2013 NFL Rookie QB Preview

Draft weekend has come and gone for the 2013 quarterback class and for majority of them, it was a disappointment. While many considered it a down year for quarterbacks mainly due to a lack of a consensus #1, it was considered a deep class in terms of legit NFL talent. After EJ Manuel was the lone 1st round QB, only two more went on Friday night, Geno Smith in round 2 and Mike Glennon in round 3. Several QB’s went off of the board on the final day, with Matt Barkley, Ryan Nassib, Tyler Wilson, and Landry Jones headlining a busy 4th round. The success of each of these players will largely depend on their surroundings and whether or not they’re a good fit with the team that drafted them.


16. Buffalo Bills – EJ Manuel, QB, Florida State

Why was he drafted here?

Potential. EJ Manuel has off the charts ability, it simply needs to be developed. The Buffalo Bills were willing to gamble on Manuel developing into a franchise QB because of his character and intangibles. He has steadily risen up draft boards since a strong showing in the Senior Bowl, and he aced the interview process.

QB’s on the Depth Chart:

Kevin Kolb and Tarvaris Jackson. Both veterans with starting ability and experience. Kevin Kolb will enter camp atop the depth chart, but there will be a 3 way camp battle for the starting job.

Coaching/System fit:

Doug Marrone and Buddy Nix made a bold move in trading down and selecting Manuel as their QB of the future. Rumor has it that Marrone is planning on having the read option be a primary offensive focus. The selection of the athletic Manuel is even more evidence in support of that belief. EJ Manuel is a proto-type NFL read option QB. He has the size to withstand NFL hits, the athleticism to make plays with his feet, and the arm talent to keep safeties back and defenses honest.

2013 Expectations:

High. From the ouside world, EJ Manuel will have very high expectations coming into this season, but from the Bills front office and coaching staff, it will be a little more reasonable. While it’s not impossible that Manuel outplays both Kolb and Jackson in the pre-season and earns his way onto the field, it’s not necessary. Buffalo would be wise to let Kolb and Jackson take the hits behind a shaky offensive line while breaking in a trio of young receivers. Allowing Manuel to develop at his own pace and strengthening the team around him will only improve his chances of success when he does take over full time.

Long term prognosis:

Good. I like the fit for EJ and it is always better for a player to have the HC and GM hitching their cart to your success. On paper, EJ has a GM who has been looking for a franchise QB and a HC who is catering his offense to his skillset. If the Bills can protect the QB, get a legit #2 WR to step up opposite Stevie Johnson, and keep CJ Spiller and Fred Jackson healthy, they will have an explosive and formidable offense very quickly.


39. New York Jets – Geno Smith, QB West Virginia

Why was he drafted here?

Questions about his intangibles, accuracy, and drop in production after a hot start led to Geno Smith falling out of round 1 completely. Jason LaCanfora had even guaranteed Smith would be a top 10 pick as recently as early April. The Jets were rumored to be looking at Smith with one of their 2 first round picks and once Buffalo took Ej Manuel over Smith at #16, it was a free fall.

QB’s on the Depth Chart:

Mark Sanchez, David Garrard, Greg McElroy, and Matt Simms. The Mark Sanchez era ended when the Jets benched the former Trojan late in the season, his contract is the only reason he remains on the roster. The job will belong to Geno Smith by the end of the season, but the Jets are hoping a healthy David Garrard can allow Smith to sit and develop at a comfortable pace. McElroy and Simms could be fighting for the 3rd QB spot with or without Mark Sanchez.

Coaching/System fit:

This is a tough spot for Smith to land in. While I love Marty Mornhenwig’s ability to develop quarterbacks and think that Smith will ultimately be a good fit for the west coast offense, Rex Ryan is on his last legs in New York and a new coaching staff could be on its way.

2013 Expectations:

Low. Smith has a chance to start from day 1, but the offensive line issues and a lack of playmakers at WR and TE will place too much on the Shoulders of the rookie QB. While Mark Sanchez is widely thought of as a poor starting QB and an ineffective player, the Jets have not given him much to work with.

Long term prognosis:

Not good. Geno Smith is experiencing what Brandon Weeden went through in Cleveland a year ago. Auditioning for the starting QB of the future with what could be a lame duck coaching staff. What makes it harder for Smith, is the lack of help he’ll have on the offensive side of the ball. With the pressure always high in New York, Smith will not get the benefit of the doubt, nor will he be afforded patience from decision makers. GM John Idzik will be in his corner, but a new coaching staff could be staring at Teddy Bridgewater in the top 3 next season.


73. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Mike Glennon, QB, North Carolina State

Why was he drafted here?

Inconsistent decision making and ball security were the main reasons for Mike Glennon falling into the middle of round 3. A lack of mobility and athleticism didn’t help this pure pocket passer either. One of the most gifted passers in the draft, Glennon could turn out to be a steal in round 3.

QB’s on the Depth Chart:

Mike Glennon will join Josh Freeman, Dan Orlovsky, and Adam Weber on the QB depth chart in Tampa Bay. Freeman has been Tampa’s starting QB since taking over late in his rookie season of 2009, but when HC Greg Schiano and GM Mark Dominik failed to offer him a contract extension, he was put on notice.

