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With reports of Dan Enos accepting the Arkansas OC job, It’s time for me to make a prediction about his successor at CMU. My pick is Tennessee OC Mike Bajakian, who has ties to the school. Will update later.
Update (Feb 7, 2015): It has been reported that Detroit Lions special teams coordinator John Bonamego will be the team’s next head coach. Not a bad hire especially given circumstances, but it’s been pretty much agreed upon he will need a strong staff to turn things around for CMU.
The 2015 NFL Draft has several good quarterbacks that could make an impact in this year’s draft. While its not as top-heavy as some have been in past years, there’s a breadth of decently talented quarterbacks in the third through fifth rounds. From bigger names (e.g. Jameis Winston) to smaller names (e.g. Garrett Grayson), this isn’t a position to overlook. I’m going by my current positional ranking with reviews here…
Jameis Winston is the biggest name in this draft, and he will likely be a top ten (or five) pick unless his off-the-field issues begin to derail his stock. The Florida State quarterback has accomplished a lot in his time in Tallahassee, as he’s lead his college a national championship and won a Heisman in the process. This past season was really not as bad as some think. He threw for over 3900 passing yards and 25 TDs, not bad numbers for someone considered a first round lock. He could certainly improve several teams’ passing games, and he’ll certainly be discussed by draft scouts with the Buccaneers, Jets, and Titans.
Marcus Mariota, this year’s Heisman winner, led his Oregon Ducks to the national championship this year where he faltered against Ohio State. Like Jameis, he’s a playmaker with an ideal frame for the next level (6’4″, 210). With that said, I’d be very concerned with his mechanics. Since he’s a dual-threat quarterback, he likes to make plays with his legs and his playmaking ability has compensated for his lack of proper training throughout his collegiate career. His lack of downfield vision was very noticeable in the championship game, and managed to disappoint many in the biggest game of his career. He could’ve been benefitted by returning to school another year. Although I’d be very concerned with his mechanics, he’s probably going to be a top fifteen pick. He’ll be strongly considered by the Bucs, Titans, Jets, and Eagles (cough, Chip Kelly) among others.
Speaking of prospects who should’ve returned to school, Brett Hundley spurned returning to UCLA for his senior year and is instead declaring for the NFL. He’s a mobile quarterback who likes to make plays on the ground. However, many NFL scouts have already said they foresee him failing at the next level. His mechanics are abominable, and his downfield accuracy has always been his main shortcoming. He’ll probably be a late second or third round pick, and I can’t see his stock going anywhere higher than mid to late second round. His stock could’ve only gone up if he stayed at UCLA for another year (with a heckuva coach in Jim Mora). He’ll be considered by the Eagles, Bengals, and Texans among others.
Garrett Grayson is a guy whose stock I can see climbing throughout the pre-draft process. The Colorado State quarterback was the nation’s second most efficient pocket passer, and his mechanics are certainly there, and he’s got the frame to compete at the next level. My primary concern with him is that he lacks the intangibles and “pizazz” or “wow” factor that most pro quarterbacks have. With that said, I could see some team taking a chance on him and develop him for a couple of years behind a veteran quarterback. He’ll be considered by the Texans, Bengals, and Saints among others.
Shane Carden (East Carolina) is another mid-major quarterback whose stock will likely rise through the pre-draft process. His mechanics and frame are ideal for the next level, although I’d question whether he was a product of Riley’s spread offensive system. He’s slated to be drafted in the second through fourth rounds.
Bryce Petty (Baylor) is another quarterback who benefitted from a strong spread offensive system. His playmaking ability is undeniable, and he’s able to work the ground game pretty well. With that said, his mechanics are abominable and he’s probably slated to be a career backup. I’d expect him to be drafted in the third or fourth rounds, with a potential draft-day slide to the fifth or sixth rounds.
Some scouts are very high on Sean Mannion from Oregon State. I’m not one of these guys. Although his frame and mechanics are probably NFL-ready, his collegiate career has been very boring and he lacks the playmaking ability for the next level. I think he’s probably a career backup who needs to develop behind an experienced vet for a couple years. He’ll probably be drafted between the third and fifth rounds.
