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NFL GM: 2014 QB class not as good as some think

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  • NFL GM: 2014 QB class not as good as some think

    NFL GM: 2014 QB class not as good as some think
    According to one exec, Bortles, Bridgewater, Carr and Manziel remind him of Ponder, Locker and Gabbert
    By Jason Cole
    January 21, 2014, 06:14 PM EST

    The 2014 draft may not be as heavy on quarterbacks at the top of the draft as many people have been projecting. According to three general managers who have a serious interest in what happens with the quarterbacks, passers such as Blake Bortles, Teddy Bridgewater, Derek Carr and Johnny Manziel may not end up going as quickly as many draftniks have suggested.

    And the most damning analysis came Tuesday morning when one of them said: “This group is reminding me a lot of the first round in 2011, except there’s no Cam Newton.”

    The 2011 NFL draft featured four quarterbacks being selected in the first round. Newton went No. 1 overall before Jake Locker went No. 8, Blaine Gabbert at 10 and Christian Ponder at 12. All three of those players have flopped after only three years in the league. Their teams (Minnesota, Tennessee and Jacksonville) are all looking to draft quarterbacks again this year.

    In hindsight, all of the general managers questioned about this draft say that the group in 2011 is proof of the pratfalls of reaching for a player.

    “A couple of things happened with that class that I think will make some teams hesitant this year,” one of them said. “First, the desperation to get somebody forced those guys up the board a lot higher. Second, the desperation also forced those team to play those guys before they were ready and before they had talent around them to make it easier.

    “You look back at it and say, ‘Be more patient.’”

    Will that happen in a league where finding a quarterback is paramount to success? The an-swer is probably not. Starting with Houston at No. 1 overall, Jacksonville at No. 3 and Cleveland at No. 5, there are plenty of teams in need.

    Yet, there is some belief that the difference between the quarterbacks perceived to go at the top of the first round and the ones who are likely to be in the second or third round is so small that waiting is wise. Players such as A.J. McCarron, Aaron Murray, Zach Mettenberger, David Fales and James Garoppolo are expected to be in that group later in the draft.

    “The difference between all those guys is about this much,” one of the GMs said, holding his forefinger and thumb about a half-inch apart. “If that’s how you see it, why not wait?”

    Furthermore, Bortles, Bridgewater, Carr and Manziel each have their issues. There are con-cerns about Bortles’ accuracy, Bridgewater’s lack of size and quiet personality, Carr’s pocket pres-ence and Manziel’s personality.

    Or as one GM put it: “I’m telling you right now, don’t be surprised if those guys start to fall. It’s just like last year at this time when we all thought Geno Smith was going No. 1 overall and then he dropped. I think there’s a real chance to see that.”

  • #2
    Re: NFL GM: 2014 QB class not as good as some think

    GMs are not to be believed this time of year.

    Geno dropped due to his poor interviews if I recall.
    "His biggest problem is that he doesn't know what he doesn't know," said a league executive, who spent extensive time assessing Smith before the draft. "I'm not sure he knows how to take instruction because he pretty much wouldn't listen or talk to our coaches … he's talented. He can sling it, he can fit it into tight spots, he can do a lot of things and I think he wants to be good. But you can't tell him anything right now. He's tuned out because he thinks he's got it all down."


    • #3
      Re: NFL GM: 2014 QB class not as good as some think

      I'm sure you could have found a GM to say the same thing in 1983. You just can't know till ya know. Ya know?


      • #4
        Re: NFL GM: 2014 QB class not as good as some think

        I see a lot of decent QB's and some with some upside to be more. But there are six or seven that could be serviceable NFL QB's. Not bad in that respect, but only a couple that have the potential to be very good.
        The restoration is complete!


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        • Nick
          2014 NFL Draft: Quarterback conundrum harks back to 2011 class
          by Nick
          2014 NFL Draft: Quarterback conundrum harks back to 2011 class
          By Albert Breer
          NFL Media reporter
          Published: March 24, 2014 at 11:26 a.m.
          Updated: March 25, 2014 at 05:41 p.m.

          This is the story of eight NFL teams that went into the 2011 NFL Draft with a quarterback need.

          It also could serve as a roadmap for those that go into the 2014 NFL Draft in that very position.

          At the end of last week, a few of the final pre-draft turns of the 2014 quarterback carousel were taken. Ryan Fitzpatrick signed in Houston, which helped push the trade of Matt Schaub to Oakland over the goal line. With the Raiders out of the quarterback trade market, the Jets finally cut Mark Sanchez loose and brought in Michael Vick.

          The end result of that, and moves made over the previous three weeks, is this: The teams in the top 10 aren't obligated to take quarterbacks with their respective picks. The Texans have Fitzpatrick. The Jaguars have Chad Henne. The Browns have Brian Hoyer. The Raiders have Schaub. The Buccaneers signed Josh McCown. The Vikings re-signed Matt Cassel.

