Scouts from across the National Football League have descended on Mobile, Alabama this week, as some of college football's top athletes have gathered to be put through the paces at the 2013 Senior Bowl.
Among those players are half a dozen of the country's top senior signal-callers, although West Virginia's Geno Smith, who is widely considered the top prospect at his position in this year's draft class, chose not to attend.
So how do the quarterbacks who are in Alabama stack up against one another, and which one will be the first selected in April's draft?
Read on and find out!
Florida State's E.J. Manuel has been a hard quarterback to get an accurate read on in 2012, as one week the 6'4", 237-pounder looks as good as any quarterback in the nation and the next he couldn't the shoot ocean with a squirt gun.
That may be a result of mechanics that Bleacher Report's Matt Miller calls "shaky at best," and it's likely that Manuel will need quite a bit of seasoning at the professional level—so far as going through his progressions, an area in which Manuel struggled in Tallahassee.
Where that seasoning might take place potentially became a lot more interesting following this tweet from CSN's Geoff Mosher.
Fla State QB EJ Manuel says he met with Chip Kelly last night, had a great conversation.
— Geoff Mosher (@GeoffMosherCSN) January 22, 2013
He played for a smaller school, but that didn't stop Miami University of Ohio's Zac Dysert from putting up some big-time numbers in 2012. Dysert threw for nearly 3,500 yards and 25 touchdowns for the RedHawks.
Many draft pundits believe that Dysert is the least "NFL-ready" of all the quarterbacks in Mobile, but while Dysert struggled a bit in his first day of Senior Bowl practices, Bart Hubbuch of The New York Post tweeted that Tuesday's session went much better.
Dark horse among the QBs in this draft: Miami of Ohio’s Zac Dysert has looked very good here at the Senior Bowl. Throws well on the run.
— Bart Hubbuch (@HubbuchNYP) January 22, 2013
Just looking at the raw numbers with Oklahoma's Landry Jones, one would think that Jones is one of the top quarterbacks in this year's draft class after a 2012 season in which he topped 4,200 yards and threw 30 touchdown passes.
However, the numbers don't tell the whole story.
Granted there are some, such as former teammate Donald Stephenson, who believe that Jones is "the best quarterback at the Senior Bowl," but the general consensus on Jones is that he holds the ball too long and is rattled much too easily when under duress.
According to Bart Hubbuch of The New York Post, Jones brought those bad habits with him to Mobile.
Landry Jones sure does like to hold onto the football. It's like he's squeezing the life out of it.
— Bart Hubbuch (@HubbuchNYP) January 22, 2013
There may well be no more polarizing quarterback prospect in this year's draft than Mike Glennon of North Carolina State.
There are some, such as ESPN's Mel Kiper, who feel that Glennon is the top QB in this year's class, with Kiper stating that Glennon has a "high ceiling."
At 6'7", Glennon needs that high ceiling so he doesn't hit his head, but Bleacher Report's Matt Miller, who is in Mobile covering the game, wasn't nearly as appreciative of Glennon's skill set after watching him in practice:
"Glennon has been all over the place the first two days. Passes are coming out high and soft. He doesn't have great zip on passes to the boundary—a negative for a guy being sold to us on arm strength. On downfield passes he gets a ton of air on the ball and can throw it all over the field, but his placement is weak and inconsistent."
As you may have already noticed, there's very little consensus in regards to many of the quarterbacks at this year's Senior Bowl. The same can be said of Syracuse's Ryan Nassib, who threw for 3,753 yards and 26 touchdowns in 2012.
Some detractors point to the level of competition Nassib faced in the Big East and a lack of arm strength as deficits in his game, but according to Roy Cummings of The Tampa Tribune, scouts are "talking up" Nassib at the Senior Bowl and at least one draftnik thinks very highly of the youngster.
@billgriffith1 - I do not view QB Ryan Nassib as a late 1st rounder, but rather a Top Five pick & doubt he will be there at top of 2nd round
— Russell Lande (@RUSSLANDE) January 21, 2013
There are a number of quarterbacks in this year's draft class who may actually have been better served by going pro after last season, including Tyler Wilson of Arkansas.
Injuries, coaching changes and a lack of talent around him all caused Wilson's numbers to drop across the board in 2012, so it's vital to Wilson's draft stock that he impress both at the Senior Bowl and February's NFL Combine.
Fortunately for the 6'2" Wilson, who seems to have both the size and arm of the so-called "prototypical" NFL quarterback, things have gone well so far in Mobile, at least according to Eric Galko of Optimum Scouting:
Tyler Wilson impressive in 7v7 reps. Progressed through reads well, evaluated coverage post-snap well. All quick or in-breaking check downs.
— Eric Galko (@OptimumScouting) January 22, 2013