By Charles Glover, Jr.
The National Football League (NFL) completed its amateur draft on Saturday, giving 256 young men an opportunity to live out their dream of playing professional football. While Johnny Manziel and Michael Sam have received the bulk of the recognition from this draft, there were a few other players that seem to be in a great position to make their General Managers look good. The Heisman finalists, in particular, did well.
Quarterbacks are widely regarded as the most important position in the NFL and there were a few that were drafted that seem to be in excellent positions to contribute to their teams.
Teddy Bridgewater – Bridgewater was selected 32nd overall with the last pick of the first round. The Vikings traded up to take a player that was rumored to go near the top of the draft. The Vikings plan to ease Bridgewater into the mix and he may not play this season. However, Bridgewater seems to be the quarterback in the best position for long-term success.
Derek Carr – Carr was drafted 36th overall by the Oakland Raiders and is not going to a team full of offensive talent. However, the Raiders do not have a great deal invested in incumbent starting quarterback Matt Schaub. The Raiders have focused on improving their defense so when Carr is eventually the starter, there can be a balanced team waiting for him.
Tom Savage – Savage was drafted in the 4th round by the Houston Texans but will not be expected to contribute to the team this season. The Texans will hope that they can develop Savage into the long-term starter to replace the turnover- prone Schaub from last season.
2014 Heisman Candidates
Five of the six 2014 Heisman candidates were eligible for this year’s draft and 4 of them were drafted. QB Jordan Lynch signed as a free agent with the Chicago Bears.
Tre Mason – Mason was drafted early in the 3rd round by the St. Louis Rams to be a backup running back. Mason had an exciting career as a running back and returner at Auburn and the Rams are hoping to be able to add depth to an important position in the Rams game plan.
Andre Williams – Williams was selected in the 4th round by the New York Giants. Williams is in the best position to contribute next season as there is less defined depth at running back for the Giants.
The Giants will hope that Williams can help provide some balance to their pass heavy offense.
Johnny Manziel – Manziel was selected 22nd by the Cleveland Browns. There are many questions as to whether Manziel’s improvisational style at quarterback will transition well to the NFL. The Browns have made it clear that they believe in Manziel, as their backup quarterback, for now.
AJ McCarron – McCarron was drafted in the 5th round by the Cincinnati Bengals to likely be a backup quarterback. The Bengals’ current starter Andy Dalton has shown improvement in the regular season but has yet to lead his team to a playoff victory. The Bengals are hoping McCarron’s collegiate playoff experience will be a benefit to their team.
Ground Breaking Event
Michael Sam, who declared his sexuality prior to the draft, became the first openly gay player drafted in the NFL. He will join Mason as teammates.–OnPointPress.net–
Charles Glover, Jr. is a sports aficionado and a management training consultant. Follow me @OpenWindowMES on Twitter.com.