Nov 23, 2013; Tucson, AZ, USA; Oregon Ducks quarterback Marcus Mariota (center) is helped off the field after suffering an injury in the fourth quarter against the Arizona Wildcats at Arizona Stadium. Arizona defeated Oregon 42-16. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
A big hit came to a lot of the top quarterbacks heading towards the 2014 NFL draft. Which of them suffered a blow to their spot in the power rankings and which ones did themselves a huge service?
#1 – Teddy Bridgewater – Louisville
Some experts are growing concerned with his lack of production against seemingly inferior opponents of late though he continues to winning and has answered the bell every time it’s been needed. Teddy Bridgewater is still the best overall prospect at the position, but there is still time for that to change.
#2 – Marcus Mariota – Oregon
Unfortunately he once against showed his youth and lack of discipline, as did the rest of the Oregon team when they were thoroughly humiliated by Arizona. Marcus Mariota was unable to put the game on his back and keep the Ducks in the picture for a Rose Bowl birth, once again proving he’s not exactly reliable in big games.
#3 – Derek Carr – Fresno State
By far the biggest jump on the list goes to Derek Carr. The FresnoState senior is riding an epic hot streak that seems to be only getting better as the season progresses. His 527 yards and seven touchdowns against New Mexico was one of the best games for any quarterback this season. His skills at throwing the ball, running the offense and making good decisions were all on display.
#4 – Johnny Manziel – Texas A&M
Every coach and player has their kryptonite, a certain team they can’t seem to figure out. For Texas A&M star Johnny Manziel, that has become LSU. His 39.0 completion percentage and two interceptions in a 34-10 clunker pretty much ended his hopes for a second Heisman and leaves many to wonder if he’s truly ready for a jump to the pros yet.
#5 – Blake Bortles – UCF
Another name that made the leap onto this list is UCF standout Blake Bortles. A lot of people didn’t know who he was at the start of the 2013 season but now after some impressive and clutch performances against quality competition, his ability is not getting overlooked anymore. His upset win over Teddy Bridgewater could prove the signature game that makes him a high pick in the 2014 NFL draft.
#6 – Brett Hundley – UCLA
Scouts seem convinced what the future holds for UCLA quarterback Brett Hundley. There is no questioning his physical talents as a runner and passer, but the mental side of his game isn’t there yet as he’s struggled to elevate his performance when the pressure increases. That takes more experience, which is why he will likely return to school.
#7 – Zach Mettenberger – LSU
Excitement should be tempered about him. He did lead the way for LSU to knock off Texas A&M but the questions regarding his game remain unchanged. Zach Mettenberger has a rocket arm and a big body but his ability to execute and throw with consistent accuracy are still problems.
#8 – Tajh Boyd – Clemson
He played his final home game for Clemson and didn’t disappoint with five touchdown passes. There is no doubt Tajh Boyd is one of the premier dual threats entering the draft but his continued problems handling his height deficiencies is bound to give teams pause about making him a first round pick.
#9 – A.J. McCarron – Alabama
Perhaps the time has come to accept the fact that A.J. McCarron will deliver his big games when he is good and ready. That seems like the case because he really hasn’t had to most of the season. Until he throws more than 20 passes in a game scouts can’t really label him a potential first round pick despite his continued success.
#10 – Jimmy Garoppolo – Eastern Illinois
By far the best small school quarterback on the radar, Jimmy Garoppolo has many people intrigued. There are still some parts of his game that need work, but the quick release and accuracy coupled with good arm strength can’t be taught. He has a chance to really shake up the standings once the Senior Bowl and combine roll around.