Johnny Manziel, Blake Bortles and 2 Other Post-Draft NFL-Ready Quarterbacks

Ryan Ward@Lakers_ExaminerContributor IApril 30, 2014

Central Florida quarterback Blake Bortles runs a drill at the NFL football scouting combine in Indianapolis, Sunday, Feb. 23, 2014. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)
Nam Y. Huh/Associated Press

Johnny Manziel, Blake Bortles, Teddy Bridgewater and Derek Carr—just to name a few.

The 2014 NFL draft is set to kick off May 8, and along with its usual speculation come more than a few potential superstar quarterbacks in the making.

The quarterback position has dominated the draft discussion. Yet despite quite a few coming out of college (24 to be exact) this year, there's been no clear cut favorite in terms of who is the cream of the crop. 

Most college quarterbacks will need a lot of polish during their first few years in the NFL, with only a handful being worthy of a starting role right out of the gate. 

Here's a breakdown of two quarterbacks that will be NFL-ready heading into next weeks draft.


Johnny Manziel, Texas A&M

No player coming out of college this year has received more attention on or off the field than Johnny Manziel.

The former Heisman Trophy winner took the country by storm with his entertaining style of play at Texas A&M and as a result is this draft's biggest name.

Patric Schneider/Associated Press

Despite acquiring a knack for gracing the headlines on a daily basis, many have questioned whether Manziel's style and small stature will translate to the NFL level.

Quarterbacks like Seattle's Russel Wilson have found success with a similar style, but it remains to be seen if Manziel will be able to hold up during the grind of a 16-game season against some of the best athletes in the world.

Former NFL head coach Jon Gruden loves Manziel's game and said he'd love to have him if he were still coaching.

Gruden even compared Manziel to Brett Favre while speaking to Jim Corbett of USA TODAY Sports:

I had more fun with Manziel than I did most guys...I'd love to have him. It takes courage to pull the ball down and reverse field and do some of the crazy things that Favre and Manziel do. There's going to be consequences when sometimes it doesn't work out. But it takes a tremendous amount of guts and courage to go make a play when there's nothing there instead of throwing the ball away.

Favre himself noticed similarities to the way he used to play when watching Manziel take on Ole Miss and said as much to USA TODAY Sports' Nate Davis:

I almost thought I was watching film of a young Brett Favre...I didn't think I did a lot of things well (in college at Southern Miss), but he did. And I liked the attitude of 'whatever it takes' -- from that standpoint, I liked him.

Ultimately, Manziel could be the best player to come out of this draft.

Regardless of the doubts surrounding Manziel's future, the Aggies standout is ready for the bright lights of the NFL.

And while many draftniks are high on South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney and Clemson wide receiver Sammy Watkins, it is Manziel that will prove the doubters wrong if given the right opportunity to showcase his skills on the next level.

Just like he did throughout his entire college career.

An Ideal Landing Spot?

The Houston Texans are weighing their options with the draft approaching and may elect to keep Manziel in Texas.

If Manziel is taken with the No. 1 pick in the draft, he'll make an immediate impact with the Texans. 

After trading veteran Matt Schaub to the Oakland Raiders in late March, Case Keenum and T.J. Yates will battle it out for the starting job.

Unless Manziel is drafted.

And that may be exactly what is needed to right the ship in Houston after an extremely disappointing season.


Blake Bortles, Central Florida

Johnny Manziel may steal all the headlines heading into the draft, but Central Florida's Blake Bortles may be the quarterback most ready to lead a team right out of the gates.

Bortles is arguably the most attractive quarterback available in the draft this year and could end up being the first quarterback selected according to a source referenced by Chase Goodbread of

There's no doubt that Bortles will need time to develop, but he has still drawn the attention of some teams in desperate need of immediate quarterback help—like the Minnesota Vikings. 

According to Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN, the Vikings are targeting Bortles:

With things not working out as expected with former first-round pick Christian Ponder and Matt Cassel not being the long-term option under center, Minnesota taking Bortles with the No. 8 pick could be the direction the team chooses to take on May 8.

After a 2012 playoff berth spearheaded by Adrian Peterson's record-breaking season, Minnesota sported an ugly 5-10-1 record in 2013 complete with three different starting QBs.

The Vikings going after a potential game-changer in Bortles would be a wise decision.

Bortles can make an immediate impact with an elite running back in Peterson coming out of the backfield and wideout Greg Jennings as a top target in the passing game.

Getting Plenty of Attention

Along with the Vikings, there will be a number of teams heading into draft day that may roll the dice on Bortles. According to Peter King of the MMQB, "the most likely teams to want him in the draft (other than Minnesota) are Houston and Cleveland."

Bortles will likely become a starter in the NFL next season, and if he lands in Houston, Cleveland or Minnesota that could happen right away.

Whether he has what it takes to be a star in this league remains to be seen, but at least three teams seem to think he's the right man for the job.


Don't Forget These Two

Timothy D. Easley/Associated Press

Other notable quarterbacks that will make the jump to the NFL (and possibly turn some heads in the process) are Fresno State's Derek Carr and Louisville's Teddy Bridgewater.

Both Carr and Bridgewater could go higher than expected, but as of right now the consensus seems to be that Manziel and Bortles are the best of the bunch and ready to make an immediate impact.


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