Coaching/System fit:

Glennon is entering a pretty advantageous position in Tampa. Josh Freeman is the starting QB in Tampa, and they are going to let Glennon develop as insurance in case Freeman proves unworthy of a second contract. The Bucs employ a ball control, power running offense with elements of a vertical passing game. Glennon, like Freeman, has a very strong arm capable of keeping safeties deep and defenses from crowding the line of scrimmage.

2013 Expectations:

Very low. He’ll compete with Orlovsky and Weber for back up duties, but Glennon shouldn’t take regular season snaps unless injury or complete ineffectiveness. If Freeman falters, Glennon could enter 2014 as the unchallenged starter or he could be carrying a clipboard for the next 4 years.

Long term prognosis:

Good, but whether or not it will be in Tampa remains to be seen. Glennon has as much potential as any QB in this class, his exceptional size and elite arm talent separate him from the Matt Barkley, Geno Smith, and Ryan Nassib’s of the world. If developed properly, Glennon could have a lengthy and productive career as an NFL starter. How quickly that happens depends on Josh Freeman.


98. Philadelphia Eagles – Matt Barkley, QB, USC

Why was he drafted here?

Why Matt Barkley fell to the top of the 4th round is a mystery. Everyone understands why he fell out of the first round, but dropping all the way to round 4 was very surprising. The lack of an elite NFL arm, limited mobility, and a down year at USC all aided his draft weekend free fall. But 2 names also aided Matt Barkley descent, fair or unfair, the failures of Matt Leinart and Mark Sanchez hurt Barkley’s draft stock as much as anything.

QB’s on the Depth Chart:

Michael Vick, Nick Foles, and Dennis Dixon round out the Eagles depth chart. Foles and Vick will battle for the starting job while Barkley will more than likely edge out Dennis Dixon for the #3 QB.

Coaching/System fit:

Chip Kelly faced Matt Barkley 4 times while coaching at Oregon and he saw firsthand that the former USC Trojan was capable of picking a defense a part. Since no one really knows what Chip Kelly’s offensive scheme will look like, it’s tough to say whether or not Barkley will ultimately be a good fit. Having said that, Matt Barkley is well equipped to run an up tempo spread offense. His accuracy and ability to throw receivers open will fit in well with the Eagles offensive weaponry.

2013 Expectations:

Low. Realistically, Barkley won’t get much of an opportunity outside of the pre-season to showcase his abilities. With Michael Vick and Nick Foles being the clubhouse leaders for the starting job, things are going to have to go all kinds of wrong for Barkley to see regular season snaps.

Long term prognosis:

Matt Barkley was an absolute steal in the 4th round. When he inevitably gets an opportunity to run with the first team, he will take advantage of it. That’s the type of player and leader he is. An underrated arm and a fantastic football acumen will lead Barkley on a long career in the NFL.


110. New York Giants – Ryan Nassib, QB, Syracuse

Why was he drafted here?

Nassib fell into the middle of the 4th round due to a lack of elite arm strength, and fair or unfair, it did not look good for him that his old college coach Doug Marrone went with QB EJ Manuel instead. In fact, Marrone and the Bills were rumored to prefer Geno Smith and Matt Barkley over Nassib as well.

QB’s on the Depth Chart:

Eli Manning, David Carr, Ryan Perrilloux. Manning is entrenched as the Giants starting QB and he will most likely hold that position until he retires. He’s among the top 10 QB’s in the NFL and a two time Super Bowl winner. Nassib will battle David Carr for the back-up job, and if Nassib wins, Carr may be out of a job with the cheaper Perrilloux kept as the 3rd developmental QB.

Coaching/System fit:

While Nassib is not a perfect fit for the Giants vertical passing attack, he has enough arm to utilize the deep ball. If Nassib is to be anything more than a career back-up he’ll have to find a starting gig elsewhere. Learning under Kevin Gilbride and watching Eli Manning go to work every day should only help Nassib as he prepares to be an NFL starter.

2013 Expectations:

None. If Nassib sees a snap in the regular season, the Giants are either involved in a blow out or Eli Manning has been injured. Nassib should see plenty of action in the pre-season, but that’s all that should be counted on.

Long term prognosis:

It all depends on how he performs in the pre-season/spot starts. If Nassib can play well and lead a successful offensive attack, he could become the next Matt Flynn or Kevin Kolb. The unfortunate thing for Nassib is that Eli Manning is one of the more durable players at his position and is still relatively young. The Giants didn’t draft Nassib with the intentions of him seeing the field without disaster striking and NFL teams are not likely to invest much in a player who does not possess elite physical traits.


112. Oakland Raiders – Tyler Wilson, QB, Arkansas

Why was he drafted here?

The entire Arkansas program went into a tailspin heading into the 2012 season and that included Tyler Wilson. A nightmare Senior season combined with a lack of elite measurables and a concerning concussion history paved the way for Wilson to drop from a potential first rounder to the 4th round.

