Posts Tagged ‘Johnny Manziel’

Quick Slants: My College Football Top 5 of All-Time

Thursday, January 5th, 2017

by Fred Perdue







I’ve been watching College Football since I was about 5-years-old. In that time so many great players have come and gone, but time and time again the players continue to remind me how much they shaped my ideal College Football player regardless of system, team or coach. Until unseated, these 5 players are my All-Time best. #CollegeFootball

Top 5

1: Reggie Bush: The most dynamic runner in space I have ever seen. (I still to this day wear number 5 in any football video game) #WeAreSC#USCTrojans #PAC10

2: Tim Tebow: The heart of champion. Hated the guy but couldn’t keep away from watching his games. #TebowTime#SEC#FloridaGators

3: Ricky Williams: The most powerful runner I have ever seen. Short runs, long runs, ran with power, speed, finesse, and could run out of a traditional I-Formation #HookEm#TexasLongHorns#Big12

4: Johnny Manziel: The most dynamic QB I have ever seen. There was nothing he couldn’t do with a football. Off the field antics aside, dude was a nightmare to defend. #JohnnyFootball#GigEm #SEC

5: Charles Woodson: 2-way player and only defensive player to win the Heisman. #CWood#MichiganWolverines#BigTen


Fred Perdue, for War Room Sports

NFL Preseason Mash Ups: AFC North Personas

Tuesday, August 26th, 2014

by WingFan






Teams have personality. Between the owner, the coach, the players, and the fans, a team develops certain behaviors. As we approach the official beginning of the NFL season, WingFan would like to continue the countdown to kickoff by walking you through each AFC North team and our assessment of their persona. Let’s take a look at what each team brings to the table:

Team: Pittsburgh Steelers

Persona: Robert DeNiro

DeNiroThere can only be one Godfather and the Pittsburgh Steelers take that title.  They have six Super Bowl wins (’74, ’75, ’78, ’79, ’05, ’07) – the most in NFL history.  The 1970’s Steelers dynasty was nicknamed “The Steel Curtain” and the way they played was brutal, hard-nosed, and downright gangster.  Robert DeNiro is as gangster as they get:  young Vito Corleone in Godfather II, Al Capone in The Untouchables, Jimmy Conway in Goodfellas, Lorenzo in Bronx Tale, and Sam Rothstein in Casino.  The Steelers weren’t just a great team but their defenses are full of legendary athletes who toe the line between genius and psycho – “Mean” Joe Green, Jack Hamm, Jack Lambert, Melvin Blount, Kevin Green, and Jerome Harrison.  DeNiro’s got a psycho side too:  Travis Bickle in Taxi Driver, Max Cady in Cape Fear, and Gil Renard in The Fan.


You can’t become a legendary actor by being a “one trick pony” and DeNiro is more than capable of being versatile.  You can’t become the most decorated team in the Super Bowl era without having a versatile offense either.  The Steelers believe in running with power, passing with grace, and digging down deep when it counts. DeNiro believes in method acting, physically pushing his body’s limits to pull off the role, and digging deep
within himself to find his character’s true being.  Players like Terry Bradshaw, Lynn Swann, Franco Harris, Jerome Bettis, Hines Ward, and Ben Roethlisberger are great Steelers because they do more than one thing.  They are receivers who make blocks down field.  They are quarterbacks that shake off a big hit and throw the winning pass.  They are running backs who run for the touchdown even if they have to make a hole for themselves.

Franco Harris after the "Immaculate Reception".

Franco Harris after the “Immaculate Reception”.

The Steelers have a “miracle” play called the “Immaculate Reception”.  One of the best “miracle” roles DeNiro ever had was as Lenard Lowe in Awakenings.  The late Robin Williams played a doctor in a mental hospital that discovers a “miracle drug” which brings Lenard Lowe back from his catatonic state.  Quarterback Terry Bradshaw made a desperation throw in the closing seconds of a 1972 playoff game against the Oakland Raiders.  The receiver was immediately hit by a defender and the ball popped high up in the air. Just as the ball was falling to the turf to assure a Raiders’ victory, good ole Franco scoops the ball up just before it touches the ground.  The crowd went bananas as Franco raced to the end zone for the game winning touchdown. Roles like Lenard Lowe and plays like the “Immaculate Reception” are the reason that fans fall over themselves whenever the steel curtain calls.


