All good points, but I still like the Chiefs. The Chiefs D is on the warpath right now. Justin Houston is a game-changer, and he'll have his way with the right side of Buffalo's O-line. Tyrod Taylor is going to get hurt. In a game that figures to be hard-hitting and relatively low-scoring, turnovers and penalties will be huge. That favors the Chiefs (Buffalo is arguably the most undisciplined squad in the NFL). I also like that the Chiefs are playing in front of their home crowd for the first time in about a month, while the Bills are on short rest.
Johnny Manziel**, QB, Texas A&M
Height: 5-11. Weight: 207. 40 Time: 4.68. Projected Round (2014): Top-25 Pick. 5/5/14: WalterFootball.com took the opportunity to survey five teams now that the 2014 NFL Draft is less than a week away. Four of them felt Manziel would go in the first round, with two of them noting they have him graded in the top 20. One team had a second-round grade on Manziel, but acknowledged that he would probably be selected in the first round. Some sources believe that Manziel could slide in the 2014 NFL Draft, while others think that Manziel won't get out of the top 20. He is a polarizing player who could go in a variety of places.
Manziel completed 70 percent of his passes in 2013 for 4,114 yards with 37 touchdowns and 13 interceptions. The redshirt sophomore ran for 923 yards (759 net) with nine scores, too. While Manziel's running ability receives a lot of attention, his passing skills are improved and underrated.
Manziel's footwork, accuracy, ball placement and field vision all looked better in 2013; his instincts are off the charts. He always seemed to be a step ahead of the defense. Manziel has a pretty strong arm and can make all the throws required. The serious knocks on him are his size, durability concerns, ability to read progressions (field vision) and off-the-field concerns.
Texas A&M lost to Alabama in Week 3 and, while Manziel had a couple painful mistakes, he had a tremendous game to light up one of the best defenses in college football - one that is loaded with a lot of future draft picks. Manziel completed 28-of-39 passes for 464 yards with five touchdowns and two interceptions. He ran for 98 yards on 14 carries, too. Thanks to Manziel, the Aggies burned the Crimson Tide defense to the tune of 42 points. He threw some perfect passes in the deep part of the field to hit his receivers in stride. Manziel showed excellent anticipation, field vision, accuracy and good arm strength. It was a truly impressive performance. He had a similar game against Auburn.
Late in the 2013 regular season, Manziel was playing with injuries. That meant he wasn't quite the same player with modest performances against LSU and Missouri.
8/3/13: Manziel was the breakout star of college football in 2012 and became a national celebrity en route to winning the Heisman Trophy. The redshirt freshman dominated the SEC as a dual-threat quarterback. He completed 68 percent of his passes for 3,706 yards with 26 touchdowns and nine interceptions. Manziel also ran for 1,410 yards (1,571 net) with 21 touchdowns on the ground. He was an absolute force.
Manziel has a good arm and accuracy for a pro prospect, but will need to continue to develop his ability to be a pocket passer. Specifically, Manziel needs to improve his footwork and become more uniform with his feet and throwing mechanics. Obviously, Manziel has great mobility. He is so dangerous when he is on the run with the threat to keep it himself or pass the ball. Alabama's 2012 defense, comprised of NFL talent, lost at home to Manziel as he put up almost 350 yards of total offense.
The Aggies' signal-caller comes off as a bit of a wild child who enjoys his celebrity status off the field. Some NFL teams will wonder about his dedication to football, but there will definitely be a team that is willing to overlook it. Manziel is undersized, but with the success of quarterbacks like Russell Wilson and Drew Brees, it shouldn't prevent him from being drafted highly.
Personal: Business major, son of Michelle and Paul Manziel.
Blake Bortles*, QB, Central Florida
Height: 6-5. Weight: 232. 40 Time: 4.93. Projected Round (2014): Top-25 Pick. 5/5/14: Bortles could be the first quarterback selected in the 2014 NFL Draft. Sources from around the league acknowledge that Bortles requires some development, but he has the most upside of any quarterback in the 2014 NFL Draft. Bortles stands a good chance of being a top-10 pick.
We wrote in mid-February, "Two of the quarterback-needy teams picking in the top five have told WalterFootball.com that they have Bortles as their No. 1-rated quarterback. If the Houston Texans take a quarterback with the No. 1-overall pick, WalterFootball.com believes it will be Bortles based on conversations with league contacts." Nothing has changed that stance.
That contention has become the mainstream opinion as Bortles had a quality pro day to help his draft stock. He is the top quarterback prospect and the only one who could go with the first-overall pick.
In 2013, Bortles completed 68 percent of his passes for 3,581 yards with 25 touchdowns and nine interceptions. He has a nice skill set for the NFL. Bortles has a strong arm with good size and the athletic ability to scramble for yards. The redshirt junior needs to improve his footwork for the NFL. Bortles also needs to become more uniform and could stand to improve his throwing mechanics. That would improve his accuracy and ball placement.
