This year's QB class in the 2013 NFL draft isn't one to write home about. However, with teams in the Top 10 needing a passer to complete any chance they'll have at competing next season, it's going to force management to dig deep and make tough choices.
That being said, QB prospects are going to be analyzed more and more over the course of this four-month process.
In this mock draft, we'll look at some sleeper candidates you should be briefed on, as well as every team's need in regards to the general of the field.
From Tyler Bray to Mike Glennon, it's time you get briefed on the guys that might end up in the green room in April with a real shot to be a team's No. 1 pick.
Underrated prospects in italics.
Note: Draft order courtesy of Pro Football Talk, and is subject to change with the following stipulations:
(A) The winner of the Super Bowl will select last and the other Super Bowl participant next-to-last, regardless of their regular-season record.
(B) The Championship Game participants not advancing to the Super Bowl will select 29th and 30th, according to the reverse order of their standing.
(C) The Divisional Playoff participants not advancing to the Championship Games will select 25th through 28th, according to the reverse order of their standing.
(D) The Wild Card participants not advancing to the Divisional Playoffs will select 21st through 24th, according to the reverse order of their standing.
(E) Non-playoff clubs will select first through 20th, according to the reverse order of their standing.
1. Kansas City Chiefs: QB Geno Smith, West Virginia
Many outlets are reporting that Andy Reid is on the verge of becoming the new coach of the Chiefs. If that's the case, he might not make Smith his starter, but the similarities to Donovan McNabb are somewhat there and there's no doubt this franchise needs a QB. Smith isn't underrated by any stretch, but he's a QB prospect who will have all eyes on him come combine time.
2. Jacksonville Jaguars: DT Star Lotulelei, Utah
Jacksonville has a QB dilemma with Chad Henne and Blaine Gabbert, but they would be wise not to give up on the current situation just yet. Lotulelei is a playmaker who has a nose for the ball—something Jacksonville didn't have much of 2012.
3. Oakland Raiders: LB Jarvis Jones, Florida
You never know where the Raiders are at when it comes to the draft—this year is no exception. They could surprise us all and draft Matt Barkley, or make a push for another wide receiver. Oakland is an unpredictable franchise.
But Jones is a true playmaker and his talent in the middle of the defense would help ease some concerns about only collecting 25 sacks in 2012 and being one of the league's worst in that department. Jones is another candidate to play big minutes and plays each game for the Raiders.
4. Philadelphia Eagles: OT Luke Joeckel, Texas A&M
Nick Foles impressed with his arm strength, but Michael Vick is still in town and taking up a hefty chunk of the team's cap space, so it's unlikely they go the QB route. What Philly is worried about is protecting the big dog—and Joeckel has done that for Ryan Tannehill and Johnny Manziel. This is a safe pick for a rebuilding franchise.
5. Detroit Lions: DE Damontre Moore, Texas A&M
Matthew Stafford had a down year, but the skill positions really let the Lions down in 2012. That's why Moore, a Von Miller-type athletic guy with high upside, would be perfect for a defense that couldn't really stop anyone this year.
6. Cleveland Browns: DE Bjoern Werner, Florida State
From tackles for loss to sacks to stopping the run, this is one of the more complete players in the 2013 draft. Think Kyle Vanden Bosch with a younger motor. Cleveland is set at QB with Brandon Weeden, at least for another year, that is.
7. Arizona Cardinals: QB Tyler Wilson, Arkansas
Depending upon who gets the head coaching job in Arizona, we could see a wide range of options at this pick. One is Matt Barkley, as well as Geno Smith and another is Mike Glennon. But Wilson, who had a first-round-type year in 2011, has another chance at his pro day and the combine to impress scouts. For the sake of argument, let's say he does that.
That gives him a good chance to be a top pick for a franchise in desperate need of a franchise QB. Buffalo and Tennessee might be in the mix here (though I'm doubtful the Titans will be) but Wilson has all the tools and the ability to run any passing offense this league could offer. He would sure have fun throwing the ball to Larry Fitzgerald.
