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April 21, 2016

Eagles will draft a quarterback before a huge chunk of the NFL will need one

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042116HowieRoseman Jimmy Kempski/PhillyVoice

Howie looked ahead.

The average age of projected starting NFL quarterbacks heading into the 2016 season is 29.4, and that's with a 40-year old Peyton Manning having already retired. Most of the good-to-great quarterbacks around the NFL are getting old.

Appearing on NFL Network, former Redskins and Texans general manager Charlie Casserly made an outstanding point about the Eagles jumping up to draft a quarterback before a large number of other teams soon will (h/t @igglesnut).

"They're looking at the quarterback landscape going forward," said Casserly. "New Orleans, San Diego, maybe the Patriots, Arizona, the Giants, etc. All of these teams have old quarterbacks. People are going to be dying for quarterbacks in the next couple of years. (The Eagles) got ahead of it by getting one right now."

Casserly stopped his list at five teams, but you can make the argument that there are plenty more. Below is a list of teams who have to at least have the quarterback position in the back of their minds, if not the front. Some should be in panic mode to fix their quarterback situations immediately while others will be quarterback shopping in two or three years. In no particular order:

• Broncos: Peyton Manning retired just before his 40th birthday. Denver's current No. 1 quarterback is Mark Sanchez.

• Patriots: Tom Brady is 38 years old. The Pats have Jimmy Garoppolo waiting in the wings, but he's a mystery to anyone outside of the Pats' building.

• Saints: Drew Brees is 37 and in the final year of his deal.

• Browns: After trading out of the No. 2 spot, the Browns eschewed the opportunity to draft one of the consensus top two quarterbacks in the 2016 NFL Draft. They are likely to take one at some point in this draft, but that quarterback will have longer odds of being successful.

• Cardinals: Carson Palmer is 36, and the Cardinals do not have a young quarterback in reserve unless you count Matt Barkley as that.

• Cowboys: Happy 36th Birthday, Tony Romo!

• Giants: Eli Manning is 35, but has never missed a game. All the Giants have in reserve is former fourth-round pick Ryan Nassib.

• Chargers: Philip Rivers is 34, but he too is an iron man, who has started 169 straight games for the Chargers, which is the fourth longest streak at the quarterback position in NFL history. The Chargers' backup is 32 year old Kellen Clemens.

• Steelers: Ben Roethlisberger is 34. The Steelers' backup is former fourth round pick Landry Jones.

• Bears: Jay Cutler will turn 33 next week. He will count for $16 million on the Bears' cap next season, with little penalty if they cut him. The Bears' backup is former sixth round pick David Fales.

• Redskins: Kirk Cousins finished the 2015 season very strongly and earned the franchise tag amount of just under $20 million in 2016. He'll be a free agent in 2017. Cousins will have to prove he can sustain that success going forward, and even if he does, the Redskins will have to decide at what point the cost to keep him becomes too great.

• Jets: The Jets currently have an enormous gaping hole at quarterback. It is expected that they will eventually re-sign Ryan Fitzpatrick, who is 33 years old and not a long term answer anyway.

• 49ers: Current starter: Blaine Gabbert.

• Bills: Buffalo was rumored to be in the mix of teams looking to trade up for a quarterback. While Tyrod Taylor had a good year in 2015, like Kirk Cousins above, he'll have to prove he can sustain his success.

• Chiefs: Alex Smith is solid, but certainly not a great quarterback who will turn 32 in May. That's not extremely old, but Big Red loves him some quarterbacks.

• Dolphins: Ryan Tannehill still has promise and he too is a solid quarterback, but in a perfect world he would have already taken his game to the next level. The Dolphins have yet to record a winning season since they drafted him in 2012, and Miami has a new coaching staff.

The above represents half of the NFL's 32 teams. Some have immediate glaring needs, some have aging stars, some have recent one-year wonders they hope can be more than that, and some have middling guys who should never really be 100% safe.

After the Eagles traded up to the No. 2 overall pick on Wednesday, Howie Roseman noted that when the Eagles looked ahead to future quarterback classes, they weren't thrilled with what they saw.

"When we went and researched and saw what the quarterback classes are going to look like going forward, next year, two years out, that's a daunting proposition," said Roseman. "A lot of things change. There's no question. What we see now (in this draft) is probably not what we see a year from now or two years from now."

In other words, if the Eagles' projections are correct that the next two quarterback classes are not as strong as this one, a whole lot of teams could be fighting over slop like pigs at a trough.

And oh, by the way, if in a year from now one of the teams above has accelerating quarterback needs, the Eagles can deal Sam Bradford to one of them for a some draft pick capital in return.

If the Eagles' new quarterback is a hit, whether that be North Dakota State's Carson Wentz or Cal's Jared Goff, the Eagles could be in a position in which they are a rare team with a quality young quarterback.

Follow Jimmy on Twitter: @JimmyKempski