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Teams will have plenty of quarterback options in 2014

Manziel Reuters

After their recent trade of running back Trent Richardson to the Colts, the Browns now have enough ammunition to move to the top of the 2014 draft.

Some would say that, without Richardson, the Browns may not need to move very far to get there.

Regardless, Browns CEO Joe Banner told PFT Live in the aftermath of the deal that speculation the team will target a quarterback is “well founded.”  So who will they find when the time comes to pick?

Albert Breer of NFL Network collects the potential pro prospects. The big names belong to Louisville quarterback Teddy Bridgewater and Texas A&M quarterback Johhny Manziel, if Manziel chooses to give up one last year in the place he’s already said he can’t wait to leave. Oregon’s Marcus Mariota, Brett Hundley of UCLA, and Kevin Hogan of Stanford also could choose to enter the draft early.

Definite entries in the Class of 2014 will be Alabama’s AJ McCarron, Clemson’s Tajh Boyd, David Fales of San Jose State, and Derek Carr of Fresno State.

Manziel’s prospects have been and will continue to be debated, ad nauseum. Does he have the height? The frame? How does he handle pressure in the pocket? How strong is his arm? Will he cause distractions, either from his off-field behavior or through a Tebowmania-style celebrity?

Despite the questions and concerns, someone will draft Manziel. Maybe not in the first five picks, but at some point in the first five rounds.

Making things even more interesting will be a potentially unprecedented supply of veteran quarterbacks, in free agency or otherwise.  Typically, huge names hit the market only if there are serious injury issues, like with Drew Brees in 2006 and Peyton Manning in 2012. Next year, healthy quarterbacks with a higher Q rating than Quincy Carter (circa 2002) could be available, from Jay Cutler to Josh Freeman to Mark Sanchez to Christian Ponder to Blaine Gabbert to Chad Henne to Mike Vick to Brandon Weeden to Matt Flynn to even Sam Bradford.  More names could be added to the list if the Pats decide to trade Ryan Mallett, or if the Redskins opt to flip Kirk Cousins for something more than the fourth-round pick they used to get him.  (That’s unlikely, and arguably unwise.)

With free agency coming before the draft some teams will play it safe, addressing their immediate needs with a veteran before determining whether to draft a quarterback of the future.  Ultimately, however, every organization needs to remember that there two types of NFL teams:  the few that have franchise quarterbacks and the many that are looking for franchise quarterbacks.

The veterans who’ll be available will be available for a reason. To find a franchise quarterback, teams will need to decide which of the incoming rookies they love — and then whether they can head to Radio City Music Hall and get him.

That’s the easy part.  The real challenge comes from making a guy who is expected to be a franchise quarterback into a franchise quarterback.

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20 Responses to “Teams will have plenty of quarterback options in 2014”
  1. thegreatgabbert says: Sep 21, 2013 4:34 PM

    Scrawny runts. Bridgewater is Geno Smith from last year. Hundley is the only one who might be a strong pro.

  2. phuzzball says: Sep 21, 2013 4:37 PM

    Why would it not have been just as wise on the Browns’ part to trade TR on draft day? Could have gotten same, if not better compensation.

  3. wearethechampsandyourenot says: Sep 21, 2013 4:37 PM

    the baltimore ravens will be picking 32nd in the draft..

    again…

    #DEALWITIT

  4. fdugrad says: Sep 21, 2013 4:41 PM

    Does he have the height? Does he have the size? No, and No. Will he cause distractions?…PRICELESS!!

  5. shadowcell says: Sep 21, 2013 4:45 PM

    “Why would it not have been just as wise on the Browns’ part to trade TR on draft day? Could have gotten same, if not better compensation.”

    —-

    Indy’s need was immediate; they want a running back right now, because they’re a playoff contender right now. If the Browns had waited, the Colts might have worked out a deal with someone else or signed a veteran like McGahee.

  6. itsmammoth says: Sep 21, 2013 4:46 PM

    Johnny Manziel – 6’1″ 210 lbs

    Drew Brees – 6’0″ 209 lbs

    Go ahead and pass on him, but if you actually watch him play.. then you’ll know his accuracy is something special. It really reminds me of Rodgers. I’m just saying.

