2014 NFL Draft: Quarterback rankings

Scott Cunningham

The most important position in the NFL and the most divisive position in the NFL Draft community.

When it comes to "Big Boards", prospect breakdowns, scouting reports and general musings on NFL Draft prospects everyone has their own thoughts, ways of putting the info out there, and belief in their system.

The reality is everyone usually ends up in the similar vicinity when it comes to prospect thoughts.

Very few people come to conclusions completely off the wall, and when they do, if you're wrong people won't let you forget about it, ask Russ Lande about the undraftable grade on Russell Wilson, and when people are right, they'll never let you forget about it, the same Trent Richardson won't be good article has been circulated on Twitter close to 1,000 times since the trade of Richardson to the Colts.

In the end it's about being accurate in your evaluation, acknowledging your misses, and figuring out why.

It also important that you don't crow or wave the white flag too early, because these things take time.

Geno Smith was bad this year, really bad, but over the last four games he threw four touchdowns only two interceptions and ran for three more touchdowns. Not bad on a team that has almost zero offensive talent, but in the same breath can't miss that he was basically a complete failure from week six to week 12 where the Jets went 2-5 and lost a chance at the playoffs.

There were flashes though.

On the flipside, Cam Newton looked like a guy who wouldn't translate at the next level.

There were questions about his ability to play from the pocket, could he make the necessary touch throws in the intermediate/deep range, and could he hold up through the grind of a 16 game NFL season.

Well, without too many weapons to speak of on offense, he put more than respectable numbers, and got the Panthers to the second seed in a competitive NFC.

That won't change things, just file it away and make sure that those mistakes get corrected.

Here's the initial quarterback rankings in the 2014 NFL Draft with pro player comparisons for the top four and round grades, disagree, differ, have your own list, hit the comments up.

Note: Grades are my own and my comfort level of where I would draft a prospect as of now, all quarterbacks graded have had at least three games viewed, but quarterbacks, outside of two, below the fourth ranked quarterback will have a chance to move around in the coming months as more games are charted and viewed.

1. Teddy Bridgewater, QB Louisville 6-3 218lbs

Best Case Scenario: Aaron Rodgers
Worst Case Scenario:San Francisco Jeff Garcia

Bridgewater seems to be the consensus number one guy and deservedly so.

He's a smooth operator in the pocket and has the tools to be a special player at the next level.

There are genuine questions about his size and can he add more weight, and his ability to get the ball accurate vertically, but those aren't enough of questions to knock him from here.

Grade: Round 1, top 10

2. Blake Bortles, QB UCF 6-4 227lbs

Best Case Scenario: Tony Romo
Worst Case Scenario: Drew Stanton

Bortles has had much love come his way lately, including new projections as the potential first overall pick for the Houston Texans.

He has a good arm, shows excellent movement in and out of the pocket, but isn't consistent in his set up or drop.

Looked to have some velocity problems in 2013 compared to 2012, but that looked better in the Fiesta Bowl.

Really does a nice job of extending plays and making accurate throws when on the move to all levels of the field.

Grade: Round 1, top 32

3. Johnny Manziel, QB Texas A&M 6-1 210lbs

Best Case Scenario: A Russell Wilson sized Tony Romo
Worst Case Scenario: Too Small and too frail to matter?

The most polarizing prospect in the 2014 draft, Manziel is getting overlooked based on things like, he's a punk, seems like he needs his ass kicked, may or may not like puppies, doesn't tip well, etc.

On the field, the "narrative" seemed to be about arm strength, floating in the pocket and his inability to make reads.

Well his arm strength is more than fine, he does have pretty atrocious footwork at times, and he makes reads just fine, it just happened that his first read was open a lot of the times, and that's what happens when you have a WR like Mike Evans.

Manziel is a play maker and someone that can make throws to all levels of the field with good accuracy and zip, as well as using his legs to buy time to get through his second and third reads when things start to breakdown, or sometimes when they don't.

Grade: Round 2, top 40

4. Derek Carr, QB Fresno State 6-3 210lbs

Best Case Scenario: Good Matt Stafford
Worst Case Scenario: David Carr (Sorry for the cop out)

Interesting and sometimes confounding prospect, but someone that should interest the Cardinals if the price is right (not moving up and maybe even moving down towards the end of round one but he likely won't be there at 20 so it may be moot).

Carr has a mini howitzer attached to his right shoulder, but you wouldn't know it with the maybe the worst designed and fitting offense for his skills.

He threw more screen passes than any other prospect, and was less accurate deep than any other prospect in the limited amount of attempts he had throwing down the field.

Can Carr fix his struggles within the pocket and deep accuracy, things that may or may not be intertwined, to translate the rest of his NFL game to the next level?

Grade: Round 2, top 50

5. Tajh Boyd, QB Clemson 6-1 225lbs

Grade: Round 3

6. Brett Smith, QB Wyoming 6-3 205lbs

Grade: Round 3

7. Aaron Murray, QB Georgia 6-1 210lbs

Grade: Round 3

8. Zach Mettenberger, QB LSU 6-5 235lbs

Grade: Round 3

9. David Fales, San Jose State 6-3 220lbs

Grade: Late Round 3

10. Jimmy Garoppolo, QB Eastern Illinios

Grade: Round 4

11. Jeff Mathews, QB Cornell 6-4 229lbs

Grade: Round 4

12. Stephen Morris, QB Miami 6-2 218lbs

Note: Grade has changed from when this was written in November.

Grade: Round 5

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