As the NFL draft approaches and the momentum builds, QB’s will begin to be a huge discussion, as a solidified frontrunner has yet to arise. Several teams come to mind as struggles at the position last year almost became comical. Clubs such as Arizona, Buffalo, The Jets, Kansas City and Jacksonville, will all be making serious decisions going forward in terms of the future. Although, many teams are currently tied up with financial woes and decent no-name QBs that were bombarded by poor offensive line play and overall team failure it is tough to say what will happen come Thursday, April 25th.
Some Questions to Ask:
What will Buffalo do with Ryan Fitzpatrick given a 10-million dollar hit if they release him?
What will the Jets do period?
How will Arizona move forward with Kevin Kolb (making 9 million dollars 2013), John Skelton and Ryan Lindley given last years debacle?
How does the Blaine Gabbert situation play out in Jacksonville and will they remain committed to developing him?
What will the Oakland Raiders do with Carson Palmer and his contract? How will they address his poor play last year and his constant struggles?
How does Kansas City handle Matt Cassel (Unrestricted Free Agent) be put into place after throwing 6 TD passes in 11 games?
Top 3 Options:
Geno Smith, 6-2, 208, West Virginia
Began the season on a tear in 2012 (25 Touchdowns versus 0 Interceptions during the first six games of the season) and became a major headliner as he boasted insane numbers. Has the athletic ability and arm to become a major threat in the NFL. During the past 3 seasons his 99 touchdowns, 2 consecutive 4,000 yard seasons and a minimal 20 interceptions over 39 consecutive starts bode well, but his decision making and gun slinging mentality still come into the picture when thinking about the ultimate franchise QB; this can be a huge negative. Bluntly, Smith is a second tier version of RG3 and I don’t feel lives up to the value that a number-one pick carries but a team desperate enough for a QB could take a chance. A great outing at the combine could put Geno over the top, or ruin his value, which has already been maxed out.
Career Stats: 11,662 Yards, Touchdowns: 98, Interceptions: 21 2012 Completion Percentage: 71.2%
Made 26 starts during his Moutaineers
Tyler Wilson, 6-3, 220, Arkansas
What was supposed to be a great season, became a nightmare, however he still has the resume, physical ability, and mechanics to be taken in the first round given his accuracy and great arm strength. Continued, to lead and play strong despite a season where his team didn’t give him much lift and tallied a final record of (4-8). Where will his number come up on Draft Day? Although, he is not considered a top tier QB prospect due to his numbers and questionable decision-making, Wilson has the tools to press forward towards a great career in the NFL if he gets more mechanically sound and stops questioning his throws. A team that needs a young trainee could definitely have their eyes on him, and he could move off the board earlier than expected. Many teams will keep quiet until the results of the combine are solidified, but I feel that someone will take a risk, as a safety valve at QB is always necessary. Has a bit of a checkered injury record, but in the right situation he could flourish.
Career Stats: 7765 Yards, Touchdowns: 52 Interceptions: 26 2012 Completion Percentage: 62.1%
Made 24 starts during his Razorback career
Matt Barkley, 6-1, 228, USC
In my personal opinion Matt Barkley is getting too much blame for what became a horrible 2012 USC campaign. Additionally, he will not throw at the combine. Will his senior season be on everyone’s mind during the draft process? Probably, but Barkley has the natural leadership and intangibles to become a player in my mind that resembles Drew Brees due to his lack of ability to run and deep perspective for the game of football. We have to keep in mind that basically every USC QB hasn’t lived up to expectations, but Barkley has the drive and smarts to continue to progress as a player in every sense. Throw away the negatives and the poor decision making last year it would be a different ballgame we all and Matt could be a great leader in the NFL. Although physically he not an elite NFL player he should boast a polished career given his discipline and mental focus outweighs former USC QB draftees.
Career Stats: 12,327 Yards, Touchdowns: 116 Interceptions: 48 2012 Completion Percentage: 63.6%
Made 43 starts during his Trojan career