Ranking the top five QB prospects

This is a weaker class overall, but there is still depth and potential No. 1 pick

Updated: April 1, 2014, 12:29 PM ET
By Ron Jaworski | ESPN Insider

Teddy Bridgewater, Blake Bortles, and Johnny Manziel USA Today Sports, Getty ImagesWhere do Teddy Bridgewater, Blake Bortles and Johnny Manziel fall on Ron Jaworski's rankings?

There's still plenty of time and plenty of evaluation to be done before the National Football League's 2014 draft, but a few things are clear about this year's crop of quarterbacks.

First and foremost, forget the hype you might have heard about this group coming into the season. This is not the 2012 class that featured Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III. There's potential here, but nothing I think teams will move heaven and earth to try to snag at the top of the draft like we saw with the Redskins and Griffin. There are good QBs, but they have flaws and will need work and time to develop into NFL-caliber quarterbacks.

That doesn't mean this crop of QBs is barren, though. I actually think it has a lot of depth. There could be 12 to 13 guys drafted, but no one is really taking the bull by the horns and blowing me away. I think there are some holes in each of their games, but that doesn't mean they won't be great pros.

You may recall that I previously said I wouldn't take Johnny Manziel in the first three rounds of the draft. I've softened that stance a little bit -- we'll get to that below -- but I'm still of the mind that he presents too big of a risk to select with your Round 1 pick. In fact, after breaking down the film, only Blake Bortles of UCF stands out to me as a prospect who is clearly worthy of a first-round pick (although others may very well be drafted in the first round of this year's draft).

Below you'll find my top five prospects in this QB class. It should tell you something that my No. 2 quarterback is something of a wild card. That said, let's start my draft QB countdown at No. 5.


5. Derek Carr, Fresno State Bulldogs

The more I look at Carr, the more I like him. First I looked at a few games in 2012 against San Diego State, New Mexico, Nevada. Then I moved on to 2013 and I saw a very different quarterback. I could see the growth; he handled pressure a lot better than in 2012. Likewise, I didn't think he had really good drive on the ball back then. But this season, I could see the big arm, the NFL skill set. I could see the flashes of precision throws. He flicked balls 55-60 yards downfield just on arm strength. He has easy effort with his throwing motion. There were a number of times where he could turn it loose and throw a laser 20 yards.

And it's not just about his velocity. I love his ball placement. When I see a QB miss throws, it's not always a huge strike against him. It matters where he misses, and that's the case with Carr. When he misses, he misses away from the coverage. Those are misses that aren't going to hurt, and it backs up an impressive stat: 113 touchdowns and only 24 interceptions.

Ron Jaworski

NFL analyst / writer
Ron Jaworski is one of the most popular and knowledgeable analysts covering the NFL today. Since joining ESPN in 1990, the former standout NFL quarterback has covered the league from virtually every angle -- sideline reporter, game-site reporter, host and both studio and game analyst. From 2007-11, Jaworski occupied one of the most coveted positions in sports as a Monday Night Football analyst.