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The table below compares two quarterbacks from the 2014 NFL draft class. Statistics were sourced from their 2013-2014 college seasons. 

Player QB A QB B
Draft Year 2014 2014
Height 6’1″ 5’11”
Weight 206 207
Hand Size 9.25 9.75
40-Yard Dash 4.66 4.68
3-Cone Drill 7.07 6.75
Short Shuttle 4.33 4.03
Broad Jump 116 113
Vertical Jump 34 31.5
Adjusted Yards/Attempt 10.1 (3rd highest) 10.0 (4th)
Completion % 63% 70%
INT/Attempt 0.35% 3.03%
College Regression? No Yes
Wonderlic 23 32

Athletic Profile

Quarterback A is a more explosive player, producing higher broad and vertical jump marks while benefiting from better straight line speed. Quarterback B is more elusive, posting 3-Cone and Short Shuttle marks that rival some of the more highly touted running backs in the 2014 NFL Draft. 

Passing Skills

Quarterback A has a slightly higher AY/A, which measures adjusted yards gained per pass attempt while Quarterback B posted a better completion percentage. Quarterback A was much better at limiting turnovers than Quarterback B was. Quarterback A threw just one interception in 284 pass attempts while Quarterback B threw 13 interceptions in 429 pass attempts. 

Other

Other factors, such as breakout age, college regression, hand size, and Wonderlic scores were considered. There has been a ton of analysis completed on QB-hand size relative to NFL success, so Quarterback B has a natural advantage. Quarterback B also scored higher on the Wonderlic test. 

Quarterback A’s last college season was his best season, by measure of his passer rating, while Quarterback B slightly regressed during his final college season. This may be one of the most telling signs yet as the nearly all current NFL starting quarterbacks had their best collegiate season during their final college season. 

So Who is Quarterback A and Quarterback B?

Both quarterbacks are members of the Cleveland Browns.

During 2014, quarterback Brian Hoyer started 13 games for Cleveland as Manziel and Shaw worked as his understudies. Both rookie quarterbacks had opportunities to start, but the results were less than inspiring.

Johnny Manziel

Manziel started in Weeks 15 and 16, but failed to produce. During Week 15, Manziel was completely shut down as the Cincinnati Bengals embarassed Cleveland, 30-0. Manziel completed 10-of-18 passes for 80 yards and two interceptions. He averaged 4.4 yards per pass attempt and posted a dismal a QBR of 1.0. Both of Manziel’s interceptions were thrown into double coverage. Manziel faced Carolina in Week 16 and left with an injury. He was placed onto season-ending Injured Reserve. He completed just 3-of-8 passes for 28 yards against Carolina, averaging 4.0 yards per pass attempt.

In fairness, Manziel’s first two starts were late in the season against two teams that eventually secured playoff berths. 

Connor Shaw

After spending 16 weeks as a member of the practice squad, Shaw was called up to the 53-man active roster after Manziel was placed on Injured Reserve. Shaw’s Week 17 opponent? A meeting in Baltimore against a Ravens team vying for a playoff spot. Shaw turned in a respectable performance, completing 14-0f-28 passes for 177 yards and one interception. Baltimore scored 17 unanswered fourth quarter points to rally and beat Cleveland, 20-10. Shaw kept his team in the game, something that Manziel was unable to do.

Observations

Offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan’s game plan was pretty conservative for both quarterbacks. The game plan called for a lot of short throws in an effort to develop rhythm. Simply put, Manziel looked really, really bad and some of his mistakes from his last year at Texas A&M resurfaced in Cleveland. Manziel had trouble looking off defenders and his tendencies to wildly throw jump balls into double coverage continued. Instead of having 6’5″ Mike Evans vs. undersized defenders at his disposal, NFL defenders made Manziel pay for his reckless play.

Shaw was put into a really tough spot in Baltimore, but played well for someone coming off the practice squad. He utilized his rushing attack to stymie Baltimore’s ferocious pass rush while working the middle of the field by hitting tight end Jordan Cameron on a seam routes. Some of his throws were a little short and he threw a costly interception during the fourth quarter, which led to seven points.

If given more time and reps during the course of the season, Shaw may have had a chance to develop, hang on and knock Baltimore out of the playoffs.