Sources also tell WalterFootball.com that while Bortles is intelligent, but he is going to need development in the NFL. Bortles has the best skill set of the quarterbacks, but isn't as NFL-ready as Teddy Bridgewater or Johnny Manziel. Bortles' stock has consistently risen in the lead up to the 2014 NFL Draft, so don't be surprised if he is still the consensus No. 1 quarterback come draft day. Bortles is a project, but he has the most upside. League contacts tell WalterFootball.com that none of the quarterbacks are grading out as a true No. 1, so don't be surprised if the Texans channel 2006 and take Jadeveon Clowney.
In 2012, Bortles completed 63 percent of his passes for 3,059 yards with 25 touchdowns and seven interceptions.
Personal: Majoring in interpersonal/organizational communication. Son of Rob and Suzy Bortles.
Derek Carr, QB, Fresno State
Height: 6-2. Weight: 215. 40 Time: 4.69. Projected Round (2014): 1-2. 5/5/14: Sources have told WalterFootball.com that Carr is the most natural passer in the 2014 NFL Draft, and his stock has risen accordingly during as the draft approaches. There are more teams that are excited about Carr than other more highly touted quarterbacks like Teddy Bridgewater or Johnny Manziel. Three teams in the top 10 have Carr as their second-rated quarterback behind Blake Bortles.
Carr played well at the Senior Bowl. Sources told WalterFootball.com that they think Carr is worthy of a first-round pick, and there are enough teams that like him that he could go in the top 10. Quarterback-needy teams could also look to move down in the first round with Carr being a target.
Carr was tremendous in carrying Fresno State to a two-loss season in 2013. He was clutch in the fourth quarter and overtime to push his team to wins over Rutgers and Boise State. The senior was excellent in his decision-making while showing a strong arm with good field vision. Carr has a powerful arm and is a developed pocket passer. However, he also beat up on a weak schedule.
In 2013, Carr completed 69 percent of his passes for 5,083 yards with 50 touchdowns and eight interceptions. It looked like he was playing seven-on-seven football with the way he threaded the ball in all levels of the defense and took what the defenders are giving him. That changed against USC in Carr's bowl game when the Trojans' defense rattled him with pressure and forced him into some mistakes and missed throws.
8/3/13: Carr is an improving quarterback who was a 2011 Second-Team All-WAC selection as a redshirt sophomore. The first-year starter completed 63 percent of his passes for 3,544 yards with 26 touchdowns and nine interceptions. He ran for three scores too.
Carr was even better as a junior, completing 67 percent of his passes for 4,104 yards with 37 touchdowns and seven interceptions. He beat up on some weak competition and didn't have his best games against Oregon or Boise State.
Carr has a strong arm and good mechanics. The senior should improve over this senior and could receive Thursday night consideration.
Personal: Brother of David Carr, former No. 1 overall pick by the Texans. Son of Rodger and Sheryl Carr. Derek Carr is married. Majoring in recreation administration and leisure services management.
Teddy Bridgewater*, QB, Louisville
Height: 6-2. Weight: 214. Projected 40 Time: 4.82. Projected Round (2014): 1-2. 5/5/14: Sources from around the NFL have been lukewarm on Bridgewater for months. WalterFootball.com knows a number of teams that view him as a second-rounder, and one NFC executive told us that he thinks Bridgewater is a "fourth-round guy." Bridgewater had a disappointing pro-day performance, and sources have said that it's possible that Bridgewater has a draft-day free fall.
Bridgewater has a plus skill set, but not a great one, according to NFL evaluators. He is not the athlete or passer that Cam Newton or Andrew Luck is. Bridgewater has a slightly above-average arm, but not an elite cannon. While he has some mobility on rollouts, he isn't viewed as a real running threat. Bridgewater isn't projected to be a true dual-threat quarterback in the NFL. He also is smaller than those other quarterbacks. Sources are really concerned about Bridgewater's thin frame and his ability to stay healthy once the hits start coming from NFL defensive linemen.
In 2013, Bridgewater completed 71 percent of his passes for 3,970 yards with 31 touchdowns and four interceptions. The junior started strongly before slowing down in the final month of the season. He came back to end his collegiate career with one of his best games in a win over Miami.
Bridgewater hangs tough to deliver passes in the face of pass rush, has mobility on rollouts, enough arm strength and is generally accurate. He plays well on third downs, too. Bridgewater shows great poise in the pocket and is patient enough to let his receivers work themselves open.
8/3/13: Bridgewater was the one of the best quarterbacks in college football in 2012. He carried Louisville to an 11-2 season including a Sugar Bowl win over Florida. The sophomore completed 68.5 percent of his passes for 3,718 yards with 27 touchdowns and eight interceptions. He ran for 237 yards (211 net) and a touchdown, too.
