Romo and Bridgewater Injuries Effect on NFL Futures

Every year it seems inevitable, some NFL team will lose their starting quarterback due to injury for a substantial amount of time before the regular season event commences. This year is no exception. As a matter of fact, during the last week alone, we’ve witnessed two such unfortunate mishaps. Dallas’ Tony Romo sustained a broken vertebrae last week at Seattle, and will be lost for at least half the season. Then just yesterday, Minnesota’s Teddy Bridgewater suffered a gruesome knee injury during practice,and it will definitely sideline him for the year, besides quite possibly jeopardizing his playing career.

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Teddy Bridgewater injures his knee

It looks like Teddy Bridgewater has suffered a serious knee injury, as he was taken to the hospital in an ambulance and is currently sedated and getting and MRI according to the Vikings. We don’t have any confirmation yet on the extent of the injury but all signs point to Teddy being lost for the season, which would be a huge blow to the playoff chances for the Vikings. There are probably many fantasy owners out there who will have to juggle their rosters as well . . .

It will be interesting to see who the Vikings target in terms of other quarterbacks. The Browns will want a lot for Josh McCown, but Mark Sanchez will likely be released by the Broncos and the Jets might be cutting Bryce Petty.

Who Could The Texans Take First Overall?

With the 2014 NFL Combine coming to an end, teams will have poked, prodded, questioned and scrutinised every last prospect. Some were under more pressure than others, with the eyes of the football world following some prospects more closely, especially those who are in contention to be taken number one overall.

The team that has the questionable honor of picking first in this year’s draft is the Houston Texans. After a, quite frankly, shocking 2013 season, in which many expected them to at least make a playoff game, the Texans will be looking to fix some of the issues that put them in this predicament. However, there really aren’t that many glaring issues for a team that just went 2-14, a result that no one saw coming. According to the expert handicapper providing free sports picks at sportsbettingsites.tv, Houston may be a favorite to bounce back with a strong draft.

New head coach Bill O’Brien comes in after steadying the ship at Penn State, replacing Gary Kubiak. His first job, and the Texans’ most obvious problem-position, will be to find a quarterback for the future. Matt Schaub has done a good job in Houston during his career, but that career is in decline. Young backup Case Keenum took over the job during the season, but did not do enough to steal the job permanently.

The Texans, despite having the league’s best defensive player in J.J. Watt, could also use some pass rush help. Watt has been consistently double and even triple-teamed recently, and a teammate to take the focus away could do wonders for the defence.

With these needs being the most glaring, who could Houston take number one overall?

Teddy Bridgewater: The Louisville quarterback has been talked about as a number one pick for the last couple of seasons, and is seen as the safest of all the quarterbacks at the next level. However, he can struggle with deep ball accuracy and, with a slight frame, there is a doubt as to if he can take the physical punishment that NFL defences can bring. Chance: B+

Johnny Manziel: The hometown favourite, Texas A&M’s star quarterback Johnny Football would excite fans. Known for making plays that defy logic, physics and his own coaches (see video), Manziel can get the job done. However, he is also undersized and comes with some off-field baggage. Chance: B-

Jadaveon Clowney: Once touted as the best pass rusher of his generation, Clowney failed to live up to the hype during his last season at South Carolina. After running a ridiculous 40 yard dash at the combine however, Clowney has revitalised some of the hype, making many ignore his supposed character red flags. One thing is true, if Clowney really is the real deal, these talents only come along so often. Chance: C+

It is difficult to see the Texans going elsewhere with their pick, with star players available at positions of need. However, draft day is always unpredictable, and a pick out of left field, or even a trade, could surprise us all.

Quarterbacks get scrutiny

After all the Twitter hype around quarterback hand sizes, the real business of evaluating the college quarterbacks has started at the NFL combine. This position dominates draft discussions, as the concept of “best player available” really doesn’t apply to the quarterbacks versus other positions. Teams that need a quarterback have a much different approach in the first round versus teams already set at the position.

This year there are three guys everyone sees at the top of the QB class, but further scrutiny is starting to affect how each of them are perceived. Here’s Pat Kirwin, one of the best commentators in the business, on what he is seeing so far.

