As we inch closer to the 2014 NFL Draft, Connor Rogers will bring his “top five” for each position. Let’s start out with one of the most controversial groups, the quarterbacks.
1) Teddy Bridgewater – Louisville
The 6’2, 215 pound Bridgewater has been an excellent quarterback for two straight seasons at Louisville. He ran a pro style offense and showed superb poise when facing pressure. He has top flight vision and makes everyone around him better.While reports have been circulating that Bridgewater could possibly slide into the 2nd round, I believe he is by far the best quarterback in this draft class. Two years from now, many teams in the top 10 will most likely regret passing on a player of his caliber.
2) Johnny Manziel – Texas A&M
Arguably the most controversial player in the draft, Johnny Manziel is the wild card out of the quarterbacks group. He constantly makes plays, but many question how his skills will translate in the NFL.
Manziel has an unreal sense for pressure. His downfield vision is top notch as he extends plays. Many scouts have been all in or out with Manziel due to how unique he is and many being unsure of how his NFL career will play out.The bottom line is that Johnny Football is immensely talented and his “off field” concerns have been drastically over exaggerated. He should be a top ten pick.
3) Blake Bortles – University of Central Florida
Bortles is a solid prospect that needs to refine his game. He has excellent size (6’5, 232 pounds) and is a tough runner. He throws well on the run but fumbled 9 times this past season.
Bortles is a bit of a wild thrower at times and needs to improve his pocket presence if he wants to produce at the next level. His positive traits remind scouts of Andrew Luck but he is not nearly the finished product Luck was when he came out of Stanford.At the moment he is a bit of a project but can pay long term dividends for a club that takes him late in round one or early in round two.
4) Derek Carr – Fresno State
Teddy Bridgewater’s opposite, Carr has a big time arm but crumbles under pressure due to limited vision. After an impressive combine where he ran a 40 yard dash in 4.69 seconds, Carr showed off his under the radar athleticism. His poor bowl performance against USC severely damaged his draft momentum he had picked up throughout the season.
I expect Carr to fall between picks 26-40, but if a top 15 team sees him as their guy (Oakland), he may come off the board earlier than expected.
5) Aaron Murray – Georgia
Murray became the forgotten man after tearing his ACL in November. After an impressive college career, Murray’s stock is surging yet again.
His quick release and production in a pro style offense against the best competition in college football for four years will not keep him on the board as long as many expect. Murray will most likely be a 3rd round pick and is a very capable number two quarterback from day one, who can develop into a starter while sitting and learning for a year or two.