Florida safety Matt Elam said that Bridgewater was the best quarterback the Gators played last year. That was high praise considering Florida took on Johnny Manziel, Tyler Bray, Aaron Murray and E.J. Manuel. The Gators' defense had just dominated Manuel, but Bridgewater completed 20-of-33 passes for 266 yards with two touchdowns and an interception on a tipped pass.
Bridgewater has an excellent physical skill set. He possesses pure passing ability with some running ability to hurt defenses on the ground. The junior has a strong arm and with natural accuracy. Bridgewater is still developing physically and mentally. He could turn into a special player.
Bridgewater took college football by storm as a true freshman and was named the Big East Rookie of the Year. He completed 64.5 percent of his passes for 2,129 yards and 14 touchdowns in 2011. Bridgewater ran for 265 yards (66 net) and four touchdowns, too. Despite the lack of experience, he was calm and showed excellent composure.
Personal: Sports administration major, son of Rose Murphy.
Jimmy Garoppolo, QB, Eastern Illinois
Height: 6-2. Weight: 226. 40 Time: 4.97. Projected Round (2014): 1-3. 5/5/14: Sources from a quarterback-rich team that is a perennial playoff threat and is among the best at evaluating quarterbacks told WalterFootball.com that they view Garoppolo as a third-rounder. However, these sources think someone will reach on him in the second round.
Garoppolo was a prolific point machine in 2013. He threw for 5,050 yards with 53 touchdown passes and nine interceptions while completing 66 percent of his passes. Scouts are said to love Garoppolo's quick release, but have concerns about his hand size and level of competition.
When Alabama quarterback A.J. McCarron turned down the Senior Bowl, that opened up a spot for Garoppolo, who took advantage of the opportunity. Garoppolo played better in Mobile than he did the week earlier at the East-West Shrine, and that isn't surprising considering the reduced rust factor and having better receivers to work with. Garoppolo had a good week of practice in which he displayed accuracy, decision-making and had no issues practicing against a higher caliber of competition.
Garoppolo has a nice skill set as a passer. He has a strong arm with a fantastic delivery. His quick release and raw field vision illustrate the potential for him to be a good pocket-passer.
For the NFL, Garoppolo will have to improve his feet and operating under three-, five- and seven-step drops. That will help him to throw the ball accurately and in rhythm. WalterFootball.com has received positive feedback on Garoppolo from scouts and coaches. They view him as a nice developmental option for the second day of the 2014 NFL Draft, although some team may reach on him late in the first round.
Zach Mettenberger, QB, LSU
Height: 6-5. Weight: 224. Projected 40 Time: 4.90. Projected Round (2014): 2-3. 5/5/14: At his pro day, Mettenberger had a solid workout. He didn't blow everyone away, but he showed a lot of progress from his knee injury. Mettenberger is firmly in the second-day discussion for teams that decide to pass on a quarterback in Round 1. WalterFootball.com knows some teams that have Mettenberger as their fourth-rated quarterback behind Bortles, Carr and Manziel.
Mettenberger massively improved his game in 2013 under the direction of offensive coordinator Cam Cameron. The senior's accuracy, decision-making, field vision and fundamentals were exceptionally better. Unfortunately for Mettenberger, he suffered a torn ACL late in the season, and it could come back to hurt him on draft day as he was unable to participate in the Senior Bowl and NFL Scouting Combine.
Mettenberger completed 65 percent of his passes this season for 3,082 yards with 22 touchdowns and eight interceptions. On the road at Georgia, he had a great performance to almost lead LSU to a road victory. The Tigers' defense failed him in the 44-41 loss to the Bulldogs.
8/3/13: Mettenberger started out his collegiate career at Georgia before transferring to community college. He then chose LSU and spent his sophomore season as a backup. Mettenberger won the starting job in 2012 and helped lead the Tigers to a 10-3 season. He completed 58 percent of his passes for 2,609 yards with 12 touchdowns and seven interceptions. The junior played poorly in games against Florida, South Carolina and Texas A&M. Despite the signal-caller's struggles, LSU pulled out tight wins over the latter two. Mettenberger made a statement when he completed 24-of-35 passes for 298 yards and a touchdown against Alabama.
Mettenberger has the physical skill set to be a starter. He has big-time arm and pocket presence. Mettenberger needs to improve his footwork and become more accurate. He also must improve his decision-making. Mettenberger has good receivers to throw to, but he still plays in a ground-based offense so he may not produce big totals in 2013. A big senior year could cause him to rise into the early rounds.
Personal: Majoring in general studies. Son of Bernie and Tammy Mettenberger.
Tom Savage, QB, Pittsburgh
Height: 6-4. Weight: 228. 40 Time: 4.97. Projected Round (2014): 2-3. 5/5/14: There has been a huge buzz about Savage in the last few months. Some are looking at him as a potential diamond in the rough as a mid-round pick, and Savage could sneak into the second round of the 2014 NFL Draft. He has big size, pocket presence and a strong arm. Savage also hails from a pro-style offense. In 2013, the senior completed 61 percent of his passes for 2,958 yards with 21 touchdowns and nine interceptions.
