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After an entertaining 2012 NFL season Fantasy Football fans begin to shift their focus to the talent displayed in the upcoming NFL draft. With the high level of success by NFL rookie quarterbacks you have to think teams like the Oakland Raiders are shaking their heads in disappointment for giving up what turned out to be valuable opportunities to gain immediate impact players. Of the twelve playoff teams in 2012 six of those teams had either first or second year quarterbacks and almost all of which were an asset to many fantasy teams as well. The first order of business in the grueling months of NFL scouting is the Senior Bowl and although there weren’t any standout performances from a group that has been most recently described as “mediocre” we did learn a few things other than the most popular topic of top prospects Geno Smith and Matt Barkley choosing for better or worse not to participate. Best potential Fantasy QB? I have mixed feelings and think it’s too early to tell but here are some assessments of what we have seen so far for the 2013 NFL Draft and some things to think about for 2013 Fantasy Football.

Geno Smith West Virginia: Even with his “non participant” status in this year’s Senior Bowl Geno has solidified himself as the number one quarterback in this year’s NFL Draft. Smith’s explosive play making ability with his legs and incredible accuracy with his arm of 71 percent in 2012 make him the closest thing to what we have seen from players like RG3, Russell Wilson and Collin Kaepernick. Smith could land in Kansas City, Jacksonville, Oakland, Philadelphia, Arizona or Buffalo with Kansas City and Arizona being the most likely candidates.

Matt Barkley USC: After passing on the 2012 NFL Draft Barkley was regarded as the clear number one quarterback prospect in college football. This quickly took a turn for the worse while in their quest for a National Championship Matt Barkley and the USC Trojans finished 7-6 including a 21-7 Sun Bowl loss to Georgia Tech. Luckily for Barkley he still had a respectable season and due to the lack of depth in this year’s draft he still remains one of the top overall prospects at quarterback. The major concerns that surround Barkley is his size at 6’ 2” and lack of arm strength, there are also many questioning that his success was a direct result of the talent he has had around him during his time at USC. Barkley could likely be headed to Jacksonville, New York Jets, Arizona, or Buffalo and if not selected by one of these teams could fall to the late second or early third round.

Mike Glennon North Carolina State: After the first two we fall into the second tier of quarterbacks, the tallest member of this group is Mike Glennon at 6’ 7”. Glennon has those intangibles with his height and arm strength and is surprisingly quick for his size. The biggest challenge for him is he needs a lot of work to do in terms of pocket presence, accuracy and making the correct reads. He could also be classified as untested as he is in only his second year as an ACC starter and has yet to play in a major bowl game. A few first round teams might be willing to take a chance with him ending up in Arizona or Buffalo but the most likely scenario is that teams will wait until the 3rd or 4th round where he would become a formidable backup.

Senior Bowl Stats
Passing: 8-16 82 YDS 0 TD 0 INT

E.J. Manuel Florida State: The biggest surprise of the Senior Bowl, was the unlikely MVP, E. J. Manuel. The well built and very athletic quarterback might have the highest ceiling of any quarterback in this draft but with inconsistency issues he is regarded as a “work in progress”. It really is up to Manuel to continue to show that he is ready and with that his stock could rise from a mid round pick to possibly a late first or early second round pick as he has done by recently winning the College All Star QB Accuracy Challenge. We also don’t want to get too carried away with the Senior Bowl MVP title and its relevance as the 2011 MVP was Christian Ponder and you have to go back as far as 2004,Philip Rivers, to find an MVP recipient of worthy mention. Teams that could aim for E.J. in the second round would be Jacksonville, Oakland, or Philadelphia.

Senior Bowl Stats
Passing: 7-10 76 YDS 1TD 1INT
Rushing: 4 10 YDS 1 TD

Ryan Nassib Syracuse: Geno Smith and Matt Barkley’s absence opened the door for Syracuse quarterback Ryan Nassib to show what he had as an alternate in this year’s Senior Bowl. Nassib performed well on the practice field showing his sound fundamentals and incredible velocity and accuracy with his intermediate throws. The weakness in Nassib’s game is clearly when he needs to stretch the field and make long throws. During practice as the throws became longer the accuracy and decision making became less and less impressive. NFL scouts are going to need to see him progress in making the long throw as it has become such a needed asset in an NFL quarterback. He also made a terrible decision in the Senior Bowl to run backwards which netted a 21 yard loss. The Syracuse QB could go as early as the first round to Buffalo or Arizona but doesn’t fit any other the other coaching schemes for teams that are in need of a quarterback making him a more likely pick up for later rounds.

Senior Bowl Stats
Passing: 4-10 44 YDS 0 TD 1 INT
Rushing: 1 -21 YDS 0 TD

Tyler Wilson Arkansas: Wilson might be the safest pick in the draft but has limited upside, he is well balanced confident and has excellent fundamentals. The senior bowl was Wilson’s opportunity to really show what he had and instead he produced very mediocre numbers by checking down almost every chance he got in a very Alex Smith like fashion. Wilson didn’t necessarily hurt his draft stock but he didn’t do much to raise it either. Wilson would most likely end up on a team that needs a quarterback to just do enough not to lose the game or could serve as a very good back up.

Senior Bowl Stats
Passing: 8-11 40 YDS 0 TD 0 INT

Zac Dysert Miami Ohio: The one quarterback who made the most of what was given to him was Dysert who led all passers in yards and added a touchdown to go with it. He was described as having better than average arm strength and was confident enough to take several shots down the field. His mechanics and awareness needs serious work but is worth a mid round pick to a team that is willing to work with him. Most likely the Miami Ohio QB will fall to the fourth or fifth round but could pleasantly surprise the team that drafts him.

