Ranking the Top 10 Quarterbacks in the 2013 NFL Draft and Where They Should Go
The 2013 NFL Draft quarterback class is, in a word, average. That's as good as anyone will hear about the class. There are no sure things, and after being spoiled by Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III last year, this class looks bad in comparison.
This year, the top 10 quarterbacks make up potential franchise players and those with a lot of upside, as well as a decent number of game managers.
Because that clear star is not present this year, quarterbacks will be drafted much higher than their talent deserves.
Who are the best quarterbacks in the draft, and where will they end up going? More importantly, where should the quarterbacks in this year's draft go if one looks at talent and not just the position itself?
10. Zac Dysert
Zac Dysert could have been a dark horse leading up to the draft, but after the Senior Bowl, missing the combine and watching film, he's shown himself to be a longshot at best.
Dysert's strengths at Miami of Ohio involved intangibles, his build, and his athleticism. While he is fairly athletic, especially compared to other quarterbacks this year, he does not have much else going for him.
Dysert's big problem is that his accuracy when mobile is terrible, and let's face it, NFL linemen are going to make quarterbacks run. Being part of a shotgun offense and having only decent arm strength does not help his case either.
He's a Day Three prospect in the draft who probably go in the fifth round, although I would not be comfortable bothering with him until the sixth. He needs a lot of development to even have a shot at being good in the NFL.
Where He Should Go: Sixth Round
Where He Will Go: Fifth Round
9. Mike Glennon
Yes, I have Mike Glennon ninth overall. I know he has his fans in the draft world, but I don't see him transitioning from North Carolina State to the NFL in the slightest.
At 6'7", he is an ideal size for the NFL and has a cannon for an arm. That explains why his stock is high, and the fact that he can throw deep as well helps.
Glennon's big problem, aside from an utter lack of mobility, is that he is widely inaccurate. He just can't seem to point the ball at receivers. He had a completion percentage of under 60 percent his senior year, and he also tends to be frantic under pressure.
Despite his grade to be drafted in Day Two with the possibility of a team gambling on him, he's a project at best. If his accuracy can be fixed and his streaky play can be addressed, then maybe a team will have found something, as long as he's not taken in the first couple of rounds.
Where He Should Go: Fifth Round
Where He Will Go: Second or Third Round
8. Landry Jones
Of all the quarterbacks on the list, Landry Jones is the one I had the most trouble trying to figure out. Parts of his game are reminiscent of a franchise quarterback, while others knock his draft stock down big time.
He has a great arm that borders on elite, and his accuracy at Oklahoma was excellent. He has a great build and is mobile enough to move around. Jones has the tools where, in the right situation, he could develop into a good NFL quarterback.
The big problem comes in the transition to the pros from Oklahoma. The Sooners' offense was tailor-made to showcase his arm, and his gaudy numbers are somewhat a product of the system. At the Senior Bowl, his accuracy in a different system looked far worse, even in the short game.
Every so often, there is a quarterback who was excellent in college for a reason. It doesn't mean he'll make it in the pros. Jones is that guy this year unless he is able to overhaul his game quickly.
Where He Should Go: Late Fourth-Early Fifth Round
Where He Will Go: Third or Fourth Round
7. Matt Scott
Matt Scott is the only quarterback who I feel he should be ranked higher than he actually is, primarily thanks to his skill set. He is one of the only athletic quarterbacks in the draft.
Scott showcases great athleticism, and is able to throw well on the run. Arizona coach Rich Rodriguez's style ended up being perfect for him, and it showed with his numbers. His dual-threat nature combined with good velocity makes him an intriguing prospect.
Scott has a small frame, and while height doesn't concern me for a scrambler as much, he is more susceptible to injury. He was only a starter for one year, and he has the makings of a system quarterback, fairly or unfairly.
His accuracy is merely decent, which is more than I can say for some quarterbacks in the list. I see him as a nice fourth-round pickup, even though I could see him still being on the board as the fifth round comes to a close. He is, at best, very much under the radar.
Where He Should Go: Fourth Round
Where He Will Go: Fifth Round
6. Tyler Bray
I wish that Tyler Bray had returned to school for his senior season at Tennessee. With an extra year under his belt, he could have been one of the top guys in 2014, but instead, he's yet another project in this year's class.
As far as projects go, he has the best arm of the bunch. Bray also has the size to back it up. He is at least more accurate than Mike Glennon, but it's actually one of his weaknesses.
Aside from needing to fine-tune his game and get an understanding of the X's and O's, he completed under 60 percent of his passes despite having one of the best wide receiver duos in the country in Justin Hunter and Cordarrelle Patterson.
Bray also needs to convert to a pro style offense. Due to these issues I have him as a late third-rounder. He has the tools, but needs development. If he gets the right coaching and works on his accuracy, then he could be great in a couple of years.
