When you look at college signal callers there is a lot of projection. No position in football is as justifiably over analyzed as QB’s. As I sit watching some college signal callers sling it I thought it might be fun to take a look at a complete rough guess of where they might end up playing in the NFL …to see who’s auditioning to take whose job.
1) Matt Barkley(SR) QB USC 6’2” 220lbs.
What Matt Barkley brings…ho-hum; Not quite Andrew Luck but really not that far off. So long as Barkley does not have to play Stanford he should be fine. After years of sanctions has depleted USC’s depth (thank Reggie Bush) Barkley has been THE reason USC has stayed alive . He’s experienced taking snaps under center and making reads while dropping back. His eye-popping 6.5 to 1 TD to INT ratio will be good enough to make him the #1 overall pick. Even if it goes to a team not looking for a signal caller it’ll be a premium trade asset. It would have been interesting had Barkley come out in 2012 because he’d probably be in a Browns jersey since I think Barkley would have been the #2 QB choice and fit the Browns system better than the Redskins who still might have gone RGIII.
Jacksonville Jaguars(Projected Record: 2-14) – Goodbye Blaine Gabbert already? Yes it could come down to that, I thought it was a mistake to draft Gabbert out of Missouri two drafts ago and while he’s improved slightly he’s still completing barely above 50% of his passes. Those percentages look worse when you exclude the short dump offs underneath. Justin Blackmon was the 5th overall pick this season and was held catchless last week, not for in his inability to get open but when he was open…Gabbert had no clue. Normally a first round pick would get at least 3 seasons, but Jag’s GM Geno Smith is on the hottest seat of any NFL general manger in the league (rightly so after drafting a punter in round 3 and having to be prodded by your owner to trade up to get Blackmon, failing to secure local darling Tim Tebow, and allowing the MJD situation to be come a holdout – Genos made more bad all in calls than an amateur at the world series of Poker, its about time he got called on them).
2) Tyler Bray(JR) QB Tennessee 6’6” 210lbs.
I have Bray as my #2 QB, I think his short precision game, particularly when forced to side step is severely undervalued at the moment. That said, while I have him #2 I expect teams to have him valued as the #3 QB if he comes out. Either Logan Thomas or Geno Smith with better overall athletic ability will probably overtake him in a day when mobile QB’s are becoming more of an “in” thing in a copy cat league. I love Bray’s upward improvement course though; going from 55.8% completions with 1.8 to 1 TD-INT ratio 2 years ago, to 60% 3:1 last season and now on pace for 64% and 4:1. He also plays in a less gimmicky college style offense and I think the future for Bray is quite bright.
Arizona Cardinals (Projected Record 8-8) – Good Defense , the GREAT Larry Fitzgerald and then…. We’ll Kevin Kolb is better than most expected but I still don’t see him getting it done down the stretch for the Sun lovers. Kolb has a pretty big contract so that may keep him employed if hes average or better this season – but upgrading would be something the Cardinals will have to consider if they get the opportunity.
3) Geno Smith (SR) QB W.Virginia 6’3” 214 lbs.
Geno’s one of those guys with great numbers (better than 65% completions, huge TD-INT ratio) but he plays in a very gimmicky college system that inflates those numbers. However the raw skills are certainly there and Geno will go as far as he can convince scouts that he has the mentality to pickup an NFL offense. Geno’s first round status will come down to his ability to show he can drop back and read a Defense…but he’s likely to continue to light it up especially facing some pretty marginal defenses going forward.
Kansas City Chiefs (Projected Record 5-11) – Matt Cassell is not the Chiefs only problem because he’s actually not been bad; but something is missing in this offense and their defense has been just lousy. All that being the case; Cassell’s time in Kansas City is ticking, the Chiefs have just not won enough QB’s and wins are like Presidents and economies – they get way too much credit when things are going well and way too much blame when things go poorly. I expect Cassell to be the man who takes the wrap and that well see Brady Quinn before the season is over.
4) Casey Paschall (JR) QB TCU 6’5” 216lbs.
Casey is my darkhorse end of first round choice at the moment he’s got some skills and experience dropping back and reading coverage. Andy Dalton’s success should help Casey who shows a strong arm and a really sound ability to manage a game while taking advantage of his inate understanding of the game.
New York Jets (Projected Record 9-7) – I know everyone wants the Sanchize to succeed that works for the Jets and everyone else in the country wants Tim Tebow (virtually) but if the Jets just miss the playoffs and Sanchez fails to lead this time to better, the Jets might just turn the page.
Other QB’s Auditioning
5) Mike Glennon (SR) NC St. 6’6” 232
Had a huge junior year at NC St. and really arrived on the radar. Threw for 3,000 yards and came up with nearly a 3:1 TD to INT ratio. Going to need to show he can improve his game day reads and learn how to manage the hurry up better to make a transition, but Glennon could shock and make a push with a really strong senior season.
6) Aaron Murray (JR) QB Georgia 6’1” 215lbs
Lots of touch and accuracy but is probably better off making a run for the 2014 draft. Murray has been on the radar for quite awhile and he clearly has some skills but he’s going to have to take a huge step forward in order to challenge for this years draft.
7) Tyler Wilson (SR) QB Arkansas 6’3” 220lbs.
Bad scheme to transition from , bad decision making , and now injury troubles….hmmmmmnot sure there is a starting NFL QB here.
8) Brad Sorensen (SR) QB So. Utah (FCS) 6’4” 237lbs.
Get used to this name, Sorenson came to southern Utah after leaving BYU , going to JUCO college ranks and has been TORCHING the FCS division since. He looks good dropping back based on what I saw in the BYU – Boise St. game, the Cougars could really use this kid back.
9) Logan Thomas(JR) QB Virginia Tech 6’6” 260lbs
I still need someone to explain this one to me…the scouts love this guy and rave about his ability. I have no clue why…low completion percentage , high interceptions and I don’t see a feel for the game but I expect him to be in the conversation somewhere for the first two days.
10) Landry Jones (SR) QB Oklahoma 6’4” 235lbs.
Remember when Landry Jones was considered a future top overall pick? Yep two years ago he’s fallen so far over the past two years..Landry is really needing to step it up just to stay in the draftable category at this point.
Other Teams Looking (maybe) for QB’s
Seattle Seahawks (Projected Record: UNK) Too early to tell but Russell Wilson being a third round pick doesn’t get him the automatic second swing at having a good rookie season…I think he’ll do fine so I’m expecting Wilson to be their man going forward.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Projected Record: 8-8) I said it before this is Josh Freeman’s make or break season, he either establishes himself or he doesn’t. A simply average season isn’t good enough and if that’s the case at a minimum he gets a veteran challenger or a 3rd or 4th round guy to take him on.
Buffalo Bills (Projected Record 7-9) Ryan Fitzpatick has fallen off the face of the QB earth since signing that big contract extension a year ago this time…he needs to step it up or he’ll be hitting the backup QB employment line and Buddy Nix will draft someone else who is not Jim Kelly.
St. Louis Rams (Projected Record : 5-11) Don’t totally rule these out, Bradford is not the only problem in St. Louis but Jeff Fischer has 0 invested in him if he makes a decision that Bradford cannot get it done, it might be time to turn the page.
Minnesota Vikings..Ponder will get another year I believe given he has the backing of the GM
Tennessee Titans…Locker hasn’t gotten off to a fast start but he hasn’t been the proximate reason the Titans can’t score Johnson looks to have lost it and their receivers simply cannot get separation.