Tag Archives: AJ McCarron

Top 5 College Quarterbacks in 2013-2014 and their NFL Projections

By: Evan

The 2014 NFL Draft will be one of the most stacked quarterback classes in recent memory, with both elite mobile and pocket passers. There are a multitude of teams that need a quarterback to lead their respective franchises, and this draft class will produce five star quarterbacks. Lets look at these future NFLers.

1) Teddy Bridgewater- Louisville Cardinals

Teddy Bridgewater is the prohibitive #1 pick in the NFL Draft Courtesy of Sports Illustrated

Teddy Bridgewater is the real deal.  He  throws the ball with power and precision, a rarity for college QBs.  He  possesses the physical and mental toughness that an NFL quarterback needs, evident by how he played with a sprained wrist and ankle  to get the Cardinals to the Sugar Bowl. The only drawback  that Bridgewater faces during the NFL interviews is the strength of Louisville’s schedule because they don’t play a top 25 team this year.   But Bridgewater does not make the schedule, and he had an extremely impressive game against Florida last year, throwing for 266 yards and 2Tds with 1INT.  He has the talent to play with anybody.

NFL Comparison: Aaron Rodgers

This comparison is not perfect as Aaron Rodgers learned the QB position behind Brett Favre, making for a smoother learning curve.  Bridgewater probably won’t be as lucky, and will need to develop a quick rapport with his receivers and contribute from game 1.   Teddy has great accuracy and touch in the red zone,  just like Rodgers.  Rodgers has a stronger arm, but Bridgewater’s arm strength will improve, and he will be a nightmare for defenses.  The other apt comparison is the subtle athleticism.   Rodgers is deadly spreading out secondaries and then rushing to gain the first down.  Bridgewater has the same ability, to run when least expected, exploiting the seems in the defense.  It’s high praise to be compared to Aaron Rodgers, and Mr. Bridgewater deserves the honor.

2.) Johnny Manziel- Texas A&M Aggies

Johnny Manziel needs to mature in order to solidify his draft prospects Courtesy of FoxSports

Johnny Football has been all the rage this summer, from offseason partying to the photograph scandal. Don’t be distracted, Manziel is gifted, and other pundits argue Manziel is a top 5 pick.  Manziel annihilated the best defense in college football in Alabama, and has excelled on the biggest stages.  He has a strong arm with good, not great accuracy, and terrific mobility. The biggest issue for Johnny may be convincing NFL executives that he is ready to lead a franchise.  His off-the-field issues may drop his stock with some teams, but Manziel is a unique talent with tremendous upside.

NFL Comparison:  Drew Brees

Manziel will not likely land with a team nearly as talented as the Saints, but he has the potential to be the NFL Offensive and Drew Brees is a natural leader, has a big arm and comes hard every game.  Manziel mimics Brees’ qualities, including a risk-taking tendency.  Brees’ presence is stellar, and Manziel needs to mature so he can command the NFL huddle.

3.) Tajh Boyd- Clemson Tigers

Tajh Boyd is turning heads this year Courtesy of ESPN

Tajh Boyd is a stout presence in the pocket, has good overall quarterback tools and leadership qualities. All positives but his throwing motion has worried NFL executives, and raised questions about whether he will be able to pass over the huge defensive lines. This seems to be a fixable problem according to many QB gurus and could be solved by draft time. Boyd has been impressive this season with 6 TDs and no interceptions and a passer rating of 148. Boyd will be a franchise player with a nice upside if he’s put in the right system.

Pro Comparison: Russell Wilson

The critiques of each quarterback are the same, so it is easy to make the comparison. Tajh probably won’t have the luxury of being selected by a talented team like the Seahawks, but he could have a tremendous impact on any wavering franchise. If Boyd continues on his current pace, he will rise on draft boards and maybe to #2 on my list.

4.) Marcus Mariota-Oregon Ducks

Marcus Mariota will have to learn how to take snaps under center Courtesy of ESPN

Under the tutelage of Chip Kelly, Marcus Mariota has emerged as an tremendous read-option quarterback with the potential to grow into a dangerous duel-threat quarterback. He has tremendous speed in both the open field and out of the backfield along with a decent arm. Mariota will have to learn how to throw accurately from 3 and 5 step drop backs and adjust to new NFL formations besides the shotgun. He will take some grooming but he has the skills to emerge as a solid to top 10 quarterback in the NFL.