Team:  Baltimore Ravens
Persona:  Mike Tyson

MTMike Tyson definitely deserves a place on football’s “The Grid Iron” and Baltimore is an historic iron city that perfectly fits “Iron” Mike.  Iron Mike had a signature way of entering the ring where he never wore a traditional boxing robe; instead he wore a towel shirt. He basically used to cut through the center of a regular white towel so he could fit his head through, and then he draped it over his shoulders.  The Ravens had a signature way of entering their stadium too.  The team captain and inspirational leader, linebacker Ray Lewis, would do a little dance nicknamed the “Squirrel Dance” (see pic below).  Just like a towel shirt, Lewis’ dance was unlike anything you’d ever seen before.

Ray Lewis & The Squirrel Dance

Ray Lewis & The Squirrel Dance

Baltimore won two Super Bowls with that Squirrel Dance, and Mike won multiple championship titles with that towel shirt because these guys are not only ballers – they’re brawlers.  Sometimes the Ravens’ games look like street fights and sometimes the score ends up looking as ugly as Mitch Green after a street fight with Tyson (see pic).  Take the Ravens first Super Bowl victory in 2001, for example, when they pulverized the New York Giants 34-7 – that’s one ugly score!  The Ravens and Tyson also had a mean knockout punch.  While Tyson literally punched his opponents’ lights out, the Ravens turned out the lights in the 2013 Super Bowl in another way.  After the Ravens ran back the 2nd half kickoff to take a dominating 28-6 lead over the 49ers, the Super Dome experienced a power outage and the lights went out for about a half hour.  Commentators used the outage as an opportunity to say that the Ravens just knocked the 49ers lights out.

Mitch Green

Mitch Green

While Ray Lewis and Ed Reed were the defensive leaders known for packing a Tyson-like punch, running back Ray Rice might be the hardest hitting player on the team.  The Ravens star ran into some trouble with his lady when cameras caught him knocking her lights out in a Las Vegas casino (see “The Dark Side” post for details).  Tyson had some trouble with the ladies, too.  Tyson’s issues with domestic disputes with his ex-wife Robin Givens are well documented, and of course, there was that whole beauty pageant episode that sent Tyson to jail for a couple of years.  The seriousness of these issues should not be discounted but Rice’s fiancee still decided to marry him after he knocked her out.  Deciding to marry Rice after such an incident might be as crazy as Robin Givens deciding to marry Tyson in the first place – I guess the NFL’s version of “Iron Mike” found his “Iron wife”.


Team: Cincinnati Bengals
Persona:  Charlie Sheen

CSCharlie Sheen’s Hollywood shuffle is kind of like the Bengals Ickey Woods Shuffle – success that eventually turns into a spectacle.  Back in the late ‘80s/early ‘90s Woods was a popular running back who created a touchdown dance called “The Ickey Shuffle.”  After every successful touchdown you could count on Ickey to take the ball and hop a little left and hop a little right – the dance was pretty funny and slightly endearing.  Sheen had a feature role in the movie Wall Street and the Bengals were featured in two Super Bowls. (’82 &’87) but they never won either game.  Ever since then, the Bengals and Sheen have mostly followed up their big time appearances with comedic performances like a bunch of Hot Shots.

Ickey Woods & The Ickey Shuffle

Ickey Woods & The Ickey Shuffle

It’s not that the Bengals don’t have talent, they just seem to underachieve instead of succeed.  In the early 2000’s the team got another chance like Charlie got “Two and a Half Men”.   They picked Heisman Trophy winning, Carson Palmer.  Palmer’s performance in his first couple of seasons was about as impressive as Sheen’s first couple seasons on Two and a Half Men – but then the shuffle showed up.  Sheen’s success brought about an ego that destroyed the show’s chemistry and the Bengals success brought about Chad Ocho Cinco, who basically destroyed the team’s chemistry.  In both cases, the executives didn’t know how to corral the wild personalities so a spectacle ensued.  Sheen, like Ocho Cinco, found other ways to express himself – mostly on YouTube.  Every time Ocho Cinco scored a touchdown, he did the River Dance or acted like Tiger Woods putting the football with a pile-on, it was sophomoric at best.

