Unlike the 2012 Draft when many NFL teams were drooling over all of the top-flight talent available to them at the quarterback position, next year’s crop of signal callers is short on expectations, if not talent. Only two QBs, USC Matt Barkley and West Virginia Geno Smith are sure fire, first round material, and that is with an asterisk. The rest of the 2013 NFL Draft QB class is depleted of top tier talent.
Despite a disappointing season, Barkley (6-2, 230 lbs.) is still head and shoulders the best QB available. He has the experience, being a four year starter at a high profile university, good arm strength, above average accuracy with all type of throws, even the deep posts, decent mobility in the pocket and strong mechanics. He also has a powerful command of the huddle and can play hurt. All of the trademarks of a top 10 pick.
Smith has the size (6-3, 214 lbs.) and arm strength to succeed at the next level. His mobility and athletic ability are without par in next year’s draft. The main concern with the Mountaineer star is his ability to read defenses. He looked confused against both Texas Tech and Kansas State this year. In more than one occasion Smith did not check down his primary receiver against a bad Red Raiders’ secondary which led to two easy interceptions. He also carries the “product of the system” label, not the best thing moving forward. But still, his immense talent will get him drafted higher than he deserves.
As for the rest, only two quarterbacks, Arkansas Tyler Wilson and Florida State E.J. Manuel have a chance to creep into the later stages of the first round. Of the pair, Wilson (6-3 220 lbs.) carries the biggest upside. He has a solid arm and an above-average mechanics. He looks like Matt Stafford did in 2010, a solid prospect with accuracy issues.
No other prospect in the 2013 QB class as high “boom or bust” potential as does Emanuel (6-5 234 lbs.). He is rising in many draft boards, mainly because he finally has begun to play up to his great talent. He has one of better arms in college football to go along with his running skills. The big knock on Emanuel is that his plays in an extremely basic offense at Florida State.
Other signal callers gaining interest from scouts are Syracuse Ryan Nassib (6-2 229 lbs.), Oklahoma Landry Jones (6-4 216 lbs.) and North Carolina State Mike Glennon (6-6 232 lbs.). None of the three have the talent to be drafted in the first round and all have major question marks. Nassib is an intriguing prospect who has the physical tools to develop into a good NFL starter down the road, similar to Cincinnati Andy Dalton. Jones, who possessed a great arm and instincts, is puzzling to read. Not the best description going into the Draft. Glennon could become a serviceable starter on Sundays. But he is raw and will need time to develop.
Miami of Ohio Zac Dyser (6-4 228 lbs.) is an interesting prospect that deserve a chance. He has solid arm strength and good progression skills. He did play poorly against Ohio State early in the year. Celebrated Kansas State QB Colin Klein (6-5 226 lbs.) is a marginal pro prospect at best. He lacks arms strength and has some of the worse mechanics in the college game.
Michigan Denard Robinson (6-1 193 lbs.) will need to change positions if he is going to make it in the NFL. He simply lacks the physical and mental tools to play the position. Pitt Tino Sunseri (6-2 215 lbs.) is another fringe prospect that would not be drafted due to a lack of athleticism. The same goes for Kansas Dyne Crist (6-4 235 lbs.) and Washington State Jeff Tuel (6-3 223 lbs.).
There are two very intriguing prospects that could become sleepers next April. Vanderbilt Jordan Rodgers (6-1 205lbs.), little bother of Packer great Aaron Rodgers, lacks size and physical skills, but have a quality arm and good mechanics. He could develop into a fine backup in time. Western Michigan Alex Carder (6-2 224 lbs.) has all the tools needed to become an NFL quarterback, including a good arm. He is also accurate and can move around in the pocket. He only lacks experience. Carder has a chance to be more than a career backup at the next level. Keep an eye on him.
By Raul Colon