Draft King Analysis|
November 21, 2013
Lou Pickney, DraftKing.com
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At this point it appears that there could be as many as six quarterbacks drafted in the first round of the 2014 NFL Draft. I'm guessing that's unlikely, but there are a half-dozen guys with a reasonable chance of being in the mix. More on them in a bit.
As I type this, the @DraftKing Twitter account remains locked up. Somehow a hacker managed to get into the account, change the password, and then change the contact email address. You might think that it would be easy enough to get Twitter to fix the problem and return the account to my control, right? Not so much. So far it's been strictly automated responses saying that the email address on the account doesn't match the one from which I'm writing. No kidding it isn't, the hacker changed it. But so far they are slow-rolling me big time on it, and in the interim Russian spam is being posted there. I am nonplussed.
Late addendum: it took some patience, but today I finally managed to get @DraftKing back from the hacker(s) who temporarily stole it from me.
Don't look now, but as of this writing the Texans and Buccaneers have the same number of wins: 2. Meanwhile in the NFC, the 49ers are 6-4 and not a lock for anything playoff-wise at this point. As always, NFL = Not For Long. Unless you're the Patriots, in which case you have a steady ship thanks to sage talent evaluation and, more importantly, patience. You can afford to miss on some guys when you are trading a third-rounder today for a second-rounder next year. Between that and being a de facto career rehab center for players with elite talent who for whatever reason fell off, New England is gaming the system about as well as you can.
If all of the top quarterback prospects came out for the 2014 Draft, you could see the following QBs all potentially go in the first round: Teddy Bridgewater (Louisville), Marcus Mariota (Oregon), Brett Hundley (UCLA), Tajh Boyd (Clemson), Johnny Manziel (Texas A&M), and Derek Carr (Fresno State). There are some who still seem to like San Jose State QB David Foles, but considering his drop-off under the new regime I would think his odds of going in round one are slim.
Of course, for there to be six quarterbacks drafted in the first round, six teams would need to take one there. And while QB is more important of a position than ever (see: Green Bay without Aaron Rodgers), last year's draft is evidence that many teams are willing to let guys fall who they aren't completely sold on as a long-term solution. So, which teams might be in the mix? Let's consider it.
Buffalo Bills: No
Miami Dolphins: Highly unlikely and only if GM Jeff Ireland is fired
New England Patriots: Highly unlikely but never say never with Bill Belichick
New York Jets: Highly unlikely but not impossible
Baltimore Ravens: No
Cincinnati Bengals: No
Cleveland Browns: Yes
Pittsburgh Steelers: Only if Ben Roethlisberger is traded or released
Houston Texans: A distinct possibility despite Matt Schaub's bloated contract
Indianapolis Colts: No
Jacksonville Jaguars: Yes
Tennessee Titans: Doubtful
Denver Broncos: Only if Peyton Manning retires
Kansas City Chiefs: No
Oakland Raiders: Yes
San Diego Chargers: No
Dallas Cowboys: No
New York Giants: No
Philadelphia Eagles: No
Washington Redskins: No
Chicago Bears: Only if Jay Cutler is allowed to leave in free agency after the season
Detroit Lions: No
Green Bay Packers: No
Minnesota Vikings: Yes
Atlanta Falcons: No
Carolina Panthers: No
New Orleans Saints: No
Tampa Bay Buccaneers: MRSA, oops, I mean unlikely even if the front office gets the ax
Arizona Cardinals: Yes
St. Louis Rams: Only if Sam Bradford is traded or released
San Francisco 49ers: No
Seattle Seahawks: No
Keep in mind with the Yes teams that there is also strong need at other positions. You could see Oakland go with a player like South Carolina DE Jadeveon Clowney or UCLA OLB Anthony Barr ahead of a quarterback. Arizona could opt to go with a blue-chip offensive tackle prospect and wait until later to address its long-term QB need.
In short, I don't expect it to happen. It appears possible but improbable at this point.
One more thing: if you missed the fourth quarter of the Georgia/Auburn game this past Saturday, you missed out on a legit instant classic. What can the difference between winning and losing be? Sometimes it's quite literally a fraction of an inch.
Auburn WR Ricardo Louis hauled in the game-winning touchdown catch with 25 seconds remaining in the Tigers' 43-38 victory over Georgia.
(Shanna Lockwood - USA TODAY Sports)
This was the second "this feels really special" game for Georgia this season. And even though his team came up on the losing end against Auburn, I have tremendous respect for Georgia QB Aaron Murray's tenacity and will to win. His below-prototype height and only so-so arm strength will likely keep him out of the first round, but the presence of a player like him in the mix could make one of those aforementioned teams that could take a quarterback in the first round instead fill another huge need spot and then snag him in round two or three.
If you watched the fourth quarters of LSU/Georgia and Georgia/Auburn and found yourself disinterested, I don't know what in college football short of being a pure homer for your alma mater would compel you to watch. But there's a reason that CBS pays so much money to air the best SEC games in the 3:30 ET slot on Saturdays -- they tend to feature top-level talent and are quite often thrillers. And there's something to be said for that.