2013 NFL Draft: Analyzing Top 3 QB Prospects

Ryan RudnanskySenior Writer IDecember 6, 2012

MORGANTOWN, WV - NOVEMBER 17:  Geno Smith #12 of the West Virginia Mountaineers drops back to pass against the Oklahoma Sooners during the game on November 17, 2012 at Mountaineer Field in Morgantown, West Virginia.  (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

While the 2013 draft class likely doesn't feature another Andrew Luck or Robert Griffin III, there are still several quarterbacks who have the potential to become legitimate starters in the NFL.

West Virginia's Geno Smith and USC's Matt Barkley are projected to land in the first round, while Arkansas' Tyler Wilson could slip to the second round.

Here's a breakdown of the top three quarterback prospects in the 2013 class.


Geno Smith, West Virginia

Beyond Geno Smith's explosive numbers this season, he has great size and arm strength for an NFL quarterback and he's also mobile enough to avoid sacks.

Largely expected to be the No. 1 overall pick, Smith is a gunslinger, but he also needs to develop a little more touch on the ball and his mechanics need some work, given his tendency to sometimes throw off of his back foot.

He comes from a shotgun spread system so he's going to have to adjust to a pro-style offense, but he's smart enough with enough pocket poise to learn as he goes.


Matt Barkley, USC

Matt Barkley's stock has dropped this season, but he's still a first-round prospect and a quarterback-needy team will gladly give him a shot in the NFL.

He doesn't have exceptional arm strength, but he has enough for the NFL level and he has the accuracy to make all the throws.

He also comes from USC's pro-style offense and has been a great leader for the Trojans, despite some shortcomings this season. He picks up things quickly and is a fast learner.

The biggest question about Barkley is his decision-making. He made numerous questionable decisions throughout the season and it makes some wonder how he will respond to the NFL.

There are also questions about Barkley's durability, given he got injured in three of his four seasons at USC.


Tyler Wilson, Arkansas

Tyler Wilson showed the accuracy and ability to make all the throws this year as he did in 2011, but, like Barkley, had an uptick in interceptions, which has led some to question his decision-making.

Some of those interceptions can also be due to inconsistent footwork, which has led to some errant throws in his career at Arkansas. 

Also, while displaying adequate arm strength, Wilson is certainly not a gunslinger and there are questions about his size at the quarterback position. 

But Wilson has shown good throwing mechanics, he's mobile in the pocket and he has the toughness and leadership qualities NFL scouts love. He's a book worm who has displayed great character and work ethic, on the football field and off it.


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