2013 Draft Preview: Quarterbacks

The NFL Draft is the ultimate crapshoot. From the end of the season until draft day itself teams are dealing in misdirection and deception with the goal in mind being to keep everyone guessing as to what their true intentions are. I previously published an article focusing on the under rated and impressive depth of the 2013 QB class and here is a look at where and when those players could come off of the board.

Geno Smith – 6’2 218 lbs. – West Virginia

2012 Statistics:

71.2 completion %, 4,198 yards, 42 TD’s, 6 Int’s, 167 rush yards, 2 TD’s.

Positives:

Very productive. Strong arm, capable of making every necessary throw. Athletic and capable of making defenses pay with his legs. Schematic versatility. Intelligent, regularly audibled and called protection packages at the line of scrimmage. Film junkie.

Negatives:

Inconsistent accuracy. Production faded as season wore on. Shorter than expected. Numbers were inflated due to system and playmakers. Questionable leadership skills.

Schematic fits:

Geno Smith does not have any schematic limitations. He has the arm to play in a vertical offense, quick decision making ability to fit the west coast offense, and his athleticism makes the read option offense a match as well.

Possible destinations:

Smith has met with or worked out for 7 teams picking in the Draft’s top 10. Jacksonville, Oakland, Philadelphia, Cleveland, Arizona, Buffalo, and the New York Jets have all heard their name in connection with the West Virginia signal Caller.

Best fit:

Philadelphia. The Eagles are in a very good position to draft a QB of the future. They already have QB Michael Vick ready to start, so rushing Smith into playing time won’t be necessary. They also run an up tempo offense similar to what Smith ran for the Mountaineers. New Eagles HC Chip Kelly would be getting his perfect type of QB, a strong passer who can beat you with his legs.

Prediction:

I believe Geno Smith will go 2nd overall to the Jacksonville Jaguars. New GM David Caldwell and HC Gus Bradley know how important a franchise QB is and will select Smith to be the new face of the Jaguars. Jacksonville has a young and improving offense which features a franchise LT in Eugene Monroe, a 1-2 punch at WR with Justin Blackmon and Cecil Shorts, a big bodied TE in Mercedes Lewis, and MJD in the backfield. The missing ingredient is under center, where Chad Henne and Blaine Gabbert will soon be battling for the back-up job.

 

Matt Barkley – 6’3 227 lbs. – USC

2012 Statistics:

63.6 completion %, 3,273 yards, 36 TD’s, 15 Int’s.

Positives:

Accurate and understands defensive schemes. Terrific placement on his deep throws. Strong enough arm that can make the necessary throws. Shows strong leadership qualities. Good teammate and locker room presence. Intelligent and a true student of the game. Excellent mechanics.

Negatives:

Slow footed. Does not offer much athleticism. Production dropped when protection faltered. Arm is simply “strong enough”.  Too many turnovers as a senior.

Schematic Fits:

Matt Barkley is a proto-typical west coast quarterback, but can fit in a vertical scheme as well. Barkley throws one of the better deep balls in this draft class and makes up for any physical short comings with anticipation and ball placement.

Possible Destinations:

Matt Barkley has had private invites and workouts with the Cleveland Browns, Arizona Cardinals, and Buffalo Bills and has also met with Kansas City, Philadelphia, and the New York Jets. He has also had his name in connection with the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Best Fit:

Cleveland. The Browns have an offensive unit that is just waiting for the right QB to realize its potential. New HC Rob Chudzinski and OC Norv Turner both had success in San Diego with Philip Rivers who has a very similar skillset to Barkley. The Browns offer a strong OL with bookend tackles, a pair of young and improving WR’s in Greg Little and Josh Gordon, and a healthy Trent Richardson who is primed for a breakout season. Barkley would have weapons and protection while being schooled by two of the best QB coaches in the league.

Prediction:

I believe Matt Barkley will wind up in Cleveland. What I don’t know is at what spot in the draft. The Browns currently own the #6 pick and while they may select Barkley there, but if one of the top 3 tackles are still on the board they will more than likely try and move down to acquire additional selections and hope that Barkley will be there.

 

Ryan Nassib – 6’2 227 lbs. – Syracuse

2012 Statistics:

62.5 completion %, 3,753 yards, 26 TD’s, 10 Int’s, 137 rush yards, 2 TD’s.

Positives:

Smart and athletic playmaker. Quick release. Throws with excellent ball placement and anticipation. Made plays under pressure. Can improvise and make something out of nothing. Strong leader and good in the locker room. Very intelligent, strong football acumen.