          All except for Hoyer will make more than $3.5 million in 2014, and all can serve as a bridge to whomever their respective franchises' quarterbacks of the future end up being, whether they come in the first round, the second round or next year.

          "All those teams in the top 10, they're all in position to draft a top-three quarterback. And all those teams, when you look at their offseasons, they needed to address the quarterback position, and they all did," one AFC personnel director said. "And all could select one of these quarterbacks, but they also have the flexibility, as they work through the final stages of the process. No. 1, it's insurance. No. 2, it's flexibility."

          Here's where you go back to 2011 and look at the Panthers, Titans, Jaguars, Vikings, Bengals, *****, Dolphins and Redskins. The Panthers took Cam Newton first overall. The Titans, Jaguars and Vikings took Jake Locker, Blaine Gabbert and Christian Ponder at the eighth, 10th and 12th spots, respectively. The Bengals waited, taking receiver A.J. Green fourth overall and Andy Dalton in the second round. The Niners did the same, going with pass rusher Aldon Smith at No. 7, then grabbing Colin Kaepernick one pick after Dalton. The Dolphins and Redskins punted entirely, respectively taking center Mike Pouncey and pass rusher Ryan Kerrigan in the first round -- before both going QB in Round 1 in 2012 (Ryan Tannehill and Robert Griffin III).

          The Niners and Bengals, the teams that patiently waited until the second round, have made the playoffs every year since. The Titans, Jaguars and Vikings all have fired their coaches.

          The lesson here is not hard to learn.

          Tempting as it might be to take a quarterback in the first round, clubs can be prone to manufacturing franchise players at...
          -03-25-2014, 04:11 PM
        • Flippin' Ram
          2014 Rookie QB
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          Teddy Bridgewater, Louisville
          David Fales, San Jose State
          Derek Carr, Fresno State
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          AJ McCarron, Alabama
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        • Nick
          Brandt: QB Manziel and WR Evans will declare for 2014 Draft
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          As Brandt said, probably not a surprise, but closest thing to confirmation so far....
          -12-30-2013, 10:20 AM
        • TorontoRam
          Watching Johnny Football Dismantle the Swooners....
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          -01-05-2013, 08:52 AM
        • Nick
          Quarterbacks and the 2014 Draft
          by Nick
          It's entirely possible that the following teams could be looking for a QB this offseason...

          • Houston Texans: Schaub will be out and Keenam is not the answer.
          • Jacksonville Jaguars: Henne may be retained but only as a back-up; Gabbert is out.
          • Cleveland Browns: New regime and no viable QB.
          • Oakland Raiders: They may stick with Pryor but will likely explore other options.
          • Tampa Bay Buccaneers: New regime means you can't guarantee Glennon is the guy.
          • Minnesota Vikings: New regime and the best they have is Cassel at this point.
          • Tennessee Titans: I think they stick with Locker but if they fire their coach all bets are off.
          • Chicago Bears: They should retain either Cutler or McCown, but if it's McCown, they may draft for the future.
          • Arizona Cardinals: Palmer isn't going anywhere but they need someone to groom.
          • Cincinnati Bengals: Dalton remains inconsistent but is worth keeping unless a better option opens up

          The options on the free agent market are a little underwhelming. The best three passers appear to be Jay Cutler, Josh McCown, and Michael Vick. Matt Schaub could be released in Houston, and may entice a team to try him as a stop-gap starter.

          Expect the Bears to keep either Cutler or McCown. My gut thinks it'll be McCown; he'll be cheaper and will allow head coach Marc Trestman to spend a Day Two pick on a QB he can groom for a year.

          That means Cutler hits the market and becomes a starter for one of these teams. He'd be an option for Tennessee if they move on from Locker, since Cutler played college ball in the state. However, Locker boasted a QB rating in the mid-80s this season and looked to be making some progress. Is Tennessee really ready to part ways?

          Michael Vick could get some money to be a stop-gap starting option somewhere; his numbers this year weren't awful. But he's said he'd be willing to stay in Philly as a back-up, so we'll have to see how that goes.

          Besides those three and Schaub, I don't see many/any free agent veteran quarterbacks hitting the market that would affect the teams that may look to the draft to fill this need.

          Houston is in an interesting situation. This is a team that had 12 wins last season, so they have talent on their roster. They need to find a QB of the future because they don't have one now, but they also need a QB of the present because they're likely in a position to compete more than they showed this season if they had some better QB play. Could they be a team that drafts a QB but also looks at a stop-gap veteran to try and compete now, or will they start the rebuilding process by throwing a rookie passer into the mix and possibly trading away some talent to get future building blocks?

          Jacksonville needs to draft someone; Chad Henne isn't getting this fan base excited about anything, and the Blaine Gabbert era should have been over a year ago. Unless they make a strong play...
          -12-31-2013, 08:07 AM