Earlier this year, the Buffalo Bills made E.J. Manuel the first quarterback selected in the 2013 NFL Draft. It was a bit of a surprise to see Manuel off of the board first, considering Geno Smith, who was selected by the New York Jets in Round 2, was widely believed to be the top quarterback in the draft class.
However, after looking at the group of quarterbacks that will likely be available this year, Smith should be happy that he was in the 2013 class and not this year’s or his draft day fall may have been much worse.
As far as ESPN’s Todd McShay is concerned, there are five quarterbacks that are available this year who have higher draft grades than Smith.
The quarterbacks are Louisville’s Teddy Bridgewater, Texas A&M’s Johnny Manziel, Blake Bortles of UCF and Derek Carr of Fresno State.
“It’s kind of been an interesting ride with these quarterbacks,” McShay said during a conference call on Thursday. “I thought kind of in the middle or the early middle portion of the season, I thought it was going to be a little bit stronger at the top. I thought Marcus Mariota was headed towards becoming an elite quarterback and thought he was going to wind up coming out.”
Had it not been for a torn ACL at the end of the season, LSU’s Zach Mettenberger may have also graded out higher.
This just goes to speak volumes about the 2014 NFL quarterback class, which could make a big impact from day one in a passing league with so many quarterback needy teams having selections early in the draft.
Who do you think is the best quarterback available in 2014? Sound off in the comments section below.