UCF quarterback Blake Bortles is in play to be the No. 1 overall pick, and NFL Media national reporter Albert Breer said the most common comparison he has heard from NFL personnel people is Andrew Luck, who went first overall in 2012.
Bortles measured 6-foot-5½ and 232 pounds at the NFL Scouting Combine; Luck measured 6-4 and 234 pounds at the 2012 combine.
3) Most common comparison I heard for Blake Bortles was Andrew Luck, though Bortles is not quite the athlete, and not nearly as developed.â Albert Breer (@AlbertBreer) March 3, 2014
At the '12 combine, Luck ran the 40 in 4.67 seconds, had a 36-inch vertical jump, had a broad jump of 10 feet, 3 inches and had a 4.28-second clocking in the 20-yard shuttle. Bortles was timed in the 40 in a slower-than-expected 4.97 seconds, with a 32.5-inch vertical jump, a 9-7 broad jump and a 4.21-second clocking in the 20-yard shuttle. While the comparison is apt on a few levels, it would be folly to think the personnel people who are making the comparisons think Bortles will have the same type of immediate impact.
1) Found a little more doubt than I thought I would on Manziel. Several folks mentioned Kyle Shanahan as someone who could make it work.â Albert Breer (@AlbertBreer) March 3, 2014
Shanahan had been the offensive coordinator with the Washington Redskins, where he worked with Robert Griffin III, who -- like Manziel -- starred in a spread offense in college. Shanahan recently was hired as the Cleveland Browns' coordinator. The Browns, who need a quarterback, have the No. 4 pick in the draft.
2) I was surprised to hear one veteran personnel man I respect a bunch say Derek Carr was the best QB in the group.â Albert Breer (@AlbertBreer) March 3, 2014
That's likely a minority viewpoint, though stories have surfaced in recent days that -- at the least -- Carr might be ahead of Manziel in the opinion of the league's quarterback coaches. And Oakland, which picks fifth, is one team that reportedly likes Carr over Manziel, though it's hard to imagine Carr going that early in the first round.
4) I think personnel folks see Bridgewater like this -- Very good in a lot of areas, but not special. And they worry about his frame.â Albert Breer (@AlbertBreer) March 3, 2014
Bridgewater measured 6-2 and 214 pounds at the combine, an inch shorter but 18 more pounds than he was listed at Louisville. He skipped some of the combine events and did not throw at all, which means his March 17 pro day is going to be an epic event for quarterback-needy teams. Can Bridgewater handle the extra weight with no problem? NFL Media draft analyst Mike Mayock has called Bridgewater "the most NFL-ready" of the quarterbacks in this draft, but also said his frame is an issue.
5) The biggest knock on McCarron -- You don't see him enough where everything is breaking down around him. And the OU game raised concerns.â Albert Breer (@AlbertBreer) March 3, 2014
That seemingly has been the knock on Alabama's AJ McCarron all along: He plays with high-caliber teammates and rarely is called on to make game-winning plays. He did come through in a huge way against LSU in 2012 and played at a high level against Texas A&M in an important win in 2013. In addition, in Alabama's three combined losses in 2012 and '13, defense -- not McCarron and the offense -- were the issues. Still, McCarron did look rattled in the loss to Oklahoma in the Sugar Bowl following the 2013 season, and that was noteworthy because he rarely was pressured with the Tide. Can he handle playing behind an offensive line that has issues? He has been saddled with a "game manager" label, but that's not entirely fair, as he is more physically gifted than recent Alabama quarterbacks. Plus, isn't part of being a "game manager" avoiding mistakes and taking advantage of what a defense gives you, even if it's a run? If so, what is wrong with that? You never hear a quarterback on a losing team being called a "game manager," and McCarron sure has done a lot of winning.
6) Mettenberger is going to entice teams. Absent the ACL injury, I know at least one club who'd have had him No. 1 among the QBs.â Albert Breer (@AlbertBreer) March 3, 2014
No one questions LSU quarterback Zach Mettenberger's arm strength, but nearly everything else has come into question. A team truly would have had Mettenberger No. 1 on its quarterback list if not for his knee injury? Wow. He struggles when facing pressure, is relatively immobile in the pocket, has had off-field issues and seems to lack some needed intangibles. Other than that ... . His April 9 pro day will be important as teams look to see how he has handled his rehab from his torn ACL. By all accounts, it is going well. He seems extremely likely to be a second-day pick, and his pro-day performance will go a long way toward determining how early on the second day he will be selected.
Mike Huguenin can be reached at email@example.com. You also can follow him on Twitter @MikeHuguenin.