  7. bucrightoff says: Sep 21, 2013 4:49 PM

    Free agent QBs are screwed. With the rookie scale it makes too much sense to draft a QB rather than sign one. And this class is stacked with 7-10 guys who could become starters one day.

    And of the potential FA guys you mentioned, Cutler isn’t happening, Vick is the supreme injury risk and Sam Bradford is showing good progress this season and likely isn’t going anywhere. The rest of the guys you mentioned are, how shall I put this, terrible.

  8. opietaylor says: Sep 21, 2013 4:49 PM

    Ironic that Cleveland traded their pick to NYJ that was Sanchez in 2009 if he ended up there. Bears will re-sign Cutler, especially after spending 2013 learning Trestman’s offense.

  9. 4thqtrsaint says: Sep 21, 2013 5:02 PM

    The Browns have made a brilliant move, if they choose wisely. Not only do they have the ammo to get a top QB, but Clowney as well. They can also sign one of the middling free agents to back up their rookie.
    I know people harp on them because their the Browns, but law of averages says their time is coming.

  10. 6ball says: Sep 21, 2013 5:20 PM

    .

    With 2 picks in each of Rounds 1, 2, and 4 plus about 25 million in cap space, Lombardi will be hard pressed to explain a disappointing finish next year.

    .

  11. 6ball says: Sep 21, 2013 5:21 PM

    .

    Correction : that’s 2 picks in Round 1, 3, and 4.

    .

  12. bigtime1957 says: Sep 21, 2013 5:25 PM

    The trading of TR will be the finishing touches on Lombardi banner and Haslam, They will be run out of town after there picks next year flop, The worst organization in the NFL, A head coach who was hired as banner’s puppet head coach, when you have the pres as the coach you were doomed before you started and more is to come, Not only will they need a QB but also a RB a center since ours is going into free agency and a guard or two, Several DB and a Kicker, so Browns fans when will you wake up pick up your picket signs and Demand new ownership who is not a criminal?

  13. briscocountyjr says: Sep 21, 2013 5:40 PM

    I don’t know if the browns can ever escape the mediocre to terrible qb merry go round they’ve established.

    Side question- what is going on with their mob-boss owner and pending prosecution?

    When I think of Browns fans, I feel an urge to offer warmth and compassion.

  14. shadowcell says: Sep 21, 2013 5:43 PM

    I don’t think the Browns need to reach for Clowney. Their front seven isn’t bad, and they have much more pressing needs on the other side of the ball. What they really need is a quarterback, obviously; an offensive lineman to lock down the right side of the line; a wide receiver who can, y’know, actually catch the ball; a cornerback to play opposite Joe Haden; and, now that Richardson is gone, a running back.

    Clowney is great and all, but a pick you spend on him is a pick you can’t spend on the other players the Browns need, and they need those players a lot more than they need another pass rusher.

  15. knowmewell85 says: Sep 21, 2013 6:13 PM

    Wow, that was a bold prediction on Manziel being drafted in first 5 rounds! YOLO

  16. 1509lucky says: Sep 21, 2013 8:17 PM

    Manziel is 6-1 210? On what planet?

  17. brownoholic says: Sep 21, 2013 8:41 PM

    Gimme Hundley, Brownies!!! Plus a real #1 receiver, real #2 corner & another guard.

    Oh yeah. Running back….

  18. august1969 says: Sep 21, 2013 9:53 PM

    Cleveland gets Manziel. Good move. Josh Gordon, Jordan Cameron, Devonne Bess, Kenny Britt?

    Solid stuff.

  19. pundyveit says: Sep 22, 2013 9:15 AM

    Why doesn’t anyone ever mention Georgia’s quarterback as a potential draft pick? He’s going to have every SEC record when he’s done, and Tony Dungy said last year that he would pick him first.

  20. thehawg says: Sep 22, 2013 10:22 AM

    Don’t forget Stephen Morris of UM

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