It’s common nature to compare prospects to current or former NFL players to help paint the picture of what they offer or what they can be. Whether it’s comparing them to a Hall of Fame caliber player or even a colossal draft bust it isn’t necessary fair because there is so much that goes into making someone success in the NFL.
That being said, every time I look at this 2017 quarterback class I cannot help but be reminded of the 2014 draft class that gave us four current or former starting quarterbacks and plenty more to talk about. These comparisons are not a complete comparison but just looking at how they are viewed back in 2014 to how these prospects are being looked at today.
Mitch Trubisky is Blake Bortels
“Came out of Nowhere”
Both Trubisky and Bortles share the fact that they came out of nowhwere during the final year of college and were not viewed as high potential draft picks. Bortels was a three year starter but was completely under the radar until he lead UCF to a 12-1 season and a Fiesta Bowl victory and as a result he quickly rose to the top of most analysts quarterback rankings. Trubisky was a backup until his junior year where he blew up and has caught everyone’s attention. Bortles ended up being the first quarterback taken going 3rd overall to the Jaguars while Trubisky is many analysts top quarterback and wildly viewed to be the first quarterback taken.
Patrick Mahomes is Johnny Manziel
“The Spread Offense Playmaker”
While I don’t want to link Mahomes to Manziel’s off the field antics as all indications point to Mahomes being a model citizen and not the crazy partier that Manziel was/is. On the field the two are very similar. Both played in a wide open spread offense where they utilized their ability to run around and make plays with both their feet and arms. A lot of the negatives of Johnny Football were looked past because he had the ability to make something out of nothing. While Mahomes has elite arm talent his poor mechanics and his struggles to win within the pocket are being overlooked because of the wow plays that he has made.
Deshaun Watson is Teddy Bridgewater
“The Early Season Favorite”
Coming into their last years on campus both Bridgewater and Watson were routinely ranked as the top quarterbacks by most analysts but by the end of the season they they were pushed down the rankings and their flaws were all most people talked about. For Bridgewater is was his slight frame, small hands and lack of elite arm strength. This year with Watson it is his college offense and downfield accuracy that is the negative of him. Watson was often mocked within the top five in most early season mock drafts but now he is considered a late 1st or early 2nd round pick, just like Bridgewater was back in 2014.
DeShone Kizer is Derek Carr
“The Overlooked and Over Scrutinized”
Throughout his college career Derek Carr put up huge numbers and lead Fresno State to an 11 win season during his senior year. However most were point out that he played in a pass happy spread offense and that he struggled when pressure got into his face. It seemed that nobody had a good thing to say about him as he fell to the second round before being taken by the Oakland Raiders and is now one of the best young quarterbacks in the NFL. DeShone Kizer is very similar in that you cannot find a single team that loves him and most analysts (especially national) can’t wait to say something negative about him. Often the things that Kizer is criticized about are often ignored with the other prospects. Kizer is often pushed into the second round in a lot of mocks or he’s the fourth quarterback taken. But just like Derek Carr was my clear top quarterback in 2014, Kizer is my clear top quarterback in 2017 and I could see a similar result.