Tiger Ocho

Tiger Ocho

After a couple of good seasons, the whole show blew up.  The next thing you know, Charlie and Ocho Cinco are on TV with their “goddesses” trying to see who can go broke faster – Ocho Cinco won.  By 2012, the Bengals fired the Ocho show and CBS fired Sheen.  In 2013, TMZ reported that Ocho Cinco was losing approximately $46,000 per month and starting to look desperate.  Here’s the moral of the story kids:  instead of being a respectable team that shows appreciation for the resources given to them, the Bengals seem to go “Charlie Sheen” every year and shuffle their way into obscurity.


Team: Cleveland Browns
Persona:  Kathy Griffin

KGSure Kathy’s burnt orange hair matches The Cleveland Browns uniforms perfectly, but their lives on the D-List are what make this combination really click.  While Griffin made the D-List popular, it’s rumored that the Browns were her true inspiration.  The Cleveland Browns have only made the playoffs once in the past twenty years and they have not won a championship in the Super Bowl era.  To their credit and the credit of Kathy, they do have four NFL championships from the 1950’s and early 1960’s.  Those are valid wins, but it’s like Kathy getting a Grammy for her reality show – we’re quietly clapping.

Kathy Griffin worked hard to achieve her D-List status.  Cleveland is the kind of hardworking middle-American city that appreciates effort and no one epitomizes effort like Hall of Fame running back Jim Brown.  At the time of his retirement, Brown had the NFL record for most rushing yards with 12,312 total yards.  Kathy Griffin actually holds the record for most stand-up specials produced for one network (Bravo), with 16 specials. Kathy also speaks out for causes she believes in like Jim.  Jim was very outspoken about Civil Rights in the early 60’s and Kathy goes out of her way to speak out for LGBT-related causes.  She hosts New Year’s Eve with Anderson Cooper, she makes cameos in movies, and she puts out stand-up routines like it’s breakfast – she’s a hard worker and so was Jim Brown.

Manziel & The Money Team

Manziel & The Money Team

The hardworking nature of the Browns is why this year might be a very interesting social experiment in Cleveland.  In this year’s draft, The Browns chose quarterback Johnny “Football” Manziel.  His celebrity preceded him to the NFL.  His college games were ultra exciting.  He’s friends with Justin Bieber (pop icon), Floyd Mayweather (boxing icon), and Tyrese (YouTube Video Ranter).  The question is: Will Manziel’s A-List celebrity status fit-in with the Cleveland D-List persona?  Johnny Football better hope so because unlike “The View” kicking Kathy Griffin off their show, The Browns run this show and they just named Brian Hoyer the starting quarterback.  Looks like Manziel might find it hard to get face time in the near future – except on Tyrese’s next YouTube video.


WingFan, for War Room Sports

2014 NFL Mock Draft (1-24 picks set)

Saturday, January 11th, 2014

by Christian Roberts

Christian Roberts Blog




1. Houston Texans (2-14) – Louisville QB Teddy Bridgewater

With new head coach Bill O’Brien, expect the Texans to select their franchise QB in Teddy Bridgewater. Houston’s QB play this season has been miserable, and it’s time for the team to move on from Matt Schaub and Case Keenum. Coach O’Brien will be excited to coach this going man up, and maximize his potential. Bridgewater has all the tools you want in a franchise guy. The Texans will be smiling from ear to ear when they call this pick in.

2. St Louis Rams (via WSH) (3-13) – South Carolina DE Jadeveon Clowney

Does pairing the most dominant pass rusher in this draft class with Robert Quinn, Chris Long, Alec Ogletree, and Michael Brockers sound good? It does to me and I’m sure it does to coach Jeff Fisher as well. The front 7 would cause havoc year in and year out. There has been some rumbling of the Rams possibly trading out of this spot, but if that does not happen, expect to hear Clowney’s name called.

3. Jacksonville Jaguars (4-12) – UCF QB Blake Bortles

Jaguars FINALLY get their guy at QB. Bortles is the safest pick of the QB’s left on the board, and the Jaguars would be happy to have him. Bortles has been one of the fastest rising players in this year’s class. Rightfully so, he possesses great arm strength, accuracy, high football IQ and the mobility to escape pass rushers on the edge. The Blaine Gabbert era is over. I bet that sounds like music to Jags’ fans ears.

