2013 NFL Draft - The Quarterbacks

Posted Apr 10, 2013

From a college football perspective, the analysis of the top quarterback prospects.

2013 NFL Draft Position Rankings

Quarterbacks - Top 5

By Pete Fiutak
Follow Us ... @ColFootballNews 

- 2012 NFL Quarterback Rankings - No. 6-25

2014 Top QB Prospects
1. Teddy Bridgewater, Louisville (Jr.)
2. Aaron Murray, Georgia
3. A.J. McCarron, Alabama
4. Logan Thomas, Virginia Tech
5. Casey Pachall, TCU
6. Derek Carr, Fresno State
7. Brett Hundley, UCLA (Soph.)
8. Kevin Hogan, Stanford (Soph.)
9. Marcus Mariota, Oregon (Soph.)
10. Johnny Manziel, Texas A&M (Soph.)
11. Tajh Boyd, Clemson
12. Blake Bell, Oklahoma (Jr.)
13. Braxton Miller, Ohio State (Jr.)
14. Bryn Renner, North Carolina
15. David Fales, San Jose State

This Class Is … not 2012's. How do you possibly follow that up?

If you want a quarterback, you picked the wrong year to go after one, with the top options in this draft no better than fifth or sixth in last year's haul, which is partially the reason why so many stuck around for another year.

Andrew Luck has the look of an all-timer. Russell Wilson was so amazing that Seattle's monster free agent — Matt Flynn — was instantly forced to the bench. Robert Griffin III quickly became one of the biggest superstars in sports. And Ryan Tannehill and Brandon Weeden were thrown to the wolves right away for their awful teams.

This year there isn't any one guy who's a sure thing to go to a Pro Bowl, and there's definitely not anyone who looks like he will be holding up the Lombardi Trophy. However, there are some terrific upside picks with Florida State's E.J. Manuel and Tennessee's Tyler Bray — two promising options who'll be relatively cheap — while others like Oklahoma's Landry Jones and Arkansas' Tyler Wilson are decent options who could quickly grow into starters.

But there's no Luck.

No one can agree on who the sure-thing best quarterback on the lot is, and it's possible that any top 10 ranking you come up with could be flipped around and ultimately be the right order.

The Best Value Pick Will Be … E.J. Manuel, Florida State
Most Underrated … Matt Scott, Arizona
Most Overrated … Ryan Nassib, Syracuse
The Deep, Deep Sleeper Is … Kyle Frazier, Monmouth

1. Matt Barkley, USC: 6-foot-2, 227 pounds

Personality-wise, he's exactly what you want in a franchise quarterback to build around. There's no questioning his leadership, smarts, attitude or the respect factor — his teammates will follow him blindly. He has "The Guy" mentality without all the baggage.
He may not be perfect, but USC's Matt Barkley is the best QB in this class.

A pure pro-style quarterback, he has been groomed for the NFL since high school with flawless mechanics and the ability to quickly read defenses and check into the right play. Everything is in place to become an elite pro quarterback, except for some of the raw physical tools.

The arm is fine, but nothing special, and while he throws a good deep ball, he's not going to be able to rely on a fastball at the next level. He's not small, but he doesn't have the tall Tom Brady/Joe Flacco look or frame, and he doesn't get the ball out of his hands in a hurry. He's good enough to be an NFL starter, but he doesn't do any one thing at the highest level. He's more functional than fantastic, but that could be okay if he doesn't have to carry a team.

CFN Projection: First Round

2. E.J. Manuel, Florida State: 6-5, 237

If you weren't that great in college, why are you going to be special in the pros? Manuel was fine, but considering he has all the tools and talents to have been something truly special, he was a slight disappointment. With the right coach and with a little bit of patience, however, the upside is there to be the best quarterback in the draft by far. He has the right frame and the right look, and he has the perfect makeup to handle being a franchise quarterback. Very smart with a great drive and excellent leadership skills, he's the prototype in every possible way except for one issue: production.