Savage started out his collegiate career at Rutgers in 2009. As a freshman, he threw for 2,211 yards and 14 touchdowns with seven interceptions. Savage lost his starting spot as a sophomore because of an injury. He then left Rutgers for Arizona, but that didn't work out and he transfered to Pittsburgh. Savage was forced to sit out the 2012 season before playing well for Paul Chryst as a senior.
Savage is on the radar of the quarterback-needy teams that are considering waiting to draft a quarterback until after the first round.
Logan Thomas, QB, Virginia Tech
Height: 6-6. Weight: 248. 40 Time: 4.61. Projected Round (2014): 2-4. 5/5/14: Sources were impressed with Thomas' skill set at the Senior Bowl, but he continued to show the mistakes that plagued him over the past two seasons. Thomas put his big arm and athleticism on display at the Combine. There are teams that are intrigued with him as a second-day pick who could take a year or two to develop since he has tremendous upside if his problems can be fixed.
Early in 2013, Thomas was showing some improvements with his accuracy and decision-making problems. He had good performances against Georgia Tech and North Carolina in particular, but had a disastrous outing against Duke with four interceptions to let the Blue Devils pull off the upset.
To open the season, Thomas struggled to complete passes versus Alabama. His accuracy was off as he missed some openings in the secondary. Thomas also got little help from his wide outs. They were awful at getting separation from the Crimson Tide's defensive backs and had a number of ugly drops. Thomas closed out his career by being knocked out of his bowl game against UCLA with an injury.
In 2013, Thomas completed 57 percent of his passes for 2,907 yards with 16 touchdowns and 13 interceptions. He ran for 344 yards with four touchdowns, too.
8/3/13: Thomas was one of the biggest disappointments in college football last season. He had an ugly year that illustrated terrible passing accuracy. Thomas completed 51 percent of his passes for 2,976 yards with 18 touchdowns and 16 interceptions. He ran for 726 yards (524 net) and nine touchdowns, but his passing was horrific at times.
Thomas needs to do a ton of work to develop as a passer. He has to significantly improve his accuracy along with developing pocket presence. Thomas has to get more patience and vastly enhance his ability to read defenses. He generally looks to run if he doesn't see a receiver breaking open early.
Thomas is a big, athletic signal-caller with a strong arm. He has a similar skill set to Cam Newton or Tim Tebow. Thomas set the school record for rushing touchdowns by a quarterback in 2011, running for 627 yards and 11 scores. The first-year starter completed 60 percent of his passes for 3,013 yards with 19 touchdowns and 10 interceptions.
Thomas has the size, arm and mobility to be a starting quarterback in the NFL. He is capable of having a massive 2013 season to be a early-round pick.
Personal: Graduated in December with a degree in human development. Son of Eddie and Kim Tarazona.
A.J. McCarron, QB, Alabama
Height: 6-3. Weight: 220. Projected 40 Time: 4.94. Projected Round (2014): 2-4. 5/5/14: WalterFootball.com knows one quarterback-needy team picking in the top 10 that has McCarron rated ahead of Teddy Bridgewater. Some teams like McCarron and are considering him if they don't draft a quarterback in the first round. Sources said they were disappointed that McCarron skipped the Senior Bowl and wondered if he was trying to hide something. Some feel that McCarron could go early on the second day or fall to the fourth round like quarterbacks Matt Barkley and Ryan Nassib last year.
In 2013, McCarron completed 67 percent of his passes for 3,063 yards with 28 touchdowns and seven interceptions. He looks more like a solid No. 2 rather than a starter in the NFL. McCarron doesn't have a very strong arm and doesn't fit a lot of throws into tight windows. His anticipation could be better as well. He decided not to participate in the Senior Bowl. That was a missed opportunity to impress NFL scouts.
McCarron's performances versus Virginia Tech and Ole Miss in 2013 were underwhelming. He was unable to answer some of the questions about his passing ability. McCarron didn't illustrate a stronger arm than in 2012, and he threw some passes off his back foot when he didn't need to. The senior also missed on downfield throws to open receivers.
On the flip side, McCarron played extremely well against Texas A&M to win a shootout at Kyle Field. To end his collegiate career, he struggled against Oklahoma. McCarron was rattled by the Sooners' pass-rushers and had three turnovers. It illustrated the concern that his superb supporting cast was masking some weaknesses in his game the past three years.
8/3/13: McCarron could be more capable than other Alabama quarterbacks who were game managers, but not real passing threats. Like John Parker Wilson or Greg McElroy, McCarron is not a dominant passer, but he is intelligent and doesn't lose the game for his team. McCarron has a stronger arm than either of those signal-callers, but arm strength is a question that scouts have about McCarron entering his senior season. There is some doubts about his arm for the NFL.
