The 2013 NFL Draft will be a very interesting one because there aren't any elite quarterbacks available, but we do have plenty of teams who need to upgrade at this position that have top 15 picks.
It's likely that we will see a few teams gamble in the first round and take a quarterback higher than he should go, which would change a lot of teams' draft boards.
Let's look at where the top QBs will be taken in April's draft.
(The latest first-round draft order is at the end of the article.)
Geno Smith, Oakland Raiders, 3rd Overall
The Oakland Raiders desperately need a quarterback for the future, and if Geno Smith falls to No. 3, general manager Reggie McKenzie must take him.
The West Virginia star threw 42 touchdown passes and only six interceptions in 2012 and passed for 4,201 yards. He can also make plays in the running game with his speed and athleticism.
Oakland's trade for Carson Palmer last season hasn't worked out, and it's clear that he's not the quarterback of the future for this team.
Smith would give the Raiders exactly what they need at the position, and that's an accurate passer who can also worry defenses with his running ability.
The Raiders scored 18.1 points per game this season, which ranked 26th in the NFL. Since their defense does a poor job of preventing opponents from scoring, the Oakland offense has to score a lot more points next season. Smith can help the Raiders offense be more efficient in the red zone, which would lead to more points.
If Smith is still on the board at No. 3, the Raiders would be wise to draft him.
Matt Barkley, Arizona Cardinals, No. 7 Overall
The Arizona Cardinals' struggles at the quarterback position were the main reason why the team finished the season with a disappointing 5-11 record.
USC quarterback Matt Barkley is the best fit for the Cardinals because he throws the deep ball well and has impressive arm strength.
Barkley would be able to get elite wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald involved in the offense more than he was this season, and rookie receiver Michael Floyd is a good No. 2 target in the Cardinals offense.
The offense that Barkley played in at USC will help him adjust to the pro game, and even though he had a disappointing 2012 season with the Trojans, he does have amazing talent.
Barkley is a high risk/high reward pick, but it's a selection that the Cardinals would be wise to make.
Tyler Wilson, New York Jets, No. 9 Overall
Since the futures of New York Jets quarterbacks Mark Sanchez and Tim Tebow are uncertain, and former Alabama star Greg McElroy clearly isn't a franchise player, the logical decision with this pick is to take a quarterback.
Arkansas star Tyler Wilson has the arm strength and pocket awareness needed to thrive at the NFL level. In two full seasons as the Razorbacks starting quarterback, Wilson played very well in a tough SEC West division.
The Jets finished 28th in points scored per game this year, and the poor performances from their passing game were a major reason for this inability to score points. Only the Minnesota Vikings and Kansas City Chiefs passed for fewer yards per game than the Jets this season.
Wilson has all the physical and mental tools to succeed in the NFL, especially in a market like New York. He's the best choice for the Jets if they decide to take a quarterback.
Current 2013 First-Round Order (outcome of playoffs will change order)
1. Kansas City Chiefs
2. Jacksonville Jaguars
3. Oakland Raiders
4. Philadelphia Eagles
5. Detroit Lions
6. Cleveland Browns
7. Arizona Cardinals
8. Buffalo Bills
9. New York Jets
10. Tennessee Titans
11. San Diego Chargers
12. Miami Dolphins
13. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
14. Carolina Panthers
15. New Orleans Saints
16. St. Louis Rams
17. Pittsburgh Steelers
18. Dallas Cowboys
19. New York Giants
20. Chicago Bears
21. St. Louis Rams (via Washington Redskins)
22. Minnesota Vikings
23. Cincinnati Bengals
24. Baltimore Ravens
25. Seattle Seahawks
26. Indianapolis Colts
27. Green Bay Packers
28. San Francisco 49ers
29. Houston Texans
30. New England Patriots
31. Denver Broncos
32. Atlanta Falcons
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