Verdict: Is Connor Shaw Better Than Johnny Manziel? 

Simply put: The jury is still out. With Hoyer set to leave as a free agent, expect Cleveland to bring in a seasoned back-up quarterback. The battle for the starting role, however, will probably come down to Manziel and Shaw.

It may seem outlandish to suggest an undrafted rookie is better than the 2012 Heisman Trophy winner, but Shaw has the raw skills and make-up to be an NFL quarterback. At the NFL Combine, Shaw demonstrated above average athleticism for a quarterback. At South Carolina, he posted a high AY/A (which suggests the ability to throw the ball down the field) coupled with a low interception rate, which highlights his skill and ability to throw down field with success. Given his ‘undrafted rookie’ label, Shaw did not receive a fair opportunity to compete for the starting quarterback job. 

It’s troubling that Manziel could not beat out Hoyer, a career back-up, for the starting quarterback role during training camp. Manziel has a lot of the raw skills needed to be a NFL quarterback, but he has to convince coaches, his team mates, and more importantly, Cleveland fans, that he can quickly go through his progressions, not bail out of the pocket when the first read isn’t open, and stop making stupid decisions when receivers aren’t open. That’s purely the football side of it.

The off-the-field side of Manziel is the troubling part. I’ve never met Manziel, so I don’t know what it’s like to be him. What I do know, however, is that he has a large cult following and isn’t shy about posting his off-the-field activity on social media. He also likes to host and attend parties, which always seem to find a way into the headlines. Is he committed to becoming a better NFL quarterback in the off-season? We’ll know if he did his homework next fall.

Final Thoughts

Let’s not forget that egos come into play when deciding which player starts. Let’s not forget that General Manager Ray Farmer gave into Manziel-Mania by trading up for him in the 2014 NFL Draft. If Manziel doesn’t succeed and Cleveland continues to sputter, Farmer will probably lose his job. Manziel getting beaten out by an undrafted rookie will not look good. Head coach Mike Pettine, however, will play the best quarterback. Will that be Manziel, Shaw, or someone else? It’s too early to tell, but don’t be surprised if Shaw out-right wins the job. He has the raw skills and make-up to challenge Johnny Football, if given the opportunity. 

The Patriots, winners of five straight games, will look to continue their winning ways when the Lions travel to Gillette Stadium. New England is coming off a 42-20 road victory over the  Colts.  Jonas Gray ran for 199 yards and four touchdowns in the easy victory.  Tom Brady was not asked to do much, but threw touchdown passes to Rob Gronkowski and Tim Wright. Gronkowski led the way with 71 yards on four catches while Wright’s only catch resulted in a two-yard touchdown. New England’s defense completely shut down Indianapolis’s rushing attack, limiting the Colts to 19 yards on 17 carries. Andrew Luck threw for 304 yards and two touchdowns, but New England controlled the clock and won the time of possession. 

The Lion will look to bounce back after dropping a 14-6 decision to the Cardinals. Matthew Stafford completed just 18-of-30 passes for 183 yards and no touchdowns. Calvin Johnson was targeted 12 times, but only came away with 59 yards on five catches.Joique Bell totaled 115 yards and did not appear to be limited by injury. Detroit’s defense sold out to stop Arizona’s rushing attack. Fans should not expect to see a huge yardage total from Gray in this meeting.

According to current NFL odds, the Patriots are 7.5 point favorites over the Lions. Brady will seek his fourth career victory over Detroit. In their last meeting, Brady threw for 341 yards and four touchdowns in a decisive 45-24 victory. Stafford missed the game due to injury while Johnson caught four passes for 81 yards and one touchdown. Lay the points and take New England with your NFL picks.

Official Pick: New England -7.5

The Patriots, winners of five straight games, will travel to face the Colts on Sunday Night Football. Both teams enjoyed a Week 10 bye, so expect  an electric vibe when this game kicks off. The Patriots are coming off an impressive 43-21 home victory over the Broncos. Tom Brady threw for 333 yards and four touchdowns while Rob Gronkowski caught nine passes for 109 yards and a touchdown. Julian Edelman, Brandon LaFell and Shane Vereen also caught touchdown passes from Brady. New England’s defense gave up 481 yards of total offense, but won the turnover battle, two to one.