The 2013 season should provide a better gauge on McCarron's standing for the NFL. The Crimson Tide lost three offensive linemen along with its starting running back and tight end to the 2013 NFL Draft. Still, McCarron does have one of the best wide receivers in the nation to work with in Amari Cooper.
Alabama repeated as National Champions last year with McCarron under center. He had the support of a great running game, and one of the best offensive lines in college football history. McCarron completed 67 percent of his passes for 2,933 yards with 30 touchdowns and three interceptions. He had great opportunities to throw the ball with defenses focused on stopping the Alabama rushing attack.
McCarron had the luxury of a tremendous running game and defense to carry Alabama to a National Championship in 2011. He completed 67 percent of his passes for 2,634 yards with 16 touchdowns and five interceptions for the year.
Aaron Murray, QB, Georgia
Height: 6-0. Weight: 207. Projected 40 Time: 4.75. Projected Round (2014): 3-5. 5/5/14: Murray had a late-season ACL tear. The injury hurt him since he couldn't participate in the Senior Bowl or the Combine. It also could impact his availability at the start of training camp. There are a lot of fans of Murray in the media, but WalterFootball.com hasn't heard the same warmth from teams. Sources say that Murray could be a solid backup and a potential spot starter in time.
Murray completed 65 percent of his passes in 2013 for 3,075 yards with 26 touchdowns and nine interceptions. On the ground, he rushed for seven touchdowns with 186 yards (155 net). Murray is undersized and doesn't have the physical athletic ability to make up for it.
Murray was inconsistent at times in 2013, but he played with a patchwork supporting cast as injuries ravaged the Bulldogs. The senior had a huge performance against LSU with 20-of-34 for 298 yards with four touchdowns and an interception. He also played well to lead Georgia over South Carolina. On the road versus Clemson to open 2013, Murray had some rough moments in a loss to the Tigers. He also struggled in a loss to Missouri. Murray led a furious fourth-quarter comeback with two rushing touchdowns to almost get a win at Auburn.
8/3/13: Murray completed 64.5 percent of his passes for 3,893 yards with 36 touchdowns and 10 interceptions in 2012. The junior also ran for three touchdowns. He dominated weak opponents but struggled against Florida, South Carolina and to a lesser extent, Alabama. In order for the senior to be a first-round pick in the 2014 NFL Draft, he has to play better against elite competition and good defenses.
Murray emerged as one of the better quarterbacks in college football in 2011. The sophomore completed 59 percent of his passes for 3,149 yards with 35 touchdowns and 14 interceptions. He ran for a couple of touchdowns as well.
Murray threw for 3,049 yards while completing 61 percent of his passes with 24 touchdowns and eight interceptions as a freshman. He also ran for 167 yards and four scores.
The big knock on Murray is his height. That causes some to wonder if will translate into the NFL. At the same time, Murray has a quality arm and flashes the ability to be a good game manager. Everybody can expect to hear a lot of Drew Brees citations in arguments for Murray.
Personal: Murray is getting a graduate degree in industrial-organizational psychology.
Tajh Boyd, QB, Clemson
Height: 6-0. Weight: 215. Projected 40 Time: 4.63. Projected Round (2014): 3-5. 5/5/14: Boyd didn't have a good week at the Senior Bowl and needs to improve his ball placement. WalterFootball.com surveyed teams and had four say they have Boyd as a third-rounder. One team said they viewed him as a second-day player, while one team had him in the late-third-day or early-fourth-day-pick, and yet another team called him a Day-3 pick. After a disappointing Combine performance, most teams moved Boyd to the fourth round. He did have a good pro-day workout.
In 2013, Boyd completed 69 percent of his passes for 3,851 yards with 34 touchdowns and nine interceptions. He picked up 634 yards (400 net) and 10 touchdowns on the ground.
Boyd struggled against Florida State and South Carolina. He had a costly fumble and a pair of interceptions in each contest. However, the senior ended his collegiate career in impressive fashion with a big game against Ohio State.
Outside of the contests versus the Seminoles and Gamecocks, Boyd played well this season. Height concerns and accuracy issues push him lower among the quarterbacks. However, Boyd has a live arm and can make all the throws. He also is mobile and has the strength to be a short-yardage or goal-line weapon as a runner. Clemson pounded Boyd into the front of the defense last year, and he showed some serious toughness to run for short yards and throw for big plays downfield.
Boyd had many prolific games in 2013, including a massive performance against Georgia Tech as he put on a clinic for throwing deep balls. Boyd opened the year with a gritty performance to lead the Tigers to a win over Georgia. He made clutch plays all night and would have had an even bigger game if his receivers hadn't dropped so many passes. Boyd completed 18-of-30 passes for 270 yards with three touchdowns. He ran for 42 yards on 13 carries and two scores on the ground as well.
