I don’t think there is a guy in this draft like Manning, Luck, Newton, Stafford, or Manning. In other words, if Houston takes Jadeveon Clowney, I wouldn’t be mad. We all recognize the importance of quarterback however and teams that don’t have one (I’d say at least 7 teams need one, and another 5-10 have to think about taking one to develop) need to find one.
1. Johnny Manziel, Texas A&M- Love at first sight. I think the most impressive thing about Johnny Football is he has some of the best natural instincts of anybody I’ve seen. Brett Favre, Tony Romo, Mike Vick, Doug Flutie, Jeff Garcia, Fran Tarkenton, and Roger Staubach are the players I think of when describing him.
2. Zach Mettenberger, LSU- No player improved from 2012 to 2013 like Mettenberger. He’s got the strongest arm in this class and is one of the most ready to play quarterbacks in this class because of the pro-style offense he ran. He must recover from his ACL injury, but he was never much a runner to begin with. He most closely resembles Ryan Mallett, Carson Palmer, and Sam Bradford.
3. Teddy Bridgewater, Louisville- He is thin, but if you look around the NFL there are plenty of successful quarterbacks that weight under 215 pounds. Plenty. What I like about him is his accuracy, both in the pocket and on the move in addition to no wasted motion on his release. Reminds me of Matt Ryan in so many ways.
4. Blake Bortles, UCF- He is a nice combination of throwing ability and running ability. Throwing style reminds me of Jim Kelly and Kyle Orton. He’s not as tall as some of the big NFL quarterbacks, but he’s built sturdy. Above average arm and poise in the pocket. Of current QB’s I think he could be like a Andrew Luck/Jake Locker/Alex Smith type.
5. Derek Carr, Fresno State- He seems like he’ll play in the league for 10 years, starting some and riding the bench some. He’s smart and accurate and throws a nice football. He throws a good deep ball, but I wonder will he hang in and deliver those 15-20 yard routes with defender bearing down on him. Thinking Chad Henne, Matt Schaub, and Geno Smith.
6. Bryn Renner, North Carolina- Poised and on target throwing to all levels. Will take some risks. Reminds me a lot of Jay Cutler, although not as powerful an arm.
7. David Fales, San Jose State- Athletic, accurate thrower, pretty spiral. Questionable arm. Alex Smith today, also reminds me of Bills Rob Johnson.
8. Tajh Boyd, Clemson- Like his mobility and leadership. Might be a career back-up given a chance to start eventually. Slightly more athletic Bruce Gradkowski.
9. Stephen Morris, Miami- Big arm, accurate deep, all over the place on intermediate routes. Jason Campbell, Matt Cassel type player.
10. Brett Smith, Wyoming– A bigger version of Ryan Fitzpatrick. Athletic and a below-average arm that will likely limit his appeal.
For the record, I love and respect the great college careers of AJ McCarron, Aaron Murray, Jordan Lynch, Connor Shaw, and others that didn’t make this list. I think they may have a chance to catch on as backups and certainly believe both McCarron and Murray will be drafted at some point. I just don’t see them as future starters or as options better than those listed above.