Many have said that this quarterback draft class does not inspire the same fervor from NFL GM's that other classes have had in the past. Some of these names have even been fabricated to ease the growing tension in such a needy QB market. Blake Bortles, a relative unknown before last year, has emerged as a potential number 1 pick yet did not have the numbers in his college career in a weak conference to substantiate such inflated valuations. However, there are two quarterbacks already in the NFL who will soon generate real interest from teams desperate to hedge their risk through trading picks and still be in a position to win games. While Johnny Manziel is a very unique and dynamic quarterback who I believe should be taken first from that position, the rest of the pack is no better than these two quarterbacks. Ryan Mallett and Sam Bradford are two still young players who are going to have a significant impact on this draft. Let's face it, Jadaveon is the prize of this class and will be taken first. Either the Texans fell in love with him and realize that pairing him with JJ Watt could be the most dangerous combination in football, or a team like Atlanta will mortgage their future and offer too much to be declined. The fact that Clowney can play standing up and play coverage shows how much of a premier player he is and without a doubt why he will dominate from year 1.
To do this, Bill O'Brien will have to say no to Manziel, the state favorite. However, his valuation of Mallet who is still young will be crucial in this decision to take Clowney. If Mallet is viewed as a top 5 quarterback in this draft class. Getting him for the first pick of the second round could be a clear bargain. He has rapport with O'Brien and would come at a much cheaper cost. Although it wouldn't be a fan favorite, O'Brien prides himself in an ability to get any QB to run his system efficiently. With DeAndre AND Dre as well as a strong feature back in Arian, a dynamic quarterback is not as necessitated for success. Combining the sure pick in Clowney and a talented QB who has trained under Brady and O'Brien already would be a much smarter draft than throwing all your hope in Johnny.
While, Mallett will help Jadaveon to go 1, Sam Bradford will be the most intriguing player in this draft. We all know his pedigree and most cannot understand why he is on my trading block. Based on his price, his value as an asset will not find it's proper return on investment in time for when we need to catch up with the rest of our division. However, he could still be a very useful QB elsewhere with less pressure around him. As the former number 1 pick he is hard to value given his convoluted career. While he does not have the mobility to create his own plays, given the right pieces around him he could prove efficient. At his current state right now, one could still make a solid argument on why he would be the first QB selected if he was in this draft. All we need is to spark one fire in this market. It only takes one team, like the Browns, who have the late round pick from the Colts that they got for Trent Richardson,to believe that they are getting Bradford at a bargain with a late first. Trent Richardson and Bradford are very similar players. They are both injury prone, but were drafted very high and still could prove to manifest the vaunted potential they show flashes of. Both need to have infrastructures around them and will not succeed by solely carrying the weight of the franchise. While Trent is younger, Bradford plays a premier position which should cancel out the discrepancies if not prove why Bradford is worth more than the 26th pick. This would allow the Browns to take Sammy Watkins at 4 instead of the third best qb available and create for a very mutual transaction.
After the question markets that have been raised about Bridgewater, any team not drafting in the top 3, where I believe Bortles and Manziel should go, has to be seriously worried that they aren't going to find a franchise QB in the first round. So they are now faced with a tough choice. Take a look at the Minnesota Vikings, a team a little more than a year removed from making the playoffs behind the MVP. They recently drafted Cordarelle Patterson, Xavier Rhodes and Matt Kalil who all play the positions of emphasis that most would target at their draft rank. Resigning Everson Griffen to a long term contract also seems telling that they won't have the opportunity to get one of the best pass rushers in that position either. Running a 4-3 means that Khalil Mack and Anthony Barr are not good fits and with Jadaveon gone they would be forced to either trade down or reach on a position of need, never the play. AP isn't getting any younger and wants to win now. Hence why he went to Twitter to push for the Vikings to sign Vick. He will not stand for a developmental QB who the Vikings would have to reach on to get anyway. The gap is widening between them and the Bears/Packers. Even Detroit is poised to finally focus in a playoff run with the coaching change they made to a Super Bowl winning guy. This only seems to create serious pressure for them to make a splash at the QB position and utilize one of the best running backs of all time while he is still young. Gaining the Browns approval for the 26th pick would be a serious leverage point in putting fire under the Vikings staff to make a reach on Bradford here rather than certifying that they will be average for another year. Norv turner is a West Coast minded OC who would work well with the spread-oriented Bradford in a division where the highest passing defense was ranked worse than the 49ers, Cardinals and Seahawks. Bradford is a much better prospect right now than any QB the Vikings could get at 8 and that is why trying to generate a buzz with his name is a brilliant way to allow other General Managers to project him against this current class. Creating an environment where he is the best option for a team desperate for a franchise QB would allow us to hyper value him. Minnesota cannot afford to take the same chance on a Derek Carr or Bridgewater like they did with a failed Ponder experiment a couple years ago. A more finished product with a core infrastructure in pass protection, reliable receivers and a great running game would allow Bradford to fit in very well with the team. If we already have a commitment for a first rounder, the Vikings will not see it as that much of a reach and be more easily persuaded.
By getting the 8 pick for Bradford and trading up to have three top ten picks, I wouldn't mind just taking all 3 of the Texas A&M boys and really setting the tone for this year with a much lower hit on the cap. Either way, having 3 top fifteen picks in such a deep draft could be a serious way to restore the balance in our division. We are in need of a serious talent infusion and that will not be solved with restricted cap room and using picks based on "needs". If pitched right because of his almost career year, the Rams can get great value for an asset in Bradford that has extremely high demand in these circumstances. You must sell high when you have an unstable variable and getting the number 8 pick from the Vikings will be the best way to ensure we got the best value for Bradford.