NFL combine: Time to measure up the top QB prospects

Manziel faces questions about his height and maturity; Bortles must show he’s ready.

Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel measured in at less than 6 feet at the NFL combine. Well, a quarter-inch under 6 feet at 5-11¾ — if that matters — and 207 pounds.

Louisville quarterback Teddy Bridgewater checked in an eighth of an inch more than 6-2 but 18 pounds heavier, at 214, than his college weight.

Central Florida quarterback Blake Bortles was tallest and heaviest of the bunch at 6-5 and 232.

The top three quarterbacks for the NFL draft of 2014 had their every measurement scrutinized closely on Friday, but the measurements meant little to them or to people such as new Vikings coach Mike Zimmer.

“To throw them all in one group: I like guys that win,” Zimmer said. “That helps me.”

Manziel finished with two of the most exciting individual seasons in college football and elevated Texas A&M from a mediocre program in the process. The 2012 Heisman Trophy winner led the Aggies to a 20-6 record in two seasons, yet he now must face questions as to whether he’s tall enough to play quarterback in the NFL.

“I play with a lot of heart, play with a lot of passion,” Manziel said. “I feel like I play like I’m 10 feet tall. A measurement to me is just a number.”

Manziel’s right hand measured 9⅞ inches, larger than Bridgewater and Bortles, which means, what? He won’t fumble as much?

In truth, Manziel’s stock might be volatile in the 11 weeks before the May 8 draft. He was almost as famous for his off-the-field exploits and says he’ll attempt to stay out of the limelight for now to persuade the Houston Texans he’s worthy of the top overall pick.

“Johnny Manziel is a guy; I’m from a small town of Kerrville, Texas, 20,000 people,” Manziel said. “I get lost in kind of the people who make me out to be a big Hollywood guy; [I’m] really just still a small-town kid. Sometimes you get caught up in certain things, but at the same time [I’m] continuing to learn and continuing to adapt to everything that’s going on in my life.”

Houston, Jacksonville, Cleveland and Oakland all have holes at quarterback and select before the Vikings, who have the eighth pick. Bortles also has a shot to be the first overall selection, but some have speculated he could slide down to the Vikings’ spot.

Both are mobile quarterbacks, but Bortles has the height of a traditional quarterback. Bortles jumped on the scene last season when UCF finished 12-1 and defeated Baylor in the Fiesta Bowl. Unlike Manziel, Bortles will throw at the combine, while Manziel will save his arm for his pro day.

“I’m going to do everything that I can here to make sure that when I leave there’s other people saying [I’m the best] besides me,” Bortles said. “That’s the goal. The goal is to be the top quarterback prospect. That’s why I left early. That’s why I came out to be the top quarterback prospect and I believe I can do that.”

Bortles wants to be compared to Patriots quarterback Tom Brady and Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning. One was a sixth-round pick and the other a first overall selection, but both have been considered among the top quarterbacks of this generation.

Still, Bortles is considered the least NFL-ready quarterback of the trio and might be best served sitting behind a veteran starter during his rookie season.

“I need coaching,” Bortles said. “I need help. I think everybody in the game does. There’s reasons why all these greats out there are continuing to play and continuing to work out in the offseason and get coached.”

Bortles has the size advantage on Manziel and Bridgewater, who are seen to be more NFL-ready. The Vikings will exhaust their resources, to the point of overevaluation, to see which would be the best fit for the franchise, even though there are no guarantees any of the three will be there at No. 8.

They were all winners in college. Will it translate to the NFL? The combine is another major test on the road to the draft.

  • related content

  • New Vikings coach talks Peterson, QBs and more

    Friday February 21, 2014

    The Vikings coach took on a variety of subjects at the NFL scouting combine.

  • Zimmer expects Adrian Peterson back for April mini camp

    Friday February 21, 2014

    Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer expects running back Adrian Peterson to be ready for the team’s mini camp in April.

  • Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel answered a question during a news conference at the NFL scouting combine Friday.

  • Central Florida’s Blake Bortles, speaking at the combine, is considered the least NFL-ready of the top QBs.

