It is just about to become February but it feels like the draft is just around the corner the way different analysts are weighing in on various quarterbacks.
Gil Brandt said that he believes Johnny Manziel is a better version of Fran Tarkenton. When he was reminded that Tarkenton was in the Hall of Fame, he said he was aware and that is why he said it. Brandt is on scholarship for the rest of his life in the draft world, so if he gets anything wrong, no one will hold it against him. Nevertheless, for someone who has been doing it as long as he has to be this high on a player is pretty remarkable, whether people agree or not.
On the other hand, Daniel Jeremiah of the NFL Network has said Teddy Bridgewater lacks ‘wow’ characteristics. I have not heard him say it or if there is any further context to it, but this NFL Draft is fighting against a lot of preconceived racial stereotypes. The black quarterback is the boring pocket passer while the undersized white kid is the ridiculous athlete who improvises everything.
What makes this whole thing odd to me is the number of Manziel-like plays that Bridgewater has had this past season. There have been some incredibly athletic plays where Bridgewater has gotten out of trouble, rolling out and making a crazy unbalanced throw that went right to his target for a touchdown. Nevertheless, it seems like those plays do not stick to Bridgewater and are almost forgotten in the grand scheme of things. The fact that Bridgewater is viewed as the pocket passer and more traditional quarterback is certainly not a bad thing, but he has shown he can make those same type of plays.
There is a similar situation with Derek Carr. Carr is going to run in the 4.5-4.6 range on the track and has shown he can make plays with his feet at times. He is not really regarded much as an athlete though and at the Reese’s Senior Bowl, there were people questioning his arm strength. It seems like there are a lot of high profile analysts that know nothing about Carr as a player.
Whether people like or dislike Carr, he is as physically talented as any quarterback in this class not named Logan Thomas. His arm strength can hold up against anyone. I have been fortunate enough to see it live. The potential is through the roof. It all comes down to his feet and being consistent. When he has his feet under him and steps right into his throws, his accuracy is excellent. In terms of touch and zip, he can put the ball basically wherever he wants. There are some ball placement questions, but the talent is off the charts if the feet are fixed. Some are suggesting that might go in the second round? Stranger things have happened.