Football / Sports

Top quarterbacks for the NFL draft

CREAM OF THE CROP

Player, school, height, weight

Blake Bortles, Central Florida, 6-5, 232

Late bloomer has the size, athleticism and enough arm strength to develop into top QB.

Johnny Manziel, Texas A&M, 6-0, 207

Can his college "it" factor translate to NFL? Can he become a pocket passer when necessary?

Teddy Bridgewater, Louisville, 6-2, 214

After so much production in college, how much will sub-par pro day really hurt his stock?

Derek Carr, Fresno State, 6-2, 214

Kid brother of former No. 1 overall pick David Carr helped his cause w/strong Senior Bowl.

Jimmy Garoppolo, Eastern Illinois, 6-2, 226

Displays quick release and good footwork. Has a presence to him that projects leadership.

Don't overlook: Tajh Boyd, Clemson; David Fales, San Jose State; A.J. McCarron, Alabama; Zach Mettenberger, LSU; Aaron Murray, Georgia; Tom Savage Pittsburgh; Connor Shaw, South Carolina.

Fun fact: Georgia QB Aaron Murray's older brother, Josh Murray, was a second-round pick in baseball by the Milwaukee Brewers. Josh is scheduled to appear on next season's edition of "The Bachelorette" TV show.

Quotable: "I feel like I've been disrespected my whole college career. Because I won. That's usually the knock on me. ... (Because) I won with NFL talent. It's not like we didn't play anybody. We played in the SEC, which is the best conference in college football. I think somebody figured out I had played against 40-some (defensive) guys who have been drafted from the time I arrived in '09 that are still playing in the NFL." -- Alabama QB A.J. McCarron

Rating the field: Four QBs could go in the first round, but it no longer seems like Bortles, Manziel and Bridgewater will all go in the top 10. In fact, it's hard to say whether there's a true franchise-type signal caller in the draft this year. There appears to be plenty of value beyond the "big three."

Local line in St. Louis area: Missouri's James Franklin could be a late-round pick, or get signed as a rookie free agent.

Rams needs: The Rams have Sam Bradford, Shaun Hill, and Austin Davis under contract but would like to draft a quarterback who isn't necessarily a project. That could mean a mid-round draft pick who could potentially compete for a starting job in a year or two.

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