NFL Survey: Which Young QB Is the Top Pick to Start a Franchise with Today?
Seventeen quarterbacks drafted in the past three years have started at least one NFL game. They are Blake Bortles, Teddy Bridgewater, Jacoby Brissett, Derek Carr, Jimmy Garoppolo, Jared Goff, Cody Kessler, Paxton Lynch, Johnny Manziel, Marcus Mariota, A.J. McCarron, Zach Mettenberger, Bryce Petty, Dak Prescott, Trevor Siemian, Carson Wentz and Jameis Winston.
Bleacher Report surveyed 42 NFL executives, head coaches, assistant coaches, former longtime executives and retired quarterbacks to get their opinion on which QB they would pick first to start a franchise with.
Only the 17 QBs listed above were eligible for the survey.
Each person surveyed was asked to list the quarterbacks in order. Three points were given for a first-place vote, two for a second and one for a third.
The top vote-getter was slightly obvious, but the rest of the top five made for interesting discussion.
5. Jameis Winston, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Comments: “There are still times when he does too much and is way too confident in his arm. He has no fear. But I’d rather have that than a guy who is afraid to throw the ball. I can teach a guy to tone it down. I can’t teach aggressiveness,” one defensive coordinator said.
"You can see why people are drawn to him as a player. He's having fun. He loves to play. I mean, he absolutely loves it. At the end of the day, this is supposed to be fun. That's why guys play. They love it. You watch that guy for five minutes and you see it. You see guys having fun, bouncing around and playing hard. You saw it last year and you see it even more this year," an NFC coach said.
2016 Stats: 249-of-406, 61.3 percent, 2,900 yards, 22 TDs, 11 INTs
4. Marcus Mariota, Tennessee Titans
40 points, six first-place votes
Comments: “All three [Derek Carr, Mariota and Carson Wentz] are capable of carrying teams to championships with physical skills that set them apart and mental capacity to process enormous amount of info at high level of speed. Total-package guys,” one coach said.
"I know some people questioned his toughness and leadership. Whatever, watch him play. He doesn't shrink from anything. He may not being yelling like [Jameis], but that doesn't mean anything. Everybody leads their own way ... as long as you lead, and Mariota leads," an AFC executive said.
2016 Stats: 243-of-378, 64.3 percent, 2,998 yards, 25 TDs, 8 INTs
3. Dak Prescott, Dallas Cowboys
42 points, two first-place votes
Comments: “They [Carr, Prescott and Mariota] are all athletic enough to make the off-schedule plays. Pocket mobility is imperative now that NFL defenses are playing with four linebackers (3-4 defenses) instead of three,” one offensive coordinator said.
“I had a first-round grade on Prescott. Absolutely loved him; it's on record. Too bad we didn't need a starter. Scouts drank the Kool-Aid, everyone saying another [Tim] Tebow. No way. Great passer and leader just like he's showing now. Phenomenal under duress. Dallas got lucky,” one scout said.
2016 Stats: 243-of-358, 67.9 percent, 2,974 yards, 19 TDs, 2 INTs
2. Carson Wentz, Philadelphia Eagles
56 points, 10 first-place votes
Comments: “The maturity and approach are off the charts. When you talked to this guy, he was all business, and that’s what you see now that he’s playing,” one coach said.
“I was actually surprised that they [the Philadelphia Eagles] didn’t trade [Sam] Bradford earlier because I thought Wentz was going to be ready really fast,” one executive said.
2016 Stats: 249-of-392, 63.5 percent, 2,593 yards, 11 TDs, 8 INTs
1. Derek Carr, Oakland Raiders
108 points, 30 first-place votes
Carr was the only quarterback named by every person surveyed, lending credence to the idea he is also a strong candidate for NFL Most Valuable Player this year. Voters praised both his arm skill and his intangibles.
Comments: “He has an amazing release. The time between his decision and his throw is a blink of an eye. Not only does he get rid of it, but he has amazing touch and all the power you need,” one general manager said.
“There’s nothing he can't do on the field and off the field; he gets the best out of everybody he's around,” a retired quarterback said.
2016 Stats: 281-of-423, 66.4 percent, 3,115 yards, 22 TDs, 5 INTs
Others receiving votes: Blake Bortles, Teddy Bridgewater, Jimmy Garoppolo, Paxton Lynch and A.J. McCarron.
All stats courtesy of NFL.com.