The position that Bills fans have been clamoring for an upgrade for the better part of a decade is indeed quarterback. Buddy Nix has maintained fervently that the Bills will draft a quarterback early on this draft. That is the good news. The bad news is that this is one of the weakest QB classes in a while with only one prospect assured of a first round grade.
Currently the Bills have just two QBs under contract, veteran Tarvaris Jackson and undrafted rookie Aaron Corp. The Bills opted to release their starter from the last three seasons, Ryan Fitzpatrick due to his high salary and inconsistent play. Jackson has starting experience, but like Fitz, only with mixed success. With only backup QBs left in free agency, it’s all but a question of when the Bills will draft a QB in 2013…
Typically over the past several years, only 10-14 quarterbacks are usually drafted. I have included the top 20propsects as the Bills will likely add a second QB with an undrafted free agent to compete for a backup role. The first ten QBs are locks to be drafted. I have a list of these prospects below, but under that, for those of you who want to know a little more about these guys, are some bio blasts. Information for these players are courtesy of Walter Football, CBS Sports, NFL Draft Scout and CFB Stats. Here are the QB prospects!
1. Geno Smith – West Virginia [6-2, 218, 4.56] Hand 9.3”
2. Matt Barkley – USC [6-3, 227, 4.80] Hand 10.1”
3. Ryan Nassib – Syracuse [6-2, 227, 4.84] Hand 10.2”
4. E.J. Manuel – Florida State [6-5, 237, 4.62] Hand 10.4”
5. Mike Glennon – NC State [6-7, 225, 5.00] Hand 9.6”
6. Landry Jones – Oklahoma [6-4, 225, 5.03] Hand 9.2”
7. Tyler Bray* – Tennessee [6-6, 232, 5.00] Hand 9.3”
8. Zac Dysert – Miami Ohio [6-3, 231, 4.83] Hand 9.2”
9. Tyler Wilson – Arkansas [6-2, 215, 4.94] Hand 8.7”
10. Matt Scott – Arizona [6-2, 213, 4.66] Hand 9.1”
11. Jordan Rodgers – Vanderbilt [6-1, 212, 4.79] Hand 9.5”
12. Collin Klein – Kansas State [6-5, 226, 4.78] Hand 9.3”
13. Sean Renfree – Duke [6-3, 219, 4.76] Hand 9.1”
14. Brad Sorensen – Southern Utah [6-4, 229, 4.91] Hand 9.3”
15. Jeff Tuel – Washington State [6-3, 221, 4.60] Hand 9.3”
16. Tino Sunseri – Pittsburgh [6-0, 218, 4.82]
17. Alex Carder – Western Michigan [6-2, 220, 4.87]
18. Colby Cameron – Louisiana Tech [6-2, 212, 4.66] Hand 9.1”
19. Seth Doege – Texas Tech [6-1, 200, 4.88] Hand 9.4”
20. Matt McGloin – Penn State [6-1, 203, 4.81] Hand 8.3”
Honorable Mentions: Dayne Crist, Ryan Griffin, Kyle Padron* & Ryan Katz
1. Geno Smith – West Virginia
Geno Smith is pretty much the only QB right now that will be going in the first round, although in the past, we’ve seen teams jump into the first round to nab a QB. Smith certainly has good intangibles; despite being slightly undersized, Smith has good arm strength and was definitely effective over the last two seasons. In 2012 he completed 365 of 513 passes (71.2%) for 4,198 yards, 42 TDs and just 6 picks in 2012. In 2011 he made 346 of 526 passes (65.8%) for 4,385 yards, 31 TDs and 7 INTs. On the other hand, Smith has only worked with a spread offense meaning that he still needs development with accurate reads of defenses and pocket awareness.
2. Matt Barkley – USC
Barkley had a lackluster senior year due to a much weaker offensive line. However, this pocket passer still managed to throw for an impressive 3,273 yards, completing 246 of 387 of his passes (63.6%) for 36 TDs and 15 picks. The year before, Barkley threw for 3,528 yards, completing 308 of 446 passes (69.1%) for 39 TDs and just 7 picks. Barkley has great pocket presence, played in a pro-offense and has big hands, but this California QB only has average arm strength. Barkley could be a first round pick, but will likely fall into the second round.
3. Ryan Nassib – Syracuse
Nassib certainly has some interest for the Bills as he has worked with Head Coach Doug Marrone and OC Nathaniel Hackett over the last four years. Nassib has only average arm strength, but again is familiar with Marrone’s no-huddle system, has decent pocket presence and has some mobility. In 2012, Nassib completed 283 of 448 passes (63.2%) for 3,619 yards, 24 TDs and 9 INTs while rushing 77 times for 129 yards and 2 TDs. The before Nassib passed for 2,685 yards, completed 259 of 415 passes (62.4%) for 22 TDs and 9 picks. The Jets have displayed interest in Nassib too though so the Bills may have to trade up to get Nassib.
4. E.J. Manuel – Florida State
Manuel developed nicely over the last few seasons culminating in a strong senior bowl and combine performance. Part of his success is due to his physical ability; Manuel had some of the best measurements for a QB at the combine with his height, weight, speed and the largest hands. He has good arm strength, but has some consistency issues. In 2012, Manuel completed 237 of 349 passes (67.9%) for 3,101 yards, 22 TDs and 10 picks while rushing 97 times for 284 yards and 3 TDs. The year before, he threw for 2,666 yards completing 203 of 311 passes (65.3%), 18 TDs and 8 picks.
5. Mike Glennon – North Carolina State
For a while Glennon looked like a possible day 1 pick with his big arm, but his inconsistencies and poor footwork were apparent at the Combines dropping his name back into day 2 consideration. In 2012 Glennon completed 330 of 564 passes (58.5%) for 4,031 yards, 31 TDs, but 17 picks. The year before Glennon went 283 of 453 passes (62.5%) for 3,054 yards, 31 TDs and 12 picks.
