My Top 5 Quarterbacks in the 2014 NFL Draft

NFL Draft

Teddy Bridgewater Louisville 6-2 214

Bridgewater is by far the most NFL prepared QB in the class. He has a very good arm, anticipates throws, has played in a pro style offense and reads defenses before and after the snap better than anyone else in the draft. He adjusts protections and changes plays at the line. The one concern is his lack of girth.

Blake Bortles Central Florida 6-5 230

Bortles has the prototype size teams look for but needs to drastically improve his footwork which causes inaccuracy. He has the best arm in the draft and will stand in against a hit and deliver the pass. He is able to move in the pocket and make throws on the move. After a year of good coaching he should become a franchise quality starting QB.

Zach Mettenberger LSU 6-5 240

He would be the second QB on this list had he not been injured. He has an excellent arm, good accuracy and touch at all levels and very solid footwork. He shows good awareness and the ability to read defenses. He will likely not be able to play until mid season and that will lower his draft stock.

Johnny Manziel Texas A&M 5-11.75 207

Manziel has wowed the fans with his athleticism and ability to make plays outside the pocket. He runs if his primary receiver is covered. He also does not throw with anticipation. He struggled when kept in the pocket by the pass rush. His slight build is a concern. He has suffered injuries in college. He is compared by others to Russel Wilson but Manziel does not have Wilson’s arm strength and there are questions about his willingness to spend the film time that Wilson does.

A.J. McCarron Alabama 6-3 220

McCarron is a system capable QB that has a great head, reads defenses effectively but lacks the arm strength to fit some systems. In a West coast O he could be effective. I am always a little careful about backing a QB from a power school because 99 times out of 100 he has the best 21 other players on the field on his side. But two NCAA crystal footballs must be appreciated.

Under the radar: Logan Thomas Virginia Tech 6-6 250

Thomas was the top QB coming out of 2011. He developed some bad habits in 2012-13 but has a great arm and the size teams want. He stands in against a hit and throws the ball. He needs to work on reading defenses and footwork which causes his inaccuracy. He needs to open his hips. If he gets good coaching he could be a late round or free agent QB that could become a starter in the NFL.

Wouldn’t touch with a 10 foot poll with a 40 foot extension: Derek Carr Fresno State 6-1.75 215

Carr lost ground with a very poor performance against USC. It was the first time he faced a team of other NFL prospects. He has an above average arm with decent ability to read the defense. He has been accurate in the shotgun but has no experience under center. He panicked against the fierce pass rush of USC. That is the one thing that drives him down this list. In effect he is Brandon Weeden lite. He has the same issue as Weeden (panic against the rush) but not as good an arm.

That is what I think. Tell us what you think.


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Bill Smith is a former coach of several semi-pro teams, has officiated both football and basketball, done color on radio for college football and basketball and has scouted talent. He edits He has also published several novels on and a non-fiction work at Follow him on twitter @NNRonDSN to get the schedule of Special News, Notes and Rumors broadcasts. You can hear the previous shows on and the live show Mondays at 6 PM Eastern time on .

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