Teddy Bridgewater (QB Louisville)
Shake-Up at the Top
Myriad opinions are out there as to the top quarterback in the draft.
Most of us can agree that Teddy Bridgewater (Louisville), Johnny Manziel (Texas A&M), Blake Bortles (Central Florida) and Derek Carr (Fresno State) are the top QBs, but there is no definitive order. Teams will probably still differ following the combine, but expect a consensus to start forming among the media.
QB Statuses at the Combine
Pro Football Talk's Josh Alper noted that Carr is not sure if he'll throw at the combine, while Manziel won't throw, according to his agent, Erik Burkhardt.
Two more quarterbacks, Zach Mettenberger (LSU) and Aaron Murray (Georgia), are not healthy enough to throw. Meanwhile, Bortles' father said his son will make a "game-time decision," according to NFL.com's Mike Huguenin.
AJ McCarron (Alabama), who decided not to participate in the Senior Bowl to prepare for the combine, may not throw as well, which he said on The Dan Patrick Show (h/t Yahoo Sports' Eric Edholm):
I mean ... I have talked to a lot of people about that. There's a lot of mixed emotions about that. It's hard to get timing with [receivers] you've never repped with, especially for one day of throwing.
Prospects usually don't throw at the combine because it isn't the controlled environment of a pro day, and there's little to gain for a top quarterback. However, someone like Bridgewater could draw rave reviews if other top arms sit out.
Don't Get Caught Up on Drill Times/Numbers
Scouts rarely move quarterbacks up and down the board based on workout numbers. Rather, they'll simply slot them into categories like "athletic," "move the pocket" or "immobile." In the end, no one's drafting QB A over QB B because the first guy had a better broad jump.
Remember the Context
One of the worst throwing performances I've seen was during a gauntlet drill. As a member of the Pro Football Writers of America, I was allowed into Lucas Oil Stadium to watch the drill live, and it was former Tennessee Titans QB John Skelton who was unable to deliver catchable balls to any of the receivers throughout the drill.
Now, my assessment of Skelton was later proven true, but many scouts I trust reminded me that the receivers were new to Skelton and running in a manner that never happens on a football field. So, knocking Skelton for that performance wasn't really fair.
Brett Smith (Wyoming) isn't on the list as either a participant or as just a throwing QB. A media darling, Smith has great athleticism and a nice arm that could be put on display in Indianapolis. Instead, he'll look to reassert himself at his pro day.
- Blake Bortles, Central Florida
Tajh Boyd, Clemson
- Teddy Bridgewater, Louisville
- Derek Carr, Fresno State
- David Fales, San Jose State
- Jimmy Garoppolo, Eastern Illinois
- Jordan Lynch, Northern Illinois
- Johnny Manziel, Texas A&M
- AJ McCarron, Alabama
- Zach Mettenberger, LSU
- Stephen Morris, Miami (Fla.)
- Aaron Murray, Georgia
- Tom Savage, Pittsburgh
- Connor Shaw, South Carolina
- Logan Thomas, Virginia Tech
- Keith Wenning, Ball State
- Jeff Mathews, Cornell
- Bryn Renner, North Carolina
- Dustin Vaughan, West Texas A&M