With the 2014 NFL Draft 21 days away, there could be potential for a few surprise picks on draft night.
For months, fans have been bombarded with the highlights and hype of Johnny Manziel, Teddy Bridgewater, Blake Bortles and Derek Carr.
While lesser-known signal callers such as Eastern Illinois’ Jimmy Garapolo and Northern Illinois’ Jordan Lynch have also gotten some attention nationally, these quarterbacks haven’t got the love from draftniks, but could possible end up having their name called on day two—and possibly day one.
- Tom Savage (Pitt) – Perhaps the fastest rising quarterback prospect in the draft, Tom Savage, the former Pitt quarterback—via Arizona and Rutgers—is seeing his stock rising sharply and may be the Ryan Tannehill of the 2014 NFL Draft. At 6’5 and 230 pounds, Savage has quality arm strength, decent mobility, completed 61 percent of his passes for 2,958 yards while throwing 21 touchdowns and nine interceptions. Depending on how well he fares in private workouts with teams in need of a quarterback such as Houston, Cleveland, Jackson, Minnesota and Oakland, don’t be surprised one of them reaches for him in the first or takes him early in the second round.
- Zach Mettenberger (LSU) – Before sustaining a torn ACL, Mettenberger was on track to be a possible first round pick, as he orchestrated Cam Cameron’s vertical passing attack down in Baton Rouge for the Bayou Bengals in 2013-14. For the year, Mettenberger threw for 3,082 yards, 22 touchdowns and eight interceptions. The 6’5 224-pounder would also complete 65 percent of his passes. 13 weeks removed from injury, Mettenberger impressed NFL scouts and GM’s with a solid Pro Day. Thanks to his big arm and pock presence, Mettenberger—like the aforementioned Savage—could be a borderline first-round target or a top of the second-round steal for the right team.
- A.J. McCarron (Alabama) – Game manager, average arm or a product of a program loaded with NFL talent, A.J. McCarron is both experienced and a winner. The three-time BCS national championship-winning quarterback from Alabama, McCarron may not have Mettenberger’s arm or Savage’s moxie, but in the right system, could be a game manager on a veteran team loaded with talent and a potential franchise quarterback one day. After being exposed as an average quarterback in a Sugar Bowl loss to Oklahoma, McCarron’s lack of NFL-level arm strength and inability to handle pressure could make him a late third to fifth round pick. Thanks to his pedigree and experience, a team could reach for him in either the second or third round.
- Aaron Murray (Georgia) – At six feet and 207 pounds, former Georgia Bulldogs quarterback Aaron Murray has been compared to New Orleans Saints QB Drew Brees. The all-time SEC leader in passing(13,166) and passing touchdowns(121) had a down year during his last season between the hedges in passing for 3,075 yards, 26 touchdowns and nine interceptions. While talented, and in the midst of recovering from a late-season ACL injury, Murray would be suited as a developmental/practice squad quarterback in a pass-happy system such as New Orleans, New England or Green Bay where he can sit behind an establish veteran with the chance to become a possible starter. With a reported 12 teams interested in drafting him, Murray could be a middle of day two target.
Other notables : Brett Smith(Wyoming), Connor Shaw(South Carolina), Keith Price(Washington), Tajh Boyd(Clemson)
Robert D. Cobb Is the CEO/Founder/Senior Editor-In-Chief of the InscriberMag : Digital Magazine and a member of the PFWA(Pro Football Writers Association), please follow him on Twitter at @RC_TheInscriberMag