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NFL

Deep QB class proves tempting to NFL general managers

| Thursday, May 1, 2014, 9:57 p.m.

Is this the greatest quarterback draft class since 2004? Or a class that might get a half-dozen general managers fired within a few years?

Draft analysts Mike Mayock of NFL Network and Mel Kiper Jr. of ESPN believe there might be a dozen quarterbacks in this draft who could start in the league.

But unlike the '04 trio of Eli Manning, Philip Rivers and Ben Roethlisberger, this class led by Johnny Manziel, Blake Bortles and Teddy Bridgewater is causing as much trepidation as anticipation.

Each has a major upside — Manziel with his intangibles, Bortles with his classic QB stature, Bridgewater with his strong arm. Each seems likely to go in the first round — unlike a year ago, when EJ Manuel of Buffalo was the only QB chosen on Day 1.

But each has major risks, the kind that can sink a career.

There's such quality depth that even the fourth and fifth rounds will yield possible starters, Kiper said. But given that nine of the 14 GMs who took a QB in the first round since 2009 no longer have their jobs, the thosewho take Manziel, Bortles and Bridgewater might go to sleep that night nervous.

Alan Robinson is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at arobinson@tribweb.com or via Twitter @arobinson_Trib.

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