Every year, it seems quarterbacks are the popular—and controversial—players on the big board.
The 2013 draft will be no different, even though there doesn’t seem to be a franchise signal-caller in the same vein as Andrew Luck or Robert Griffin III lurking around. However, there are still a handful of good QBs that could definitely make an impact and start for a number of organizations.
Let’s take a closer look at three prospects that could wind up coming off the board the first round and where they will land.
Geno Smith, Oakland Raiders, No. 3
Smith is arguably the best of the numerous quarterbacks in this draft and should be the first one selected in April. While there’s plenty of franchises that could use his skills, we believe the Raiders are the organization that will make the move.
During his time at West Virginia, Smith showed uncanny accuracy and above average athleticism. He finished his senior year having completed 369-of-518 passes for 4,205 yards, 42 touchdowns and just six interceptions.
What Smith lacks is elite size for the position at just 6’3”, 208 pounds. He’s also not mobile, as evidenced by his 66 rushing attempts for 151 yards in 2012.
Regardless, he’s a better option under center than the overpaid Carson Palmer and inexperienced Terrelle Pryor. With GM Reggie McKenzie fighting for his job, his best bet may be taking a boom or bust prospect like Smith.
Matt Barkley, Arizona Cardinals, No. 7
Barkley’s final season with the USC Trojans didn’t exactly go according to plan, but the young man is still a fine QB that should wind up being taken within the first 32 selections.
The 6’2”, 230-pound signal-caller regressed during the 2012 campaign, having completed just 246-of-387 passes for 3,273 yards, 36 touchdowns and 15 interceptions.
Despite those poor numbers, Barkley did display powerful (and vastly underrated) arm strength, above-average decision making and looks to be a perfect selection for the Arizona Cardinals at No. 7.
While the Cards recently took a chance on another USC QB, Matt Leinart, we have a feeling that Barkley’s career will pan out much more successfully.
Tyler Wilson, Buffalo Bills, No. 8
After the Arkansas Razorbacks woefully disappointing 2012 campaign, Wilson didn’t do himself any favors by slapping together a mediocre combine performance.
Fortunately, the senior signal-caller got his act together in time for Pro Day down in Fayetteville.
According to an Associated Press report (via ESPN), the prospect completed an impressive 77-of-84 throws—with six of those incompletions coming on drops by the receivers.
All 32 teams in the NFL saw this performance and talked with him afterwards, opening the door for a possible early selection in the 2013 draft.
We love him going to the Bills at No. 8, even though we strongly believe that Buffalo (and Arizona) should explore trading back if they plan to select QBs with first-round picks.
Wilson has the arm strength and resolve to succeed in the cold weather of upstate New York, making him the ideal pick here for an organization that recently rid itself of Ryan Fitzpatrick.