Where He Should Go: Late Third Round
Where He Will Go: Early Third Round
5. E.J. Manuel
E.J. Manuel is a tough quarterback to get a read on. For every scout considering him an ideal project, there are others who find his weaknesses far too great. Rob Rang and Dane Brugler of CBS Sports have grades on him that are three rounds apart.
He's easily the most athletic quarterback in the draft, and can make plays with his legs. He also has good arm strength, making him a dual threat in a league that is relying more on those types of players.
No one doubts that the Florida Sate passer is raw, but for me, the big weakness is that he crumbles under pressure. His accuracy can be spot-on in one game and awful the next.
He's the type of player who has a high ceiling due to his talent, but a very low floor. He could just as easily disappear after a couple years in the league if he really can't raise his game to the next level.
Because of his talent, I come very close to putting him over Matt Barkley, but he needs consistency. I give him a third-round grade, even though he'll likely go in the second. It only takes one team to fall in love with him, after all.
Where He Should Go: Third Round
Where He Will Go: Second Round
4. Matt Barkley
It shocks me that Southern Cal's Matt Barkley is projected as a top 10-pick given that he is actually the easiest quarterback in the draft to figure out. It's obvious what his role in the NFL will be.
Barkley is a game manager at the next level. He has the smarts and is well-rounded enough to make plays when needed. He also has nice arm strength, and his 6'2" size is not an issue.
His strength, however, is also his weakness. His mobility, accuracy and nearly everything about him are solid. Still, he tends to force throws, as evidenced by his INTs his senior year and struggles with the deep ball, two things that he will have to work on at the next level.
Barkley is not going to be a bad NFL quarterback. I feel he should go either late in the second round or early in the third round as that's where decent, but not great, QBs should go. He will hold down the fort, but he's not going to bring a Super Bowl to a team.
Why is he going in the top 10 then? He has few outright troubling weaknesses, and in this quarterback class, that's enough to make a prospect incredibly overvalued.
Where He Should Go Late Second-Early Third Round
Where He Will Go: Top 10
3. Ryan Nassib
One of the few quarterbacks in this year's class from a cold weather area, Syracuse's Ryan Nassib is a prospect who has a high floor, much like Barkley, with a rather high ceiling to go along with it.
Nassib has solid arm strength and great mechanics to go with a good football IQ. While he does not have ideal size, he's a tough player who can make throws on the run.
He tends to make bad throws when under pressure, but he is able to bounce back and, worst-case scenario, he can find a long career as a game manager at quarterback.
I see him as a solid second-round pick. Barring a team trying to trade up for him or the Bills deciding to pull the trigger with the eighth pick, this is where he'll go. As long as the right team drafts him he, will make an impact.
He is in the same situation I saw Andy Dalton in—someone who has the skill set needed to be successful, but just needs to be on a team that will help groom him.
Where He Should Go: Second Round
Where He Will Go: Second Round
2. Tyler Wilson
I hate using a lack of firepower or a new regime as an excuse if a quarterback puts up lackluster numbers, but Tyler Wilson lost his head coach, offensive coordinator and top wide receivers to start his senior year at Arkansas.
After getting through it, he showed off his strong arm at the combine and pro day, clearly proving that as a strength. He can throw the ball accurately, even on deep routes, and he has the physical tools to have a great ceiling.
Aside from his production taking a step back in his senior year, Wilson is not the most mobile quarterback, nor is he all that tall at 6'2". One or the other isn't a problem, but both could be concerning in today's NFL. He also tries to do too much with his arm, meaning a high INT rate at the next level.
Despite that, I see him as the best quarterback in the draft not named Geno Smith, and in the right system, he could even surpass Smith. Wilson has been through adversity, and if he's stuck with a bad team, he'll know how to guide them through the tough parts, something few top QB prospects can say.
I see him as a late first-round pick, since he needs a bit of fine-tuning. After Smith and Matt Barkley are taken in the top 10, Wilson would likely be next, and I could see a team trading back into the first round for him.
Where He Should Go: Pick 25-32
Where He Will Go: Pick 20-32
1. Geno Smith
West Virginia's Geno Smith is the top selection of the quarterbacks because he's the only one who not only has all the skills to make it in the NFL, but also has the grooming to be a Day One starter.
His numbers in college were eye-popping, he has a good head on his shoulders, and he has the ability to stay calm, or at least run, under pressure.
A Dana Holgorsen offense does not translate to the NFL all that well and he does not have experience in a pro style offense, which hurts his stock. I see a very well-rounded quarterback, but nothing screams out he is a future star.
I see Smith as a mid-to-late first round player rather than a top-10 pick because of those issues, even though, due to NFL needs, he's a guaranteed to be drafted in the top 10. He should not have much trouble in the NFL, though the concerns about not facing top-tier defenses are worth noting, given that the Big 12 isn't exactly a tough defensive conference.
Where He Should Go: Pick 20-25
Where He Will Go: Top 10 Picks