See my other NFL Draft positional analyses here:
1. Teddy Bridgewater, Louisville
Bridgewater is the most NFL-ready quarterback in the 2014 draft class. I also believe he is the most complete quarterback. He has excellent pocket presence, footwork, and accuracy. One of his most defining qualities is his ability to move around in the pocket while keeping his eyes downfield and making his reads. While drafting a quarterback early can be very risky, I feel that Bridgewater is a fairly safe pick.
2. Blake Bortles, Central Florida
Bortles has shot up draft boards recently. I really had trouble deciding who to put at two and who to put at three. I ultimately went with Bortles because of Manziel’s character issues. Bortles has shown flashes of greatness, but I feel at times he is inconsistent on his deep and intermediate routes, sometimes being underthrown. Overall, I would still say he has above average accuracy. Bortles is also a dual threat quarterback that can beat teams with both his arm and his feet. He does a good job moving around the pocket and keeping his eyes down field.
3. Johnny Manziel, Texas A&M
Manziel is arguably the most talked about athlete in all of sports. For better or worse, most people know about his off the field issues, so I won’t get into that too much. Aside from that, Manziel is still a very talented quarterback. He has an incredible football sense that most people just don’t have. A real play maker is hard to come by, provoking some team to take a chance. He is a much riskier pick than Bridgewater and Bortles but has a tremendously high ceiling. Will he translate into an NFL Quarterback? We won’t know until some time into the 2014 season, but we will certainly hear plenty of updates regarding Johnny Football.
4. AJ McCarron, Alabama
Some people think McCarron will not translate well into the NFL. While he might not be the flashiest quarterback, he has many positive qualities. The obvious being that he only lost four games in his four year career at Alabama. Many people may give all the credit to Nick Saban and Alabama’s defense, but the fact of the matter is, he has been extremely consistent and was the quarterback on a team that arguably put together a college football dynasty. He possesses some of the most sought after qualities in a quarterback nowadays: leadership, good decision making, consistency, passion, and most importantly, he is a winner.
5. Jimmy Garropollo, Eastern Illinois
Garrapollo is moving his way up draft boards after having a great senior bowl appearance. Everybody is trying to look for the next great quarterback to come out of a no-name college. While he is a very solid player, he really hasn’t played against much competition. The transition to the NFL will be a big stepping stone, but it is not impossible. The Senior Bowl really helped his draft stock as it showed that he has the potential to play against better competition.
6. Derek Carr, Fresno State
Carr will unfortunately be tainted by his brother’s failure at the NFL level. On the bright side, he has still been a very successful quarterback at Fresno State. The things that really stick out to me are his quick release and deep ball accuracy. It may be a bit hard to get a good read on Carr as so many of his passes were wide receiver screens. There may be many question marks in Carr’s game, but he has the tools necessary for a team to take a chance on him.