NFL Draft 2013: How Rookie QBs Can Make an Immediate Impact
The NFL has been a quarterback driven league since Dan Marino and John Elway were taken in 1983. Since then, teams have drafted quarterbacks out of college in hopes that they would be their future starter.
Fast forward to today, and college quarterbacks must be polished and ready to immediately start for the team that drafts them. Since 2008, only three rookie quarterbacks taken in the first round have started less than 10 games.
This year, only one QB was selected in Round 1. The signal callers in this year's draft weren't of the caliber of drafts in years past. Not that many quarterbacks taken this year are thought of as starters in the NFL.
That being said, there is use for a good backup, which is what most of these QBs are going to be heading into the regular season. We already know that the four quarterbacks taken in Round 7 won't start anytime soon. Sorry Brad Sorensen, Zac Dysert, B.J. Daniels and Sean Renfree, but you're going to backup the best that the NFL has to offer at the position.
Read ahead to see what rookie QBs can have an immediate impact in their first year in the NFL.
The 4 from Round 4
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More quarterbacks were taken in the fourth round of the draft than in the the first three rounds combined. Not only that, but a lot of big names from big football schools were taken, most of them just to back up the current starter on the team.
Landry Jones was the last one of the QBs picked in the fourth round. The former Oklahoma Sooner will probably back up Big Ben in Pittsburgh, but this young gun has some ability after starting all four years as a Sooner.
Even though he's tall and can throw the ball with some zip, he really can't move in the pocket and has a deer-in-the-headlights approach when under duress. He can learn from one of the best scramblers in the NFL in Big Ben Roethlisberger as he sits on the bench for a few years in Steel-town.
Only three picks before that, Tyler Wilson out of Arkansas was taken by the Oakland Raiders. Even with the loss of his head coach and three receivers, Wilson still threw for over 3,000 yards and over 20 touchdowns. Even though the defense consistently came after him last year, he remained patient and stepped into his throws. He is the one QB from Round 4 that can compete for the starting job, as it will be either him or Matt Flynn, who the Raiders received via trade in the offseason.
Ryan Nassib won't see much of the field in the next few years if he remains with the Giants. Current starter Eli Manning is the active leader in consecutive starts for quarterbacks, which sits at 135. The Syracuse product can hold a clipboard and learn what it takes to be a NFL signal caller from a two-time Super Bowl winner.
The biggest name taken in Round 4 just happened to be the first name called. Matt Barkley out of USC (Southern Cal, not South Carolina) was thought to be a late first- or second-round talent. When the Eagles saw him still available at the end of Day 2, they quickly made some trades to move up in the draft to get Barkley.
It is confusing how the four year college starter fits in a Chip Kelly, spread offense style system. Kelly made it clear that he just wants talent, and he'll take care of the rest, according to NFL Network.
Chip Kelly has a lot in store for this offense next year, and he made us all a little more intrigued when Barkley was finally taken.
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Glennon was brought in to Tampa Bay strictly to give starter Josh Freeman some competition. Glennon surely has starter potential, possessing great arm strength that has brought comparisons to Joe Flacco.
Freeman has simply turned the ball over too much for Greg Schiano's liking. In the last two seasons Freeman has thrown 63 interceptions to just 78 touchdowns. The Buccaneers organization added Glennon to the roster to light a fire under their starter, forcing him to perform this year.
If not, Tampa Bay has made it clear that they have their backup to take Freeman's place if need be. Glennon's 6'7" frame gives him the height to see over top the linemen, allowing him to see his receivers moving down the field. His powerful arm allows him to throw in areas that most quarterbacks can't, and Glennon can do it well, completing over 60 percent of his passes in college.
If the season doesn't start off well for Josh Freeman in Tampa, then Buccaneers fans can expect to see a lot of Mike Glennon moving forward.
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Geno Smith was not only brought in to provide competition to David Garrard and Mark Sanchez, but many believe that he will eventually become the starter at some point during his first year in the NFL.
Mark Sanchez may well have seen his time in New York end with the drafting of Smith. Since his rookie season, Sanchez has thrown more interceptions (69) than touchdowns (68) while piling another 26 fumbles on top of that as well. He hasn't shown the arm strength needed to move the ball down the field, as he has thrown for slightly over six yards per completion in his career.
Smith on the other hand has a powerful arm. He threw for over 4,200 yards and 42 touchdowns, while keeping the mistakes at a minimum with just six interceptions. Even though Smith ran a spread offense, he mostly threw from the pocket rather than tucking the ball and using his legs to gain yards.
Give Geno a few games to learn what it takes to be a starter in the NFL, and by the halfway point in the regular season, you could see him as the starting quarterback for the New York Jets.
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If someone asked you before the 2013 NFL draft, "If there was only one quarterback taken in the first round, who would it be?", the answer out of most mouths would be Geno Smith or Matt Barkley.
E.J. Manuel was not on many experts' big boards and wasn't projected to go on Day 1, let alone in the first two to three rounds. But the Buffalo Bills saw something in the Florida State product and knew he was the man for the job.
The Bills also paid former Philadelphia Eagle and Arizona Cardinal Kevin Kolb to be their starter come week 1, so I expect him to do just that. As far as the entire regular season is concerned, Manuel will eventually get playing time and become the full-time starter at some point.
If you go by the eye test alone, Manuel is as talented as any first round QB taken in years past. He's 6'5" and 235 pounds, has great arm strength, can provide touch and accuracy and is mobile from the pocket as well. If I told you all that, Manuel sounds like a first overall selection, not just first round.
The problem with the former Seminole is that although he is a winner, he gives his opponents more opportunities by forcing throws down the field. Too many times at Florida State did he show inconsistencies in his accuracy and decision making. Luckily for him, those are two things that can be coached in the NFL.
Manuel is a great field general; he knows how to lead his troops into battle each week. If he can improve the decisions he makes on the field, he can flourish as a starter in the NFL as a rookie.