8. Buffalo Bills: QB Tyler Bray, Tennessee
That's right, folks. The Barkley slide continues.
Bray is as underrated in this draft as they come. He had two big-time receivers at Tennessee that are both going to be drafted this year, but the team never found a way to get out of the doldrums of the SEC basement.
Look at the numbers; 3,600 passing yards, 34 touchdowns and 12 interceptions. It's a stretch on paper, but Barkley has an injury that might keep him from being 100 percent by the time the scouts come calling.
Injuries are a fickle thing, and Bray has shown flashes of being an elite QB. Depending on who the head coach is in Buffalo, things could get interesting with QBs we didn't expect to go this high.
9. New York Jets: LB Manti Te'o, Notre Dame
What team needs leadership and jolt of fresh blood more than the Jets? Te'o doesn't solve any of the QB issues, but he helps inject life into a defensive that wasn't great in 2012.
10. Tennessee Titans: CB Dee Milliner, Alabama
Dee Milliner is just the latest in the line of great CBs to leave Alabama and become first-round picks. Tennessee is choosing to trust Jake Locker for a second full season (if he can stay healthy), and offensive line is also an option here, but Milliner feels like the right pick to find another Cortland Finnegan on this defense.
11. San Diego Chargers: OT Taylor Lewan, Michigan
Lewan vs. Clowney was sure something, and with the exception of the highlight-reel tackle Clowney had in the backfield, Lewan held his own. He's a good pick for a franchise that needs help on this front, but don't be surprised to see a QB (Glennon?) sneak up here as a possible pick. Philip Rivers is a Norv Turner guy, not whoever comes in and takes over.
12. Miami Dolphins: WR Terrance Williams, Baylor
Williams is considered a middle-of-the-pack WR with good speed, size and hands, but his performance will merit more activity for his draft stock come April. With Tannehill in place and receivers now needed, this would be a good pick for a franchise looking to add something on the outside.
13. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: DE Barkevious Mingo, LSU
Mingo might not be around here, but if he is, the Bucs can afford to wait on a cornerback in a later round. Pass-rushing is a premium in the NFL—why do you think the Giants take one every year? Josh Freeman is great, and was one of the league's best QBs during his team's push. Upgrade the D-Line, and Greg Schiano is cooking with gas.
14. Carolina Panthers: DT Johnathan Hankins, Ohio State
It's a general consensus that the Panthers will take a DT, it's just a matter of figuring out which one. Cam Newton isn't going anywhere, even if his competition is seemingly getting closer every day.
15. New Orleans Saints: DT Sheldon Richardson, Missouri
The Saints need help after a rough season on all accounts when it comes to the defensive line. Richardson is an SEC guy that played well on a mediocre team, and his presence in the middle would help solve some of the running game woes this defense has faced.
16. St. Louis Rams: OT Jake Matthews, Texas A&M
The Rams need offensive line help. Matthews would help protect Sam Bradford and keep him off the injury list—the only real QB dilemma that St. Louis has.
17. Pittsburgh Steelers: QB Mike Glennon, North Carolina State
Sure, the Steelers have Big Ben. And the team might go a different direction on the defensive line or in the secondary. But when Roethlisberger is out, this team is in trouble. It's one of the reasons they aren't going to the playoffs this year.
Enter Glennon, the man that Mel Kiper Jr. thinks can contend for the top QB spot. At 6'5" and 225 pounds, he's certainly got a shot, and his name will be a Gabbert-like pick for sleeper QB of this draft.
We'll have to continue to monitor his progress after pro days and the combine are completed, but Glennon has the prototypical size and arm strength that make him an attractive option to be selected early on.
18. Dallas Cowboys: DT John Jenkins, Georgia
No, Tony Romo is not going anywhere. Jenkins would allow Jay Ratliff to slide to defensive end, a position the Cowboys can upgrade this offseason quite easily in-house.
