A solid senior class with future franchise QBs Matt Barkley and Tyler Wilson at the top, and a trio of QBs who offer some intrigue and upside with Geno Smith, EJ Manuel, and Brad Sorenson. Keep an eye on sleepers Sean Renfree of Duke and Zac Dysert of Miami(OH).
These rankings are extremely fluid, especially this early in the season and will change constantly throughout the process. Juniors will be added as they begin to declare for the draft.
1. Matt Barkley, USC, 6’2 220: Top 10 (Scouting Report)
-Barkley turned down a shot at becoming a likely Top 10 pick last April and enters this season as the top prospect at the QB position. Ceiling isn’t that high, but runs the pro-style very effectively at USC, and should become a solid franchise QB at the next level.
-Wilson has a higher ceiling than Barkley, but can he prove his value without his head coach and three receivers to the NFL. Don’t be surprised if Wilson is the #1 QB prospect and Top 5 pick in April.
3. Geno Smith, West Virginia, 6’3 214: 1st/2nd Round
– Smith enters this season with tons of hype. He possesses a world of potential and athletic ability that scouts crave. Needs to refine some aspects of his game, most notably his overall mechanics and ability to throw on the run. If he improves in these areas, he could be a day one pick in the draft.
4. EJ Manuel, Florida State, 6’5 235: Day 2 Prospect
– Manuel is loaded with physical ability, but is extremely raw, especially once you start projecting him to the next level. 2012 is a big year towards his development as a NFL quarterback.
5. Landry Jones, Oklahoma, 6’ 4 230: Day 2 Prospect
-Jones’ stock took a step in the wrong direction last season as his production fell across the board. His size and big arm are intriguing, but has several weaknesses that must be addressed.
6. Brad Sorenson, Southern Utah, 6’ 4 235: Day 2 Prospect
-A former BYU Cougar, Sorenson has dominated at the lower levels. A multiple award winner for the Thunderbirds, Sorenson’s size, arm strength, and upside will garner plenty attention from NFL scouts.
7. Ryan Nassib, Syracuse, 6’2 230: Day 2 Prospect
-Has improved each year on campus. Shows good mechanics and has the ability to make all the throws at the next level, but tends to panic under pressure and force bad throws. Should become only the third Syracuse QB to get drafted since 1945.
8. Matt Scott, Arizona, 6’3 198: Day 2 Prospect
-Inexperienced as a starter and playing in Rich Rodriguez’s spread system could hurt his draft value. Does however offer solid athletic ability and underrated arm strength.
9. Sean Renfree, Duke, 6’4 225: Day 3 Prospect
-Renfree has a solid combination of measurable, great arm strength, and intelligence. Won’t get the hype playing at Duke, but is a pure pocket-passer who should develop into an NFL caliber QB.
10. Mike Glennon, North Carolina St, 6’4 225: Day 3 Prospect
-Glennon is a guy I expect to rise has the year progresses. Needs to become more of a consistent QB on weekly basis, but he possesses great fundamentals and a good overall feel for the game.
11. Jordan Rogers, Vanderbilt, 6’1 208: Day 3 Prospect
Recap: (South Carolina)
-The younger brother of Aaron Rodgers, Jordan is beginning to develop into a legitimate pro prospect. Doesn’t have the eye-popping stats, or the top-end measurables of his older brother, but he has shown solid development over the course of his career, and 2012 will give us a great idea of the type of prospect he is.
12. Zac Dysert, Miami (OH), 6’3 214: Day 3 Prospect
-Dysert is heading into 2012 under the radar to most college football fans. The smart, hard-working QB from the same school the produced Ben Roethlisberger has the arm strength, and ability become a potential starter in the NFL. Dysert should rise in the rankings as the season goes on.
13. James Vandenberg, Iowa, 6’ 3 212: Day 3 Prospect
-Vandenberg is a jack-of-all-trades. Doesn’t excel in one specific area, but also lacks any true weaknesses. He has a solid physical skill set and is a natural pro-style QB. Could develop into solid #2 QB in the NFL.
14. Jeff Tuel, Washington State, 6’3 223: Day 3 Prospect
-Only started 3 games last season due to broken clavicle. With Mike Leach‘s offense now installed Tuel has a chance to show off his arm strength and earn a solid draftable grade.
15. Alex Carder, Western Michigan, 6’2 224: Day 3/PFA
-Experienced signal caller who brings toughness to the QB position. Carder must improve on his arm strength and decision making for the next level.
16. Seth Doege, Texas Tech, 6’1 200: PFA
-Doege will put up great numbers in the Red Raiders wide open attack, but needs to prove he can stay healthy and become more consistent on a weekly basis to hear is named called in the draft.
17. Collin Klein, Kansas State, 6’ 3 226: PFA
-Arguably one of the toughest QBs in this draft. Klein reminds many of Tim Tebow with his poor mechanics, and his willingness to run and take a hit. A true leader and gamer on the field, Klein has a long way to go a as QB, but due to his toughness and leadership qualities should find himself on a NFL roster next year.
18. Dayne Crist, Kansas, 6’4 235: PFA
-Crist has the arm to stick around on a NFL roster, but must stay healthy and become more consistent in what is a make or break season for him.
19. Colby Cameron, Louisiana Tech, 6’2 205: PFA
-Cameron won the starting job last season for the Bulldogs and produced solid results. Has decent arm strength and average accuracy, but aside from that offers little in terms of a pro prospect. Cameron looks indecisive and scared in the pocket when faced with pressure which is a major weakness when projecting his game to the next level.
Underclassmen to Watch
Logan Thomas, Virginia Tech, 6’6 262
Tyler Bray, Tennessee, 6’6 213
Keith Price, Washington, 6′ 1 195
Aaron Murray, Georgia, 6’1 211
AJ McCarron, Alabama, 6’4 205
Casey Pachall, TCU, 6’5 216
Zach Mettenberger, LSU, 6’5 222
Jeremy Cabler covers the NFL Draft and College Football for Rant Sports. Check out his Scouting Reports