One NFL analyst had the chance to watch Johnny Manziel, AJ McCarron, Devin Gardner and many other quarterbacks at the Manning Passing Academy in Thibodaux, Louisiana -- and yet came away thinking Miami's Stephen Morris might be the quarterback with the most upside in college football.
Bucky Brooks of NFL.com had lots of accolades to hand out -- he said Manziel is the "most fascinating quarterback evaluation in recent history," due to a skill set that may or may not work in the NFL, and that McCarron is the "most pro-ready" quarterback out there, but had very, very high praise for Morris.
The Miami signal-caller's natural talents made him stand out above the rest of his peers at the throwing exhibition at the Manning Passing Academy. Morris spins the ball with exceptional velocity and zip while showing a deft touch on intermediate and deep passes. Most impressively, he is deadly accurate, capable of making pinpoint throws to every area of the field. This was evident not only when Morris won the air-it-out competition by hitting a variety of moving targets, but also when he connected with receivers on a number of intermediate throws, particularly on deep comebacks and digs.
So that gives the Hurricanes a player who might be the most talented signal-caller in the country, and also a running back in Duke Johnson considered one of the ten most likely players to win the Heisman Trophy this year. After two years of self-imposed bowl ineligibility, Al Golden's squad is finally ready for postseason play, and between Morris and Johnson, they certainly have some offensive firepower.
Morris completed 58.2 percent of his passes for 3,345 yards in his first full season as Miami's starter last year, leading the Canes to seven wins. He boasted impressive decision-making, throwing 21 touchdowns against just seven interceptions. SB Nation's first 2014 NFL Mock Draft had three first-round quarterbacks, but Morris was not one of them.
Brooks also compared Gardner to Ryan Tannehill, the Texas A&M QB who was the No. 8 pick in the 2012 NFL Draft, and said the 2014 draft's sleeper could be North Carolina's Bryn Renner.