Wednesday, April 16, 2014

QB's and the 2014 NFL Draft

With all the hype surrounding the top 4 QB's in the NFL Draft, most of the top 10 teams are looking to make a splash with one of them. This year's draft, while not bad, is not terribly good for QB's. There are four QB's that stand out: Blake Bortles, Derek Carr, Johnny Manziel, and Teddy Bridgewater. Here is my take on this year's draft as pertaining to the QB position.

There is no sure-fire, bonafide stud at the position. There is no Cam Newton, Robert Griffin III, or Andrew Luck in this year's draft. What we do have are probably a couple of mid-level starters and a bunch of backups. However, since most of the top 10 teams in the draft need a QB in the worst way, these teams will overdraft (aka reach) for one of these QB's. The team that hits on one of these QB's will be better off than before.

Most draft analysts are split between Bortles and Jadeveon Clowney as the first overall pick. Again, there is no clear-cut top overall pick in this year's draft. Clowney comes in with issues of his own: that he lacks a solid work ethic and takes plays off. Bortles has a high upside, but he's raw and needs a couple of years of development. In the win-now atmosphere of the NFL, that's very risky.

While Bortles is a solid enough guy off the field, can a team afford to wait two (or possibly more) years of him developing? Perhaps that is why teams like Houston, Jacksonville, Cleveland, and Minnesota are where they are at now: no solid QB play. Any number of factors can also come into play: a slew of injuries, players getting old, and poor drafting over the years.

As for the other QB's, I'd probably be looking to draft one of them in the second round. (As a Fresno State fan and alumnus, I LOVE Derek Carr but realistically he's a late first round to early second round selection.) Manziel is boom or bust. Bridgewater has career backup written all over him. (Do you want to draft him as high as third overall? I wouldn't.) These QB's are not franchise QB's like a Newton, Griffin, or Luck. I think Carr will be a solid starter, probably a QB that takes a team to the playoffs, but in order to go to the Super Bowl, he'll need his team to have a stout defense and a strong running game, plus he would have to have a stellar season.

In short, if I were one of these teams listed above, I'd probably be listening to trade offers and possibly trading down if the right offer comes along. I know Atlanta is looking to trade up, possibly to #1, to get Clowney. I could see a team or two trading back into the late first round of a couple of QB's are still on the board. This year is a bad year to be a poor team needing a QB. It takes about three seasons to determine how good or bad a draft year is. For these teams, wait until 2017 to fully grade out this year's draft.