A quarterback has been selected with the first overall pick the last four years and in eight of the last 10 years. This year will likely be no different.
The Chiefs and Jaguars are battling it out for the first overall pick, and they are both in desperate need of quarterbacks. Other teams, like the Arizona Cardinals, Philadelphia Eagles and New York Jets, could be looking at the position too.
There are plenty of good quarterbacks in this year's draft class, all with varying degrees of NFL upside. Who are the best quarterbacks heading into the draft?
Read on to find out.
Geno Smith, West Virginia
Geno Smith may be the first quarterback taken in the 2013 NFL draft. The senior quarterback had a huge season, throwing for 4,000 yards, 40 touchdowns and only six interceptions.
Smith has a strong arm and can run out of danger. He's not a runner, but is a pure pocket passer who can escape when he needs to. He can make every NFL throw and is accurate.
He's calm in the pocket and plays with poise beyond his years.
Although Smith played in a wide-open spread offense at West Virginia, the success of quarterbacks like Robert Griffin III and Cam Newton, who played in similar systems, is encouraging.
Any team with a need at quarterback will be fighting to get Smith, because he has the type of ability to transform a franchise.
Matt Barkley, USC
Barkley came into the season as the consensus favorite to be the first quarterback selected, but he did not have the best season. He threw for 3,273 yards, 36 touchdowns and 15 interceptions.
It was a disappointing year all around for USC, but Barkley still has the skills to make it in the pros. He has a strong, accurate arm and has plenty of experience. He's consistent.
While he won't wow you, Barkley will not lose you games and can turn a bubble team into a playoff team. Look for Barkley to be selected in the middle of the first round.
Tyler Wilson, Arkansas
Arkansas did not live up to its high expectations, but it's not because of Wilson. Wilson had another great year, throwing for 3,387 yards, 21 touchdowns and 13 interceptions.
He has a strong arm and has the prototypical size for a quarterback at 6'3", 220 pounds.
Wilson is not a finished product—he has technique issues and makes too many mistakes. However, he has the physical tools to be molded into a top quarterback.
Wilson may not be selected by a team who needs a quarterback now, but would fit very well on a team with an incumbent who has only a few years left in town. Give Wilson a year to learn, and he may turn into the best quarterback in this class.
Mike Glennon, NC State
Not many have heard of Glennon, but he may be one of the first quarterbacks selected. The 6'6", 232-pounder had a great season, throwing for 3,648 yards, 30 touchdowns and 14 interceptions while playing for an average NC State team.
Glennon compares favorably to Joe Flacco—he has a strong arm and, while not mobile, can escape trouble. He needs to improve accuracy and technique, but that will come with time.
Noted draft analyst Mel Kiper thinks that Glennon may even be a top-15 pick:
On conference call with reporters, Mel Kiper just said NC State's Mike Glennon could be top quarterback drafted, possible top-15 pick— Dave Matter (@Dave_Matter) December 11, 2012
Glennon has a chance to shine in postseason workouts, where he can escape the clouds of his not-so-talented teammates. Don't let the record at NC State fool you—Glennon is a legit prospect.
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