Ranking the Quarterbacks in the 2014 NFL Draft

Nila Amerova

Monday, February 17, 2014 8:23 PM GMT

The NFL 2014 Draft serves up a slew of exciting prospects in all positions on the field. Here’s a primer on some of the players vying for the most important position of all – the quarterback.

If the early rumblings in NFL betting circles were any indication, the quarterback position is going to prove the most contentious of the NFL 2014 Draft, sure to deliver some surprises. Several teams are desperately searching for an answer to the leadership role, a demand that’s already putting a compelling premium on the supply available in the market, within which several candidates have in the group have been earmarked as ‘top’ candidates for the selection process.

So let’s take a look at these names that are being bandied around ...

Be sure to give SBR Forum's NFL Draft predictions a look.

By and large, the consensus is that Louisville QB Teddy Bridgewater could emerge as the top prospect. Although that is not a foregone conclusion by any stretch of the imagination, the debate sure to rage on until the actual NFL draft commences with several other prospects including Johnny Manziel and Blake Bortles leaping off the page.

Bridgewater entered the previous college season as the No.1 QB in the rankings, thus all the attention. What makes Bridgewater an attractive option, alongside various intangibles, is his slighter build, accuracy and leadership skills that have earned him comparisons to Russell Wilson. And largely down to the Seattle gunslinger’s Super Bowl win (and let’s not forget Drew Brees pioneering the way as well), arguably changing the QB position forevermore and how prospect qualities are being evaluated in the market, Bridgewater’s stock value has increased.

Critics point to his arm strength, which may not be as great and penetrating as Wilson’s is, but he’s young and can develop in that area. After all, the quarterback position is also about the maturation process in the NFL. It’s what he already possesses that makes him a standout prospect: decision making, field vision and pocket awareness, all of which under the right coach and in the right team, could be harnessed into a formidable weapon.

Former Heisman Trophy winner, Johnny Manziel is held as one of two threats to Bridgewater’s top credentials in NFL betting circles, if not his biggest rival for No. 1 NFL pick. A natural playmaker and a dynamic runner – not unlike Kaepernick in some respects – Manziel is exciting the imagination of the NFL draft. He’s another that demands the book on the ideal size and stature of a quarterback be damned, crediting Wilson’s Super Bowl winning performance for his big dreams. 

Blake Bortles makes a strong case for top prospect according to many NFL betting experts as – of the triplet – he best fits the traditional quarterback mould at 6’4”and 230 pounds. But of the triplet he’s the dark horse, tougher to gage and somewhat raw. What’s more, opinion couldn’t be more divided where he’s concerned, earning comparisons to Jay Cutler and Cam Newton in one breath – which is a huge difference between being good and potentially great. Some have run the gamut of comparisons, comparing various aspects of his game and presence to Jake Locker, Andrew Luck and Ben Roethelisberger, to name a few. If there is any consensus where he’s concerned, it’s on his upside: his future potential as an NFL Franchise player, which will require substantial investment of time and seasons.

Other candidates include Derek Carr and David Fales. The former is the brother of David Carr, who is a former No.1 overall pick, and his best asset right now is a cannon arm. The latter, enjoyed a lot of hype ahead of last season, but a modest season saw his stock value diminish. 

So that’s a list of the Top 5 quarterback prospects for the NFL draft. Now, it all comes down to the Texans, who have the No.1 overall draft pick and what they actually do with it is anybody’s guess. Speculation is rife with some suggesting they’ll keep it while others argue vehemently they’ll trade down.

There is no doubt that the quarterback position is sorely begging at the moment in Houston but will it be their priority or will they trade down and still hope to get a decent quarterback. If the NFL Mock drafts flooding online platforms were any indication, they overwhelmingly point to Blake Bortles as the No.1 overall pick. What do you think?