Saturday, March 1, 2014

NFL Draft Quarterback Prospects in 2014

    The Browns were just kidding about Johnny Manziel.  That's the word now that Banner is out. It may have been a counter-intelligence plot, or perhaps Banner really loved the guy, but now the buzz is that new GM Ray Farmer is looking at other qb candidates, as well he should.  

Now that Banner is gone, Johnny Manziel is no longer the Browns' first choice at quarterback. 

     After the combine, it still appears that this year's NFL draft will have at least  five or perhaps even more qb's taken in the first round.  
     In the case of the Browns,  Brian Hoyer may have a few games left in him before giving way to the rookie in 2015.  We'll have to see how that plays out as Coach Pettine makes that call.  In any case, I don't anticipate that the rookie will be substantially better right away, though perhaps down the road.   

Blake Bortles would be the number one quarterback pick. 

     But back to the draft.  I think  Blake Bortles will be the first quarterback taken, maybe by Jacksonville in the number 3 position unless someone pulls of a trade with St Louis or Houston.   Bortles  has all the attributes that you want to see, including savvy, arm strength, mobility and size.  But Jacksonville would be a hell of a fit for a UCF guy. 

Teddy Bridgewater is All-Everything to some observers.

     Teddy Bridgewater may be next.  Initially I was not as high on him as others.  But at the combine he weighed in at 214 pounds, or nine pounds heavier than his listed weight.  That's not very big in today's NFL, but it is a bit less of a factor. 

   Later in the first round, I expect Derek Carr to be taken and also Jimmy Garoppolo as a bit of a surprise.  The knock on Garoppolo is that he played for a smaller university, but I think that can be overcome with time.  The guys who are too little may still be too little a year from now, but Carr and Garoppolo will likely make progress as quarterbacks.  The Browns are said to be hoping that Carr is available when it is their turn to draft again in the first round, but he may be gone a bit earlier than that.  

53 TDs versus 9 INTs?  In one year?  You have got to be kidding me Jimmy Garoppolo.  You are first round material. 

Zack Mettenberger has all the physical attributes necessary to succeed. 

     Zach Mettenberger had off the field issues and has an ACL injury, but will likely be at 100% by 2015 or even later in 2014.  But at 6'5" and 235 with the proverbial cannon for an arm, there is no reason to not like him.  Most mock drafts have him going in about the third round, but there is an outside chance that could go in the first round if there is a team that can be patient enough to let him develop,  possibly to a team like Cincinnati.   

      Only Bortles and Mettenberger have the  prototypic size for an NFL quarterback.  I also think Mettenberger and McCarron are pretty good.   

       But I don't see any of them jumping in and turning around an NFL team like RG3 and Luck did in 2012.   I think this year's class has some guys who are good enough to start, but perhaps not be outstanding their first year, maybe a little like Geno Smith or E. J. Manual in 2013.  They might get better in their second or third year, but I don't anticipate any of these quarterbacks being stars in their rookie year.

A. J. McCarron is not rated quite as high as some of the other qbs, but how bad would it really be to have him as the team's qb?  Especially if he brings Miss Alabama Katherine Webb with him?  

My rankings:   Derek Carr, Jimmy Garoppolo, Blake Bortles, Teddy Bridgewater,  Johnny Manziel,  Zack Mettenberger A. J. McCarron. 

Where they will be drafted:

Blake Bortles                     UCF                                6-5         230        1

Teddy Bridgewater           Louisville                     6-2         214        1

Derek Carr                          Fresno State               6-2         215        1

Jimmy Garoppolo             Eastern Illinois           6-2         219         1

Johnny Manziel                   Texas A&M                6-0         210        1

Zach Mettenberger          LSU                              6-5         235         2

A.J. McCarron                   Alabama                     6-3         214         3

Aaron Murray                    Georgia r                   6-1         201         3

Tajh Boyd                           Clemson                    6-1         222        4

Brett Smith                         Wyoming                 6-2         206         4

Logan Thomas                   Virginia Tech           6-6         248         5

Connor Shaw                     S Carolina                6-0         206         5

David Fales                         San Jose State          6-2         220         7

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