Often, as the NFL draft approaches, prospects draft "stock" rapidly rises and falls for reasons ranging from concerns about technical ability to perceptions about said prospect in the media. Quarterback, arguably far and away the most valuable position in the modern NFL, is certainly no exception here.
Numerous conversations have taken place on this site regarding whether or not the Jets should examine taking a QB in the first round of the NFL. GGN users and Jets fans have had passionate debates on taking Teddy Bridgewater at 18, interviewing Blake Bortles at the combine, and other potential moves for a QB by the Jets. The Jets have had confirmed visits at the combine with Bortles, Zach Mettenberger, and Jimmy Garappolo; although these meetings were likely the result of the Jets doing their due diligence rather than an indication that NY is actively seeking a new passer. Still, I have to believe that if John Idzik thinks a franchise QB is available at 18, he will pull the trigger.
Several mock drafts and big board analysis between respected NFL pundits lack any sort of consensus on the entire QB draft class. I'm not just talking about a Robert Griffin III / Andrew Luck controversy dynamic here. Never before in my life of football fandom have I seen so many draft analysts project so many potential first round quarterbacks while at the same time displaying such a great disparity between their projections. Specifically within the top 5 prospects, each pundits draft board looks like an inversion of that of the previous "experts".
Throughout the offseason a wide variety of sports writers have tried to convince me that Bortles, Manziel, Bridgewater, Carr, McCarron, and Murray just to name a few are all the guy you want as your next QB. Some are really buying into Mettenberger or Garappolo, although not likely until later rounds. Bucky Brooks of NFL.com and Hank Koebler of The Huffington Post both like Teddy the most. The CBS Sports draft board has Bortles and Manziel ahead of Bridgewater. Walter Football mostly agrees with this but puts Carr ahead of Teddy. Doug Farrar even went so far as to compare QB prospects to their fictional counterparts in media.
The common theme here: nobody agrees on a top QB, for the most part. Even GGN users and staff seem widely split. In spite of the volume of QBs projected to be taken in the first two to three rounds of the draft, almost every mock draft has at least one (often more) of these supposedly top ranked Quarterbacks slipping to the Jets or even further. Some mocks have the Jets landing QB prospects thought to be first round caliber in later rounds a la Geno Smith. These are just mocks and anyone can do them, but the disparity between the analysis is at an undeniable high this year.
So we're turning the decision over to you, GGN. Imagine that EVERY QB is available at 18. They won't be, but the draft boards have all had some or most of these names falling, and at least one of these highly touted prospects is very likely to fall to 18. So, if you have your preference of ANY QB in the 2014 NFL draft, do you take any of them in the first round? If so, who? Don't just float a name out there, tell us why. Convince us like you're a scout or executive who really believes in a guy.
My guy: Blake Bortles. Not only do I think he is the most sound choice among the first round prospects, I also love his name. It sounds like the noise you make when you throw up after having too much to drink. After him I'm a Teddy Bridgewater fan, watching him throw deep balls like laser-guided missiles made me drool. I'm not a Manziel guy, short QBs with mechanical issues who draw comparisons to Michael Vick or Doug Flutie scare me away in the first round. AJ McCarron seems like a reach at 18. I think Mettenberger and Garappolo are projects, Murray has lingering injury concerns, and Carr has career backup painted all over him.
Of course, that's all speculation and we can't reasonably say who will transition well into the NFL. But you can make the case for your guy, if you have one. What say you?