The Colts are coming off a convincing 40-24 road victory over the Giants on Monday Night Football. Andrew Luck threw for 354 yards and four touchdowns while Coby Fleener led the way with four catches for 77 yards a touchdown. Ahmad Bradshaw totaled 79 yards against his ex-team. TY Hilton and Reggie Wayne also scored while tight end Dwayne Allen hauled in a touchdown.

Brady has defeated Luck twice and has won four straight against Indianapolis, including a dominant 43-22 home victory last season in the playoffs. New England rushed for 234 yards and six touchdowns in the playoff win.

According to current NFL odds, the Colts opened as two-point home favorites against the Patriots. While this match-up favors the Colts since they’re playing at home, I like the Patriots in this match-up. I always take Brady and Belichick off a bye week especially in prime time. Take the Patriots today for your NFL picks!

Official Pick: New England Patriots +2

In less than a week, the NFL 2014/5  season will start with the first match of the season between reigning champions Seahawks and the Packers. Fans are waiting in anticipation for more great football action after the break and sports bettors are busy checking their odds to find the shortest way to make a fortune!

If you want to cash in on the NFL, but are not aware of the possibilities of sports betting, then take a look at our list of the five biggest NFL bets ever made for some inspiration.

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The Tampa Bay Rays (61-61) are playing great baseball…and will look for their sixth straight win over the New York Yankees (61-59) on Saturday afternoon in St. Petersburg. Tampa Bay’s starting pitchers have not allowed more than two runs over a 7-2 stretch, which is easily the best in the Majors. The Rays will send their most recent acquisition, LHP Drew Smyly (7-10, 3.73 ERA), to build on their recent string of strong starts. Smyly was Tampa’s main return in a three-team trade that sent ace LHP David Price to the Detroit Tigers. Smyly is coming off a dominant seven inning, nine-strikeout performance on Monday against the Texas Rangers. Smyly only has one career start against the Yankees that happened during 2012. Smyly only allowed one run in six innings in a 7-5 win.

The Yankees will counter Smyly with RHP Shane Greene (3-1, 2.89). Greene hasn’t pitched since August 7th when he tossed eight innings a 1-0 victory over the Tigers. It’ll be interesting to see if Girardi opts to use Greene’s main battery mate, Francisco Cervelli, or opt for Brian McCann, who is coming off the disabled list.

The Yankees have lost five straight games and a loss on Saturday will give the Yankees their first six-game losing streak. The Yankees have only scored five runs during the losing streak. Jacoby Ellsburgh and Carlos Beltran have just one hit in their last 30 at-bats.

Current MLB odds slate Tampa Bay as a comfortable -140 home favorite. Baseball is a game all about streaks and trends. The Rays always play well against the Yankees in the Trop. Roll with Tampa Bay for your MLB Picks!

Today’s Pick: Tampa Bay -ML

Major League Baseball’s top player will squad off in the 85th annual All-Star. The game will begin at 8:00PM EST in Minnesota. The American League won last year’s Mid-Summer classic, but the National League notched wins in the three prior years. The American League’s victory ensured home field advantage for the eventual World Series champion Boston Red Sox. Needless to say, a lot will be on the line when these two star-studded clubs square off tonight.

The American League will start Seattle Mariners RHP Felix Hernandez (11-2, 2.12 ERA) while the National League will counter with St. Louis Cardinals RHP Adam Wainwright (12-4, 1.83 ERA). Expect both of these aces to pitch 2-3 innings. Both squads boast an impressive bullpen arms, but the National League carries a sizable advantage. The National League can give the ball the LHP Clayton Kershaw and RHP Zack Greinke during the middle innings while handing it over to RHP Craig Kimbrel and LHP Aroldis Chapman to close it out. The American League can trot out RHP Yu Darvish, RHP Max Scherzer, and LHP Chris Sale, but it’s back end of the bullpen isn’t as strong as the National League’s. RHP Fernando Rodney and RHP Koji Uehara could be late game options.

