Updated 3/6

The 2014 Quarterback class is a strange one. We all know that there is no Andrew Luck in this class, but the class is significantly better than the Geno Smith/E.J. Manuel 2013 class. I see four to five potential starters in this class, and three potential studs. What I love about this class is that the top three guys all come from teams that all relied on their quarterback. There are too many quarterbacks that come from teams loaded head to toe with talent that do nothing in the NFL, especially when they find their way onto the rosters of the Browns and the Raiders.


1) Teddy Bridgewater, Louisville

Bridgewater has gotten way too much criticism this season, and while some of it is fair it really doesn't add up. Louisville had expectations for an undefeated season, and they lost by a field goal to UCF. Yeah, the same UCF that crushed Baylor in the Fiesta Bowl. The same UCF team that lost only to South Carolina. 

Bridgewater didn't blow it up statistically, but he showed the same romanticizing zip on his passes that only a couple of other quarterbacks do in the world. The only fear one should have with him is that his frame is very small which could mean trouble if he cannot add bulk.

I actually see a lot of the same in Bridgewater that I saw out of Aaron Rodgers coming out ten years ago. I don't quite see that range, but I do see the potential. I will say the same thing though that I said about RG3 coming out, and that is that he will be the best player this class if he can stay healthy.

2) Blake Bortles, Central Florida

Bortles has moved up to my number two spot. He is the most physically gifted of the prospects, he has a pretty clean resume, and he is a lot more accurate than most of the other QB's in the league with big arms.The best scenario would be for him to find a team with a solid defense (Houston or Tennessee to name a few).

Think Joe Flacco at his best

3) Derek Carr, Fresno State

Carr has a ton of experience, can make all of the throws that he would need to, and makes everyone around him better. I don't think that he can be plugged into a terrible team and win instantly (see Carr, David), but I think he would be a top-10 QB on a talented team like Houston. I don't see the Texans giving the Carr family a second chance, but he might be the best QB if they wanted to win now.

Think Carson Palmer at his best

4) Jimmy Garoppolo, Eastern Illinois

All of the Tony Romo comparisons can be packed up and stored in the same lazy trunk that helped draft any Michigan prospect because of Tom Brady. Garoppolo has a solid enough arm, a great release, an ability to flick it anywhere, and in the small amount of film I have seen from him he has one of the best ball point locations that I have ever seen. He spots the ball where only the receiver can grab it.

If he interviews well he should be the 5th QB taken.

5) Johnny Manziel, Texas A&M

I can't wait for the hate mail. But there is no reason why Manziel should be a first round prospect. I will ignore the off the field issues (although check out a past article of mine on the topic), in this analysis. 

First of all he is small. Drew Brees is the exception on height, and Russell Wilson is on his way to one as well, but not every short guy can play. But he isn't just short, he is small. He won't get lost behind defenders in the NFL, and he sure as heck won't bounce off guys.

His most famous play in college is one where he fumbles the ball forward, recovers it and scores after the defense breaks because of the fumble. That play doesn't happen in the NFL.


Secondly he isn't polished. He can make a lot of the throws and does have the potential to be very good, but he is nowhere close to the other three guys at the top of the list. He doesn't have the cannon that Bortles has. In fact he floats too many balls. He doesn't have the quick zip that Bridgewater does, and he doesn't have the vision and command that Carr has. 

Finally, I never trust a Quarterback that has been surrounded by too much talent. Between the offensive line depth, the top notch skills guys, and a very good coach I don't trust him. See any USC, Oklahoma, or Alabama QB to come out in the last 10-years.

Skip Bayless and you can have all of the Tim Tebow/Colt McCoy boners that you want about Manziel, but at the end of the day he is an unpolished and undersized QB who has been spoiled his whole life.

Tier 3 

I don't really love any of the quarterbacks after the first four in this draft. There are a few guys that have huge potential, but I just don't see a steal waiting to happen. Possible starters are loaded though.



6) Aaron Murray, Georgia


Murray did tear his ACL during the season, but he was never going to be a draft-and-start kind of guy anyways. He could possibly heal and develop into a future starter on a team like Cardinals.

7) David Fales, SD State

8) AJ McCarron, Alabama

9) Tajh Boyd, Clemson

10) Zach Mettenberger, LSU