We all arrived in Indianapolis believing there were three quarterbacks set for the top five picks. However, one GM said, “I’m glad I don’t need a franchise QB this year. … too many questions [are] starting to surface on this group.”

An example: Teddy Bridgewater told me Saturday he was going to run but never did. The same GM said of Bridgewater: “He beefed up to 214 to appear bigger, but he better not think he can drop the weight to run at his pro day. We don’t fall for that one.”

Johnny Manziel is 5-foot-11 3/4, not 6-foot as he had been listed. One coach told me “[Manziel] keeps trying to portray the image of the next Russell Wilson and I’m not buying it.”

I liked Bortles the best of the three, but time will tell if the teams at the top of the draft think so. I left Indianapolis with the impression that the real QB work was about which guy to take in the second or third round.

He makes the point that many teams are taking a hard look at the offensive tackles and that these players are moving up draft boards. That position seems to offer much less risk at the top of the draft, and guys like Jake Matthews, Greg Robinson, Taylor Lewan and Zach Martin have been impressive at the combine. Robinson in particular stunned with his 40 time.

It’s still early, but this year predicting the order of the top ten seems particularly difficult, and so it will be hard to predict the QB decisions that will affect teams for next year. So if you like betting NFL futures when you use your Bet365 offer code, keep in mind that the odds can change dramatically once these QB decisions play out.

Houston in particular is a tough one to predict. A pro-ready quarterback like Teddy Bridgewater could make them a playoff team again overnight. Opinions on Johnny Manziel vary dramatically, but if he thrives in the NFL he could turn around a team like Houston very quickly. Meanwhile, Bortles might be the best pick in terms of long-term potential, but he’s a real project. Unless Houston gets a good veteran to play in front of him, they would likely struggle with Bortles starting right away as he has so much to learn.

On the other hand, they could draft Jadeveon Clowney as a bookend to JJ WAtt on that defense, and all of a sudden they could be dominant on that side of the ball again. Give them a veteran QB and you suddenly have a real team again.

So good luck making picks at this stage of the game.

Combine mania

Have you ever seen so much discussion over hand sizes? We have months to go until the NFL Draft, which mercilessly won’t be held until May this year, and now with the NFL combine the endless talk about the draft is only intensifying. Be prepared for endless scrutiny, and the sizes of body parts will be a big (pun intended) part of it. Good grief.

Here are some of the stats that has everyone talking.

Johnny Manziel – Texas A&M (9 7/8 inches)
Blake Bortles – Central Florida (9 3/8)
Teddy Bridgewater – Louisville (9 1/4)
Tajh Boyd – Clemson (9 5/8)
Derek Carr – Fresno State (9 1/8)
AJ McCarron – Alabama (10)
Jimmy Garoppolo – Eastern Illinois (9 1/4)

Teddy Bridgewater seems perfectly pro ready, but now fans can obsess as to whether his hands are too small. Blake Bortles is a huge guy, but he doesn’t have really big hands. Johnny Manziel seems to have the hands, along with big feet and plenty of confidence, so there’s something for his fans to hang their hats on.

With today’s interviews, now there’s even more to obsess about as reporters, fans and Twitter addicts obsess over every word.

What will the draft order be for the top three quarterback contenders (Manziel, Bortles and Bridgewater) – who knows? If you’re a betting man trying to guess you might have better luck over at gamevillage.com (You can like gamevillage.com on Facebook). Perhaps the combine and then the individual workouts will help clarify the situation, but I doubt it.

Nobody really knows what teams like the Texans, Jaguars and Browns will do. Two of them have new coaches. The Browns have a new everybody, though Ray Farmer was there with the last regime, even if he wasn’t making the decisions.

We also have three guys with completely different style and levels of development. Teddy Bridgewater is the most pro ready. Johnny Manziel is the great college star who can improvise with the best of them, but who runs too much and is at greater risk to get injured in the NFL. Then you have Blake Bortles. The ky is the ceiling with him, maybe, given his size and athleticism. But he ran a read option scheme in college. He ran way too much, and the pro game seems like a huge leap for him.

So this process with be interesting and yet tedious all at the same time. I wish it were over tomorrow.

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