8/3/13: Boyd elevated his play to another level in 2012. The junior had a dominant season and was a force through the air. He carried Clemson to an 11-2 record and a last-minute comeback win over LSU in the season finale. Boyd completed 67 percent of his passes for 3,896 yards with 36 touchdowns and 13 interceptions. He also ran well with 769 yards (514 net) and 10 touchdowns on the ground.
There is a lot to like about Boyd as a passer since he has some some natural ability. Boyd is a strong armed passer who can make precision throws down the field. He has a live arm to make throws in every level of the defense. Plus, Boyd hangs tough in the pocket and can take a hit. Outside of his passing and running ability, the only real knock on him is his size. It would be good to see the senior improve his anticipation and ball placement this season.
Boyd was a dominant play-maker for the Tigers at times in 2011. He completed 59 percent of his passes for 3,828 yards with 33 touchdowns and 12 interceptions. In the first half of the season, Boyd had huge games against Auburn, Florida State, North Carolina and Maryland. He slowed down in the second half of the year, but played well against Virginia Tech in the ACC Championship Game rematch after struggling in the first meeting against the Hokies.
Personal: Sociology major. WalterFootball.com has heard from scouts that Boyd is a good teammate and a hard worker.
Brett Smith*, QB, Wyoming
Height: 6-3. Weight: 206. Projected 40 Time: 4.69. Projected Round (2014): 5-7. 5/5/14: Smith entered the 2014 NFL Draft after putting together his best collegiate season. The junior completed 63 percent of his passes in 2013 for 29 touchdowns and 11 interceptions. He also ran for 573 yards and four touchdowns. Smith has some size and athleticism to him. He did not receive an invitation to the Combine.
Smith was very consistent for Wyoming over the past three seasons. In 2012, he completed 62 percent of his throws for 2,832 yards with 27 touchdowns and six interceptions. During his freshman season, Smith completed 61 percent for 2,622 yards with 20 touchdowns and 11 interceptions.
Personal: Son of Kimi and Kevin Smith.
Bryn Renner, QB, North Carolina
Height: 6-3. Weight: 228. 40 Time: 4.87. Projected Round (2014): 5-7. 5/5/14: Renner greatly missed Gio Bernard, Jonathan Cooper and Brennan Williams in 2013. North Carolina disappointed overall and struggled to develop consistency on offense. Renner completed 66 percent of his passes this season for 1,765 yards with 10 touchdowns and five interceptions. He missed the game against Virginia Tech before coming back for two games. Renner's year ended early with a shoulder injury. He didn't impress at the Combine.
7/29/12: Renner is an underrated quarterback prospect who could rise high in the 2014 NFL Draft. He is a smart quarterback and is a good game manager. Renner completed 65 percent of his passes in 2012 for 3,356 yards with 28 touchdowns and seven interceptions. He is a pocket passer and isn't a threat to run.
Renner had a quality debut in 2011. The first-year starter completed 68 percent of his passes for 3,086 yards with 26 touchdowns and 13 interceptions. He took too many sacks (26) that season. but was much better as a junior.
Personal: Son of Bill and Cindy Renner. His father was a punter for Virginia Tech and the Green Bay Packers.
Stephen Morris, QB, Miami
Height: 6-2. Weight: 213. 40 Time: 4.63. Projected Round (2014): 5-7. 5/5/14: Morris did not have an impressive showing at the Senior Bowl to help his draft stock. He had a better outing at the Combine.
Morris completed 58 percent of his passes in 2013 for 3,028 yards with 21 touchdowns and 12 interceptions. He flashed a good arm and mobility, but also had some missed plays. The senior struggled for the majority of the game against Florida. He was awful against North Carolina with four interceptions. Morris needs to drastically improve his accuracy for the NFL. He played well in the first half against Florida State before folding in the final two quarters. Morris ended his career with a poor outing against Louisville.
8/3/13: Morris took over as Miami's starting quarterback in 2012 and had a quality debut. He completed 58 percent of his passes for 3,345 yards with 21 touchdowns and seven interceptions. The junior flashed some nice throwing ability with a quality arm.
Morris he played in five games in 2011 and started one. He completed 70 percent of his passes for 283 yards with zero touchdowns and two interceptions. Morris had four starts as a freshman in 2010, completing 54 percent of his throws for 1,240 yards with seven touchdowns and nine interceptions.
The senior needs a strong 2013 season to stand out in this year's competitive group of quarterbacks.
David Fales, QB, San Jose State
Height: 6-2. Weight: 212. 40 Time: 4.99. Projected Round (2014): 5-7. 5/5/14: Fales had some disappointing outings early on in 2013 against Sacramento State, Stanford and Utah State. After the slow start, he heated up against Colorado State (431 yards) and Wyoming (482 yards) with eight touchdowns and one interception in those games. In the regular-season finale, Fales had a prolific game completing 37-of-45 passes for 547 yards with six touchdowns and no interceptions to beat Derek Carr and Fresno State by a score of 62-52.
