Who Does Every Major Draft Expert Rank as Their Top Quarterback in '13 NFL Draft
With the NFL draft less than two weeks away, most experts and teams have their draft boards and individual rankings all but set.
Endless hours and countless nights of sleep have been sacrificed into getting it just right. However, there is one position that has without a doubt caused the most tossing and turning amongst our draft evaluators.
By far and away the most important position in football, evaluating quarterback play takes a complex evaluation, keen eye and level of persistency unlike any other.
And for obvious reasons.
Judging how a quarterback prospect will translate to the NFL is where a draft expert makes his mark.
Evaluate correctly, and you can become a trusted and reliable source over time.
Evaluate incorrectly however, and your credibility, reputation and even your ego can literally go right out the window.
In this exercise we take a look at who the five prominent experts listed below ranks as their No. 1 overall quarterback prospect, while also taking into account their overall individual rankings for the position as a whole.
1) Rob Rang, CBS Sports
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Top quarterback: Geno Smith, No. 17 overall.
The remaining: Matt Barkley (18), Tyler Wilson (35), E.J. Manuel (54), Ryan Nassib (65) Matt Scott (99).
Notable exclusions: Mike Glennon, Tyler Bray, Zac Dysert and Landry Jones.
Analysis: There are a couple things to glean from here. First of which is the ranking of Smith just one spot ahead of Barkley overall.
Judging by this, Rang is higher on Barkley than most and considers the two to be nearly equivalent in value and potential.
This certainly does not go by conventional wisdom, but this quarterback draft class isn't all that conventional in and of itself.
The second noticeable aspect is the fact that Rang only ranks six quarterbacks in this top 100 overall.
Clearly he must believe this a weak draft for quality or game-changing quarterbacks.
A sentiment that many would agree with, judging by the slides that follow.
2) Mike Mayock, NFL Network
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Top quarterback: Geno Smith (1)
The remaining: E.J. Manuel (2), Matt Barkley (3), Mike Glennon (4), Ryan Nassib (T-5), Tyler Bray (T-5)
Notable exclusions: Tyler Wilson, Zac Dysert, Matt Scott and Landry Jones
Analysis: Like most draft experts, Mayock has Smith ranked as his No. 1 overall quarterback prospect despite saying "he can't stand this whole quarterback class," and that he would have a hard time taking Smith in the top 10, let alone the top 20, according to a report from NFL.com.
Clearly, like Rang, Mayock does not see an elite talent and the rest of his board effectively establishes this.
His selection of Manuel as his second-rated quarterback has much more to do with upside and potential than anything else, while the same can be said for both Glennon and Bray.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, both Barkley and Nassib are largely considered game-managers and rhythm-type quarterbacks who will need to be put in the right system with the necessary talent around them to be successful.
Certainly Mayock is on board with Rang's assessment of this quarterback class, however, as we'll see in the next slide, not everyone seems to be a perfect agreement.
3) Russ Lande, National Football Post
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Top quarterback: Ryan Nassib No. 1 overall
The remaining: Matt Barkley (20), E.J. Manuel (36), Tyler Wilson (41), Geno Smith (47), Landry Jones (56), Mike Glennon (59) and Matt Scott (64)
Notable exclusions: Tyler Bray and Zac Dysert
Analysis: Eight quarterbacks fall within Lande's top 100 players overall, however this is hardly the most noticeable aspect of his rankings at first glance.
Ryan Nassib is not only his No. 1 quarterback prospect, but his No. 1 player overall is the first thing that should catch your eye—as should his No. 47 overall ranking of Geno Smith.
Vastly different from our first two draft experts' opinions, Lande obviously sees this position through a different lens than his peers—a mark that deserves points for originality and creativity if anything else.
However, with that being said, No. 1 overall is a bold statement for a player that is considered by most to be a Day 2 talent at best, and questionable top-50 prospect overall.
Lande has obviously put all of his eggs in one basket with this assessment, however, time will tell whether this was an accurate prediction or just a desperate attempt to gain attention.
If anything, I give him props for trying and wish him luck in his attempt to stand out from the crowd, but I cannot say that I personally agree with all of his outlandish viewpoints.
4) Ron Jaworski, ESPN
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Top quarterback: Geno Smith (1)
The remaining: Ryan Nassib (2), E.J. Manuel (3), Landry Jones (4), Mike Glennon (5), Matt Barkley (6), Tyler Wilson (7), Tyler Bray (8)
Notable exclusions: Matt Scott and Zac Dysert
Analysis: The consummate quarterback guru over at ESPN, Jaworski—or "Jaws" as he's better known—studies tape religiously and is one of the more respected analysts when it comes to breaking down quarterback play.
In Jaworski's rankings a couple things initially stand out.
His No. 1 ranking of Smith as the top quarterback is no surprise, but the big thing that catches my attention right off the bat is his noticeable exclusion of Barkley from his top 5 overall.
Each of the previous experts each had Barkley ranked in their top 5, and the lowest we have seen him ranked to this point is No. 3 overall by Mayock.
In his explanation, Jaworski is quick to point out that he believes Barkley might be the most "mentally ready," but is unsold on a “significant amount of upside.”
Which, in my opinion is a fair and honest assessment, considering Barkley's ceiling has to be one of the lowest among all the quarterback prospects being considered towards the top of the draft.
5) Matt Miller, Bleacher Report
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Top quarterback: Geno Smith, No. 15 overall
The remaining: Matt Barkley (30), Ryan Nassib (43), Tyler Wilson (54), E.J. Manuel (63), Tyler Bray (85)
Notable exclusions: Mike Glennon, Zac Dysert Landry Jones and Matt Scott
Analysis: There's not much to pull or tug at here, but there is one interesting tidbit of information to take away from Miller's rankings.
First of all, his ranking of Smith as his No. 1 overall quarterback and No. 15 overall prospect is right in line with many of the other draft pundits, however it is the exclusion of Glennon from his top 100 that immediately grabbed my attention.
Judging from this, it's safe to assume that Miller is not buying into some of the hype surrounding Glennon, and very much does not consider him to be a franchise-type quarterback despite all of the physical gifts that have been bestowed upon him.
Once upon a time, Glennon was considered a potential draft riser, but deeper evaluation seems to have turned off many of our draft experts and confirmed the belief that he doesn't have what it takes "between the ears" to take advantage of his natural God-given ability.
Definitely a sentiment and reservation many would also seem to have, based on all the question marks surrounding his name.