2014 NFL Draft: Top 10 Eligible Quarterbacks
2014 NFL Draft: Top 10 Eligible Quarterbacks
When you look around the NFL and see the teams that are struggling the most, there tends to be an issue at the quarterback position. Teams like the Jacksonville Jaguars and the Minnesota Vikings are struggling because of poor quarterback play and will have to find an answer in the 2014 NFL Draft.
The good news for these teams struggling without a solid quarterback at the helm is that there are at least five or six quarterbacks that are eligible for the 2014 NFL draft that could make an immediate impact in the NFL.
However, drafting a quarterback can be essential to teams that already have a solid starting quarterback. The Tennessee Titans have one of the best defenses in the NFL, and their offense was meshing extremely well until an injury to Jake Locker left turnover prone Ryan Fitzpatrick in charge. The Titans had no one else to turn to and might not make the playoffs because of it.
The good news for teams that aren’t struggling and need a solid backup quarterback is that there hasn’t been a more diversely talented group of incoming quarterbacks into the NFL for a long time. There are clearly 15 or 20 prospects that could easily end up starting for an NFL team one day. A team could get a quarterback late in the fifth or so round that immediately becomes a long term backup with the potential for a huge trade later on.
Teams that could use a talented backup include the Titans, the New York Jets, the San Diego Chargers, the Carolina Panthers and the St. Louis Rams. This draft class has the right amount of quarterback talent to let them add players that are essential to playoff contention early in the draft, and then take a risk on a quarterback late in the draft.
Here is a list of the top 10 eligible quarterbacks for the 2014 NFL Draft
Taylor Sturm is an SEC Basketball Writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @TSturmRS or add him to your network on Google.
10. Bryce Petty - Baylor Bears
He leads the nation in total QBR and has 10 touchdowns to one interception. He’s an extremely talented quarterback, but Petty is only a Junior who could, and probably should, remain in the NCAA for a year.
9. Teddy Bridgewater - Louisville Cardinals
Junior Teddy Bridgewater is listed at No. 9 on this list not because he’s the ninth best QB prospect, but because if Louisville doesn’t go to the National Championship, he’s the type of player who would return. He’s extremely accurate and puts up ridiculous numbers, but he’ll have to prove he can do that against top opposition, too.
8. Tajh Boyd - Clemson Tigers
Boyd’s success is due largely in part to the talent of the players around him and his experience as an NCAA QB. Something that Boyd has going for him is that a large percentage of starting NFL quarterbacks are from the ACC, so he could be given an extra look.
7. Derek Carr - Fresno State Bulldogs
Already nearing 2000 yards midway through the season, Carr has led his Fresno State team to an undefeated record. Carr is third in the nation in passing attempts and has an over 70 percent completion rate.
6. David Fales - San Jose State Spartans
The most important stat for quarterbacks in the NFL, next to interceptions, has to be their completion percentage. Continuing drives is extremely important in a league that focuses on defense, and there is no one more efficient and accurate in the entire country. You’ve probably never seen Fales in a game because he plays in such a weak conference, but he’s in a different class than every player on the field.
5. Zach Mettenberger - LSU Tigers
Mettenberger has transformed the normally “ground and pound” Les Miles offense into a passing nightmare. Mettenberger has also had to work extremely hard to be given the reins at a top program like LSU, so he would come into the NFL and give everything he’s got for a starting job. He’s one of the players I really like to be a successful NFL quarterback down the road.
4. A.J. McCarron - Alabama Crimson Tide
There comes a point where you just can’t ignore a QB anymore. He’s only lost two games in his collegiate career and knows how to handle the football in tough situations. McCarron is one of those quarterbacks that could have a lot of success on a run heavy team in the NFL.
3. Johnny Manziel - Texas A&M Aggies
What can’t Manziel do? He’s all over the field and is probably the best football playing athlete in the country. Unfortunately, he’s considered by a lot of NFL GMs to be too immature. Another year in the NCAA could do wonders for his draft ranking.
2. Aaron Murray - Georgia Bulldogs
Next to efficiency and stats – which Murray has – something that is essential to NFL quarterbacks is the ability to make big plays late in games. Murray proved he can do that by leading game saving drives against LSU and Tennessee.
1. Marcus Mariota - Oregon Ducks
Marcus Mariota is second in the nation in total QBR and has nearly 1400 yards passing. He is averaging 12.1 yards per carry with 338 yards rushing. What is the most surprising stat of all? He’s never played in the fourth quarter in 2013.