1) Geno Smith – West Virginia
Perfect combination of Athleticism and Mechanics. Makes questionable decisions occasionally and has had a couple bad games recently, leaving a few questioning if he’s still the #1 QB on the board. I don’t question him.
What I see on the tape is a guy who’s forcing the ball downfield because he knows he has to score on every possession because his defense is that bad. Pro coaches will keep those tendencies under wraps, so I’m not worried. When he’s taking what the defense give him, he’s unstoppable.
2) Tyler Wilson – Arkansas
Wilson is the only other top shelf passer in this class other than Smith. Huge arm, accurate, good feet, etc. Not exceptionally mobile, but had a good picket presence. The knock on Wilson is concussion concerns. He missed games this season again, and it will be something that NFL teams will worry about.
3) Matt Barkley – USC
Barkley’s presence here has more to do with a weak QB class than his own talents. Weak arm and poor accuracy over 15 yards limit his NFL upside. Barkley is the epitome of a guy being over rated because of the tremendous talent around him.
It’s not all bad for Barkley though. He’s still got great intangibles and good accuracy on his short passes. He’d be a good fit on a west coast offense team that doesn’t expect him to throw the ball down the field much.
4) Zac Dysert – Miami (Ohio)
Dysert wont get the pub that others do because of the school he plays for, but he could easily be a 1st round QB. He’s got a big arm and quick release. He’s also got some speed and athleticism to extend plays when needed. Dysert doesn’t exactly play against top flight competition though, so I expect him to get that “needs some seasoning” label by NFL teams. Then again, a strong showing at the Senior Bowl would probably vault him over Barkley into the #3 spot.
After Dysert the talent pool drops off really quickly. There are some other players, but each is flawed in a way that likely keeps them out of being an NFL starter. Whether is a very slow release, poor accuracy, or a poor arm, none of the other players “move the meter” in terms of being a potential franchise QB.
The real problem is the increasing prevalence of the zone-read spread offenses that ask QB to run more, and to do a lot less of dropping back and reading defenses. Right now, we’re getting a much of great athletes at the position, who aren’t great passers.
Here’s my order for the rest of the draftable QBs in the class.
5) Aaron Murray – Georgia
6) Tyler Bray – Tennessee
7) EJ Manual – Florida St.
8) Mike Glennon – North Carolina St.
9) Matt Scott – Arizona
10) Brad Sorenson – Southern Utah
11) Landry Jones – Oklahoma
12) Ryan Nassib – Syracuse
I should add that I’ve seen very little of Glennon, Sorenson and Nassib. All 3 are tough to get game film on and not just highlights. That should change in the next couple weeks. Plus, all 3 should be headed to an all-star game of some sort, so that will help as well.