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Cincinnati - LP: M. Latos 4 FINAL
Baltimore - WP: B. Norris 5
Boston - WP: J. Kelly 9 FINAL
NY Yankees - LP: S. Greene 4
Detroit - WP: P. Coke 4 FINAL
Cleveland - LP: C. Allen 2
NY Mets - WP: J. Niese 8 FINAL
Miami - LP: B. Penny 6
Philadelphia - WP: K. Kendrick 4 FINAL
Atlanta - LP: M. Minor 0
Toronto - WP: R. Dickey 8 FINAL
Tampa Bay - LP: J. Hellickson 2
Milwaukee - LP: Y. Gallardo 1 FINAL
Chicago Cubs - WP: J. Arrieta 7
LA Angels - LP: C. Wilson 3 FINAL
Houston - WP: B. Peacock 8
Chicago WSox - WP: D. Webb 6 FINAL
Minnesota - LP: L. Oliveros 3
Texas - LP: M. Kirkman 1 FINAL
Kansas City - WP: J. Frasor 2
Pittsburgh - LP: J. Locke 4 FINAL
St. Louis - WP: A. Wainwright 6
San Francisco - WP: G. Kontos 12 FINAL
Colorado - LP: M. Belisle 7
Seattle - WP: J. Paxton 6 FINAL
Oakland - LP: S. Gray 5
Washington - LP: D. Fister 1 FINAL
Los Angeles - WP: C. Kershaw 4
Arizona - LP: B. Ziegler 1 FINAL
San Diego - WP: K. Quackenbush 2
Green Bay 9/4/14 7:30 PM
Seattle
Buffalo 9/7/14 12:00 PM
Chicago
New Orleans 9/7/14 12:00 PM
Atlanta
Minnesota 9/7/14 12:00 PM
St. Louis
Cleveland 9/7/14 12:00 PM
Pittsburgh
Jacksonville 9/7/14 12:00 PM
Philadelphia
Oakland 9/7/14 12:00 PM
NY Jets
Cincinnati 9/7/14 12:00 PM
Baltimore
Washington 9/7/14 12:00 PM
Houston
Tennessee 9/7/14 12:00 PM
Kansas City
New England 9/7/14 12:00 PM
Miami
Carolina 9/7/14 3:25 PM
Tampa Bay
San Francisco 9/7/14 3:25 PM
Dallas
Indianapolis 9/7/14 7:30 PM
Denver
NY Giants 9/8/14 6:10 PM
Detroit
San Diego 9/8/14 9:20 PM
Arizona
Miami-Florida 13 FINAL
(25) Louisville 31
Arizona 9/4/14 7:00 PM
TX-San Antonio
Pittsburgh 9/5/14 6:00 PM
Boston College
Washington St 9/5/14 9:30 PM
Nevada
SMU 9/6/14 11:00 AM
North Texas
Fla Atlantic 9/6/14 11:00 AM
(2) Alabama
Buffalo 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Army
(24) Missouri 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Toledo
Arkansas State 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Tennessee
(7) McNeese State 9/6/14 11:00 AM
(19) Nebraska
Central Mich 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Purdue
Akron 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Penn State
Western Ill 9/6/14 11:00 AM
(18) Wisconsin
(20) Kansas State 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Iowa State
(4) Oklahoma 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Tulsa
Western Ky 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Illinois
SC State 9/6/14 11:30 AM
(23) Clemson
Navy 9/6/14 12:00 PM
Temple
UAB 9/6/14 1:00 PM
Miss State
South Alabama 9/6/14 1:00 PM
Kent State
New Mexico St 9/6/14 1:00 PM
Georgia State
Colorado 9/6/14 2:00 PM
Massachusetts
Fresno State 9/6/14 2:00 PM
Utah
(2) Eastern Wash 9/6/14 2:00 PM
Washington
(14) USC 9/6/14 2:30 PM
(13) Stanford
Ohio U 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Kentucky
Middle Tennessee 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Minnesota
Northern Ill 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Northwestern
Missouri State 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Oklahoma State
Ball State 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Iowa
Maryland 9/6/14 2:30 PM
So Florida
Eastern Mich 9/6/14 3:00 PM
Florida
Georgia Tech 9/6/14 3:00 PM
Tulane
(15) Ole Miss 9/6/14 3:30 PM
Vanderbilt
Old Dominion 9/6/14 5:00 PM
NC State
(7) Michigan State 9/6/14 5:30 PM
(3) Oregon
(17) Arizona State 9/6/14 6:00 PM
New Mexico
Louisiana Tech 9/6/14 6:00 PM
Louisiana
San Jose St 9/6/14 6:00 PM
(5) Auburn
East Carolina 9/6/14 6:00 PM
(21) So Carolina
Duke 9/6/14 6:00 PM
Troy
Idaho 9/6/14 6:00 PM
ULM
(15) Sam Houston St 9/6/14 6:30 PM
(12) LSU
Michigan 9/6/14 6:30 PM
(16) Notre Dame
Lamar 9/6/14 6:30 PM
(9) Texas A&M
Northwestern St 9/6/14 6:30 PM
(10) Baylor
BYU 9/6/14 6:30 PM
Texas
Citadel 9/6/14 6:30 PM
(1) Florida State
San Diego St 9/6/14 7:00 PM
(21) North Carolina
Virginia Tech 9/6/14 7:00 PM
(8) Ohio State
Memphis 9/6/14 9:00 PM
(11) UCLA
Colorado State 9/6/14 9:15 PM
Boise State
Air Force 9/6/14 9:15 PM
Wyoming
Oregon State 9/6/14 9:30 PM
Hawaii
Texas Tech 9/6/14 10:00 PM
Texas-El Paso
Toronto 12 FINAL
Hamilton 13
Edmonton 13 FINAL
Calgary 28
Brt Columbia 9/5/14 6:30 PM
Ottawa
Calgary 9/6/14 6:00 PM
Edmonton
Hamilton 9/7/14 12:00 PM
Montreal
Saskatchewan 9/7/14 3:00 PM
Winnipeg
Minnesota 78 FINAL
Phoenix 96
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Date/Opponent Time W L Score
2014 preseason     
Aug 8 - vs. Oakland 7 pmX10-6
Aug 16 - vs. Arizona 7:30 pmX30-28
Aug 23 - at Kansas City 7 pmX30-12
Aug 28 - at Tennessee 7 pmX19-3
2014 regular season     
Sep 7 - at St. Louis Noon
Sep 14 - vs. New England Noon
Sep 21 - at New Orleans Noon
Sep 28 - vs. Atlanta 3:25 pm
Oct 2 - at Green Bay 7:25 pm
Oct 12 - vs. Detroit Noon
Oct 19 - at. Buffalo Noon
Oct 26 - at Tampa Bay Noon
Nov 2 - vs. Washington Noon
Nov 9 - Bye
Nov 16 - at Chicago Noon
Nov. 23 - vs. Green Bay Noon
Nov. 30 - vs. Carolina Noon
Dec 7 - vs. NY Jets Noon
Dec 14 - at Detroit Noon
Dec 21 - at Miami Noon
Dec 28 - vs. Chicago Noon

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: How many games will the Vikings win this season?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close