No matter how much we/I try to overthink things, Lousiville rookie QB TEDDY BRIDGEWATER is the best of the bunch in the upcoming May Draft and will be the first QB taken.
That's the opinion of the heavy hitters with whom I chatted off the mike today at Lucas Oil Stadium ion Indianapolis at the annual NFL Scouting Combine. I am curious to see if the well respected MIKE MAYOCK of NFL Network sees it that way when he joins the #92Noon Production tomorrow at 9 a.m.
It seems no matter how much we want to elevate Texas A&M's JOHNNY FOOTBALL, UCF'S BLAKE BORTLES and/or Fresno State's DEREK CARR, the right choice for the first team selecting a QB is Bridgewater. The personnel people with whom I chatted call him both the safe and NFL-ready.
Manziel's charisma is infectious, and most say he's at his best when a play breaks down and he has to make something of nothing. Honestly, I don't want a QB who is best outside of the structure of the called play, and while I totally dig his mobility and play-making skills he forces passes into bad spots and at times plays too risky. Still, I believe he'll go in the top five, and the prediction is he lands in Cleveland with the four spot or via a trade with Jacksonville at three.
Bortles might be overdrafted and go in the top four and may even be available at eight for the Vikings. I like him and believe the comparisons to BIG BEN are accurate to a certain extent, but his arm strength is not in Ben's class and that may hinder his draft stock.
I would not mind if the Vikings ended up with Bortles at eight and have heard he is maybe the most poised-under-pressure QB in the draft. But from a mechanics standpoint he may have some work to do, and at eight you have to find a player who can help immediately and I am hoping that is Buffalo OLB KHALIL MACK.
Bridgewater has a big arm, has played in big games, looks off defenders better than any QB in the draft and while not a dual threAt from a running standpoint slides around the pocket very well. You can see that in the highlight package atop the piece.
His accuracy is the best of the group -- San Jose State's DAVID FALES may be second in that department -- and I am believeing he will be very good in the NFL. We have no shot at Bridgewater coming from the eight position, and as I shared #92Noon today believe there's a good chance we trade the 40th pick and a third-rounder to get into the back part of the first round to find our QB.
I don't believe the Vikings have any interest in trading the 40 to Washington for QB KIRK COUSINS and will not seek a trade with New England for RYAN MALLET, so those takes are not in play for me.
Rubes have sold me on Georgia's AARON MURRAY, the stud QB who sustained a torn ACL very late in the Bulldogs season. At 6-1 it's fair to note seeing over the line could be a problem and I was told today he has had a fair amount of his throws swatted at the line of scrimmage.
Murray, though, throws a very nice ball from what I have been told and is especially good at making plays in the middle iof the field. He'll have to clear the medical stuff here at the Combine to be selected end of the first or in the second round. I need to learn more about him with Mayock tomorrow.
There are many Elite NFL Minds here in Indy who think there are a few QBs to be had after the first round who will work in the big leagues and in RUSSELL WILSON-like fashion. I hope we find one. Wilson is not a franchise quarterback per se but doesn't make mistakes and plays well within the structure of Seattle's scheme. If you run the ball well -- like we do -- and play sound defense -- like we don't yet -- you can win at the highest level with a Wilson-like QB.