Ranking the Top 20 Quarterbacks of the 2013 NFL Draft Class
Ranking the Top 20 Quarterbacks of the 2013 NFL Draft Class
Thanks to the likes of Andrew Luck, Robert Griffin III, Russell Wilson and even Ryan Tannehill, expectations for rookie quarterbacks is beyond reason.
A lot of people are already dead set that this year's quarterback class won't be nearly as successful, and chances are, they are probably right. It doesn't mean that the group can't find some success in the league. Remember when we thought the 2006 class was going to be good because it had Jamarcus Russell and Brady Quinn? Things don't always turn out as you expect.
So there could certainly be surprises this year, we've seen crazier things happen. A young quarterback's success depends on how he's used by his coach and system. This is why a player like Griffin, who could get by on raw skills alone, won the division in his first year because Mike Shanahan was willing to scheme the Washington Redskins offense with him in mind. The same thing happened with Wilson in Seattle, but he was drafted much later.
So let's take a look at this year's class and rank them from No. 20 all the way through No. 1. By no means will this be the final order, or the order that they are drafted, but it's an idea of where each hopeful sits heading into the combine in Indianapolis, Indiana next week.
20. James Vandenberg
2012 Team: Iowa
2012 Stats: 2,249 yards 7 touchdowns 8 interceptions
After a strong Junior year, Vandenberg took a huge step back for the Hawkeyes in 2012. The team lost their last six games of the season, and those numbers that Vandenberg put up would be excusable if he had missed significant time, but he started every game.
With that said, it's likely Vandenberg is headed towards undrafted free agency and will likely shoot for a practice squad spot with any NFL team that will take him.
19. Colby Cameron
2012 Team: Louisiana Tech
2012 Stats: 4,147 yards 31 touchdowns 5 interceptions
Cameron is another player in the long line of Louisiana Tech quarterbacks to put up ridiculous numbers. As we've seen in the past, though, it normally doesn't translate into success in the NFL.
It's the same thing we've seen in the likes of Timmy Chang, Colt Brennan and Case Keenum. Big numbers against some of the worst defenses in the Football Bowl Subdivision are barely a measuring stick for how a professional career will pan out.
He's going to have a heck of a next couple of weeks to get himself into draft position, but for now, it appears he will go without a team in this year's draft.
18. Nathan Stanley
2012 Team: Southeastern Louisiana
2012 Stats: 424 yards 4 touchdowns 2 interceptions
If Stanley's name sounds familiar, it's because he started his college football career with Ole Miss. Despite not seeing much playing time with Southeastern Louisiana, some scouts have said that he has raw talent that could be developed. Although it's a long shot that he is drafted, someone may take a flyer on him if he's impressive at his pro day.
He's nearly six-and-a-half feet tall, so he has size in his favor, but again, it would be a risky pick to take Stanley. Even if it is on day three of the draft.
17. Sean Renfree
2012 Team: Duke
2012 Stats: 3,113 yards 19 touchdowns 10 interceptions
It seems strange to be talking about a Duke quarterback for an upcoming draft instead of a point guard, but Renfree led the Blue Devils to a bowl game for the first time in very very long time.
They did lose their last five games, including the Belk Bowl, but Renfree had some very good games. Much like the first three players on this list, it's hard to imagine him being taken, but don't be surprised to see him get picked up in free agency shortly after the draft.
He did go to Duke, so chances are he's going to get a scout's attention with a high Wonderlic test score, and intelligence is admired by some General Managers across the league.
16. MarQueis Gray
2012 Team: Minnesota
2012 Stats: 472 yards 5 touchdowns 2 interceptions
Gray is an interesting one since he saw time at receiver for the Golden Gophers in 2012. At 6'4" and 245 pounds, he is definitely built more like a quarterback than a receiver.
If anyone is interested in at least trying out the read option phase that's sweeping the league, then it might be wise to pick up Gray in free agency. He's not going to be a starter off the bat by any means, but he will be able to showcase what he has at the combine. He's working out as a quarterback and will be able to help his stock immensely.