6. Landry Jones – Oklahoma
Jones is another of the pocket passes with limited mobility, but has posted big numbers in the past few seasons. In 2012 he completed 332 of 507 passes (63.5%) for 3,994 yards, 29 TDs and 10 picks. The year before he had 355 of 562 passes completed (63.2%) for 4,463 yards, 22 TDs and 9 picks.
7. Tyler Bray* – Tennessee
Bray has a cannon of an arm, but still needs a lot of work to develop better footwork, accuracy and consistency. In 2012, Bray threw for 3,612 yards with 268 of 451 passes completed (59.4%) for 34 TDs and 12 picks. His 2011 season was cut short due to injury in which he completed 147 of 247 passes (59.5%) for 1,983 yards, 17 TDs and 6 picks. Unless the Bills are sure about starting Jackson for this season to give Bray time to develop, I feel that Bray is out of contention for a second round selection by the Bills even though he has a lot of upside.
8. Zac Dysert – Miami Ohio
Dysert was unable to work out at the Combine due to an injury, but did well as a MAC passer. Dysert has a good frame, some mobility and accuracy, but operated (like Geno) out of shotgun and is not accurate throwing outside of the pocket. Still Dysert completed 302 of 480 passes (62.9%) for 3,483 yards, 25 TDs and 12 picks in 2012. The year before, he made 295 of 448 passes (65.8%) for 3,513 yards, 23 TDs and 11 picks.
9. Tyler Wilson – Arkansas
Wilson’s stock tumbled after a poor senior bowl, had bad measurements (small hands namely) at the combine and concerns about his size. Wilson’s mixed success this past season due in part to three of his receivers being drafted the year before. In 2012, Wilson completed 249 of 401 passes (62.1%) for 3,387 yards, 21 TDs but 13 picks. In 2011 he went 277 for 438 passes (63.2%) for 3,638 yards, 24 TDs and just 6 picks. Wilson will likely be a day 2 pick, but could fall to the fourth round.
10. Matt Scott – Arizona
Another one of the interesting development prospects, Matt Scott blossomed into a solid starter in his senior year, from being a backup to Nick Foles before. Showing good mobility and a decent arm, Scott completed 301 of 499 passes (60.3%) for 3,620 yards, 27 TDs and 14 picks, while rushing 113 times for 506 yards and 6 TDs.
11. Jordan Rodgers – Vanderbilt
Yes Jordan is Aaron Rodgers little brother so there is some intrigue for that reason. Rodgers also has shown much improvement from 2012 with his accuracy and mobility, but still needs to work on his pocket presence. In 2012 Rodgers completed 191 of 319 passes (59.9%) for 2,539 yards, 15 TDs and 5 picks.
12. Collin Klein – Kansas State
Heisman runner-up Collin Klein has Tim Tebow to thank if he’s not drafted. Like Tebow, Klein is a gritty running QB who in 2012 completed 180 of 272 passes (66.2%) for 2,495 yards, 15 TDs and 7 picks. He ran 194 times for 895 yards and 22 TDs in 2012. Klein has trouble with accuracy and in his delivery of the football though.
13. Sean Renfree – Duke
Renfree was injured during the Combine, but has shown much improvement as a passer this past year. In 2012 Renfree completed 297 of 442 passes (67.2%) for 3,113 yards, 19 TDs and 10 picks. Renfree seems to be a pocket passer with limited mobility, has good tools, but can be inconsistent.
14. Brad Sorensen – Southern Utah
Sorensen is the top FCS passer to keep an eye on. Sorensen has a big frame and a good arm but is not always consistent especially against higher-level competition and dealing with pressure. In 2012, Sorensen completed 273 of 439 passes (62.2%) for 3,139 yards, 23 TDs and 10 picks.
15. Jeff Tuel – Washington State
Tuel struggled in 2012 after his season ending injury the year before, but has signs of a developmental QB as seen at his pro-day. In 2012, Tuel completed 211 of 332 passes (63.6%) of his passes for 2,087 yards, 8 TDs and 8 picks. He shows poise in the pocket, but has been very inconsistent.
16. Tino Sunseri - Pittsburgh
Sunseri could still be in contention for a late seventh round pick after a strong senior year in which he completed 256 of 393 passes (65.1%) for 3,288 yards,21 TDs and just 3 picks on the year. He showed a lot more poise in the pocket, confidence throwing down field and ball security.
17. Alex Carder – Western Michigan
Carder missed out on his favorite target from the 2011 season in which he threw 31 TDs. This season he was 145 of 248 passes (58.5%) for 1,652 yards, 13 TDs and 10 INTs before going down with an injury. Carder has average arm strength but is mobile and knows how to play in cold weather.
18. Colby Cameron – Louisiana Tech
Cameron has been part of a pass-happy LA Tech offense. In 2012 he completed 359 of 522 passes (68.8%) for 4,147 yards, 31 TDs (rushed for 4 TDs) and threw just 5 picks. Cameron however played in a weak conference and did not impress at the Combine. Still he has good feet and mobility to make plays.
19. Seth Doege – Texas Tech
In 2012, Doege completed 380 of 541 passes (70.2%!) for 4,205 yards (his second season in a row of over 4,000 yards), 39 TDs and 16 picks. He is undersized for a QB, but does possess a knack for reading plays and making them.
20. Matt McGloin – Penn State
McGloin helped pull off a stunner season for the disparaging Nittany Lions with a great senior year. He completed 270 of 446 passes (60.5%) for 3,271 yards, 24 TDs and just 5 picks. McGloin only has average arm strength, but plays smart with his abilities and he can quickly read opposing defenses.