Both lineups feature power and speed. The National League lineup consists of Andrew McCutchen, Yasei Puig, Troy Tulowitzki, Paul Goldschmidt, Mike Stanton, Aramis Ramirez, Chase Utley, Jon Lucroy, and Carlos Gomez. The American League lineup consists of Derek Jeter, Mike Trout, Robbie Cano, Miggy Cabrera, Joey Bats, Nelson Cruz, Adam Jones, Josh Donaldson, and Sal Perez. 

The American League has some serious pop and speed on its bench. Jose Abreu, HR Derby Champ Yoenis Cespedes, and Adrian Beltre are just three options while ML hit leader Jose Altuve is also an option. 

Current MLB All-Star game odds have the American League as a small -108 favorite. Take the AL as a small home favorite for your MLB picks.

Official Pick: American League -108

Germany crushed host country Brazil, 7-1 in the first World Cup Semi-Final. Expect a much more competitive Semi-Final when Argentina squares off against the Netherlands. Argentina and the Netherlands have only faced each other once in the 1978 World Cup final. Argentina prevailed 3-1 to win their first and only World Cup title. The Netherlands reached the World Cup final in 2010, but dropped the match to the heavily favored Spanish club. Thursday’s clash marks the fourth time Argentina has reached the Semi-Finals. 

Argentina will play without one of their star players, Angel Di Mara. Argentina only notched one goal and sorely missed Di Mara in their quarterfinal win over Belgium. Still, Argentina has the lethal Lionel Messi, who is arguably the best player in the world. Argentina went a perfect 3-0-0 during the group stage, but were tested in the knockout round. Argentina was able to prevail over the Swiss squad, but had to work hard to earn the victory in extra time. Messi set-up Di Mara’s game winning goal, but the match nearly went to penalty kicks. Argentina notched an early goal against Belgium, but the game was a grind. 

The Netherlands started the World Cup off with a bang by thrashing defending champion Spain, 5-1. The Netherlands finished the group stage by beating Australia, 3-2 and Chile, 2-0. In the knockout round, the Netherlands notched two very late goals to escape a scare from Mexico. The Netherlands needed penalty kicks to put away a very pesky Costa Rica club in the quarterfinals. The Netherlands have excelled in high leverage situations, but will that be enough to beat a World Class Argentina club?

Current World Cup odds have Argentina installed as a +140 outright winner while the Netherlands are slotted as a +240 outright winner. For either bet to cash, clubs will need to win the game in regulation. This game will be tightly contested, so I’m going to side with the Orange Crush as a value bet in this showdown. I’m worried about Di Mara’s absence and the Orange Crush have been great in high leverage situations. Lionel Messi is the pivotal player in this showdown, but the Netherlands pressure should somewhat slow down Messi. Take the Orange Crush at a discount for your World Cup picks.

Pick: The Netherlands +240 

There’s no rationale reason for the U.S. and Germany to play for anything other than a draw during Thursday’s highly anticipated World Cup showdown. There is not a hotly contested rivalry between the two clubs and the U.S. head coach, Jurgen Klinsmann, coached the German team ten years ago. His assistant coach, Joachim Low, is now the head coach of the German team. Still, egos and reputations are at stake, so expect a tightly played contest. Both clubs want to win and lock up the Group G crown before advancing to the Round of 16. 

The U.S. Club is coming off a heart-breaking 2-2 tie against Portugal. Portuguese forward, Cristiano Ronaldo, sent a deadly cross into the U.S. box during stoppage time. The ball was perfectly headed into the goal to keep Portugal alive. The U.S. was a mere 15 seconds away from a 2-0 group record which would have put them into the next round. Instead, the U.S. will need to play a third great game against one of the world’s best club. 

Going into this match, both the U.S. and Germany are 1-0-1 with four total points. The Germans have a four goal differential, which the U.S. only has a one goal differential. Both Ghana and Portugal are 0-1-1 with one point each. Ghana has a -1 goal differential while Portugal has been seemingly eliminated with a -4 goal differential. Ghana and Portugal will face off this morning as well, so expect an aggressive effort from both sides. A win will give either team a slight chance of advancing should Germany blow out the U.S. 

You can check out all of the World Cup odds and sports odds at AllPro. NFL and World Cup odds are available. Enjoy today’s World Cup games and may the best team win! 

