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2013 NFL Draft: What to Make of the Quarterbacks

January 31st, 2013 at 11:08 PM
By Donald Lappe

As Super Bowl XLVII draws near, the 2013 NFL Draft is just around the corner. Quarterbacks always come under the microscope and are probably the most-scrutinized position in any NFL Draft, mainly because we have witnessed the impact a big-time quarterback can have on a franchise, as well as how much of a detriment missing on a quarterback with a high pick can be. This year's crop of quarterbacks set to be taken early in the 2013 NFL Draft is made up of Geno Smith, Tyler Bray, Matt Barkley and Ryan Nassib.

The 2013 NFL Draft doesn't feature a show stopper at the top of the list, such as Andrew Luck or Robert Griffin III last year. That has created much more fluid situation at the top of the board, with other positions making their way into the top two or three selections and possibly pushing the quarterbacks out of the top five selections. That makes it very difficult to really project the first round, as teams near the top such as the Kansas City Chiefs could use a quarterback, but would be especially hurt by missing if they reach for a quarterback with the first overall selection.

Geno Smith has been widely accepted as the top quarterback in the class. He thrived in a pass-happy offense under Dana Holgorsen as West Virginia, though against some of the better defenses he was held in check. Geno Smith finished his collegiate career with some gaudy numbers, but he's not a polished product. It remains to be seen how well he can work through a progression and adapt to a pro system as opposed to the simplified reads he benefited from in the spread offense.

Tyler Bray has the physical tools and looks like the prototypical NFL quarterback. The Tennessee quarterback is 6'6" and has an extremely strong arm. Tyler Bray is the kind of physical athlete that scouts drool over, but that doesn't always foretell NFL success. There have been plenty of quarterbacks with similar measurables who have burned out and plenty of with lesser tools who have ascended to the top over the course of their careers. 

Matt Barkley was projected as the No. 1 overall pick before the start of the 2012 season. Even back to the day after the 2012 NFL Draft, many pundits tabbed Matt Barkley as the best college prospect when looking ahead to the 2013 NFL Draft. He's the perfect example of the fickle nature of the draft process. Over the course of his senior season at USC, Matt Barkley went from future No. 1 overall selection to somewhat of an afterthought. His drop in the 2013 NFL Draft is an example of why many players jump at the chance to leave for the NFL after their junior year if their stock is high.

Ryan Nassib is a name that has started to surface more recently. The Syracuse quarterback has good size at 6'2", 228, and his impressive senior season has him quickly rising up the draft board. Ryan Nassib is the most complete quarterback prospect out of Syracuse since Donovan McNabb in 1999, and it's becoming more and more likely that he will be a first round selection.

That's just a quick look at the 2013 NFL Draft quarterback class. There are others, such as Tyler Wilson of Arkansas and Mike Glennon of N.C. State. Stay with us here at On The Clock 101 as we will be profiling each of these quarterbacks individually.

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Tags: 2012 NFL Draft, 2013 NFL Draft, Andrew Luck, Geno Smith, Matt Barkley, NFL, NFL Draft, Robert Griffin III, Ryan Nassib, Syracuse, Tennessee, Tyler Bray, USC, West Virginia

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