Only one quarterback has been selected thus far in the 2013 NFL draft, but Friday's Round 2 figures to see a significantly greater number off the board.
EJ Manuel was a big surprise in being selected at No. 16 overall by the Buffalo Bills—especially since West Virginia's Geno Smith was widely considered the top prospect at the position. Smith should go early in Round 2, along with two of the other more highly touted signal-callers in this class.
Below is a breakdown of the best possible fits for Smith, Southern California's Matt Barkley and Ryan Nassib of Syracuse.
Geno Smith—No. 35 overall to Philadelphia Eagles
Although Michael Vick and Nick Foles are already in the fold at quarterback for new head coach Chip Kelly, an intriguing option should present itself in the form of Smith.
Coming from a spread offense in college, there are few better fathomable fits for Smith than Kelly's innovative, up-tempo system. Though it should be slightly different to adjust to the pro game, it will accentuate Smith's strengths.
A big knock on Smith's perceptibly inflated numbers is the fact that he threw so many short passes for the Mountaineers on bubble screens and other underneath routes.
Sounds perfect, because Vick tends to put too much heat on such throws and Foles doesn't possess the unique athleticism Smith does, which would make him a threat to run.
Foles isn't a bad prospect—he just doesn't fit Kelly's system very well. Vick is not the long-term answer, but Smith has the potential to be.
Matt Barkley—No. 39 overall to New York Jets
Marty Mornhinweg's West Coast offense suits Barkley's skill set perfectly. He is a wise decision-maker and a four-year starter for one of college football's most storied programs.
It would definitely be a bit strange to be paired alongside fellow former Trojan Mark Sanchez in a prospective quarterback competition, but the Jets need to seriously consider upgrading this position.
ESPN's Adam Schefter reports that GM John Idzik is trying to move up in the second round in an effort to land the quarterback he wants. Apparently that quarterback is Smith, but Barkley is simply a better fit for the Jets' system.
Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News reports that Barkley is rated higher than Nassib on the Jets' board, and with Smith possibly off the board before this, Barkley would be the clear choice:
Manish Mehta @MMehtaNYDN
Jets have USC QB Matt Barkley rated higher than Syracuse QB Ryan Nassib. #nyj4/26/2013, 9:12:04 PM
Rex Ryan has a philosophy of ground-and-pound on offense and playing sound, aggressive defense to win games.
That works—if the quarterback doesn't make terrible decisions. Unfortunately, Sanchez does just that, and Barkley is a more polished pocket passer than Smith is—with far more knowledge of pro-style offenses.
Ryan Nassib—No. 38 overall to Arizona Cardinals
A fantastic arm from Nassib and tutelage in a multifaceted offense at Syracuse under head coach Doug Marrone should prepare him for the complexities that Bruce Arians will throw his way in Arizona.
The Cardinals already have Carson Palmer figuring to get the starting nod, with Drew Stanton as the backup. However, neither of those players have been proven commodities in recent seasons, and Nassib has the chance to develop at his own rate behind Palmer.
Arizona got some necessary help on the offensive line by selecting OG Jonathan Cooper at No. 7 overall last night, and that should automatically help the rhythm.
Arians' offense is based on throwing the ball vertically, and Nassib would have superstar Larry Fitzgerald and last year's top pick Michael Floyd at this disposal for the foreseeable future.
If Nassib is not in the Cards' plans, he could experience a significant drop—unless he's chosen over Smith or Barkley. Nevertheless, Nassib has outstanding upside and ideal physical tools to succeed in Arians' scheme.