Insider dirt is again shaking up everyone’s picture of the top of the 2014 draft. And once again, it’s the quarterbacks at the center of things.
Conventional wisdom for weeks has held that Teddy Bridgewater, Blake Bortles and Johnny Manziel sit at the top of the draft as a three-headed QB beast, with Derek Carr on the outside looking in.
But reports in recent weeks suggest that NFL scouts don’t really see it this way. It’s possible that media people and mock draft wonks have it all wrong.
A few days ago, Daniel Jeremiah shook up conventional wisdom when he told Dan Patrick that the Browns aren’t really as high on Johnny Manziel as had been reported, but are high on Carr and want to take him, possibly with their 26th overall pick.
Now we have this report from Sam Farmer on another team ranking Carr above Manziel on their board. In his mock draft, Farmer throws conventional wisdom to the wolves, and has the Raiders taking Carr at #5.
“The Raiders are known for their unconventional picks, so Manziel might seem like a natural fit for them,” Farmer says. “Word is, though, that they liked Carr more coming out of the combine.”
Farmer’s mock has Manziel sliding past the Raiders and past the Buccaneers all the way to #8, where he is snapped up by the Vikings.
Certainly, if Carr enters the picture as a top 10 prospect, with teams like the Raiders and Browns lining up to take their shot at him, that increases the odds that Manziel will fall into the Vikings’ laps at 8.
It doesn’t however guarantee that the Vikings will take Manziel.
Rick Spielman has already indicated that he wishes to trade down and accumulate picks. The Vikings have said they will pursue a QB in the draft, but they could be targeting a later-round prospect instead of one of the top players.
There’s also the question of whether Manziel, a reckless outside-the-pocket passer who struggles when contained, really fits a Norv Turner system that emphasizes power running, vertical passing and play-action.
When all is said and done, these reports could all turn out to be the usual pre-draft fog. Or it could be that draft “experts” really are overvaluing Manziel and undervaluing Carr. It could be that Carr is in for a stunning “rise” up mock drafts in the coming weeks, while Manziel is set to “drop.”
It wouldn’t be the first time early conventional wisdom was wildly wrong.