Negatives:

Needs to clean up his footwork. Made a lot of throws that NFL DB’s won’t allow. Has a decent arm, not great. Takes unnecessary hits in and out of the pocket.

Schematic Fits:

Versatile. Can make every throw and has the athleticism to be a concern to defenses. Has a very similar skillset and style of play to Tony Romo. He will never lead the league in rushing, but he can run the read option.

Possible Destinations:

Ryan Nassib had private workouts/interviews with the Kansas City Chiefs, Jacksonville Jaguars, Cleveland Browns, Arizona Cardinals, Buffalo Bills, and New York Jets.

Best Fit:

Buffalo. New Bills HC Doug Marrone coached Nassib at Syracuse and would make for the easiest transition possible for both the coach and the player. Bills GM Buddy Nix has openly admitted to be looking for a franchise signal caller and isn’t fooling anyone by giving Kevin Kolb a moderate free agent deal.

Prediction:

Buffalo at #8. GM Buddy Nix recently said “if you like a QB in the 3rd round, take him in round 2”. I believe this foreshadows what the club plans to do with Nassib. Many have called for Nassib to fall to Buffalo at #41, but the Bills will not risk losing Nassib and having to settle for their 2nd or 3rd option at the position. The Dolphins “reached” on Ryan Tannehill at #8 a year ago and the team is in a better position for it.

 

EJ Manuel – 6’5 237 lbs. – Florida State

2012 Statistics:

68.0 completion %, 3,392 yards, 23 TD’s, 10 Int’s, 310 rush yards, 4 TD’s.

Positives:

Very strong arm. Excellent mobility, best dual threat QB in the draft. Proto-typical size. Very smart, student of the game. High character person with strong leadership skills.

Negatives:

Accuracy and decision making was inconsistent. Production was not where it should/could have been. Careless with the football. Must improve mechanics. Needs further development.

Schematic Fits:

Must be paired with a creative offensive mind who can fit his scheme to suit Manuel’s talents. The read option will get Manuel drafted higher than his film warrants. Not a precision passer, a poor fit in a west coast or timing based offense.

Possible Destinations:

EJ Manuel had private meetings/workouts with the Jacksonville Jaguars, Oakland Raiders, Philadelphia Eagles, Cleveland Browns, Buffalo Bills, Cincinnati Bengals, and the New York Jets.

Best Fit:

Cleveland. Browns new HC Rob Chudzinski was able to accelerate the development of Cam Newton so much in their first year together that Newton had the most prolific rookie season in NFL history. Like Manuel, Newton was a 6’5 240 lb. project coming out of Auburn who was a threat to run the football but needed work as a passer. Chudzinski has been able to get pro bowl seasons out of Newton and Derek Anderson and would be a blessing for a QB like Manuel.

Prediction:

The Philadelphia Eagles are going to trade at some point in the draft to acquire EJ Manuel in the first round. The most likely move is to trade up from their spot in round 2 and select Manuel at some point in the 2nd half of round 1.

 

Mike Glennon – 6’7 225 lbs. – North Carolina State

2012 Statistics:

58.5 completion %, 4,031 yards, 31 TD’s, 17 Int’s, 2 rush TD’s.

Positives:

Great size. Best arm strength/talent in the draft. Similar build to Joe Flacco, similar style of play to Matt Ryan. Ran a pro style offense at NC State. Intelligent.

Negatives:

Skinny, needs to gain bulk and strength. Not much mobility. Will lock on to targets and throw too many interceptions. Needs to improve pocket presence. Questionable leadership skills.

Schematic fits:

Vertical. Does not have the feet or quick release to be a west coast fit. Is not a mobile QB and offers nothing to a read option offense.

Possible Destinations:

Mike Glennon has had private workouts/interviews with the Arizona Cardinals, Buffalo Bills, and Chicago Bears. There has also been connection to the New York Jets.

Best Fit:

Arizona. New Cardinals HC Bruce Arians wants to establish a power running game with a vertical passing attack. Ideally, the Cardinals will solidify their OL with the top lineman available at #7 and then select Glennon in round 2 to develop behind Carson Palmer. Glennon has the arm talents to get the most out of Larry Fitzgerald and Michael Floyd and his arm strength will stretch the field for the duo of Rashard Mendenhall and Ryan Williams.

Prediction:

Mike Glennon will be the 38th pick in the draft by the Arizona Cardinals. GM Steve Keim and HC Bruce Arians will put their stamp on the future of the franchise on Mike Glennon. Glennon has some development to do and Carson Palmer will run the show while Glennon prepares.

