Quarterbacks have been the talk of this draft. It's not that the group is amazingly talented. In fact, that's what is generating so much speculation. In the end, no one knows how this is going to play out.
There is no better example than the current situation with Louisville quarterback Teddy Bridgewater and Pittsburgh quarterback Tom Savage. To understand how this news mocks the process of mock drafts, we have to understand the journey.
Let's start with the current perception of the two. Charlie Campbell reported on Walter Football that an NFC executive said the rapidly plummeting Bridgewater wouldn't be selected in the first round and "that he thought Bridgewater was a 'fourth-round guy.'"
Then there is Savage. His stock is rising so quickly that he was invited to the draft. He turned down the invitation, but the offer suggests he isn't going to make it past the second round.
In the fluid world of the NFL draft, Savage could very well wind up getting selected ahead of Bridgewater. At the end of this past college football season, Bridgewater was going roughly 150-200 picks earlier than Savage in mock drafts.
After his prolific career at Louisville, where he showed an advanced ability to make audibles and go through his progressions, Bridgewater was a popular projection as the No. 1 pick. My early mock drafts had him going No. 1.
Now, he may not even go on the first day. Campbell's take on Bridgewater doesn't paint a positive picture:
We've reached out to many teams about Bridgewater, and all have been down on him. Perhaps the most glaring response we've heard came from an executive with an NFC playoff team that has no need for a starting quarterback. They have their franchise signal-caller, but they could use a reserve, so we asked this executive his thoughts on some quarterbacks, including Bridgewater.
The NFC executive said that he thought Bridgewater was a "fourth-round guy" and will fall out of the first round.
Campbell is not alone. 95.7 The Game radio host John Middlekauff, a former NFL scout, cited league sources while indicating that Bridgewater slipping past the first round is a real possibility.
Who knows? Perhaps the Texans will draft Bridgewater after all. But now it's more likely to happen in the second round than with the No. 1 overall pick.
Central Florida's Blake Bortles now projects to be the first quarterback off the board. According to Ryan O'Halloran of the Florida Times-Union, a league source said Bortles will be the first quarterback selected and will go "to somebody in the first five or six picks."
Meanwhile, Savage had a rather pedestrian college career. But he, like Bortles, has the tools to be a sturdy pocket passer.
At the end of the college season, Savage's 2,958 passing yards, 21 touchdowns and nine interceptions didn't catch anyone's eye. He was an afterthought in the draft process. NFL.com, which apparently has not updated its draft projections, lists Savage as a fifth- or sixth-round prospect.
Teams were likely always higher on Savage than that. Check out what Draft Insider's Tony Pauline reports the Patriots think of Savage:
Savage is now a popular selection in mock drafts at the top of Round 2, and I'm not sure anyone would be shocked if the Patriots took him in the first round at No. 29.
All of this just goes to show the sneaky nature of the draft. It's taken all this time for anyone outside NFL circles to get a feel for the draft value of Bridgewater and Savage.
And who even knows if this is an accurate accounting? The real answer won't appear until after the selections are made.
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