15. Brad Sorensen
2012 Team: Southern Utah
2012 Stats: 3,139 yards 23 touchdowns 10 interceptions
At 6'5" and 235 pounds, Sorensen is definitely built like a professional quarterback. He was also a mark of consistency at Southern Utah, totaling between 3,139 to 3,163 yards in his three seasons.
He received an invitation to the combine, so he really has a chance to impress scouts and can skyrocket up the draft quarterback rankings with a great showing. Right now he's at No. 15, but I expect him to be much higher after a few days in Indianapolis.
14. Alex Carder
2012 Team: Western Michigan
2012 Stats: 1,652 yards 13 touchdowns 10 interceptions
As the pride and joy of Kalamazoo, Michigan, Carder became a household name in the area. After an impressive first two seasons as a starter, Carder suffered an injury that caused him to miss six games in the middle of the schedule, but was still impressive at times in the other six games he played.
He definitely has potential to make some noise in the next couple of weeks, but projects to be a late-round pick at this point. Scouts will want to see how well he's recovered from that hand injury and he can show them that he's fully healthy.
13. Jordan Rodgers
2012 Team: Vanderbilt
2012 Stats: 2,539 yards 15 touchdowns 10 interceptions
No one is going to mistake Rodgers for his older brother, Aaron Rodgers anytime soon, but that doesn't mean the younger sibling should be overlooked.
Any quarterback that can lead Vanderbilt to a 9-4 season, including a bowl win, is worth some serious consideration in my opinion. His brother said of Jordan that he has the work ethic and pedigree to play in the NFL, so we'll see what he can do. Word is, he is a workout freak so he has a chance to showcase his strength to scouts coming up in the next couple of weeks.
12. Tino Sunseri
2012 Team: Pittsburgh
2012 Stats: 3,288 yards 21 touchdowns 3 interceptions
Perhaps the most memorable game that Sunseri took part in was a near-upset of undefeated Notre Dame when Pitt fell in the third overtime period. People have, though, overlooked his otherwise good season.
A lot has to be said about the way Sunseri protects the ball. He doesn't make a lot of bad throws, which allowed him to throw just 23 interceptions over the course of more than three full seasons as a starter. He's really improved that facet of his game, and just needs to show power to go along with his accuracy.
At this point, he would project out to a sixth or seventh round pick and will be given a chance in the preseason to show he has what it takes to be a starter at some point.
11. Collin Klein
2012 Team: Kansas State
2012 Stats: 2,641 yards 16 touchdowns 9 interceptions
The more telling statistic for Klein was on the ground. He rushed for over 2,400 yards in his career at Kansas State, so scouts won't need to see if he can run, they want to see if he can pass.
And that's the major selling point for a running quarterback. A team can just plug anyone at the position if they can run, but there needs to be at least a threat of a pass for a player to have a chance to last in the NFL. Klein will likely be the biggest riser/faller after the combine.
10. Matt Scott
2012 Team: Arizona
2012 Stats: 3,620 yards 27 touchdowns 14 interceptions
As the successor to Nick Foles, Scott had a strong final season for the Wildcats. Professionally, Scott has a better chance to be a dual-threat quarterback at this point than Collin Klein does which is why he gets the edge.
As it sits, Scott will be taken in the middle-to-late rounds of the draft and has great potential to be groomed as a successor, the way he was in Tucson under Rich Rodriguez. Expect him to be taken by someone that has already established a starting quarterback.
9. Landry Jones
2012 Team: Oklahoma
2012 Stats: 4,267 yards 30 touchdowns 11 interceptions
At this point, I feel that even I am underrating Landry Jones a little bit. He's put up consistently good numbers over his three full seasons as a starter. The only thing is, no one takes him too seriously thanks to playing in the Big 12.
I feel he can be a starter rather quickly in the NFL, but there's something more I just want to see. I can't quite put my finger on it, but I see something inconsistent in him. I'm sure that once the combine is over he will be higher on the list, but for now, out of pure confusion on where to put him, it will be the No. 9 spot.