 

Landry Jones – 6’4 225 lbs. – Oklahoma

2012 Statistics:

66.1 completion %, 4,272 yards, 30 TD’s, 11 Int’s.

Positives:

Started and won a lot of football games. Amazing production. Excellent size. Very strong arm with exceptional arm talent and accuracy. Shows excellent anticipation and throws players open. Mature with leadership qualities.

Negatives:

Makes too many “WTF” throws. Accuracy was inconsistent while under pressure. Did not win enough big games and had too many costly turnovers. Was taken off the field in goal-line situations.

Schematic fits:

He is not a threat to run the ball, but his throwing talent is as impressive as you can find in this draft class. He can throw with timing, anticipation, touch, and power. Fits a vertical offense best, but has some west coast potential.

Possible Destinations:

Landry Jones had a private workout with the Bills, but also spent time with the Bengals, Browns, Cardinals, Chiefs, Chargers, Jaguars, and Steelers.

Best Fit:

Kansas City. Andy Reid is one of the best QB guru’s in NFL history. Landry Jones has a similar skillset but is a better prospect than Nick Foles was a year ago. Foles went to Reid and the Eagles in the 3rd round and exceeded expectations while having one of the better pre-seasons in the NFL. Jones would sit behind Alex Smith for the 2013 season and could challenge for the starting spot in 2014.

Prediction:

The Chiefs will trade OT Brandon Albert on draft day and acquire an additional 2nd rounder which they will use on Oklahoma QB Landry Jones. The most likely scenario currently is the Dolphins trading their #54 pick for the Albert, which lines up with where Jones draft slotting should place him.

 

Tyler Bray – 6’6 232 lbs. – Tennessee

2012 Statistics:

59.4 completion %, 3,612 yards, 34 TD’s, 12 Int’s.

Positives:

Strong arm with the ability to throw with touch. Great frame at 6’6. Young and still improving. Excellent production.

Negatives:

Maturity issues plagued his time in Knoxville. Wildly inconsistent due to poor mechanics. Questionable character and leadership ability. Needs to add strength and bulk. Accuracy issues. Long term project.

Schematic Fits:

Vertical offense. He has the talent to play in a timing based offense with west coast roots, but the NFL does not offer that type of patience. His skillset and his inability to process information quickly keep him limited.

Possible Destinations:

Tyler Bray has had private meetings/interviews/workouts with the Buffalo Bills, Kansas City Chiefs, Oakland Raiders, Philadelphia Eagles, Pittsburgh Steelers, and Tennessee Titans.

Best Fit:

Pittsburgh. While on the outside, it looks like a terrible decision to put to “knuckle heads” like Ben Roethlisberger and Tyler Bray together, it is a very good match. Ben would be an excellent mentor having dealt with maturity/off-field issues himself and the Steelers can offer the type of stable organization with a strong locker room that could help develop Bray and keep him on the right path.

Prediction:

The Oakland Raiders will use the 66th pick in the 3rd round to draft Tyler Bray. GM Reggie McKenzie and HC Dennis Allen will fall in love with Bray’s talent and sit him behind Matt Flynn and Terrelle Pryor until he’s ready for the job. OC Greg Olsen was instrumental in Josh Freeman’s development in Tampa and would be a nice fit for Bray.

 

Matt Scott – 6’2 213 lbs. – Arizona

2012 Statistics:

60.3 completion %, 3,620 yards, 27 TD’s, 14 Int’s, 506 rush yards, 6 TD’s.

Positives:

Very strong arm and a quick release. A duel threat QB capable of extending plays with his feet. A weapon with the ball in his hands. Very productive. Strong locker room presence, and very intelligent.

Negatives:

Accuracy issues due to mechanics. Questionable decision making. Inexperienced with only 1 year of starting experience. Needs to get bigger in order to withstand NFL hits. Does not throw with touch consistently.

Schematic Fits:

Very versatile. Has the arm talent to make every NFL throw, but also is a talented runner and can make pays with his feet. Vertical, west coast, timing based, read option, he can fit into any of them. He just needs development.

Possible Destinations:

Matt Scott had private meetings/interviews/workouts with the Buffalo Bills, Denver Broncos, Cleveland Browns,  Arizona Cardinals, San Diego Chargers, Philadelphia Eagles, and Seattle Seahawks.