NFL Comparison: Lesser Version of Colin Kaepernick

Colin Kaepernick played the spread offense at Nevada similarly to Mariota in Oregon. Kaepernick has all-world physical tools and possibly the strongest arm in NFL. Kaepernick had the opportunity to learn under Alex Smith for a season and figure the important details of being an NFL quarterback and now he has shown his talent. If a team with an older quarterback that has only a couple of years left, Mariota could be stored in a Kaepernick type fashion and then take over in 1-2 years after being drafted.

5.) AJ McCarron- Alabama Crimson Tide

AJ McCarron has won on the big stage, but does he have the talent to start in the NFL?                                                                                 Courtesy of ESPN

AJ McCarron has two more national titles than all of the aforementioned quarterbacks and has the best team in college football on his side. He has shown he can play in big games but scouts question if he is a product of Nick Saban’s environment or is his true talent really showing. Saban’s mentality for a QB is to not make mistakes and let the stout offensive line wear down opposing defenses and then run the ball. In the NFL, McCarron won’t have the best talent at almost every position, and he will be required to take more risks.

NFL Comparison: Carson Palmer

Palmer played with a talented USC team and shot up draft boards because of his elevated stats. McCarron has the same deal at Alabama with it’s tremendous offensive line and TJ Yeldon is one of the best running backs in college football.   AJ McCarron may develop into a good NFL QB, only time and opportunity will tell.

Top Ten Heisman Hopefuls 2013

By: Jon

10. David Ash – Texas

David Ash
David Ash

As a Texas fan, I had to put my quarterback on this list. Texas, a probable top 15 team this year, has the talent to be a top ten and possibility a top five team. If Texas reaches there potential, it is because of Ash and his dual threat ability at quarterback. Last year, Ash threw for about 2700 yards and 19 touchdowns, while only throwing 9 INT. Ash will be able to throw effectively because of Texas’s solid running game lead by Malcolm Brown, Joe Bergeron, and Johnathan Gray. The BIG12 has been known for their offensive prowess and defensive ineptitude, which will help pad Ash’s stats. Texas will be seen on TV every game thanks to their TV network, which will help spread his name and reputation as a quarterback. If Ash can have big games against Oklahoma and Oklahoma St, he may be the dark horse for the Heisman trophy.

9. Kevin Hogan – Stanford

Kevin Hogan
Kevin Hogan

After replacing Josh Nunes at quarterback midway through last year, in only 6 games Hogan threw for about 1100 yards and 9 TD, while only throwing 3 INT. Hogan averaged 40 yards per game on the ground even though he had Stefan Taylor taking most of the touches. With Taylor on the Arizona Cardinals, the Stanford offense will have to go through Hogan if they want to live up to their potential. The Stanford Cardinal is believed to be a top five team this year and have the ability to reach the National Championship Game. Although he will not put up huge numbers in the PAC-12 like the BIG 12, he will be able to win the award if he wins the game. Although he is not currently a big name, the sophomore will definitely turns heads and make a name for himself this year.

8. Aaron Murray – Georgia

Aaron Murray
Aaron Murray

Georgia’s senior play caller has a lot of pressure on him to perform and lead Georgia to a BCS bowl. After starting for the past three years, Murray has steadily improved his game, numbers, profile. After throwing for about 3900 yards and 36 touchdowns, Murray’s should be able to produce the numbers needed to win the award. SEC defenses will not be able to totally key on Murray because of the emergence of Todd Gurley. If Murray can lead Georgia to wins over Clemson, South Carolina, LSU, Florida, and reach the SEC conference final for the third straight year, he will put himself in great shape to win the award. With the amount of high profile games he will be playing, he will not have to worry about being overlooked or underrated.

7. DeAnthony Thomas – Oregon

DeAnthony Thomas
DeAnthony Thomas

The first non-quarterback on the list, DeAnthony Thomas has the ability to put up major numbers for the Oregon Ducks this season. After totaling 1150 yards, Thomas will be forced to put up similar numbers to Kenjon Barner and LaMichael James, if Oregon wants to be a major factor once again. Thomas will have the possibility to total 2500 yards from scrimmage while scoring 25 TD. Thomas does not have the publicity of other candidates, but will be able to make up this problem with his numbers and skills. Although a quarterback has won the last three trophies, Thomas may have a chance to win if Oregon challenges for the PAC-12 crown.

