Thursday, January 9, 2014

Quarterbacks 1A and 1B

Bucky Brooks of isn't like most NFL draft analysts.

For starters, Brooks, the Bills' second-round draft pick in 1994, played for five teams in five NFL seasons. When his playing career ended, he joined the Seahawks' player personnel development, where he served as a scout.

Brooks has shifted to a media position. But he still sounds and behaves like a scout. Anybody who observed Brooks in the press box of the Ohio State-Michigan game noticed a dedicated talent evaluator who had one eye on the field and another eye on his iPad.

On Thursday, Brooks joined Andy Baskin and Jeff Phelps on WKRK-FM 92.3. The conversation quickly turned to the Browns' biggest need: quarterback.

Louisville's Teddy Bridgewater, Texas A&M's Johnny Manziel and Central Florida's Blake Bortles are regarded by many analysts as the top quarterbacks in the 2014 draft. Brooks rates Bridgewater over Manziel as the top quarterback in the class. Brooks attached a caveat to his hierarchy.

"If I had my druthers, I would take Teddy Bridgewater," he said. "And the only reason I would say Teddy Bridgewater over Johnny Manziel is that Teddy Bridgewater can fit into any system."
Brooks added that the gap between the duo isn't big.

"Right now, I would rate Teddy Bridgewater and Johnny Manziel as 1A and 1B depending on what offensive system you have," Brooks said.

Brooks said Bortles is a "notch below" the duo.

"My biggest concern with him is that I just don't see a transcendent star at the position," Brooks said.

The Browns hold the fourth overall pick. The Texans, Rams and Jaguars own the top three picks. The Texans and Jaguars are also seeking franchise quarterbacks.

Brooks said Manziel can flourish under a creative offense coordinator. The Browns are expected to start an offensive coordinator search once they hire a head coach. The organization's coaching search is in its 11th day.

Bucky Brooks' interview on WKRK-FM 92.3

-- Guy Cipriano | @newsheraldguy


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