2014 NFL Draft Top 5 Quarterbacks
1. Teddy Bridgewater, 6-2, 214, Louisville
Bridgewater’s career at Louisville got off to a rocky start. Frustrated with not starting, he contemplated moving back home to Miami. He stuck it out and turned himself into the best and most polished quarterback in the 2014 NFL Draft. Questions remain about his slender frame, level of competition he played against and deep ball accuracy, especially outside the numbers. But they’re offset by a growing list of positives. He is smart, showing off his football IQ by running a pro-style offense and making checks at the line of scrimmage.
2. Johnny Manziel, 5-11, 207, Texas A&M
Manziel put together an impressive two-year career at Texas A&M and left his mark on college football. Manziel has an infectious attitude, and makes everyone around him better. Is he smaller than some teams would prefer? Yes. Does he have a slight frame? Sure he does. But he also has tools that can’t be taught. After making many highlight reel plays in 2012 with his legs, Manziel put in great work with QB-guru George Whitfield prior to his sophomore year and learned to attack defenses from inside the pocket. He has plenty enough arm strength to make throws to all three levels accurately.
3. Derek Carr, 6-2, 214, Fresno State
He became Fresno State’s starter in 2011 and finished his career all over the record books. The pass-happy system at Fresno State inflated his numbers, but Carr has a long list of NFL-type throws on his resume. He also has the leadership qualities coveted, raising the play of his teammates.
4. Blake Bortles, 6-5, 232, Central Florida
Overlooked coming out of high school, some teams wanted him to be a tight end. Instead, Bortles went to UCF, and became an intriguing talent. A starter the last two seasons for the Golden Knights, Bortles capped his college career with a win over Baylor in the Fiesta Bowl. The Florida-native is big, strong and athletic. He can shed defenders in the pocket or maneuver around them.
5. Zach Mettenberger, 6-5, 224, LSU
His torn ACL suffered in the final game is a big blow to his draft prospects. While many have been working out this off-season, showcasing their skills and improving on weaknesses, Mettenberger has been trying to get healthy. Mettenberger started his career at Georgia, transferred to Butler Community College, and then finished at LSU where he was a two-year starter. This past season, Mettenberger improved as much as any quarterback in college thanks to some quality work with offensive coordinator Cam Cameron. The drop-back passer with a cannon for an arm is a bit of a statue in the pocket, but he has the size, arm strength and willingness to stand in the face of a rush. It’s those things that make him tantalizing despite his knee injury.