Fales completed 64 percent of his passes in 2013 for 4,189 yards with 33 touchdowns and 13 interceptions. San Jose State did not receive a bowl bid despite having six wins. Fales didn't impress at the Senior Bowl and showed a real lack of arm strength. He then ran much more slowly than expected at the Combine.
8/3/13: Fales started out his collegiate career at Nevada in 2009. Things didn't work out there, so he transfered to a community college. Fales excelled there before enrolling at San Jose State to become the team's starter in 2012. He completed 72.5 percent of his passes for 4,193 yards with 33 touchdowns and nine interceptions.
Fales dominated his weaker competition. His worst game of the year was the season opener against Stanford, his best opponent. He completed 24-of-35 passes for 217 yards with a touchdown and interception.
Fales looks like he has a decent arm and some accuracy. His completion percentage is inflated by a lot of short, quick passing offense. While Fales isn't a dual-threat quarterback, he has some mobility to move in the pocket. Fales needs to improve his field vision as he has a tendency to stare down his primary option. He also has to make improvements in his foot work.
Personal: Psychology major. His backup quarterback was his younger brother, Austen Fales.
Connor Shaw, QB, South Carolina
Height: 6-0. Weight: 206. 40 Time: 4.66. Projected Round (2014): 5-7. 5/5/14: Shaw was a good player for the Gamecocks. He hurt a lot of defenses with his feet as well as his arm. Shaw is a tough signal-caller who plays with a gritty style. He did an impressive job of avoiding interceptions. Howevere, Shaw isn't a natural passer and possesses only an average skill set, so he is a backup quarterback prospect.
In 2013, Shaw completed 63 percent of his passes for 2,447 yards with 24 touchdowns and one interception. He connected on 68 percent of his passes for 1,956 yards with 17 touchdowns and seven interceptions in 2012. His sophomore year saw him complete 65 percent of his throws for 1,448 yards with 14 touchdowns and six interceptions. The past three seasons Shaw had nice rushing totals: senior (558, 6), junior (435, 3) and sophomore (525, 8).
Jeff Mathews, QB, Cornell
Height: 6-4. Weight: 223. 40 Time: 5.26. Projected Round (2014): 6-FA. 5/5/14: Mathews has some fans in the scouting community, but turned in a disappointing senior season. He threw for 18 touchdowns and ran for four scores in 2013 and then had a decent week at the East-West Shrine.
Mathews has big size and powerful arm, but will be a project in the NFL. He lacks mobility and must improve his footwork, which would help him to be more accurate. That will be a big point of emphasis for improvement from his pro quarterback's coach. Mathews needs to speed up his progressions and improve his field vision. He connected on 60 percent of his passes in 2012 for 3,196 yards, 18 touchdowns and 11 interceptions.
Personal: Son of Jeff and Sheilie Mathews.
James Franklin, QB, Missouri
Height: 6-2. Weight: 230. Projected 40 Time: 4.67. Projected Round (2014): 6-FA. 5/5/14: Franklin played well in 2013 before a shoulder injury knocked him out for about a month. Once he returned to the lineup, he played well enough to lead Missouri to the SEC Championship. Franklin was impressive against Texas A&M, Auburn and Oklahoma State to end the regular season. In 2013, he completed 62 percent of his passes for 2,429 yards with 19 touchdowns and six interceptions. Franklin is a nice sleeper prospect worth watching. He didn't work out at the Combine.
8/3/13: Injuries to Franklin and his offensive line led to a disappointing 2012 season. He completed 59 percent of his passes for 1,562 yards with 10 touchdowns and seven interceptions. Franklin ran for 308 yards (122 net). Hr had strong debut for Missouri in 2011, completing 63 percent of his passes for 2,865 yards with 21 touchdowns and 11 interceptions.
Hopefully 2013 will turn out better for Franklin. He has one of the nation's top young receivers to work with, sophomore Dorial Green-Beckham.
Personal: Son of Willie and Pamela Franklin. His father played tight end at Oklahoma and for the Baltimore Colts. James Franklin is a communications major.
Garrett Gilbert, QB, SMU
Height: 6-4. Weight: 220. Projected 40 Time: 4.80. Projected Round (2014): 6-FA. 5/5/14: After a rough start to his college career, Gilbert straightened things out as a senior playing for June Jones. He completed 67 percent of his passes for 3,528 yards with 21 touchdowns and seven interceptions. In 2012, Gilbert completed 53 percent of his passes for 2,932 yards with 15 touchdowns and 15 interceptions. He could be worthy of late-round consideration.
Keith Wenning, QB, Ball State
Height: 6-3. Weight: 218. 40 Time: 5.00. Projected Round (2014): 6-FA. 5/5/14: The other quarterback prospects at the East-West Shrine were more high profile, but Wenning showed that he had a better skill set than most of them. He has a strong arm and fired some fastballs into tight windows. Wenning isn't a dual-threat quarterback, but he threw the ball with great velocity. In 2013, Wenning completed 64 percent of his passes for 4,148 yards with 35 touchdowns and seven interceptions.
