Cavanaugh’s NFL Draft Positional Rankings, Part 1: QB
1. Derek Carr QB Fresno State – He looks to me to be the most NFL ready of the QB class. Mechanics are good, arm strength is good, accuracy is good. The only hesitation is that he didn’t play in the SEC. Never looks uncomfortable in the pocket, in control of the offense at all times.
2. Johnny Manziel QB Texas A&M – Once upon a time people weren’t sure if he had an NFL arm. The tape says he does and so did his pro day. No play is ever dead if this guy is your QB. Very possible he ends up being the best QB in this draft, I only have him 2nd because of the what if factor. What if he takes too long to realize he has to go out of bounds and slide? What if you can’t coach some of the crazy decisions out of him? Keeping a play alive is his best asset, but if it leads to poor decisions it can also be a detriment.
3. Teddy Bridgewater QB Louisville – Love everything about his game if he never throws the ball over 15 yards. His accuracy on the slants, outs, stops and drag routes is outstanding. My questions come in when he goes downfield. Doesn’t have as big of an arm as any of the other first round guys. His build has some people concerned as well.
4. Blake Bortles QB UCF – Has the arm talent, no question about it. He’ll have to be coached up. Footwork leaves a lot to be desired. He’s mechanically inferior to the guys in front of him, including Manziel. This is the guy that has the potential to make me look the worst with these rankings, but I just wouldn’t be the guy to take a chance on a guy that has a long way to come on some of the fundamentals.
5. Jimmy Garrapollo QB E. Illinois – This where I believe we are out of the first round. Looks like a pretty polished product, and this may seem like a copout comparison because of the school, but watching him on tape, there’s some Romo in there. His release is superquick, accuracy is really good. Level of competition is the obvious concern for him. I would put him in the 2nd round.
6. Zack Mettenberger QB LSU – Huge arm, huge guy, not going to move anywhere outside the pocket. He can make every throw, he’s going to stand there and deliver the ball even if it means taking a big hit. Can’t stress enough that this guy is going to be a statue in the NFL, but he’s also a big strong guy that’s hard to bring down and will get the ball off. I would put him in the 3rd round.
7. AJ McCarron QB Bama – Aaron Murray could end up in this spot with more tape study, but for now I lean toward McCarron. He does what you’d expect an Alabama QB to do. Controls the offense, makes the short easy throws to keep drives alive. Hard to discount the amount of experience and winning he’s done at such a high level. Seems to check down a lot, doesn’t take chances. Can throw on the move, deep ball flutters from time to time. I would put him in the 4th round.
(©2014 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)