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It’s likely both Manziel and Bridgewater will go in round one

Bridgewater Getty Images

From time to time during these extended pre-draft doldrums, it has appeared that Johnny Manziel and/or Teddy Bridgewater wouldn’t be taken in the first round.

While Manziel has acquired significantly more momentum in recent weeks, with Bridgewater seemingly sliding out of the first round, logic suggests that both will be taken Thursday night.

Many of the draft experts (from actual to self-labeled) have left one or the other out of round one in their multi-edition mock drafts, but not because the draft experts (from actual to self-labeled) know with certainty what each and every team thinks about both players.  For many of the draft experts (from actual to self-labeled) the placement of Manziel or Bridgewater or both (or neither) in round one of the mock drafts has become not an exercise in projecting what teams will do, but an attempt to call their shots about the eventual success or failure of both players.

So many of the draft experts (from actual to self-labeled) seem to be less concerned about being right in their mock drafts than being proven right about whether Manziel or Bridgewater will thrive or dive at the next level.  Lost in this attempt to be able to say, a year or two after the fact when no one really cares anymore, that they correctly predicted the pro potential of Manziel or Bridgewater or both is the reality that teams can have dramatically conflicting assessments of the players — as dramatic and varied as the conflicting assessments among the draft experts (from actual to self-labeled).

Also lost in this quest for stale and largely meaningless vindication is the fact that many factors go into whether a quarterback booms or busts, from coaching to systems to supporting cast to quality of the team’s defense.

For now, the question is whether either or both Manziel and Bridgewater will be first-round picks.  Even if 31 franchises take a guy off their board, all it takes is one team to make the player a first-round pick and — behold — he’s a first-round pick.  Regardless of what happens in the future for Tim Tebow, he was and always will be a first-round pick in the NFL draft.

It’s far more tempting for teams to make a guy a first-round pick at the quarterback position, because most teams don’t have true franchise quarterbacks and because the draft is the only place to find the next wave of them.  Also, with the first round now giving teams up to five years to control a player’s rights, the temptation to trade back into the bottom of round one becomes stronger.

So while either or both may slide through part of the first round, the position is far too important to keep them from being drafted among the first 32 players.  And in the unlikely event one makes it past the first night of draft action, he surely won’t last long on Friday night, after teams have had a chance to reset their boards and realize that a guy who possibly will become a franchise quarterback remains in play.

For the teams that don’t have franchise quarterbacks, getting a guy who possibly could develop into one becomes the next best option.

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21 Responses to “It’s likely both Manziel and Bridgewater will go in round one”
  1. tvjules says: May 6, 2014 9:00 AM

    Of course they will…
    What other viable options outside the draft do the Jags, Vikes, and even the Texans have under center?
    Answer: None.

  2. cmstrick says: May 6, 2014 9:01 AM

    That would be typical, considering Bortles is the best QB in the draft…

  3. barsfordays says: May 6, 2014 9:02 AM

    Manziel will be gob

  4. barsfordays says: May 6, 2014 9:02 AM

    God*

  5. jmsieli says: May 6, 2014 9:06 AM

    Bla Bla Bla Bla Bla!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  6. thestrategyexpert says: May 6, 2014 9:20 AM

    Well I still think the biggest issue is that some teams just aren’t doing enough to find the best people to make those predictions and choices. Some teams seem to spend a lot of time in evaluating specific players, but how much time do they spend in evaluating their evaluators? That is a way to improve your football team if you can better people than the next team to make those decisions for you. It doesn’t seem to me like many teams have a strong support team of scouts and managers and any team that can find a way to take that competition to the next level will find a really nice advantage to work from.

  7. gmsalpha says: May 6, 2014 9:21 AM

    Bortles probably will be the best QB of these three, but as was the case in 2011, it’s quite possible (likely?) that the best QBs won’t be taken in round 1, a la Kaepernick and Russell Wilson.

    I think Blake Bortles will be a solid, if unspectacular starter in the NFL. He’ll be the type who starts for 7-8 years for the franchise that drafted him and gives the team stability at the position. He might even throw in 1 or 2 Pro Bowls.

    But talking about Blake Bortles isn’t going to make people talk about your draft board. Talking about Johnny Manziel and Teddy Bridgewater is what will get people to notice – especially when you have one or both of them falling out of the first round.

  8. grice208 says: May 6, 2014 9:27 AM

    Bridgewater is the best QB in this draft.

  9. nygmann says: May 6, 2014 9:35 AM

    I think Jacksonville will get Manziel with the possibility of Bridgewater going to Cleveland.

  10. mackie66 says: May 6, 2014 9:43 AM

    Applying logic to the NFL draft is mind boggling.