For the NFL, Wenning will need more time in practice. He has an arm, but he needs to improve his feet and adjust to the big jump in competition. Wenning may not end up getting drafted, but he showed that he could be a priority-free agent signing and a nice developmental prospect as a third quarterback.
Keith Price, QB, Washington
Height: 6-1. Weight: 195. Projected 40 Time: 4.67. Projected Round (2014): 7-FA. 5/5/14: Price really improved his play in 2013. The senior played well for Washington and produced lots of yards and points for the Huskies. He completed 66 percent of his passes for 2,966 yards with 21 touchdowns and six interceptions. His accuracy, mobility, decision-making and field vision looked supremely better over 2012. From a physical-skills standpoint, Price is probably, at most, a backup in the NFL. He didn't participate in the Combine.
8/3/13: The 2012 season was a disappointing campaign for Price. He didn't improve on his sophomore performance as he completed 61 percent of his passes for 2,726 yards with 19 touchdowns and 13 interceptions.
Price took over for Jake Locker and had a solid debut in 2011. The sophomore was an accurate passer, completing 67 percent of his passes for 3,063 yards with 33 touchdowns and 11 interceptions.
Price has some athletic ability, but is undersized. He has some skill as a passer which could lead him to a bounce-back 2013 season.
Jordan Lynch, QB, Northern Illinois
Height: 6-0. Weight: 217. 40 Time: 4.76. Projected Round (2014): 7-FA. 5/5/14: Lynch carried Northern Illinois to a two-loss 2013 season. He played well by completing 63 percent of his passes for 2,892 yards with 24 touchdowns and eight interceptions. Lynch hurt defenses with his feet as he ran for 1,920 yards with 23 touchdowns. He is a good athlete and a great college player, but not a fit at quarterback for the NFL. Lynch may have to move to safety or wide receiver. He didn't impress at the East-West Shrine and was moderately disappointing at the Combine.
In 2012, Lynch completed 60 percent of his passes for 3,138 yards with 25 touchdowns and six interceptions. He ran for 1,815 yards and 19 touchdowns.
Personal: Son of Jim and Sheila Lynch. Majoring in kinesiology and exercise science.
Tyler Russell, QB, Mississippi State
Height: 6-4. Weight: 220. Projected 40 Time: 4.80. Projected Round (2014): FA. 5/5/14: Russell completed 65 percent of his passes for 875 yards with five touchdowns and three interceptions in 2013. He missed five games with a concussion and a shoulder injury. Russell had surgery on the shoulder on December 10 and missed the Bulldogs' bowl win over Rice. He didn't participate in the Combine.
8/3/13: Russell flashes some ability, but isn't a consistent signal-caller. He has good size and an arm, yet needs to improve his accuracy. Russell completed 58 percent of his passes in 2012 for 2,897 yards with 24 touchdowns and 10 interceptions. It was his first full season as a starter. He has some developmental talent.
Personal: Undeclared major. Son of Mr. and Mrs. Craig Russell.
Casey Pachall, QB, TCU
Height: 6-5. Weight: 230. Projected 40 Time: 4.90. Projected Round (2014): FA. 5/5/14: Pachall completed 56 percent of his passes in 2013 for 1,468 yards with six touchdowns and 10 interceptions. TCU benched him after awhile against LSU, and he injured his arm against Southeastern Louisiana. Pachall had to have surgery on a broken left arm (non-throwing) and missed five games. He came back to play the last five games, but struggled with interceptions. Pachall didn't attend the Combine.
8/3/13: Pachall would be higher in the his round estimation if it weren't for off-the-field problems related to drug abuse. Last year, he admitted to failing a drug test just prior to the arrest of his roommate and former teammate Tanner Brock for dealing drugs. Pachall also admitted to police that he used cocaine and ecstasy. For some reason, he was not suspended by TCU to start the 2012 season.
Pachall ended up only playing in four games in last season. He completed 64-of-97 passes for 948 yards with 10 touchdowns and an interception before being arrested for DUI in October 2012. Pachall led the nation in quarterback rating at the time of his arrest, but he left the team to enter treatment for drug and alcohol abuse.
Pachall returned to the Horned Frogs after completing his treatment program and participated in spring football. He is in competition to be the starting quarterback again.
Pachall took over the starting quarterback job for TCU in 2011 after Andy Dalton moved on to the NFL. Pachall had an excellent debut. The sophomore completed 66.5 percent of his passes for 2,921 yards with 25 touchdowns and seven interceptions. Pachall had a phenomenal game to lead TCU to a 36-35 road win over Boise State. He went 24-of-37 for 473 yards with five touchdowns and one interception against the Broncos.
Pachall has a strong arm and good pocket presence. The off-the-field issues are his biggest hurdle.