Ranking the 2014 QB prospects

Quarterback cheat sheet: Rankings, market trends, teams in need

Updated: May 2, 2014, 11:39 AM ET
By Todd McShay | ESPN Insider

Manziel, Bridgewater, Bortles Getty ImagesJohnny Manziel, Teddy Bridgewater and Blake Bortles are the top QBs in the 2014 class.

This year's draft class of quarterbacks doesn't have an Andrew Luck- or Robert Griffin III-level talent, but each of our top three QBs have higher grades than the highest-graded passer on our board last year, Geno Smith. This class is also unique in terms of its depth in the third- or fourth-round range -- you can see that by studying our chart below of the number of passers taken in each round the last three years. It wouldn't surprise me if several of those middle-round prospects come off the board a round earlier than we have them graded, based on team needs.

How does the board stack up? I've ranked the QBs below and grouped them based on their round grade, and I have included the average number of quarterbacks to go off the board in each round over the past five years. You'll also see the traits we study when evaluating quarterbacks and the teams that most need to select a passer in the 2014 draft.

First-round grades

1. Blake Bortles, UCF (Grade: 93): Prototypical size with outstanding composure and mobility in the pocket, and good playmaking ability. Average arm strength with good touch and tempo.

2. Johnny Manziel, Texas A&M (Grade: 91): This is the most difficult evaluation of a QB I've ever done. Has excellent release quickness and rare instincts and escapability, but decision-making and long-term durability are concerns.

3. Teddy Bridgewater, Louisville (Grade: 90): Shows excellent command of offense and short-to-intermediate accuracy on tape but struggled to drive the ball downfield in postseason draft process.