After early flurry, quarterbacks finally come off board late in NFL draft

By Sports Desk April 27, 2024

After a run of quarterbacks were selected early in the first round of the 2024 NFL Draft, it took quite a while for any other signal-callers to come off the board.

That 137-pick drought ended in the fifth round on Saturday when the New Orleans Saints took South Carolina’s Spencer Rattler with the 150th overall pick.

The New York Jets took Jordan Travis from Florida State 21 picks later and the New England Patriots used the 193rd selection on Tennessee QB Joe Milton III.

The final two quarterbacks drafted were Kentucky’s Devin Leary by the Baltimore Ravens with the 218th overall pick and the Green Bay Packers took Michael Pratt of Tulane, 245th.

This was just the third time in the common draft era that a quarterback wasn’t selected in the second or third rounds.

While some of the quarterbacks taken in the first round could very well find themselves starting in the NFL next season, it’s highly unlikely that any of the ones taken in the fifth round or later will be starting anytime soon.

Rattler could compete for the backup spot to starter David Carr now that Jameis Winston has departed from that role. His main competition figures to be Jake Haener, the Saints’ fourth-round selection in the 2023 draft, or Kellen Mond.

The backup role won’t be an option for Milton III in New England, barring injury. The Patriots signed veteran Jacoby Brissett to be their starter, or at least compete for that job with third overall pick Drake Maye.

Milton could be a No. 3 option if the team decides to move on from Bailey Zappe, who hasn’t impressed in 14 NFL games the past two seasons with 11 touchdowns and 12 interceptions.

Travis is in a similar situation with the Jets, behind starter Aaron Rodgers and veteran backup Tyrod Taylor.

Travis is a long-term project, who, like Rodgers, is attempting to return from a major injury – a gruesome broken ankle last November.

Leary could figure in a backup role with the Ravens soon if not this season. Josh Johnson was signed for that spot, but he is 37 and the strong-armed Leary, an older prospect at 25, could serve as backup as soon as 2025.

Pratt has started 44 games at Tulane over the last four years, so he brings plenty of experience to Green Bay. He could compete with 2023 draft pick Sean Clifford to back up Jordan Love.

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