2014 NFL Draft: Why Quarterback Class Really Isn't as Deep as It Seems

Ryan McCrystalFeatured ColumnistFebruary 11, 2014

COLLEGE STATION, TX - SEPTEMBER 14:  Johnny Manziel #2 of Texas A&M Aggies drops back to pass during the game against the Alabama Crimson Tide at Kyle Field on September 14, 2013 in College Station, Texas.  (Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images)
Scott Halleran/Getty Images

This year was supposed to feature an elite quarterback class. As recently as two months ago Todd McShay's mock draft (insider subscription required) featured four quarterbacks within the first six picks. 

As we near the NFL combine, however, it's beginning to appear as though this may be one of the most overrated classes in recent memory, without much elite talent or depth. 

Let's take a look at a few of the reasons why this class isn't nearly as talented as we believed a few months ago.


They stayed in school

The depth of this class took a huge hit when Oregon's Marcus Mariota and UCLA's Brett Hundley stayed in school.

While both made great decisions based on where they are in their personal development, their elite potential would have landed them somewhere in the first or second round. 

With two more prospects with elite potential available at the top of the draft, nearly every team needing a quarterback would have been able to find someone to bring in and develop at some point on the first or second day of the draft.


No consensus at the top

As the old saying goes, if you have two quarterbacks (or in this case, three or four), you have none. 

No one can agree who to place at the top of the draft board in this year's class. Bleacher Report's Matt Miller puts Teddy Bridgewater at No. 1. DraftInsider's Tony Pauline is going with Blake Bortles. NFL.com's Daniel Jeremiah likes Johnny Manziel

A difference of opinion isn't necessarily a bad thing, but this isn't a debate between two elite prospects such as Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III. These are all flawed prospects who are pushed to the top of the draft board debate based on the position they play. 



We've known about this issue for a while now, but we can't overlook the impact injuries have had on this class. 

Zach Mettenberger and Aaron Murray are two intriguing mid-round prospects who suffered season-ending injuries which will limit their ability to work out for teams this offseason.

An elite prospect such as Luck could have survived without working out at 100 percent prior to the draft, but these are prospects who show obvious flaws on film. Teams need to see them work out at full strength in order to become comfortable with their potential.


Small school prospects

Matt Miller's top 11 quarterbacks feature players from Louisville, Central Florida, Fresno State, Eastern Illinois, San Jose State and Wyoming.

No matter how much talent they show on film, there's always an added question mark with the guys who haven't faced elite competition. 

Some small school prospects selected near the top of the draft have worked out just fine, such as Steve McNair. But for every McNair, there's a David Carr, J.P. Losman and Patrick Ramsey. 

Overall, this class has plenty of star power. Manziel and Bridgewater have been household names to football fans for the past two seasons. Others such as Murray, A.J. McCarron and Tajh Boyd have been among the best in the college game for the past few seasons.

With so many well-known prospects, mixed with the lesser-known prospects that have scouts intrigued, it's easy to see why the perception of this draft class is strong. 

However, without a single prospect viewed as a sure thing, and obvious flaws even among the potential first-rounders, don't be shocked if the quarterbacks in this class end up striking out.