Blake Sims is an impressive guy with a great work ethic. The Alabama quarterback emerged from the summer camps to become a starter, and the fifth-year senior really led his team further than most expected. His ground game is more impressive than some give him credit for, and his mechanics could hold up to be a ‘game manager’ at the next level. He’ll be benefitted backing up for a few years before potentially competing for a starting job. I’d expect him to be drafted between the third and fifth rounds, with a potential rise to the late second round.
Brandon Bridge‘s frame will certainly be discussed throughout the pre-draft process. The 6’5″, 235-pound quarterback from South Alabama is the prototypical “small school” quarterback who will try to make noise as a mid-round prospect. I’m interested to learn more about him, and I’ll tentatively peg him as anywhere from a third to sixth round draft prospect.
Anthony Boone (Duke) certainly has the ground game to perhaps compete at the next level, but his mechanics will certainly hold him back. Bo Wallace (Ole Miss) was always a “game manager” at best throughout his collegiate career, and will certainly need to improve mechanics through the pre-draft process. Connor Halliday (Washington State) was always a product of a pass-heavy system, but his nation-leading passer efficiency is undeniable. Tough that he missed some of his senior year from an injury, however. His stock could always shoot up. Bryan Bennett (Southeastern Louisiana) and Taylor Heinicke (Old Dominon) are small school guys who could generate some buzz in the pre-draft process. Chuckie Keaton (Utah State) was out for most of this past season, but tore it up the year before. Like Halliday, he could’ve been benefitted by a medical redshirt. Cody Fajardo (Nevada) has the potential to make it for a couple of years as a “game manager” backup of sorts. All of these guys are day three prospects.
NFL’s Chicago Bears have hired Ryan Pace to become the team’s next general manager. Pace, 37, previously served as the Saints’ Director of Player Personnel and served fourteen seasons with the team.
Pace will now have a say on who the team hires to become their next head coach, and several reports have him eyeing on Cardinals DC Todd Bowles as the top candidate.
My new prediction for the Niners is now Vic Fangio (DC) because he’s gotten the most buzz. I’m expecting someone to emerge soon, it wouldn’t surprise me if that was Adam Gase (Broncos OC), who has shown more interest in becoming a head coach than I’d expected.
Since Josh Huepel and Jay Norvell were let go as co-offensive coordinators, it leaves a vacancy that should attract lots of interest from coaches.
Lincoln Riley (East Carolina OC) hould be the frontrunner for the job– he’s been in the running for several big openings before and perhaps this is the right one for him. Similarly, Tyson Helton (Western Kentucky OC) has been in the running for other jobs (cough Georgia**) and perhaps could emerge here.Still think he’s a year or two away though from his big break (like Helton). Similarly, Jason Candle (Toledo OC) could also emerge as a candidate, for he’s run an incredibly efficient offense at Toledo. Also think he’s a year or two away from his big break as well. An under-the-radar candidate is Jake Spavital (Texas A&M OC), who might want to run an offense without the intervention of Kevin Sumlin. They could also target the TCU OC combo of Sonny Cumbie and Doug Meachem if they want to poach from an in-division rival.
From what I’ve been hearing about the Atlanta Falcons, it seems as if Rex Ryan will become the team’s next head coach. He’s my new prediction.
Todd Bowles should emerge for some job, and perhaps he’ll move over to a divisional rival (49ers) and become their next head coach.
Mike Shanahan has become a legitimate candidate for several jobs, so I’m pegging him to become the next Raiders head coach.
Since Doug Marrone reportedly had a bad interview with the Jets, I’m changing my prediction to Dan Quinn, who seems to be t he new front runner.
Hi, just wanted to write a quick note.
Regarding the Atlanta Falcons, I’m changing my head coaching prediction from Rex Ryan (former Jets HC) to Josh McDaniels (Patriots OC), for there’s a lot of reported interested between those two parties.
Regarding the San Francisco 49ers, I’m changing my prediction from Jim Tomsula (DL Coach) to Mike Shanahan (former Redskins HC), for the latter seems to be emerging as the favorite for the job.
May all have a safe and happy new year!