Best Fit:

Seattle. Scott has a very similar game to current Seahawk starter Russell Wilson. HC Pete Carroll and OC Darrell Bevell did an excellent job of gearing their offense towards Wilson’s skillset and they wouldn’t have to alter their playbook at all for Scott. Scott could be a perfect fit behind Wilson in Seattle while developing into potential trade bait or simply an upper echelon back up.

Prediction:

The New York Jets will use their 3rd round pick, #72 overall on the athletic dual threat from Arizona. The Jets are currently stock piling terrible QB’s and could stand to infuse a little talent and athleticism into the position. Scott would immediately become a fan favorite and Marty Mornhinweg’s pet project and could eventually push for playing time if the Jets struggle offensively.

 

Tyler Wilson – 6’2 215 lbs. – Arkansas

2012 Statistics:

62.1 completion %, 3,387 yards, 21 TD’s, 13 Int’s.

Positives:

One of the toughest players I have ever seen. Accurate, shows good timing and anticipation. Will hang tough in the pocket and deliver a throw. Leader. Hung tough in a bad situation his senior year. Very productive. Excellent tape from junior year.

Negatives:

Below average arm strength. Smaller stature. Average athlete. Did not live up to hype entering senior season. Has had concussion issues.

Schematic Fits:

Wilson is strictly a west coast guy. He doesn’t have the arm for a vertical offense and he’s not enough of a runner to be a read option threat. He needs to be in a timing based offense that work the short to intermediate passing game.

Possible Destinations:

Tyler Wilson has met with the Bills, Chargers, Chiefs, Eagles, Saints, and Seahawks. He visited the Buffalo Bills facility in mid april.

Best Fit:

San Diego. While Philip Rivers is bigger and more talented than Tyler Wilson, the two share a similar style of play. New HC Mike McCoy has done an excellent job of having his offense suit the talents of his signal callers and he wouldn’t need to tweak much with Wilson backing up Rivers. Both Rivers and Wilson are southern kids with quirky throwing motions and Wilson could learn a lot from Rivers.

Prediction:

I believe the New Orleans Saints are going to use their 4th round pick #109 on Arkansas QB Tyler Wilson. Wilson will be an excellent developmental option behind Drew Brees and would fit in quite well with HC Sean Payton’s scheme.

 

Zac Dysert – 6’3 231 lbs. – Miami of Ohio

2012 Statistics:

62.9 completion %, 3,483 yards, 25 TD’s, 12 int’s, 265 rush yards, 2 TD’s.

Positives:

Productive player on a bad team. Good improvisational skills. Strong arm. Sneaky athlete. Tough player who is one of the more under rated players in this draft. Leader and strong locker room presence.

Negatives:

Project. Needs a lot of work mechanically. Inconsistent, would make a difficult throw with ease and then come back and miss and easy one. Faced lower level competition.

Schematic Fits:

While you don’t want Dysert running the option, he’s very schematically versatile. He fits best in a vertical passing attack but his arm talents make him an option for a vast number of teams.

Possible Fits:

Zac Dysert has met with the Denver Broncos, Kansas City Chiefs, Indianapolis Colts, Philadelphia Eagles, and the New York Jets.

Best Fit:

Pittsburgh. While not quite as physically talented as Big Ben, Zac Dysert does play a similar style of ball as the former Redhawk and 2 time Super Bowl champion. Pittsburgh would be an ideal landing spot for Dysert so he could develop in a good situation behind a payer of similar style. Dysert has NFL starting talent and potential, and a patient franchise like Pittsburgh could see that come to fruition.

Prediction:

Tampa Bay will use the 112th pick in the 4th round to select Zac Dysert to eventually challenge Josh Freeman if he does not improve his play. With Dan Orlovsky and Adam Weber currently backing Freeman up, HC Greg Schiano will want to add a more talented player to push Freeman. Dysert could end up being a 4th round steal.

Topics: Arizona Cardinals, Buffalo Bills, Cam Newton, Carson Palmer, Cincinnati Bengals, Cleveland Browns, Denver Broncos, EJ Manuel, Geno Smith, Greg Little, Indianapolis Colts, Jacksonville Jaguars, Josh Gordon, Kansas City Chiefs, Landry Jones, Matt Barkley, Michael Floyd, Mike Glennon, New York Jets, NFL, NFL Draft 2013, Oakland Raiders, Philadelphia Eagles, Pittsburgh Steelers, Russell Wilson, Ryan Nassib, San Diego Chargers, Seattle Seahawks, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Tennessee Titans, Tony Romo, Trent Richardson, Tyler Wilson, Zac Dysert

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