I've been asked a number of times lately whether I think the Indianapolis Colts should draft Andrew Luck even if they knew Peyton Manning would be back and healthy to start the 2012 season. It's an easy answer: Yes.
Of course they should take Luck. If he has to sit and learn behind Manning, so be it. They should take him because no franchise should better understand the value of great quarterbacking than the Colts. They've had it for more than a decade, and when it was suddenly taken away this year they got a glimpse of the other side. This can't be emphasized enough: It's not a problem to have two quarterbacks who are capable of being good starters on a single roster. It's a problem when you have none.
Just ask Mike Shanahan and the Washington Redskins. With that team, you have a defense that's safely above average in my book, and there are also at least some good pieces on the offensive line. The run game has shown flashes this year. But the quarterback situation epitomizes the old axiom that if you have two quarterbacks, you don't have one. I've come up with the following parameters to rank the five worst QB situations in the NFL:
How bad is the current situation?
This takes into account the current options on the roster. Also considers if there is a high ceiling with the current quarterback.
Is there a sense of a plan in place?
For instance, I wouldn't consider Indy's situation that bad here; the Colts have Peyton Manning or (likely) Andrew Luck. Minnesota wants to build around Christian Ponder. At least there's a plan.
Can the draft help?
Whether their draft position could be a solution.
With those parameters in mind, let's look at what I consider the five worst situations in the league.
1. Washington Redskins
Not only do the Redskins not have a long-term solution at the position in either Rex Grossman or John Beck, they've won enough to be well out of the Andrew Luck race. Washington could be better served trying to deal for a quarterback, or getting into position for a guy like Matt Barkley or Landry Jones. But there's a problem: If you think the Skins have a roster that's ready to compete for a playoff position in 2012 -- and I certainly think they could -- do you really want a rookie in there? I wonder if the Redskins are a team that looks at a trade for a current starter, or targets a guy who might be ready to take over, such as Matt Flynn or Brian Hoyer. Either way, this is a team that is in desperate need of a solution.