It’s Deja Vu all over again. The San Antonio Spurs lead the Miami Heat two games to one heading into a pivotal Game 4 of the NBA Finals. The Spurs put on an offensive clinic in Game 3, making 19 of its first 21 shots and shot an NBA Finals record, 76 percent from the field in the first half. The Heat went on a small third quarter run, but the Spurs cruised to a comfortable 111-92 victory. This outcome may feel familiar since the Spurs won Game 3 in blowout fashion last year, toasting the Heat 113-77. Miami ultimately came back to win the series in seven games, so both teams will look to impose their will in Game 4.

Several Heat players, including Chris Bosh, LeBron James, and Mario Chalmers, must step up after woeful Game 3 performances. After scoring 18 points in Games 1 and 2, Bosh only had four shot attempts in Game 3. James was responsible for seven of Miami’s 20 turnovers while Chalmers missed all of his shots in Game 3. All three players must bounce back in Game 4.

In typical Spurs’ fashion, Spurs’ coach Greg Poppovich made a strategic move by starting power forward, Boris Diaw. Diaw, who boasted an impressive +30 during Game 1 and -5 during Game 2, was +20 during Game 3. Diaw has a total plus-minus of +45, which is the second highest in NBA history through three NBA Finals games. Diaw’s game isn’t flashy or exciting, but it is effective. 

The Spurs will look to put a vice grip type lock on the series by winning Game 4. If the Spurs do win Game 4, they’ll have a chance to win the championship on their home floor and avenge last year’s tough loss. 

Current NBA Odds have the Heat installed as 5.5 point home favorites. The Heat haven’t lost back-to-back games this season, but I think that may change in Game 4. The Heat have no answer on the defensive side of the ball and the Spurs are on a mission to win a championship. I’ll take the Spurs and the points while laying a little on the money line. It’s a contrarian play, but sometimes you need to go with your gut.

Pick: Spurs +5.5 and -ML

The San Antonio Spurs easily won the first two games of the Western Conference Finals, but a strong Game 3 showing from the Oklahoma City Thunder put them right back into the series. That strong showing was helped by the return of their defensive superstar. Power forward and rim protector, Serge Ibaka, returned for Game 3 after missing the first two games. Ibaka contributed 15 points, seven rebounds, and four blocks en-route to season saving, 106-97 victory on Sunday night. Ibaka, who injured his calf in Game 6 of the Western Conference Semi-Finals against the Los Angeles Clippers, was believed to miss the rest of the playoffs. However, Ibaka gutted through 30 minutes and slowed the Spurs from driving into the lane at will. Ibaka’s presence slowed down San Antonio’s dynastic point guard, Tony Parker. Parker only managed to score nine points on 4-of-13 shooting. He committed four turnovers.

While Ibaka’s presence alone gave the Thunder life, OKC made several adjustments that helped erase bad memories from Games 1 and 2. OKC’s coach, Scott Brooks, opted to start back-up point guard, Reggie Jackson, alongside Russell Westbrook and relegate Thabo Sefelosha, who did not score in Games 1 or 2, to the bench. Jackson chipped in with 15 points and took some of the scoring onus off Kevin Durant and Westbrook. Unlike Games 1 and 2, Durant and Westbrook were aggressive and got to the basketball at will. Both players made all eight of their free throw attempts. Rookie center, Steven Adams was injected into the starting lineup and helped OKC out-rebound the Spurs, 52-36. 

After running like a well-oiled machine in Games 1 and 2, San Antonio’s offense sputtered in Game 3. After making over 50 percent of their shots in the first two games, the Spurs made just 40 percent of their shots in Game 3. Manu Ginobili, who left with a foot injury and Tim Duncan were the only two Spurs in double figures.

OKC, according to NBA odds, is pegged as a 2.5 point home favorite in Game 4. I have a hard time believing the Spurs will drop two straight games, but I think OKC is hitting its stride at the right time. Ibaka’s mere presence is critical and I fully expected another emotional effort. Lay the points with the home team and get ready for a must-watch Game 5 Thursday night in San Antonio. 

Pick: Oklahoma City Thunder -2.5