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Louisville quarterback Teddy Bridgewater, right, talks with Central Florida quarterback Blake Bortles at the NFL football scouting combine in Indianapolis, Sunday, Feb. 23, 2014.

Michael Conroy, Dml - Associated Press

Ranking the top quarterbacks in the NFL draft

  • May 6, 2014 - 9:46 AM

 

{1}

Teddy Bridgewater

School: Louisville

Height, weight: 6-2, 214 pounds

Projection: First round

Strengths: Played in a pro-ready offense, accurate, reads through his progressions, good decision-maker.

Weaknesses: Questions about durability (although he didn’t miss a game at Louisville) and arm strength.

The skinny: Don’t buy any “unnamed” one-source stories, and there have been plenty about Bridgewater in a negative light. He edges out Bortles and Manziel and would be a steal if he falls out of the top 10.

 

{2}

Blake Bortles

School: Central Florida

Height, weight: 6-5, 232

Projection: First round

Strengths: Has size of a prototypical quarterback, mobile and can extend plays, can fit throws in tight spots.

Weaknesses: Raw, footwork in pocket, deep-ball accuracy.

The skinny: Bortles isn’t ready to start yet, but he has the highest ceiling. For that reason, he’ll be the first quarterback taken at No. 3 by Jacksonville or No. 4 by Cleveland.

 

{3}

Johnny Manziel

School: Texas A&M

Height, weight: 6-0, 207

Projection: First round

Strengths: Outstanding athlete, dynamic, can extend plays with his feet, competitor, accurate, impressive leadership.

Weaknesses: Height, leaves pocket too early, improviser, off-the-field distractions.

The skinny: Manziel is the most exciting player in the draft, but nobody knows how he will translate to the NFL. That won’t hold “Johnny Football’’ back, though, and Cleveland needs him.

{4}

Derek Carr

School: Fresno State

Height, weight: 6-2, 214

Projection: Late first round

Strengths: Good arm, good release with a tight spiral, athletic, accurate on short and immediate throws, mature.

Weaknesses: Decision-making, questionable deep ball, poor competition in Mountain West.

The skinny: Carr’s stock continues to rise. He won’t be the top overall pick like his brother, David, but Arizona at No. 20 is a good fit.

{5}

AJ McCarron

School: Alabama

Height, weight: 6-3, 220

Projection: Day 2 pick

Strengths: Proven national champion, played in pro-style offense, decent arm strength, leader, game manager.

Weaknesses: Deep-ball accuracy, not a good athlete, played with elite offensive talent.

The skinny: McCarron is intriguing. If the Vikings select a defensive player in the first round, McCarron is an adequate quarterback in the second or third round.

{6}

Jimmy Garoppolo

School: Eastern Illinois

Height, weight: 6-2, 226

Projection: Day 2 pick.

Strengths: Quick and clean release, throws a good ball, can stand tall in the pocket, athletic enough to evade defenders, smart decision-maker.

Weakness: Gets happy feet and pats ball in the pocket, doesn’t read through progressions, lacks awareness in the pocket, played at FCS level, deep-ball accuracy.

The skinny: Some think Garoppolo will sneak into the first round, but that’s hard to see. He’ll need some work but can start in the NFL.

{7}

Aaron Murray

School: Georgia

Height, weight: 6-1, 207

Projection: Fourth or fifth round

Strengths: Good leader, four-year experience created good timing with receivers, good football IQ.

Weaknesses: Inconsistent under pressure, size, known to make costly mistakes in big games, coming off ACL surgery.

The skinny: Murray’s durability is concerning even after his Pro Day last week. He was having a great senior season until his injury. He could be targeted by teams looking to draft two quarterbacks.

{8}

Zach Mettenberger

School: LSU

Height, weight: 6-5, 224

Projection: Fourth or fifth round

Strengths: Has size of prototypical quarterback, can withstand pressure in the pocket, ran pro-style offense under former NFL offensive coordinator Cam Cameron.

Weaknesses: Poor awareness in the pocket, doesn’t read through his progressions, locks on receivers, poor deep-ball accuracy, prone to underthrow balls, coming off ACL surgery, character issues off the field.

The skinny: NFL general managers, head coaches and offensive coordinators are going with history here and want to take a shot on Mettenberger, a quarterback with the ideal size. Don’t believe the hype. If he gets picked any higher than Day 3, it’s a huge risk.

{9}

Logan Thomas

School: Virginia Tech

Height, weight: 6-6, 248

Projection: Fifth through seventh round

Strengths: Strong, athletic and versatile, has size of prototypical quarterback, strongest arm in the draft, tough, embraces physicality, started 40 consecutive games.

Weaknesses: Inconsistent, inaccurate, poor mechanics, puts the ball in jeopardy (29 interceptions in past two seasons), didn’t improve his senior season.

The skinny: Thomas’ past two seasons were anything but pretty, but he’s worth a look if a team wants to draft two quarterbacks. Worst case, he switches positions (tight end maybe?), but he’s too athletic not to take late in Day 3.

{10}

Tom Savage

School: Pittsburgh

Height, weight: 6-4, 228

Projection: Fourth through seventh round

Strengths: Has size of prototypical quarterback, live arm, good release, played under center at Pitt.

Weakness: Inaccurate, inconsistent, doesn’t read through progressions, bad decision-maker, will turn 24 on Saturday and needs a few years to develop.

The skinny: He’s the latest flavor of the month, following Mettenberger as ideal-sized quarterbacks that some think could go in the second round. Proceed with caution and don’t draft before Day 3. That’s how general managers get fired.

 

Notable Day 3 QBs: Keith Wenning, Ball State; Tajh Boyd, Clemson; David Fales, San Jose State; Garrett Gilbert, Southern Methodist; Connor Shaw, South Carolina















 

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