Matt Barkley received mixed reviews for his pro day performance, but it seems inevitable that he'll end up as a first-round draft pick on April 25 when the 2013 NFL draft kicks off at the Radio City Music Hall in New York.
There are a few teams in desperate need of a quarterback: The Jacksonville Jaguars, Oakland Raiders, Arizona Cardinals, Buffalo Bills and New York Jets could all potentially take a quarterback in the first two rounds.
So where will the draft's top quarterbacks end up being selected?
Geno Smith: Jacksonville Jaguars (No. 2 Overall)
Smith isn't nearly as pro-ready as Andrew Luck or Robert Griffin III, but that won't stop one of the top-10 teams from taking a gamble on him in the first round.
Jaguars.com's John Oehser recently tweeted that he wouldn't "rule out" the possibility that Jacksonville would select Smith.
More recently, NFL Network's Daniel Jeremiah dropped this bit of insider information:
I'm always skeptical of draft rumblings during this time of year but I've heard several league sources mention JAX-Geno.— Daniel Jeremiah (@MoveTheSticks) March 26, 2013
The Jags are only two years removed from spending a No. 10 overall pick on Blaine Gabbert. But new general manager David Caldwell and new head coach Gus Bradley weren't part of the brain trust that drafted him, and it won't shock anyone to see the team head in a different direction in 2013.
Matt Barkley: Buffalo Bills (No. 8 Overall)
Matt Barkley didn't particularly blow scouts away with an overwhelming display of passing prowess at his pro day on March 27, but the buzz surrounding him since he threw has been positive.
Barkley struggled with some of the deep passes into the wind, but he looked crisp on throws 15 yards and in—it's the same story we've seen on tape for his entire career at USC.
Is Barkley a first-round quarterback?
But no quarterback in this year's draft class is more ready to step in from the first day of training camp and run an NFL offense. Barkley has been running USC's pro-style offense for four straight years, and he possesses the leadership and experience to make a smooth transition.
Buffalo currently has Tarvaris Jackson pencilled in as its starting quarterback heading into the 2013 season. Barkley is more accurate and technically sound than Jackson, and though he doesn't possess a cannon for an arm, he does have the touch and anticipation to be successful in the NFL.
E.J. Manuel: Philadelphia Eagles (No. 35 Overall)
Sure, the Eagles already have Michael Vick and Nick Foles on the roster, but Chip Kelly won't likely be content to go into the 2013 season without generating more competition at the quarterback position.
CSN Philadelphia's Geoff Mosher recently reported that the Eagles will be hosting Manuel for a private workout:
Forgot to mention: Chip said #Eagles have a private workout with E.J. Manuel later this month.— Geoff Mosher (@GeoffMosherCSN) March 20, 2013
Jeremiah also reported that the buzz he's been hearing links Manuel with the Eagles:
Here are the QB matches I hear most often from NFL sources: Bills-Geno, AZ-Glennon, JAX-Nassib, PHI-Manuel…for what it's worth.— Daniel Jeremiah (@MoveTheSticks) March 28, 2013
This potential pairing makes sense, too. Manuel is a mobile quarterback with a big arm, and he seems to be a perfect fit for the Eagles offense—provided it looks anything like Kelly's offense at Oregon.
The beauty of this pick is that Manuel won't be put in a situation where he has to start right off the bat. He could end up becoming a sleeper like Colin Kaepernick who comes out in force in his second year.
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