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Wilcots: 2014 NFL Draft won't have quarterback taken in top five

Quarterback play is a huge part of a team's success at any level of football, but in the NFL, it's essential.

That's one reason why the Texans, Jaguars, Browns and Raiders find themselves picking in the top five of the 2014 NFL Draft. In a roundabout way, it's why the Rams are up there, too.

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But of the teams in the top five with a need at the position, will any of them actually pull the trigger and get one?

"I don't think any of them will take a quarterback," NFL Network's Solomon Wilcots said on "Path to the Draft." "You often hear general managers and scouts for these teams say there is no Andrew Luck or there is no RG3 in this year's draft, what they're saying is they don't see a quarterback in this draft class deserving of a top five pick. So they can either get that quarterback at the bottom of the first round or at the top of the second."

This year's crop of signal-callers is regarded by most scouts to be a notch below other years, but Teddy Bridgewater, Blake Bortles, Johnny Manziel and Derek Carr all have received first-round grades from various analysts. Each falls in NFL Media analyst Mike Mayock's top five at the position and generally has some separation between them and the next group of quarterbacks.

We could see one of them go first overall or fail to see any of them go until late in the first round. As Daniel Jeremiah remarked in his latest mock draft, if a quarterback gets past the Titans at No. 11, it could be a long drop.

There's plenty of time between now and May for teams to change their minds, however.

"I know a lot of people are talking about (Teddy Bridgewater's) pro day, but if I go to the film, this guy is pro-ready," Curtis Conway said. "He can do everything. He goes through all the reads. If you look at what the Texans have in place -- they have a running back in Arian Foster, they have [DeAndre] Hopkins, they have [Andre] Johnson at wide receiver -- they need that one piece and a guy like Teddy Bridgewater, in my opinion, fits the mold."

That might be the case, but teams are increasingly acting as if Bridgewater and company are not the solution for them early in the draft. Just look at their free-agent signings.

The Texans added Ryan Fitzpatrick, the Jaguars brought back Chad Henne and the Raiders traded for Matt Schaub (and not to be the backup). You're hearing more and more talk of Brian Hoyer in Cleveland, too.

"All of them have hedged their bets," Charles Davis said. "They all made sure they have someone there who can take the snaps come OTA's, minicamp or, heck, the first snap of the season. I think Houston is trying their best to figure out if Blake Bortles is their guy at No. 1."

And if he isn't, don't expect any of his brethren to take his spot near the top of the draft.

Follow Bryan Fischer on Twitter @BryanDFischer.

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