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2014 NFL Draft: "Big Three" Becoming "Big Four?"

Ethan Miller

Ever since the college football season ended in early January, the consensus has been that there are three quarterbacks in this year's draft that were head and shoulders above everybody else. Those three quarterbacks were Louisville's Teddy Bridgewater, Central Florida's Blake Bortles, and Texas A&M's Johnny Manziel. Most of the mock drafts around the internet, and most of the hype surrounding the 2014 NFL Draft, has reflected that sentiment.

However, it appears that now a fourth quarterback might be making his way into the upper echelon of signal callers available in this year's draft. It won't come as a surprise to most fans of the Minnesota Vikings, particularly if they read this site, as he's been at or near the top of selections of our Mock Draft Database for quite a while now, but it appears that the views of him being in the upper portion of this year's quarterback class are becoming more widespread.

I'm speaking, of course, of Fresno State quarterback Derek Carr, and according to the folks at ESPN, he is starting to move up draft boards significantly. How much? This much:

. . .there's growing sentiment around the league that Cleveland could decide that Carr is its guy and use the fourth overall pick on him despite owning three picks in the top 35, including No. 26 overall.

That would put Carr in the discussion to, potentially, be the first quarterback off the board, depending on how teams view Manziel, Bortles, and Bridgewater. Quite a leap from being a potential second-round pick as Carr was at the beginning of the process.

As ESPN's article points out, the deciding factor might be Carr's experience in a pro-style offense, something that only he and Bridgewater possess among the draft's top quarterbacks. He played in such an offense under Pat Hill at Fresno State as a sophomore, and then made the transition to a more spread-style offense as a junior and senior.

I understand that we're still in the "silly season" as far as what teams are looking to do leading up to the 2014 NFL Draft and everything, but it appears that Derek Carr is gaining some serious momentum.