We are just under a month away from the NFL draft, which means everyone is evaluating the talent on their team and discussing where the biggest area of need is. For some teams that is a short conversation, the likes of the 49’ers and the Broncos can pick just the one or two positions and be done. Unfortunately for other teams like the Jaguars and the Jets it’s a much longer conversation. So we are going to look through each position, highlight the players who are currently on the roster and then give it a need score out of 10. Also looking at some players we can look at come late April. In the first edition, we look at the Quarterback position.
Draft Outlook: That is painful reading, we have a veteran who hasn’t played in two years, a former starter who has 0% confidence and couldn’t hit a 5 yard crossing pattern. A Quarterback that isn’t really a Quarterback. A former NCAA champion who doesn’t have an NFL arm and Matt Simms.
2013 is a very odd year; there are some who think that it could be the first year since the mid 90’s that a QB doesn’t go round one. I don’t agree because I don’t think Geno Smith gets out the first round. He ran a very good 40 time at the combine and then completed 60/64 passes on his scripted throwing session at his pro day. However the further we go along in the process, the more you hear about his flaws. Also the further we go, the more veterans are signed. Kansas go with Smith, Buffalo go with Kolb, looks like Oakland will go with Flynn and rumour is Arizona will push for Palmer. Of course this doesn’t mean they can’t draft a QB, it just means the need may not be quite as important.
If Geno were to fall to #9 would the Jets consider him? I would say they would have to. If you look at his body of work, and the need we have at the position – it would be very difficult to overlook him. He shows good accuracy and he makes good decisions, something we are not used to with the Jets. He isn’t an elite talent like RG3 or Andrew Luck but he can extend plays with his legs, he moves through his progressions well keeping his eyes downfield. He did have two superb receivers to work with in Tavon Austin and Stedman Bailey, but you could argue that he made them better just as they made him better.
However let us not run the risk of thinking that Geno Smith is the only quarterback in this draft worth looking at. Below I present my big board of Quarterbacks along with the projected round I expect them to be taken.
So let’s say Geno is gone at #9, and I think Barkley either goes very late first or very early 2nd. That means next up is Nassib. Now that Doug Marrone is the head coach in Buffalo, I fully expect them to select Nassib in the 2nd. Rumours are that they are very impressed with him and now his former Syracuse coach is in charge up north in Buffalo, it makes a lot of sense for them to invest in a QB to challenge Kolb.
EJ Manuel is the next guy up, a player that has all the raw physical tools to be a top Quarterback. The problem isn’t with his 6-5, 235lb frame, his strong arm or his athletic ability to extend plays with his legs. It’s his decision making ability and poor decisions. There is a lot to like but there is also a lot to dislike. I would have to be very confident in the prospect of him being coached up to make him my 2nd round selection however. Ultimately, I don’t think the Jets want to take another Quarterback who struggles with decisions and throws into double or triple coverage.
This then takes us into that 3rd and 4th round range. The likes of Mike Glennon (unpolished), Tyler Bray (Immature), Landry Jones (arm strength?) and Tyler Wilson (Inconsistent). There are no can’t miss prospects here. Tyler Bray has one of the strongest arms I have ever seen, but he has the mental make-up of Ryan Leaf and not half the talent. Mike Glennon and Tyler Wilson just don’t fill you with any confidence that they will be able to lead your team. Landry Jones, well he just doesn’t show that zip when throwing to the sidelines, and that concerns me. None of these prospects really do it for me, so I hope that the Jets pass on them all.
Now we get into the wildcard region, the likes of Matt Scott, Zac Dysert and a board favourite Sean Renfree. Now Matt Scott really interests me, as a duel-threat quarterback he fits in with where the NFL is going, but despite his ability to make plays with his legs – he also has a strong arm and good touch on his passes. He is a little small for the position. You then have Zac Dysert, the breaker of Big Ben’s college records. He shows a lot of accuracy and a great toughness. The problem? He played nearly exclusively out of the shotgun and had simplified reads. Can he run a pro-style offence? That’s the question that most GM’s will be asking heading into the draft. Sean Renfree is currently rehabbing a shoulder injury, but he showed good accuracy and arm strength while at Duke, his numbers however are mediocre. However as Scott pointed out in his article, his supporting cast at Duke was terrible. If the Jets are going to select a Quarterback in this draft and its not Geno Smith, I hope it comes from this crop of talent, using a 5th-7th round selection.
So there we have it, my look at the 2013 Quarterback class. The Jets have a 10/10 need at this position but shouldn’t reach for average talent, instead making a wildcard selection their choice.
- 1) Geno Smith (West Virginia) – Top 10
- 2) Matt Barkley (USC) – 2nd Round
- 3) Ryan Nassib (Syracuse) – 2rd Round
- 4) EJ Manuel (Florida State) – 2nd Round
- 5) Mike Glennon (North Carolina State) – 3rd Round
- 6) Tyler Wilson (Arkansas) – 3rd Round
- 7) Tyler Bray (Tennessee) – 4th Round
- 8) Landry Jones (Oklahoma) – 4th Round
- 9) Zac Dysert (Miami OH) – 5th Round
- 10) Matt Scott (Arizona) – 5th Round
- 11) Sean Renfree (Duke) – 6th Round
- 12) Jordan Rodgers (Vanderbilt) – 7th Round
- 13) Colby Cameron (Louisiana Tech) – 7th Round
- 14) Colin Klein (Kansas) – 7th Round