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Projecting May’s 2022 NFL quarterback carousel

by Michael Hanich | May 13, 2022 at 6:41 p.m.

The 2022 NFL season is gearing up to start following the Draft, which was held from April 28 through 30.

Only one quarterback was taken in the first round of the 2022 Draft, which saw a weak quarterback class. However, several teams did eventually choose a quarterback, some of whom could be starters at some point during the season.

The Pittsburgh Steelers were the only team that picked a quarterback in the first round of the 2022 NFL Draft. The Steelers selected hometown hero in Pittsburgh Panthers quarterback Kenny Pickett with the 20th overall pick. Head coach Mike Tomlin stated Pickett has a chance to start in week one of the 2022 season by winning the quarterback battle.

Other teams that made moves for quarterbacks in the 2022 NFL Draft were the Atlanta Falcons selecting Cincinnati's Desmond Ridder in the third round (74th overall pick), Tennessee Titans selecting Liberty's Malik Willis in the third round (86th overall pick) and the Carolina Panthers selecting Ole Miss' Matt Corral in the third round (94th overall pick). All three quarterbacks were projected to be selected in the first round of the draft, but fell following several questions about their playing attributes.

One interesting factor in the quarterback market is that the Cleveland Browns did not trade former first overall pick in Baker Mayfield during the NFL Draft process. These moves -- or the lack of moves -- for quarterbacks will play a huge role for all 32 teams going into training camp and the 2022 NFL season.

Here are the Camden News's predictions for on which quarterback will be starting for all 32 NFL teams when Week One of the 2022 season starts, barring injuries or surprise retirements:

AFC East

Buffalo – Josh Allen

Miami – Tua Tagovailoa

New England – Mac Jones

N.Y. Jets – Zach Wilson

AFC North

Baltimore – Lamar Jackson

Cincinnati – Joe Burrow

Cleveland – Jacoby Brissett *

Pittsburgh – Kenny Pickett *^

AFC South

Houston – Davis Mills

Indianapolis – Matt Ryan *

Jacksonville – Trevor Lawrence

Tennessee – Ryan Tannehill

AFC West

Denver – Russell Wilson *

Kansas City – Patrick Mahomes III

Las Vegas – Derek Carr

L.A. Chargers – Justin Herbert

NFC East

Dallas – Dak Prescott

N.Y. Giants – Daniel Jones

Philadelphia – Jalen Hurts

Washington – Carson Wentz *

NFC North

Chicago – Justin Fields

Detroit – Jared Goff

Green Bay – Aaron Rodgers

Minnesota – Kirk Cousins

NFC South

Atlanta – Marcus Mariota *^

Carolina – Sam Darnold ^

New Orleans – Jameis Winston

Tampa Bay – Tom Brady

NFC West

Arizona – Kyler Murray

L.A. Rams – Matthew Stafford

San Francisco – Jimmy Garoppolo ^

Seattle – Drew Lock *^

* indicates a brand-new starter

^ indicates the predicted winner of a quarterback competition that will take place during training camp

There are expected to be seven new starting quarterbacks on NFL teams when Week One of the season starts. There are also projected to be five quarterback competitions taking place during training camps. Of those five, only one of them is coming from the AFC. The Steelers are looking to have rookie Kenny Pickett compete heavily with veterans Mitchell Trubisky and Mason Rudolph to decide who is ready to lead a talented and playoff-hungry roster.

Many of the AFC teams took huge strides to trade for elite quarterbacks from other teams such as the Cleveland Browns and the Denver Broncos. The Browns traded for Houston Texans quarterback and 2020 NFL passing leader Deshaun Watson. The Broncos traded for Seattle Seahawks nine-time Pro Bowl quarterback Russell Wilson. Browns backup Jacoby Brissett is could start for at least six games for the Browns, unless they convince disgruntled quarterback Baker Mayfield to play if they can't trade or cut him.

The Seahawks were in talks to trade for Mayfield, but no plans to do have been made public. They are expected to have Drew Lock, received in the Russell Wilson trade, and veteran Geno Smith compete for the starting quarterback job. Seattle might be willing to compete for a high pick in the 2023 NFL Draft for an elite quarterback prospect.

The Indianapolis Colts were close to making the NFL playoffs last season, but fell short due to the disappointing play of Carson Wentz. After one season, the Colts traded Wentz to the Washington Commanders and took their time to find the right quarterback to lead their talented teams. 2016 NFL MVP in quarterback Matt Ryan had some gas in the tank left for a few more Super Bowl runs. The Atlanta Falcons knew Ryan was going to get that chance this season and beyond, so they traded him to the Colts.

The San Francisco 49ers will have an interesting quarterback battle on their hands as they will have Jimmy Garoppolo and former third overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft in Trey Lance III compete for the starting spot. The 49ers were ready for Lance to take over the starting quarterback job this off-season, but there are reports from the 49ers' base that Lance is far from ready. Keeping Garopollo on the team might also have 2021 First-Team All-Pro wide receiver in Deebo Samuel happy and pull his demand for a trade.

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