2014 NFL Draft Wildcard: The Quarterbacks

Thomas Campbell-US PRESSWIRE

I'm finding the hardest part of predicting how the first two rounds of the draft might go is figuring who will actually draft a QB in the 1st round and who won't. They have the added incentive of a 5th year option on the contract is they draft the player in the 1st round versus the 2nd round.

Several teams need QBs and they usually do not hesitate to grab them early, especially in today's rookie salary cap structure. The obvious teams in need are the Texans, Jaguars, Browns, Raiders & Bucs. Other teams who might be ready to make a change are the Rams, Vikings, Titans and Cardinals. Yet after last year's draft where we only saw one QB get drafted in the 1st round (EJ Manual #16) it seems teams are more inclined to wait it out.

That is the posture all of these teams are taking leading up to the draft but is it a smokescreen? Consider these questions:

  • The Texans seem likely to pass at #1 and will instead wait until later in the draft. Will they try to trade back into the 1st round?
  • The Browns fanbase loves Johnny Manziel but will they really take him at #4 or wait and see who is there at #26?
  • If the Browns pass on Manziel at #4 might the Raiders, Bucs or Vikings still take him top 10?
  • Will the Raiders draft Blake Bortles at #6 given they don't have the draft picks to trade up into the 1st if they pass here?
  • If no QBs are taken in the top 10 might they instead get taken in the potential second wave of needy QB teams like the Titans (#11), Rams (#13) or Cardinals (#20)?
  • Is Teddy Bridgewater really going to fall out of the 1st round after being a top 10 selection for the last six months (just like Geno Smith did last year)?

The reason this is significant for the Panthers is because it these needy teams pass in the 1st round you can bet there will be jockey at the end of the 1st round for them. This might land the Panthers a trade back and added picks in a deep draft.

For some reason though I feel that at least three or four QBs will be drafted in 1st round with at Manziel and Bortles going top 10. If not though it will make it even more interesting as the round plays out. Anyone agree or disagree?

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In case you missed the first announcement join the CSR Predict the Pick group on NFL.com to see how you match-up with your fellow Panther fans and the national pundits. Password is 'panthers' all lower case.

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