KT’s NFL Draft Positional Rankings, Part 1: QB
1. Johnny Manziel QB Texas A&M-One of the most difficult players to project, but also the one that makes the most plays. I didn’t see him go through his progressions as much as I would have liked, but I think we’re talking about a guy who has identified his flaws and understands what needs to be corrected. We know about his uncanny ability to extend plays and his instincts. The question I get the most about Johnny Football is about his arm strength. Can he make all the throws? The answer is yes.
2. Teddy Bridgewater QB Louisville-There are real concerns about his build, but I’m holding out hope that he can throw on a few pounds before he’s a starting QB in the NFL. He won’t miss a throw that’s under 10-12 yards, putting it right on the money every time. The deep ball isn’t his strength, but he has shown the willingness to throw the ball deep down the field. He’ll use the whole field, and look off safeties with his eyes and shoulders. He’s advanced in terms of reading the defense. While he won’t take off and blow you away scrambling for yardage, I found myself really impressed with his ability to throw while rolling to his left. I think Teddy is underwhelming to the naked eye, but is streets ahead when it comes to running the entire offense and truly seeing what the defense is about to bring.
3. Derek Carr QB Fresno State-Don’t worry about his brother David, okay? We need to forget that he was ever the #1 pick in the draft. Just let it go everyone. Derek is a different person. This kid looks ready to step in and play. Much like Bridgewater, he’s very active at the line of scrimmage lining up his players and calling plays, while also showing an incredible sense of calmness in the pocket when dropping back to pass. He’s not as decorated as the Manziel/Bridgewater/Bortles trio, but make no mistake about it, he’s in that top tier of QBs for this draft.
4. Blake Bortles QB Central Florida-I understand what people really like about Bortles. He’s got a rocket arm and a certain project-ability. Standing 6’4″, his body type is more than ideal. He just makes me really uncomfortable. His footwork is really bad and on tape he came off as a schizophrenic. I realize I like him a lot less than most people, but I do see the potential that gets everyone excited. There’s a Tebow type of feel on his throws as he has a windup before he releases the ball. I think this is a major work in progress and he’s not ready to step in and play at the NFL level.
5. Jimmy Garrapollo QB Eastern Illinois-The first thing we must do with Jimmy is remember that he is not Tony Romo, even though they went to the same school. Garrapollo might have the most smooth delivery i’ve ever seen as every throw looks routine out of his hand. He definitely had happy feet on tape, but that’s likely something that can be fixed. He’s capable of making all the throws, and it wouldn’t surprise me if we see his stock rise all the way to the 2nd round.
6. Zack Mettenberger QB LSU-If he doesn’t tear his ACL late in the season, then I think he’s in conversation with the top tier. The ACL tear is not only concerning due to a drop in draft stock, but also because Mettenberg was always going to be one of the least mobile quarterbacks in the draft anyways. This is a big arm, but it comes with a slow release and a big windup. I’d be more than pleased to be able to draft this projectable QB in the 3rd or 4th round.
7. AJ McCarron QB Alabama-McCarron is a very accurate quarterback, but my main question mark on him is if he can throw the deep ball. Too many times on film, the 20+ yard pass would hang up in the air. He did show an ability to throw on the run and make all the throws a NFL quarterback is supposed to make, except for the deep ball. I wouldn’t reach for him, but I think he’d make a solid 4th or early 5th round selection.
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