If Manuel can get with the right offensive coordinator and quarterback coach who can do just a little bit of tweaking on his reads — the smarts are certainly there to pick up an NFL playbook — and can somehow unlock his skills and take away his tentative nature, there's a limitless upside. In this class of mediocre quarterback prospects, there's the possibility of a boom pick here for relatively cheap.

CFN Projection: Second Round

3. Geno Smith, West Virginia: 6-2, 218

Here's the problem: He's a Texas Tech-like quarterback who'll only work in the right system, and he needs a ton of tweaking to become a pro-style pocket passer who can take a deep drop and fire. He has to be in a rhythm and has to be able to make plays in a groove, and while he's not a runner in any way — despite his excellent speed — he throws well on the move and is good at improvising under a heavy rush.
Look for West Virginia's Geno Smith to get drafted way too high.

Great at keeping his eyes and head down the field, he doesn't give up on a play and will buy himself just enough time to get off the throw. More than anything else, when he's on, he's absolutely deadly at getting the ball to his guys on the move in places where they can do something with it. The arm strength isn't a question and he can make all the throws with excellent accuracy and touch, but he's not huge at just over 6-2, has smallish hands and fumbles too often. More of an ultra-productive college quarterback than a franchise-making pro star, there isn't a current NFL quarterback who necessarily translates to his style.

Don't expect Andrew Luck, RG3 or Russell Wilson. He's going to need breaking down and building back up again to get the mechanics right and into more of a pro set. The fear is Tim Couch — Smith is going to start taking more of a beating than he did in college, and while he's tough, he's going to have to get used to hanging in the pocket and getting blasted.

He'll be way overdrafted in a mediocre class of quarterbacks if the plan is to get a franchise star right away — he'd have been a late second or early third-rounder in last year's class. However, he's good enough and talented enough to hope for a big payoff in a year or three.

CFN Projection: First Round

4. Tyler Wilson, Arkansas: 6-2, 215

A football player's football player, he's a leader and field rat who is really into jacking up his team and being a "screamy" type who doesn't need help lighting the fire. With a nice arm and sound skills, he does all the little things right in his reads with the right mentality to march an offense and get the chains moving no matter what.

He's a tough-guy quarterback who'll take a big shot and seem happy about it — he gets into the whole process. It would be nice if he was 6-5 and 240. He's not small, but he's not huge, isn't a runner and has smallish hands — he doesn't really look the part. While the fire is usually a plus, he'll try to make too many things happen on "want-to" rather than work within the moment and the game, and he'll force too many throws. There's upside with time in the weight room and a little tweaking. An NFL quarterback coach is all that might be needed to be a nice get outside of the first round.
2012 CFN Prospect Rankings & Breakdowns
- QBs | RBs | WRs | TEs
- Cs | OTs | OGs | DTs
- ILBs | OLBs | CBs | Ss

2011 CFN Prospect Rankings & Breakdowns
- QBs | RBs | FBs | WRs
- TEs | OTs | OGs | Cs 
- OLBs | ILBs | DTs | DEs
- CBs | Ss  

2010 CFN Position Rankings & Analysis

- QBs | RBs | WRs | TEs
- Cs | OTs | OGs | DEs
- DTs | ILBs | OLBs
- Ss | CBs

CFN Projection: Second Round

5. Mike Glennon, NC State: 6-7, 225

This year's X-factor quarterback prospect, the jury is still out on what exactly Glennon can become. He's very big, very strong and very promising with a good, quick mind and pro-style tools, but there are way too many concerns to think he can become a franchise-making Super Bowl winner. Thin isn't an issue — Tom Brady and Joe Flacco have done just fine — but he needs to get into a weight room and develop a bit more.

An absolute statue, he'll never run for yards and he's not an athlete. Again, that's not the end of the world when it comes to elite NFL passers, but it would be nice if he could move a little bit.

Is he a killer? Is he the type of go-for-the-throat quarterback who'll carry a team on his back? There's enough overall talent there to be a decent starter, but he doesn't do any one thing at a high level.

CFN Projection: Second Round

- 2012 NFL Quarterback Rankings - No. 6-25