4. Cleveland Browns (4-12) – Texas A&M QB Johnny Manziel

The Texas A&M QB is the most puzzling out of all the quarterback prospects in this draft. On one hand, his playmaking ability and knack for making plays all over the field can’t be denied. On the other, his lack of maturity could pose a big problem in his NFL career. The Browns will have to decide which one out weighs the other. A QB with Manziel’s skill set, may be too hard for Cleveland to pass up though.

5. Oakland Raiders (4-12) – Texas A&M OT Jake Matthews

The Raiders appear to like what they have in young QB Matt McGloin. Why not protect him by going out and getting him the best offensive tackle in this draft. Oakland needs to build depth on that roster. Their o-line play last year was horrible. Pairing Matthews with stud tackle Jared Veldheer would open up lanes for the struggling Darren McFadden and make life a little easier for McGloin.

6. Atlanta Falcons (4-12) – UCLA LB Anthony Barr

Besides Jadeveon Clowney, Barr is probably the most athletically gifted player in this entire draft. With just straight raw ability, Anthony Barr is a terror coming off the edge. He is a bit wet behind the years because he has only played defense for 2 years, but he is this good now, imagine his ceiling. He could be un-blockable at the next level. This is exactly what Atlanta needs. They struggled getting to the passer all year, which played a part in their poor record this season. In 3 years, Barr could be one of the best defensive players in all of the NFL.

7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (4-12) – Buffalo LB Khalil Mack

New head coach Lovie Smith’s first pick will be a defensive player. What better player to pick than Khalil Mack. A downright playmaker on the football field. Adding him with star LB Lavonte David will give opposing offenses fits. Lovie Smith will have fun coaching up this supremely talented linebacker.

8. Minnesota Vikings (5-10-1) – Fresno State QB Derek Carr

Carr’s last name will probably scare some teams off, seeing that his brother David Carr was a disaster in the NFL. But these brothers couldn’t be more different. Derek Carr has elite arm strength and can make every throw on the football field. His downfall is sloppy mechanics. But that can be fixed with good coaching. If he puts in the work, Minnesota will reap the benefits. Vikings desperately need to hit on a QB, especially after dropping the ball so bad with the Christian Ponder pick.

9. Buffalo Bills (6-10) – Texas A&M WR Mike Evans

This may be a little high for the stud WR, but Buffalo needs playmakers on offense. Yes, Sammy Watkins could go here as well, but I think Buffalo will target the big 6’5″ Evans here. It will give promising young QB EJ Manuel a huge target to throw to, and will attract double teams so Roberts Woods can do some damage. He would also be a terror in the red zone.

10. Detroit Lions (7-9) – Clemson WR Sammy Watkins

The most explosive receiver in this class. Watkins has it all. Elite speed, hands, and route running. He’s only 6’1″ but plays a lot bigger than his height suggests. He’s just a playmaker. With him on the opposite side of Megatron, a lot of offensive coordinators will lose sleep preparing to play the Lions.

11. Tennessee Titans (7-9) – Auburn OT Greg Robinson

Assuming the Titans hang on to RB Chris Johnson, this would be a great pick. Robinson is one of the top tackles in this class, and would immediately upgrade the offensive line for Tennessee. Holes would open for Chris Johnson the moment Robinson steps on the line. Titans could also use a linebacker here, but I think they will continue to try and make their RB happy.

12. New York Giants (7-9) – Alabama LB CJ Mosley

Cornerback and offensive line will be a strong choice here as well, but this class is pretty deep on cornerbacks, and they could sign a couple o-linemen in free agency. Why not add some young talent on that front 7 of the Giants with drafting CJ Mosley. He would be an immediate upgrade to New York’s linebacking core and would pair nicely with Jon Beason. This is the first step in rebuilding that defense.

13. St Louis Rams (7-9) – USC WR Marqise Lee

I expect the Rams to trade down with this pick and eventually select Marqise Lee. While Sam Bradford may not be the answer for the Rams, it seems they are going all in for him, so why not get him some more weapons to help him succeed? Lee is arguably the best route-runner in this NFL draft and will have absolutely no problem getting open in the NFL. He also has a great set of hands and can make the tough catch if needed. We could possibly be looking at the next Torry Holt.