Senior Bowl Stats
Passing: 10-16 93 YDS 1 TD 1 INT

Landry Jones Oklahoma: Even as a record breaker at OU (Big 12’s all time passing leader) there are a lot of questions surrounding Landry’s ability to play at the next level. His inconsistency and lack of experience in under-center offenses leads most people to believe he has a lot to prove before he is ready for an NFL offense. His performance at this year’s Senior Bowl provided evidence to those doubts by showing below average skills in drills and an extremely poor performance in the live game. He is most likely a late fourth or fifth round QB at this point in time.

Senior Bowl Stats
Passing: 3-9 16 YDS 0 TD 0 INT
Rushing: 2 -22 YDS 0 TD

18 Responses

  1. Tallow says:
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    Have you ever actually watched a Florida State game with EJ as a starter?

    Dude is Vince Young with less natural Talent.

    • Murph says:
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      @Tallow: Not arguing that I agreewith you and it’s a weak draft class all around but of all the Quarterbacks he is separating himself don’t be shocked if he goes a lot higher than he should. Not to mention Jimbo Fisher’s offense is simplistic making it hard for QBs to adjust to the NFL as seen with Ponder.

    • murph says:
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      @Tallow: The issue with Vince Young was his personality and off the field issues not his ability, so it’s not a great comparison.

  2. Dom V says:
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    It’s a quarterback driven league, it always will be. Teams can now gamble a little bit more due to the decreased risk on taking quarterbacks early because they are no longer making Top 5 Quarterback money right out of college. This class is not close to last year’s pool of quarterbacks either. Things change from now until the actually draft day in April though so it is a little early to make an honest prediction on any of them, but I can’t see 4 quarterbacks in this class going in the first round.

    “lack of experience in under-center offenses” – for Landry Jones, not sure it will be that big of a weakness. Stafford and Cam don’t really run under-center offenses. Teams are tailoring to the fact that these young new quarterbacks have primarily grown up in pure shotgun, read/draw offenses.

    Overall I like the analysis, got me getting ready for the draft already. Oh and as a Raider fan..I would hope they do not take Geno. Oakland’s problems are larger than getting a quarterback to patch up the problems.

    • Murph says:
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      @Dom V: Thanks for reading Dom and you are exactly right. I don’t see four going in the first round either and wouldn’t be shocked if we if it was only one. I am actually participating in a few mock NFL drafts as the Raiders GM and I think they need to target OT and DT in the early rounds or trade the third pick if they get the right deal. Never know with the Raiders though they love athleticism they are such a wild card in the draft. We’ll have to see about Landry all I can think about is Sam Bradford when I watch him play. As you said too early to rank this class but that will be out a few weeks before the draft so keep an eye out for it.

      • Dom V says:
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        @Murph: Oh interesting, mock NFL drafts? Where at? Raiders transitioning back to the power block scheme might help a bit, but they do need another solid linemen. Star would be an instant starter if they get rid of Kelly/Seymour too. A lot depends on free agent moves and such though. There is a month long absence of any action until March..the most exciting news might be Dennis Dixon going to Philadelphia. I’ll keep a watch out for those pre NFL draft rankings though.

        • murph says:
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          @Dom V: There are several networks of draft enthusiasts most of mine are with friends in my dynasty Leagues. It is an interesting way to get a more versatile analysis of the draft as opposed to a single person’s biased opinion. I believe Seymour is gone after this year too and I don’t have to explain but anyone that watched the Tampa Bay/Oakland game can see the the run defense needs immediate help. It was tough to watch them as I personally know LB Miles Burris and was expecting the defense to be much better then the were.

          • Dom V says:
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            @murph: Wow I may look into that, I have never really done NFL mock drafts, just fantasy mock drafts. That’s cool you know Miles, he is legit. That was a great pick for Oakland, he should be a dangerous player this year.

            • Murph says:
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              @Dom V: Yeah I finished grad school at SDSU great person and athlete although I will say the Raiders lucked out as the Saints should have take him just before but they wasted their pick on undersized WR Nick Toon.

              • Dom V says:
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                @Murph: Well I wouldn’t write off toon just yet, 6’3″ 215 isn’t that small, he could come out and surprise some people, especially in the New Orleans offense.

                • Murph says:
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                  @Dom V: true I don’t know why I thought he was smaller. It just looked like an extra weapon they didn’t need and with Vilma’s suspension looming I figured Burris would be a perfect fit.

                  • Dom V says:
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                    @Murph: Yeah he would have been a nice addition. They didn’t draft any LB’s last year..they are naming a new d-coordinator this week, so that could help better decide what they do with the personnel.

                    • murph says:
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                      @Dom V: I like Dion Jordan’s versatility but it really is going to come down to who fits in the new DC’s scheme. By the way possibly bringing the “Mock NFL Draft” to Razzball and thanks for the great comments always helps with perspective

            • murph says:
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              @Dom V: Dom check out DraftOne.net for Mock NFL Drafts it’s the best one out there.

                • Dom V says:
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                  @murph: wow that’s what’s up, nice find sir. Thanks

  3. PaulP says:
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    Are these ranked according to draft position? I think Tyler Wilson should be higher on the list

  4. murph says:
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    It’s a little early to rank these guys so the above list is in no particular order. Rankings will be out the week after the combine.

    Tyler Wilson is talented and reminds me a lot of Tony Romo I would really like to see him in Dallas to eventually become the starter.

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