Several months ago, I wrote about the impact a proper game plan can have for quarterback prospects heading into the draft. I also noted some of the more important things to add to their “to do successfully “checklist. At this time, I’d like to give my most recent report on how a few of the top QB prospects performed, and how their preparation affected them.
I thought Geno did the best overall. Smith was the top QB heading into the draft and didn’t do anything to drop from his spot. However, he may not go as early as people thought due to free agency signings, and recent trades to “quarterback hungry teams”. For the most part, Smith’s workouts were solid, but he did leave many pundits questioning his ability to grasp NFL offenses. I find this a bit premature, and feel that if given the right situation, Smith has a chance to be a solid NFL Quarterback.
Notes to consider for Geno Smith: (Strong arm, has shown the ability to throw a variety of touch passes, teams must be careful in thinking he is the next Kaepernick….Smith is not nearly the athlete.)
This one is a little closer to home so it’s a bit difficult to say the following. I think the world of Matt and he’ll go down as one of the greatest quarterbacks in school’s history, but clearly not the best (when compared to former Trojan alums such as Matt Leinart and Carson Palmer). I make this statement based off of what these players brought to USC Football. Palmer and Leinart will always get higher marks due to their outstanding achievements i.e. Heisman Trophy winners and National Championships, (and of course, ultimately they were 1st rounders in the NFL Draft). I wish I could say this about Barkley, but his senior season and his Pro Day workout would make that a “reach” at this point.
Notes to consider for Matt Barkley: (4 years starting quarterback for both programs he played with i.e. Mater Dei HS (first 4 year starter) and USC , despite senior year…he should not be undervalued, Barkley is an intelligent player and has a ”Manning” like control & feel for the game)
This guy could be a sleeper in this year’s draft class. Nassib has a very strong arm with Steve Young like athleticism. While in college, Nassib lead his undermanned Syracuse football team to a bowl game in 2012. He ended his college career breaking the school total passing yards record (9,060), pass completions (780), and passing yards per game (201.3). Clearly, with this much talent, the early 2nd round if not late 1st would be a realistic choice for someone of his skill set and upside.
Notes to Consider for Ryan Nassib: (He may be a steal in the 2nd round, his old coach from Syracuse, Doug Marrone is now head coach for Bills, Nassib has a gunslinger mentality similar to a famous 2nd rounder who played for the Packers…Brett Favre ring a name??)
Unfortunately and interestingly, the best quarterback in this draft may be a veteran. If all indicators are correct about the Philadelphia Eagles leaning towards drafting Geno Smith with their 1st round pick, then Nick Foles will be a hot prospect! Remember Matt Hasselback’s early career? Matt started his career in Green Bay before he was traded to Seattle and there his Pro Bowl career began!
On the surface this quarterback draft class appears to be weak, but I’m betting that after all the dust is settled…these guys will be solid productive starting quarterbacks in the NFL……. in the very near future.