14. Chicago Bears (8-8) – Alabama S Ha Ha Clinton-Dix

With Charles Tillman hitting the free agency market, Chicago needs to retool their secondary. Clinton Dix would step in at safety and make plays right away. Clearly the best safety on the board, the Bears can’t go wrong selecting the talented Bama safety.

15. Pittsburgh Steelers (8-8) – Michigan State CB Darqueze Dennard

Steelers are jumping up and down right now with the best cornerback on the board sliding to them at 15. He would bring a physicality the Steelers and Mike Tomlin loves. He plays the run like a safety and is not afraid to stick his nose in there and make a tackle. This would also be a great start in adding some fresh young talent to that aging defense.

16. Baltimore Ravens (Coin Flip)(8-8) – North Carolina TE Eric Ebron

TE Dennis Pitta is coming off of an injury and TE Ed Dickson didn’t exactly have his best year. Eric Ebron is a dynamic tight end and would provide an upgrade for Baltimore and Joe Flacco. The 100 million dollar QB would love this pick. Ebron would come in and help the passing game drastically and give Baltimore the best playmaking TE they have had since Shannon Sharpe.

17. Dallas Cowboys (Coin Flip)(8-8) – Notre Dame DT Louis Nix III

Cowboys need all the help they can get on defense. The huge 340 pound Notre Dame defensive tackle could be that run stuffer Dallas so desperately needs. Safety is also a huge possibility here, but I think they grab Nix to anchor that front seven.

18. New York Jets (8-8) – Texas Tech TE Jace Amaro

New York Jets receiving options are laughable. Outside of the strange Santonio Holmes and injured Dustin Keller, the Jets have absolutely nothing to be impressed about. Getting young talented playmakers in the fold for QB Geno Smith is essential in his growth process. Drafting Texas Tech’s Jace Amaro would be a start. Amaro will be a matchup nightmare for defenders in the NFL, and make the learning curve for Geno a little bit easier.

19. Miami Dolphins (8-8) – Auburn RB Tre Mason

Offensive tackle is a huge need for Miami, but I feel so is the running back position. Lamar Miller and Daniel Thomas have basically done nothing since entering the league. Miller has the potential, but for some reason he hasn’t been able to put it all together. They need another RB in the fold. Insert Auburn stud RB Tre Mason here. Mason would bring a toughness both Miller and Thomas lack. He could carry the load for the Dolphins so QB Ryan Tannehill doesn’t have to throw the ball so much every game. This might be a little high for a running back to go in the draft but Mason possesses outstanding vision and breakaway speed coveted by NFL teams today.

20. Arizona Cardinals (10-5) – Michigan OT Taylor Lewan

Arizona led by HC Bruce Arians is going to be a force in the NFC for a long time. They don’t have any gaping holes besides at running back, so why not sure up that offensive line for Carson Palmer? There’s a good chance Lewan doesn’t slide this far, but if he does, Arizona should hop all over the chance to draft him.

21. Green Bay Packers (8-7-1) – Clemson LB Vic Beasley

Vic Beasley is a beast. Him and a healthy Clay Matthews would do damage. His closing speed and burst are what make Beasley a intriguing prospect. Similar to Seahawks Bruce Irvin, he relies on his athleticism a lot to make plays, but if coached up he could be a special edge rusher in the NFL.

22. Philadelphia Eagles (10-6) – Oklahoma State CB Justin Gilbert

Gilbert is exactly what the doctor ordered for Philly. He may not be the shutdown corner Michigan State CB Dennard is, but when it comes to making the big play, Justin Gilbert is your man. TCU CB Jason Verrett is also a possibility here, but I think Gilbert’s playmaking ability and ridiculous athletic ability makes him the pick here. The Eagles’ secondary struggled a lot this year. Adding a talent like this will make coach Kelly a happy man.

23. Kansas City Chiefs (11-5) – Florida State WR Kelvin Benjamin

The hero of the BCS Championship game is oozing with potential. His 6’5″ frame gives him the ability to make the tough catch and create mismatches for cornerbacks. He’s a bit raw, but the overwhelming potential is there. Alex Smith could use a big WR like this. Benjamin could make the Chiefs offense that much more dangerous next season.