6. Tajh Boyd – Clemson

Tajh Boyd
Tajh Boyd

Clemson’s senior quarterback, Tajh Boyd, has a chance to become the first Clemson Tiger to win the Heisman Trophy. The dual threat quarterback has the ability to put up incredible stats as seen from his 2012-2013 season where he threw for 3900 yards, 45 total TD, and 500 rushing yards. As the leader of the Tigers once again and having talented WR Sammy Watkins, Boyd should be able to improve on his already impressive stats. Boyd can become a major threat to last year’s winner, Johnny Manziel, if he can lead Clemson to a win over Georgia and claim the ACC title.

5. Jadeveon Clowney – South Carolina

Jadeveon Clowney
Jadeveon Clowney

Jadeveon Clowney has the chance to become the first defensive player to win the award since Charles Woodson in 1997. The 6’6″ 256 pound defensive end has the ability to lead South Carolina to an SEC championship. After recording 13 sacks last year, Clowney has the ability to totally disrupt an entire offense with his tackling and his ability to rush the quarterback. Clowney already is a well-known player after the hit he laid on Vincent Smith last year during the Outback Bowl.

4. Teddy Bridgewater – Louisville

Teddy Bridgewater
Teddy Bridgewater

The senior quarterback is going to have to put up huge numbers if he is going to win the Heisman Trophy. After a huge win against Florida during the Orange Bowl, Teddy Bridgewater was put on the map. However, he is going to have trouble staying on the map of the lack of notable games he is playing this year. Louisville most notable game this season is against Rutgers. Let me repeat that….their biggest game is against RUTGERS. Teddy will be forced to put up huge numbers, even more than the 3800 yards he threw for last year. However, the talented quarterback does have the ability to put up the necessary stats to win this award if Louisville can run the table.

3. Braxton Miller – Ohio State

Braxton Miller
Braxton Miller

Braxton Miller’s best chance of winning the Heisman Trophy is because of the success Ohio State will have this season. Ohio State should go undefeated this season as their only difficult game this season is at Michigan during the last week of the season. If both teams are undefeated going into that week and Miller has a huge game leading Ohio State to the Big 10 championship, he will have a great chance at winning the Heisman. Miller may be able to reproduce what Troy Smith did in 2006. Team success is not the only reason why Miller is a Heisman candidate this season. Last year he combined for 3300 yards and 28 TD, even though he was occasionally hurt. This year Miller should be able to put up similar numbers to what Manziel totaled last year.

2. Johnny Manziel – Texas A&M

Johnny "Football" Manziel
Johnny “Football” Manziel

The current owner of the Heisman Trophy, Johnny Manziel is attempting to become the first player since Archie Griffin in 1975 to win back-to-back Heismans. Johnny is the best duel threat quarterback in college with his accurate arm and quickness. After a remarkable first year where he totaled over 5000 yards and 47 TD, Johnny Manziel will attempted to replicate these stats. Although Manziel can repeat these stats, Texas A&M’s schedule does not help his chances of reclaiming the trophy. Last year, Johnny had one of the best performances of the year when he upset Alabama in Tuscaloosa. This year A&M will be playing Alabama early in the season so the matchup will not be as anticipated as last year. Unless LSU is undefeated or fighting for the SEC championship with A&M and Alabama and A&M beats LSU and Alabama, Manziel will not be given the same credit as last year.

1. AJ McCarron – Alabama

AJ McCarron
AJ McCarron

AJ McCarron, the three time BCS champion and boyfriend of supermodel Katherine Webb, will win the 2013 Heisman Trophy. McCarron has a chance to win four championship during his collegiate career, which is extremely impressive. McCarron is probably the most underrated player in college sports. Last year, McCarron threw for 3000 yards, 30 TD, and only 3 INT while playing in a run first offense. This year, Alabama will play more up tempo and throw the ball more often. Nick Saban should rely more on his star quarterback and solid wide receivers. With solid wide receivers Amari Cooper, Kevin Norwood, and Kenny Bell and the loss of Eddie Lacy, Alabama will be a better team if they throw the ball instead of their usual ground and poundHis increase in numbers and Alabama’s record should lead McCarron to the Heisman podium next winter

All stats are from ESPN.com