QB’s on the Depth Chart:

Matt Flynn and Terrelle Pryor. The Raiders traded for Flynn prior to the draft to battle Pryor, the 3rd year pro out of Ohio State, for the starting QB job. Flynn and Wilson are very similar in terms of skill set and playing style, the true wildcard is how much Pryor can develop as a passer. Though, judging by the 2 QB’s that GM Reggie McKenzie and HC Dennis Allen have selected, it would appear that Pryor may be on the outside looking in.

Coaching/System fit:

Offensive coordinator Greg Olson is bringing a power running offense which utilizes a lot of play action and downfield passing. Wilson could fit into this offense quite well if he can cut down on his turnovers and “gunslinger” mentality. While Wilson does not have a strong arm, he is very accurate and anticipates quite well.

2013 Expectations:

Very low. Wilson will not be competing for a starting job unless both Pryor and Flynn fall flat on their faces, which is not out of the question. But given the lack of weapons, shaky offensive line, and a swiss cheese defense, Wilson will be thrown to the wolves if asked to start as a rookie.

Long term prognosis:

Not good. The Oakland Raiders as a franchise have done their best to destroy QB careers since Rich Gannon retired back in 2005. Maybe Reggie McKenzie and Dennis Allen can get the Raiders back on the right track, but they have a long way to go before they get their talent caught up to speed. Tyler Wilson could eventually thrive in Oakland if he’s able to sit and develop as a rookie and then battle for the starting job with an improved supporting cast heading into 2014.


115. Pittsburgh Steelers – Landry Jones, QB, Oklahoma

Why was he drafted here?

Landry Jones is as interesting a draft prospect as you could find. He was a 50 game starter in a BCS conference, one of the most productive QB’s in NCAA history, and has proto-type size and arm strength. Inconsistency, questionable decision making, and an odd role in which he’s taken off of the field inside the 5 yard line were the main factors pushing Jones down on draft day.

QB’s on the Depth Chart:

Ben Roethlisberger and Bruce Gradkowski. The 2 time Super Bowl champion Ben Roethlisberger is an unquestioned starter and he should remain one until he retires. The problem for Pittsburgh is that Big Ben is injury prone due to his punishing style of play and the Steelers below average offensive line of late. Gradkowski should provide a decent challenge for Jones for the back-up job.

Coaching/System fit:

While Jones doesn’t have the nimble feet of Roethlisberger, he does have the big frame and strong arm. Steelers offensive coordinator Todd Haley has been attempting to implement more horizontal passing in order to minimize turnovers and kick start the running game. Jones does not have any scheme limitations as far as his arm talent in concerned.

2013 Expectations:

Minimal. Landry Jones does not pose any threat to Roethlisberger’s starting position, but he could see some spot duty if Big Ben were to continue his injury plagued ways. Jones should get quite a bit of playing time the pre-season and every chance to win the #2 QB job.

Long term prognosis:

Solid. Jones is a pro style QB who understands offensive concepts, anticipates, and can throw receivers open. He has a strong arm, but can throw with touch and good ball placement. With Roethlisberger seemingly always banged up, Jones could see the field sooner than anyone realizes and the Steelers as an organization are as good as it gets.


234. Denver Broncos – Zac Dysert, QB, Miami of Ohio

Why was he drafted here?

Zac Dysert was a victim of being a small school QB with inconsistent tape. Blessed with size, athleticism, and arm talent, Dysert apparently failed to impress in pre-draft interviews.

QB’s on the Depth Chart:

Peyton Manning and Brock Osweiler. Peyton Manning is a first ballot Hall of Famer and the clear cut starter. Brock Osweiler was hand picked last season to succeed Manning who is rapidly approaching the end of the line. Dysert will either serve as the #3 QB or Denver would hope to put him through waivers and land a spot on the practice squad.

Coaching/System fit:

Dysert fits what Denver wants to do offensively quite well. Capable of making stick throws, touch passes, and an accurate deep ball, there isn’t a player in Denver’s receiving corps that would be hurt by Dysert’s skillset.

2013 Expectations:

None. He’ll get plenty of pre-season action, but he shouldn’t challenge Brock Osweiler for the back-up job. He has almost no chance of seeing the field during the regular season.

Long term prognosis:

Despite the very low first year expectations for Dysert, Denver is an excellent situation for him. Once Manning retires, he will back up Brock Osweiler but could put up a fight for the starting job. Dysert would be leading an offensive unit with a strong OL,  very good WR group, and with the addition of Montee Ball what should be a steady running attack. Dysert could not have asked for a better situation.

Topics: 2013 Nfl Draft, Buffalo Bills, Chip Kelly, Denver Broncos, EJ Manuel, Geno Smith, Landry Jones, Matt Barkley, Mike Glennon, Nc State Wolfpack, New York Giants, New York Jets, NFL, NFL Draft, Oakland Raiders, Philadelphia Eagles, Pittsburgh Steelers, Quarterbacks, Ryan Nassib, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Tyler Wilson, USC Trojan, West Virginia Mountaineers, Zac Dysert

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