24. Cincinnati Bengals (11-5) – TCU CB Jason Verrett

Bengals are thrilled to land Verrett here. Needing more depth in the secondary, the TCU product is a great fit for Cincinnati. Great coverage skills, but is a little undersized. Still, that being said, this kid can play. Bengals already boast one of the best defenses in the NFL, so being able to snatch Verrett here, the rich get richer.


Christian Roberts of Sportz Overtime, for War Room Sports

Who’s Really the #1 QB in the 2014 NFL Draft?

Saturday, December 28th, 2013

by Christian Roberts

Christian Roberts Blog






College QBs


-Louisville QB Teddy Bridgewater, 6’3″, 220 pounds
3,523 Passing Yards, 28 TDs, 4 int, 70.2% 

What he brings to the table: Football IQ, Accuracy, Toughness, Arm Strength, and Pocket Awareness

Teddy Bridgewater is considered the prize of the QB class this year. Rightfully so, he brings a very good skill set to the table. His pocket awareness and poise are incredible. Add that with pinpoint accuracy and you can see what all the hype is about. He doesn’t have the upside of past QB’s taken number 1, but he still is a great QB prospect. His ceiling isn’t as high as UCF QB Blake Bortles or Texas A&M QB Johnny Manziel. What you see is what you get with Bridgewater. That’s not necessarily a bad thing.

Durability may be a concern for him though. He has taken a lot of hits over his career. Mostly because he hangs so tight in the pocket. The talented QB also has a tendency of playing down to his competition. The teams you think he’s going to pick apart, you come away from the game wanting more.

Draft Projection: Top 5

-UCF QB Blake Bortles, 6’4″, 230 pounds
3,280 Passing Yards, 22 TDs, 7 int, 68.1%

What he brings to the table: Prototypical Size, Arm Strength, High Upside, and Mobility.

Bortles has snuck up on everybody this year and put himself into the conversation of being the first QB taken off the board. He has scouts drooling over his physical tools and upside. He’s very good in the pocket, but can escape when pressure is in his face. No, he won’t be Cam Newton, but having that ability to escape pass-rushers is a plus. His downside would be he hasn’t played top competition at the collegiate level and his passing mechanics could use some work. With the right coach and QB coach, he could develop into a special quarterback. He reminds me a lot of another player who hadn’t faced topped competition in college, but you could clearly see all the physical tools. Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger.

Draft Projection: Top 15

-Alabama QB AJ McCarron, 6’4″, 214 pounds
2,676 Passing Yards, 26 TDs, 5 int, 67.6%

What he brings to the table: Leadership, Accuracy, Pocket Awareness, and Poise.

The Bama QB doesn’t have a high ceiling, but his skills translate well to the NFL. He may need to sit for a year or two, to hone his skills behind a vet. His leadership and accuracy will serve him well at the next level. His college numbers aren’t as gaudy as some of the other top passers in college football, but that’s mainly because Alabama runs a power run scheme. If not for that, his numbers would be right up there. McCarron doesn’t have ideal arm strength, but it’s strong enough to make all the throws at the next level. How he develops will play a major part on how the QB will turn out. If he’s thrown into the fire too soon, it could ruin him.

Draft Projection: Mid 1st-Early 2nd Round

-Texas A&M QB Johnny Manziel, 6’1″, 210 pounds
3,732 Passing Yards, 33 TDs, 13 int, 69.1%

What he brings to the table: Playmaking Ability, Athleticism, Arm Strength, Instincts.

Johnny Manziel might be the greatest college quarterback ever. Statistically, you could make an argument. How that greatness translates to the pros, remains to be seen. Manziel’s biggest obstacle he has to overcome, to achieve that greatness is his immaturity. If he comes into the NFL ready to learn and work hard, no doubt he will be a star. His playmaking ability and instincts are second to none. Some may say he is too short to play QB in the NFL and be successful, but Seahawks QB Russell Wilson is putting an end to that stereotype. If you’re a playmaker as Wilson and Manziel are, height means nothing. It’s just a number. He also needs to work on his mechanics. He tends to try and make every play, and that leads to inaccurate passes and costly interceptions. Once that is corrected, sky’s the limit for this kid. But he has to put in the work.