19. New York Giants: DE Ezekiel Ansah, BYU
A great bowl game performance leaves the Giants with no choice—they must upgrade the defensive line after a rough season of injuries and lack of production.
20. Chicago Bears: TE Tyler Eifert, Notre Dame
Jay Cutler needs some help on the line, and that includes tight end. Greg Olsen, his security blanket from years ago, is gone, and the Bears face the uncertainty of not knowing what coaching style they'll have next. One with a pass-catching tight end would be a safe bet.
21. Cincinnati Bengals: DE Dion Jordan, Oregon
Andy Dalton is a safe bet to return after a second consecutive playoff run, so the team can focus on other needs. One is defensive end/pass-rusher, and Jordan fits the bill.
22. St. Louis Rams (from Washington): G Chance Warmack, Alabama
Two offensive linemen in St. Louis?
It's no joke—it's how bad St. Louis wants to keep Bradford's jersey clean. Warmack is a special talent at the guard position.
23. Baltimore Ravens: CB Johnthan Banks, Mississippi State
Lardarius Webb got injured, and with Ray Lewis retiring it isn't a stretch to think that the Ravens will use a majority of their picks on finding other players that can help plug the gaps that Lewis will leave behind. I also like Tavon Austin in this slot as a Joe Flacco weapon.
24. Minnesota Vikings: WR Keenan Allen, California
Any injury concerns will likely disappear at the combine, but there's no way Allen drops past this point if he's still available. The Vikings need a No. 1 option, and this guy would be perfect in that role—as long as he regains his 2011 form.
25. Indianapolis Colts: S Kenny Vaccaro, Texas
The Colts might like Xavier Rhodes here, too, but Vaccarro is a quality pick for a team that has a high ceiling with a great young QB. Andrew Luck will carry the load, and he will for a while. Now, it's about finding complementary players—especially on defense.
26. Seattle Seahawks: DT Jesse Williams, Alabama
With Russell Wilson entrenched as a playoff starter for this team and its great defense, Williams is a force that would help replace Red Bryant in the next couple of years.
27. Green Bay Packers: WR Tavon Austin, West Virginia
Can you imagine the potent Green Bay offense with Randall Cobb and Austin? Downright scary. Speed kills, people.
28. San Francisco 49ers: S Matt Elam, Florida
Elam was flying around the field and making big plays in the Sugar Bowl, and by the end of this process, it wouldn't surprise me if he's moved up draft boards enough to be taken in the Top 15 or so (Dallas). As it is, he's a quality safety that would start on quite a few teams.
29. Houston Texans: LB Alec Ogletree, Georgia
This is a drop for Ogletree, who showed off his speed when taking back a blocked kick against Alabama in the SEC Championship Game. He's a great value pick for a roster that's a little thin at linebacker. WR is another option here, depending upon who is available and who isn't.
The Texans don't have any plans to draft a QB for quite some time, at least not in the first round. T.J. Yates and maybe even Case Keenum are waiting in the wings.
30. New England Patriots: S Eric Reid, LSU
Even with Elam and Vaccaro gone, the Patriots need help at safety.
Reid is the holdover from a unit that included Morris Claiborne and the Honey Badger. He's got coverage ability—one of the major concerns on a defense that isn't exactly shored up heading into the postseason.
31. Atlanta Falcons: DE Sam Montgomery, LSU
Matty Ice is here for the long haul. Therefore, Atlanta takes a chance on a guy that could go anywhere from the Top 10 to the second round. A quality DE to replace John Abraham isn't out of the question here.
32. Denver Broncos: OT Eric Fisher, Central Michigan
Protecting Peyton Manning will become more and more important every year, even on the heels of a 13-3 season. Fisher is an under-the-radar prospect due to going to a smaller school, but scouts have recognized his ability to protect the passer. He'll be anywhere from a Top 15-30 pick.
Ethan Grant is a featured columnist for B/R's Breaking News Team.
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