8. Tyler Bray
2012 Team: Tennessee
2012 Stats: 3612 yards 34 touchdowns 12 interceptions
Bray is someone that a lot of people have higher on their list, but I'm not totally buying him quite yet. He has the good numbers, but those were severely padded with huge games against Troy, Georgia State and Akron
He struggled mightily against the big boys of the SEC, so I question if he can succeed in the next level, but from a raw talent standpoint, he certainly has capabilities that others don't. If he can knock down the turnover numbers and be more accurate with his throws, he will be fine. However, I want to see more of him.
7. Ryan Nassib
2012 Team: Syracuse
2012 Stats: 3,749 yards 26 touchdowns 10 interceptions
Nassib is someone that is careful with the ball and could fit well into a West Coast offense. He also finished strong, leading his team to four straight victories to end the 2012 season.
His throwing delivery could certainly use some work, but if he can smooth it out, there's a chance for him to have a future in the NFL. It may not be the biggest chance or the brightest future, but right now he would certainly be a worthy backup on an NFL roster.
6. Mike Glennon
2012 Team: North Carolina State
2012 Stats: 4,031 yards 31 touchdowns 17 interceptions
Some projections have Glennon going in the first round, others have him taken in the third. It's impossible to predict where he's going to go at this point, but he has the raw talent to be a starter in the NFL.
He took a bit of a step back in his Senior season at North Carolina State, but since he is throwing at the combine, he will really help himself. He has a powerful arm but his inconsistencies make me nervous, so I will hold my reservations on him.
5. E.J. Manuel
2012 Team: Florida State
2012 Stats: 3,392 yards 23 touchdowns 10 interceptions
At the end of last season, I thought Manuel had a real chance to use his Senior season to get himself into the first round of the 2013 NFL Draft, but it looks like that may not be the case.
He's still a little careless at times with the ball, but his powerful arm and the fact that he added more rushing yards to his repertoire is something not to be ignored.
There's a lot of demand for a dual-threat quarterback, and Manuel may be the best in this draft. I'm a little higher on him still than most are, but I feel he can be a starter in the right system.
4. Tyler Wilson
2012 Team: Arkansas
2012 Stats: 3,387 yards 21 touchdowns 13 interceptions
To be quite honest, I'm placing him at No. 4 just because everyone else has him rated so highly. I still don't quite see it and I expect him to fall a bit after the combine, then I will feel more comfortable about the decision to drop him as well.
For now, though, there's been doubt implanted into my mind about something that other people see in him that I don't. Maybe that will come out in Indianapolis, but I am a bit skeptical. There's no doubt he is going to be drafted sooner rather than later, but we'll see how soon.
3. Zac Dysert
2012 Team: Miami (OH)
2012 Stats: 3,483 yards 25 touchdowns 12 interceptions
I think it may be the MAC nerd in me, but I really like what Dysert can do. He improved little by little each season for the Redhawks and has even become a more efficient runner, as well.
I don't think there are many others that feel the way I do about Dysert, but I think there is something there. His supporting cast at Miami was less than stellar to say the least, so the fact he was still able to put up consistently good numbers says a lot about him.
I think he will be a nice surprise and should see his stock rise through the next few weeks.
2. Matt Barkley
2012 Team: USC
2012 Stats: 3,273 yards 36 touchdowns 15 interceptions
You would think that this guy was chopped liver the way he's fallen down many draft boards. But I strongly believe that if was a consensus No. 1 pick after his Junior year, he can't possibly be a third rounder, that's just ridiculous thinking to me.
It's not like his numbers were awful, either. The interceptions are less than ideal, but I would chalk that one up to Senior-itis since those came in the home stretch of the season. There was nothing left for him to play for, no postseason, no next season. Just draft stock, and although it hurt him in other boards, I still think he has the talent to start right away in the NFL.
1. Geno Smith
2012 Stats: 4,205 yards 42 touchdowns 6 interceptions
Lately, people have wanted to point out West Virginia's five-game losing streak as to why Smith's stock has fallen in some people's minds. In my opinion, it's hard to win when the other team is averaging nearly 50 points.
I still think he can be an impact player right away, and that the Chiefs should take him with the No. 1 overall pick. He's not a very big threat to run, but does have good mobility. He reminds me a lot of Donovan McNabb, who Andy Reid took with the Philadelphia Eagles and had a nice run. I think the same can happen with Smith in Kansas City.