  11. sportsnut101 says: May 6, 2014 9:50 AM

    All these qb can be drafted in 2nd rd or later

    All the hype around these players all from espn n nfl network draft coverage

  12. pushingiron says: May 6, 2014 10:02 AM

    While I have watched limited tape of the other QB’s I watched almost every game Manziel played. He changed the game, every time. He gave DC’s fits each Saturday, and when the pressure was really on, in the two bowl games and in two games against ‘Bama he rose to the occasion. They were some of his biggest games. This past year he became a pocket passer who only scrambled when green pasture was in front of him to move the chains, when the pressure dictated it, and of course on designed run plays. What people forget is that this six foot, two ten kid put up 10,000 yards in two years playing against SEC competition. He has a live arm, is as hard a worker as their is in the lockerroom, and has a competitive edge akin to Jordan. He gives it his everything whether it is practice, pro day, game day, or pickup basketball. The best coach in CFB Nick Saban hated playing against him. The kid is going to be a star in anything he does, football, bowling, baseball, etc. He just never quits.
    I think in a west coast offense Bridgewater can be a good QB, but I am worried about his accuracy at times. I don’t believe his arm is strong enough for windy cold weather, or an offense that relies on stretching the field. He appears as though he is a high quality kid, I am rooting that he does well wherever he goes. I would be suprised though if he doesn’t end up on three teams as a backup QB before his career is over.
    Bortles is an unknown commodity. He played against subpar competition, he has the measurables but we don’t know what he will do playing against tougher competition. I honestly wouldn’t touch the kid before later in the second, you just don’t know what you have there. He is huge, but his arm is not as good as Manziel’s. He did have one game against a weak opponent that he really struggled. I am not sure that the “magic” is there with him.
    I fully believe that the Texans won’t pick the homestate kid and that he will haunt them the rest of his career.

  13. bigdaddy44 says: May 6, 2014 10:35 AM

    Manziel will get clobbered in the NFL if he continues to try to run like Tebow, but without the 6′ 5″ 240lb. frame. With that part of his game scaled back, the question becomes whether or not he can be effective in a more prototypical NFL passing offense. While I believe he will have some success, his ceiling will be lower, and I don’t see being a franchise quarterback in his future.

  14. jporter15 says: May 6, 2014 10:37 AM

    Back to square one . . . when they just go off the tape

  15. jeff d. says: May 6, 2014 10:55 AM

    LOL.. The Draft Experts (from actual to self-labeled) have gotten lazy. Instead of watching years of game film and studying a player, they go to or watch a pro-day or the combine and believe that this sampling represents the true makeup of a player.

    Forget they have played at the top level of the SEC or some other conference for 3 years and are player of the years in their conference… Its more important what their 40 time is or how they throw in their pro day.

    A comment to the draft experts (from actual to self-labeled) — Film don’t lie.

  16. wnbasuperfan says: May 6, 2014 10:55 AM

    Both Bridgewater and Manziel will get snapped in half by a strong defensive end or flattened by a big nose tackle.
    But as a Bills fan, the more quarterbacks gone in the top 8, the better! More options available for us at 9!

  17. mikejune says: May 6, 2014 11:35 AM

    To the folks who watched every play Manziel played:

    1) How many times did Johnny drop back, count to five, and then start running? You can’t do that in the NFL.

    2) What percentage of passes did he make to receivers who were wide open? You don’t get that wide open in the NFL.

    3) How many “NFL” throws did he make in his career (an NFL pass is when the WR is covered well, but the QB still squeezes it in) ? I’ll give you a hint: Bridgewater made more of these throws in a game than Johnny did in his entire NFL career.

    4) How many passes did he just throw up in the air randomly?

    My point being, Manziel may end up being a good QB, but he has a very long way to go. He’s is not worth a top ten pick, or even a first rounder, in my opinion.

    For anybody who wants to check out the tape, you can go to youtube and watch all of Manziels passes, all of his highlights and most of his games.

  18. harveyredman says: May 6, 2014 11:58 AM

    To all the Manziel fanboys spouting off all this NCAA accomplishments, try and remember Manziel is not the first College QB to do Magical” things on the field.

    Most recently Tim Tebow made defenders look like boys and carried a team on his back against Sam Bradford and Oklahoma to win a Championship. He was possibly the best College QB of all time.

    His skills just didn’t translate well to the pros.
    Manziel is Tebow 2.0. A great, electrifying College QB, whose game is not suited to the pros. Neither QB could read a defense or go through their progressions. Both ran a lot in College, but both only run a 4.7 forty. Lineman run that fast. And Manziel only ways 200 lbs.

    So, can’t read a defense, can’t outrun lineman, and weighs less than DB’s…. but he is “magic” ;)

    Maybe they will let him play SEC defenses in the NFL. Oh except LSU, those guys were too good for him

  19. coachbeck says: May 6, 2014 12:48 PM

    Should be funny watching bridgewater play in Cleveland with his tiny hands.

    Typical clown behavior

  20. thegreatgabbert says: May 6, 2014 2:59 PM

    All the mania about quarterbacks revolves around the “franchise quarterback” nonsense. No different than any other position. There is a wide variety of skill level among the starters in the league at any given time. There is not a wide talent gap between the starters and the backups on any given team. Careers ebb and flow, with injury and overall team strength being the prime determinants of success. Or failure.

  21. muencht says: May 6, 2014 10:43 PM

    I have mixed feelings about Johnny Football. He could be a sensation or the biggest disappointment since Tebow. I watched some of his games at A&M and he can be electrifying. Don’t know if his style can translate to the pros.
    Personally I will take someone solid like a Russell Wilson over a flashy type like Manziel any day.

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