The current rookie class of Qbs is pushing the class of 1983 in terms of quality, they certainly have exceeded that legendary class with their early play. This, combined with the rising importance of the QB position even from its already lofty heights thanks to the rise of passing attacks, is going to lead to an effect which will cause rising value of Qb prospects in the 2013 draft. While guys like Geno Smith and Tyler Wilson are probably near-locks to go as top 6 picks now(barring bad combines, etc), it is instructive to look at the two tiers of other Qb prospects who should be in the upcoming NFL draft. Tier 1, I will call “the stretches” since their value will be distorted by rg3/luck/etc. Tier 2, I will call “the bargain bin” that teams will be rustling through for the next Russell Wilson.
The Stretches(aka, start looking for homes in Buffalo, Philly, New York City or Phoenix):
1-Matt Barkley Southern Cal. Started the season with top 3 pick potential and has done nothing but crap all over it. In any normal Qb draft market, he would be a low 1st-high 2nd round pick. Maybe late 2nd with a bad combine. Now I highly doubt he gets past the mid first with Buffalo, Cards and Jets looking for a young Qb to build around.
2-Tajh Boyd Clemson Community College. The biggest beneficiary of the rise of RG3. He has a live arm, mobility and can run when needed. Also he’s put up gaudy stats in what is still seen(for now) as a legitimate college football conference. Watch his tape against South Carolina and you’ll see a lawnchair who folds under pressure. In any other year, he’d be a mid 3rd round pick, in this draft market he could be a low 1st round pick with a good combine. Buffalo looks like a spot for him with Spiller there already.
3-Landry Jones Oklahoma. He does well against bad defenses and outside of big games. I’m sure he also interviews well and does great in shorts. Last year, he flirted with coming out but got a bad grade(low 2nd or lower) so he stayed. This year, he could easily be the 3rd Qb taken in the mid 1st.
4-EJ Manuel FSU. Tajh Boyd-lite. Mobile, big arm, smart and with great physical tools. Struggles badly with non-ACC defenses. His propensity for turnovers would usually mean he’s a development pick in round 3. This year, he could get into the mid 2nd.
5-Aaron Murray UGA. Questionable whether he comes out, I think he’s leaning towards doing so especially since the Dawgs are going to lose a ton of talent on defense. Another weak defense Qb and big questions about his height. He’d be a 4th or 5th rounder in a sane Qb market. He’ll be a high 3rd in the craziness of the 2013 draft.
The Bargain Bin
1-Colin Klein K-State. He needs work as a passer(especially arm strength), but someone will be crazy enough to think that running him a ton and short passes could work. A team with an older Qb looking for a prospect to develop could jump all over him(Saints?) in the 4th round.
2-Ryan Nassib Syracuse. Live arm and a great head. You’ll hear the word “potential” a lot with him on draft day. Feels like a 3rd rounder when he usually would be a 5th.
3-Mike Glennon NC State. Big, strong, smart and productive. Not athletic and some questions about his personality. He’ll go below Nassib but expect some action on him in the 4th round.
4-Zac Dysert Miami(OH). Any other draft and he’s some 7th round project that a coach sees a hard working experienced backup in. With a 63% completion percentage and a decent arm, you’re going to see some action on him in the 3rd round.
5-Matt Scott Arizona. Maybe Pat White 2.0 but teams won’t be scared off due to the Parcells Turd Ferguson which the Pat White pick was. 4-5th rounder, maybe a fast riser with a great combine.
At the end of the day, there’s not much else available for teams looking for a young QB to potentially build around except in the draft. The FA market is slim with guys like Matt Moore, Chase Daniel and not much else. The trade market, which will be shaky with so many bad moves in the recent past(kolb, etc) seems to be limited to Tebow, Cousins(if the skins will move him), Matt Flynn(available cheap) or if the Bolts will part with Rivers(they won’t). This is why you have GMs like Buddy Nix openly talking about trading up for a rookie QB and a lot of interest in the Qb class for 2013-especially with those Qbs who may jump into the draft or not. The only way the market can go is up, if Boyd and Murray stay in school then everyone else’s value shoots up. If they both come out, you’re still going to see them far too high then they would any other season.
Call it the Rg3/Luck/Wilson effect.