took Brandon Weeden with the 22nd overall pick in the 2012 NFL Draft. Reaching for Weeden with that pick showed that they have moved on from the days of Colt McCoy as the team’s starting quarterback.
Heading into training camp, this job is Weeden’s to lose.
Winner: Brandon Weeden
Matt Flynn vs. Tarvaris Jackson vs. Russell Wilson
While Tarvaris Jackson is listed as part of the Seattle Seahawks quarterback battle, there’s realistically a very small chance he wins the job. The competition is currently between two newcomers: rookie Russell Wilson and veteran Matt Flynn.
Flynn’s eye-opening performances in sparse playing opportunities with the Green Bay Packers showed that he has the potential to be a starting quarterback in the NFL. While Wilson is likely the team’s franchise quarterback moving forward, Flynn will likely win the job to start the season, although Wilson could be the team’s starter by the end of the season.
Winner: Matt Flynn
Kevin Kolb vs. John Skelton
With a talented roster, the Arizona Cardinals are just a franchise quarterback away from being playoff contenders. Unfortunately for the Cardinals, neither Kevin Kolb nor John Skelton have the talent to be franchise quarterbacks in the NFL.
With that being said, for the time being the Cardinals will start whichever quarterback gives the team the best chance to win until they find a long-term solution at quarterback. Right now, the quarterback who gives the team the best chance to win is Skelton.
Winner: John Skelton
Blaine Gabbert vs. Chad Henne
The Jacksonville Jaguars may announce to the world that they should not have selected Blaine Gabbert in the 2011 NFL Draft when they decide on the team’s starting quarterback for the 2012 season. Sure, the Jaguars are somewhat obligated to start Gabbert since he was a first round pick, but the bottom line is he won’t be the team’s starting quarterback for the next decade.
The more logical decision for the Jaguars would be to start Chad Henne in 2012 and then draft a quarterback in the first round of the 2013 NFL Draft.
Winner: Chad Henne
Matt Hasselbeck vs. Jake Locker
It was shocking to some that in 2011, rookie quarterback Jake Locker didn’t start a single game for the Tennessee Titans. That role was the veteran Matt Hasselbeck’s, but in 2012 things will likely change.
After drafting wide receiver Kendall Wright in the first round of the 2012 NFL Draft, it is apparent that the Titans are starting to build their offense around Locker. With one year in the NFL under his belt, it’s time for Locker to take full control of the Titans.
Winner: Jake Locker