2014 NFL Draft: Outlooks for Top 5 Projected Quarterbacks

Eastern Illinois’ Jimmy Garoppolo is starting to gain notoriety as one of the top quarterbacks in the 2014 class. While EIU is not known as a football powerhouse, Mike Shanahan, Sean Payton and Tony Romo are some of its most notable alumni, associated to the NFL.  EIU’s most famous alumnus, in any field, is likely John Malkovich.
Coincidentally, Garoppolo’s game is very similar to Romo’s, according to CBS Sports’ Dan Brugler.  In 2013, Garoppolo broke many of Romo’s school records as he passed for 5,050 yards and 53 touchdowns. Garoppolo earned AP Division I-AA All-American first-team honors as well as the Walter Payton Award in his senior year.
Garoppolo has decent size (6’2″, 219 lbs), speed (4.78 40-yard dash) and arm strength.  What has impressed scouts such as CBS Sports’ Rob Rang and Dane Brugler and NFL.com’s Daniel Jeremiah (via B/R’s Gary Davenport) in the East-West Shrine Game and the Senior Bowl practices is Garoppolo’s quick release and touch.  The obvious downside to the EIU quarterback is that, except for the mentioned all-star games, we have seen little of him against high-level competition.
Garoppolo is projected to be selected in the NFL draft’s second round and could be a Day 1 starter for Houston, Jacksonville, Cleveland, Oakland or Minnesota.

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