Every year there are a few surprises in the first round of the NFL Draft, and the 2014 version figures to be no exception. While most of the time the drama surrounds players who drop from where they were projected, the biggest shocks on draft day often are reserved for teams picking players higher than they were expected to go.
The 2014 NFL Draft features a number of teams that could be looking to jump up from the early second round to the late first in order to grab a quarterback. The threat of the Cleveland Browns snagging a signal-caller with the 26th overall pick looms large for a few front offices, and it's possible we could see a big move by a team to shore up the quarterback position.
"Tom Savage, a big arm out of Pittsburgh, is a guy that some people may be considering as that surprise guy in the first round," NFL Media analyst Charles Davis said on "Path to the Draft."
"As coaches get more involved in the process, they're intrigued by Tom Savage," former NFL scout Daniel Jeremiah added. "It's because of that big arm."
A relative unknown at the start of the draft process, Savage has become one of the hottest names in the country heading into May. He started all 13 games for the Panthers during his senior season, throwing for 2,958 yards with 21 touchdowns and nine interceptions. His inconsistency at the college level earned him Day 3 grades from some scouts, but his strong arm and prototypical pocket passer size has led to a busy schedule of workouts and meetings with NFL teams.
Savage has risen to become a possible second-round pick, but it's not out of the question entirely that he sneaks into the back end of the first. Though Jeremiah is a bit skeptical he can rise that high, he is hearing buzz within league circles that a small school passer could be a late first-round option for some teams.
"Jimmy Garoppolo, for me, he's somebody with quick feet and a quick release plus the ability to move around and create," said Jeremiah. "I think there's a little bit of buzz building on him. I still would guess second round, but there's a chance he can go in Round 1."
Garoppolo was the best player at the FCS level last season and built plenty of buzz with quality performances at the East-West Shrine Game and Senior Bowl. He lacks the frame that Savage does, but scouts have been enamored with Garoppolo's release and ability to move within the pocket.
Garoppolo was invited to Radio City Music Hall for the draft this year, a good sign he will be taken on the first night of the draft or early on the second.
Luckily for everybody involved, there are only a few more days left of rumors and possibilities before we actually see which teams these quarterbacks wind up with.