The quarterback position is always the most coveted in the NFL draft. The position is also the toughest to predict NFL success.
The NFL draft is one of the most over-analyzed events in sports. Instead of looking at a player’s body of work on the playing field, teams and scouts concern themselves too much with workout numbers, potential and things that do not necessarily translate to success on the field.
This over-thinking is why players like Akili Smith go in the first round and players like Tom Brady fall to the sixth—it is hard measure the it factor.
Geno Smith, West Virginia
After getting off to a hot start in 2012 and being the Heisman front-runner early, Smith’s play fell off. His 42 touchdowns and 4,205 yards passing were still some of the best numbers of any quarterback in the country, but his inability to win big games is a cause for concern.
Smith is still projected to be the first quarterback taken, but during his pre-draft workouts, NFL teams will be evaluating him to see if his gaudy numbers are just a product of Dana Holgorsen system.
In the Big 12, Smith also played against some of the worst defenses in the country, and scouts will be looking to see if he can have the same type of success against the complex defensive schemes of the NFL.
Mike Glennon, North Carolina State
Glennon is the perfect example of teams falling in love with a player’s potential, instead of examining his play on the field.
Glennon looks like the prototypical quarterback. He is 6'6", 230 lbs and has a rocket for an arm.
His evaluations are based on what he could become, instead of what he is. What he is is a quarterback with a strong arm, but is prone to mistakes and throws into coverage too often. Glennon also lacks the mobility that other younger quarterbacks possess.
In his senior year with the Wolfpack, he threw for 31 touchdowns, but was also accountable for 17 interceptions.
Glennon had five games where he threw at least two interceptions, including in the season opener against Tennessee, where he threw four and the bowl game against Vanderbilt, where he threw three.
The verdict on Glennon is mixed. Some analysts have him going in the first round and others have him dropping into the second or third rounds. There is no question he has potential, but with the recent success of quarterbacks in their rookie seasons, the bar is set higher for quarterbacks coming out of college.
Rookies have to be NFL ready right out of the gate, and fans and NFL management do not have the patience for a project like Glennon.