Greg Cosell Breaks Down NFL Draft’s QBs; Bortles Tops List
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One of the NFL Draft’s top hidden gems as an analyst is NFL Films’ senior producer Greg Cosell. Cosell recently joined Ross Tucker on his podcast to breakdown the quarterback prospects in this year’s draft.
Cosell said that he has watched 12-13 quarterbacks on film so far, and stated that of those quarterbacks, UCF’s Blake Bortles is the top quarterback in this class.
“There’s a lot to work with, with Bortles,” Cosell stated. “I think ultimately he’s a pocket passer who can execute boot action. He can extend plays, and he can run effectively if that’s what you want to do. So I think that he’s someone I would look to as, given time, he could be a quality NFL starter.”
Cosell did point out that Bortles needs to polish his lower body mechanics and footwork, but his size, good arm strength, and an ability to “maintain downfield focus” under duress makes him an attractive option.
Cosell has favored quarterbacks who make more plays from the pocket and have the ability to anticipate throws, which would explain why he is not very high on Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel.
Cosell was surprised at “how many times Manziel did not throw to open receivers” and that he abandons the pocket when he doesn’t need to.
“I think it’s very hard in the NFL to live on the edge when you don’t need to,” Cosell said. “If you live on the edge too often, you will fall off the cliff, in my view, in the NFL.”
Cosell also believes the comparison of Manziel to Russell Wilson is not a good one.
“When it’s third-and-six, and Russell Wilson sees he can run for eight yards and get a first down, he just runs for eight yards and gets out of bounds,” Cosell explained. “There’s a purpose to his movement. Now I’m interpreting Johnny Manziel on film, but quite frankly, when he moves I see a guy who moves, and then tries to figure it out. And I’m not sure that that works in the NFL.”
Cosell “likes” Louisville’s Teddy Bridgewater, his main concern with him is his lack of bulk and ability to take big hits in the NFL.
“He bulked up to 214 for the Combine,” said Cosell. “I’ve spoken to people who said that late in the year at Louisville, he weighed 188.”
Expect for all three of these quarterbacks to be top 10 picks as of right now, but also remember that Geno Smith was projected as a top 10 pick at this time a year ago. If the Bucs are targeting a quarterback, as NFL Network’s Charles Davis pointed out, there is a good chance at least one of these quarterbacks falls to the Bucs with the 7th overall pick.
Follow Justin Pawlowski on twitter @Commishonline for updates on the NFL Draft and the Buccaneers.