Welcome to the Cleveland Browns Week 12 college quarterback watch.
The top nine 2014 QB NFL draft prospects, according to CBSSports.com, will be ranked weekly here on Bleacher Report to determine who would best fit this Cleveland organization. A 10th "wild card" option is added in as a potential later-round developmental project for the Browns.
Since the franchise returned in 1999, it has had 20 different starting quarterbacks. Browns Backers worldwide are praying that this front office, led by CEO Joe Banner, can finally get it right.
|NCAA Quarterback Week 12 Results|
|Name & Ranking||School||Passing Touchdowns||Interceptions||Passing Yards||Rushing Yards||Completion Percentage|
|1. Teddy Bridgewater||Louisville||0||0||203||-20||65.5|
|2. Marcus Mariota||Oregon||3||0||288||-18||73.1|
|3. Johnny Manziel||Texas A&M||No Game||No Game||No Game||No Game||No Game|
|4. Derek Carr||Fresno State||No Game||No Game||No Game||No Game||No Game|
|5. Zach Mettenberger||LSU||No Game||No Game||No Game||No Game||No Game|
|6. Brett Hundley||UCLA||2||0||159||15||59.1|
|7. Tajh Boyd||Clemson||4||1||340||43||76.9|
|8. A.J. McCarron||Alabama||2||2||187||12||56.3|
|9. Aaron Murray||Georgia||2||1||415||37||67.3|
|13. Logan Thomas (Wildcard)||Virginia Tech||2||0||210||-17||61.3|
|Stats by ESPN.com and ranking by CBSSports.com|
Wild Card: Logan Thomas
A projected fifth- or sixth-round pick, Logan Thomas possesses the combined throwing power and speed to extend plays with his legs that the Browns' coaching staff would love.
At a mighty 6'6" and 257 pounds, this raw talent out of Virginia Tech can be brilliant or incredibly frustrating in his performances. His 15 touchdowns, 12 interceptions and 58.3 completion percentage emphasize that inconsistency.
However, the senior is on an upward trend over the past two games, and continued improvements would lead to a rise in his draft stock.
The Hokies signal-caller threw for four combined scores in those matchups and did not turn the ball over. Thomas' completion percentages were also above his seasonal average in the win over Miami (80.6) and overtime loss against Maryland (61.3).
Power Rankings: Week 12
The below power rankings are based on what quarterback's skill set and statistics to date would be most suitable for Cleveland offensive coordinator Norv Turner's aggressive vertical downfield game plan.
Ideal criteria includes an accurate arm with deep ball strength, quick decision-making ability as well as some mobility in and out of the pocket.
|Power Rankings: Top Five Week 12 QB Prospects for Cleveland|
|Name & Ranking||School||Height/Weight||2013 TD/INT||2013 Passing Yards||2013 Completion Percentage||2013 Passer Rating|
|1. Derek Carr||Fresno State||6'3"/218||32/4||3,421||69.5||152.3|
|2. Zach Mettenberger||LSU||6'5"/230||20/7||2,733||65.7||176.6|
|3. Marcus Mariota||Oregon||6'4"/211||25/0||2,819||64.2||176.2|
|4. Aaron Murray||Georgia||6'1"/208||22/8||2,892||63.9||156.3|
|5. Logan Thomas||Virginia Tech||6'6"/257||15/12||2,632||58.3||126.4|
Browns Quarterback Prospect of the Week: Derek Carr
Fresno State's Derek Carr is transforming this season into the moldable clay perfect for Turner's attack strategy. Even his flaws land right into the offensive coordinator's wheelhouse of development.
The senior demonstrated throughout 2013 that he can outwit defenses and make NFL-quality throws.
Any collegiate prospect from sunny California usually raises fan questions of whether he can handle the unpredictable weather of Northeast Ohio.
Well, Carr certainly can and proved it in the November 9 contest at Wyoming. He was able to sling the rock with authority through the cold, windy conditions and finished with a four-touchdown, zero-interception road victory.
The Bulldog's arm strength is a crucial asset, but his speed in getting rid of the football and accuracy on all types of throws are what really stands out. At 6'3", the 218-pounder is nimble enough to have defenses respect the threat of him scampering for positive gains.
Turner and head coach Rob Chudzinski thrive in improving the mechanics and footwork of young quarterbacks. Both are areas that Carr needs to clean up to have a chance at becoming elite at the pro level.
Names like Troy Aikman, Alex Smith and Philip Rivers all suffered from similar deficiencies and benefited from Turner's veteran tutelage during their early years in the league.
Over 70 percent of Carr's passes were completed during the past two weeks, which is above his 2013 average of 69.5. More good news for the Dawg Pound is that No. 4 is on pace to match or surpass his impressive 2012 numbers.
He may not get all the media attention like a Teddy Bridgewater or Johnny Manziel, but Carr is quickly developing into this draft's safest bet under center.
Andy McNamara is an international sports broadcaster and journalist.
Follow Andy on Twitter @AndyMc81.
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