Draft Projection: Top 10

-Fresno State QB Derek Carr, 6’3″, 205 pounds
5,080 Passing Yards, 50 TDs, 8 int, 68.7%

What he brings to the table: Elite Arm Strength, Accuracy, Pocket Awareness and Mobility.

Let me just get this out the way. Derek Carr is by far a better QB prospect than his older brother ever was. Carr is blessed with a cannon arm and is the definition of a gunslinger on the football field. When his mechanics are right, his accuracy is tremendous. But like his older brother David, sloppy footwork is an issue. While that bad footwork doesn’t rear its ugly head too often, it’s still an issue that needs to be corrected at the next level. This issue was front and center in Fresno State’s bowl game loss vs USC. If this is not corrected,  you could see Derek Carr end up like Lions QB Matthew Stafford. Can throw the ball all over the field, but his sloppy footwork and mechanics result in a lot of back-breaking interceptions. There is no doubt Carr needs a bit of refining, but his upside is extremely high. The lack of competition he faced will also raise some eyebrows, but his physical tools will be too good to pass up in the first 15 picks.

Draft Projection: Top 15

Conclusion: This is a very good crop of quarterbacks in this class. Everybody brings something different to the table. The slight edge goes to Teddy Bridgewater for the best QB in this class. But it’s by a very slight margin. Johnny Manziel would be my #1 QB, but the immaturity factor is too big for me to look past. While he might have the greatest upside of the 5 QB’s, he is also the greatest risk. Bridgewater is easily the safest pick at QB. You know exactly what you are getting. One thing’s for sure, this 2014 NFL Draft is top-heavy with great talent at the quarterback position and it’s going to be interesting to see who’s name is called first.


Christian Roberts of Sportz Overtime, for War Room Sports

Jordan Lynch: Unsung Hero

Friday, November 29th, 2013

by Christian Roberts

Jordan Lynch

With all the Heisman hype being talked about on just about every sports site, sports show etc., one name that constantly gets lost in the shuffle is Northern Illinois QB Jordan Lynch. The 6-foot quarterback has put his team on his back and led them to a 12-0 record this year and to the MAC championship. Seemingly breaking a new record every time he touches the field, the QB doesn’t get the same respect as a Jameis Winston or Johnny Manziel. The level of competition is the big reason for that. With Winston and Manziel playing in two of the premier conferences in the nation, the level of competition is indeed different. But the way Lynch is performing cannot be discredited because of who he’s playing week in and week out. He doesn’t make the conferences or set schedules. He just plays and plays at a high level every single week.

The dynamic QB’s numbers on the season are even more evidence he should be among the Heisman finalists in New York this year. Having passed for 2,457 passing yards & 22 touchdowns, and rushing for 1,755 yards & 20 touchdowns, you would be hard-pressed to find a more productive QB in the nation. Johnny Manziel put up similar numbers last year when he won the Heisman Trophy. So for Lynch to be a long-shot for the award is downright disrespectful. There is no doubt in my mind he would succeed in a top college conference. Northern Illinois’ first win and highlight on the season this year was their 30-27 victory over the Iowa Hawkeyes. In that game, he proved he can play with the bigger teams in the country, passing for 275 yards, 3 touchdowns, and rushing for 56 yards. Granted, Iowa isn’t Florida State, Texas A&M, Alabama, etc, but they are one of the better teams in the Big Ten and a respectable opponent.

We need to stop short-handing these top performers in college sports just because of who is on their schedule or what conference they are in. Not everybody can do what Lynch is doing. If that were the case, you would see more players putting up his kind of numbers. You don’t, because it’s not an easy thing to do, no matter who you are facing.

Simply put, Jordan Lynch is just a blue-collar football player. He might not have the prototypical size you want for your starting QB, but you can’t measure competitiveness and heart. He gets the job done and is a general on the football field. This is a guy you want in your huddle every Saturday. And this incredible season he is having deserves as much praise as the other top QB’s in the country. Appreciate the high level he is performing on and not the name of the conference or team on the jersey.

Christian Roberts of Sportz Overtime, for War Room Sports