The 2013 NFL Draft is quickly approaching and it will come even faster after Super Bowl XLVII (a.k.a. HarBowl) between the Baltimore Ravens and San Francisco 49ers is over. Aside from those two, many teams will be looking for a quarterback in this year’s draft, but they’d be foolish to take one in the first round.
Don’t be fooled by the recent success of players like Cam Newton, Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III–taking a quarterback in the first round is not a guarantee of franchise revitalization (see Couch, Tim and Leaf, Ryan). That’s never been truer than it is in 2013.
Had he entered the 2012 NFL Draft following his junior year with the USC Trojans, Matt Barkley would have been a first-round pick. In fact, he probably would have challenged Griffin for the second overall pick after Luck and at least knock Ryan Tannehill down the draft board at No. 8. However, Barkley’s senior year drastically deflated his draft stock, even to the point he probably won’t be taken in the first round this year.
Two other names floating around are the West Virginia Mountaineers‘ Geno Smith and the Arkansas Razorbacks‘ Tyler Wilson. Considering the instant success athletic passers like Newton and Griffin have experienced in the past two seasons, it’s easy for fans, coaches and scouts to get excited about a player like Smith, but he’s fool’s gold. He doesn’t have the pocket presence of a Newton or Griffin and he certainly can’t progress through his reads like those players.
Wilson is a flyer who could go earlier than expected just because of his raw upside, but don’t bank on it. Put simply, there are no first-round-caliber passers in the year’s draft. If your favorite team is fooled by unlikely possibilities of a guy like Smith, it’ll be in the same boat again this time next year.