2013 NFL Draft: Analyzing the 2013 quarterback class

Ezra Shaw

Although it's been three years since Kurt Warner retired, the Cardinals still have uncertainty at the QB position.

Many are predicting that the team may once again turn to the draft to solve their dilemma. However, unlike the last few years where the Cardinals drafted project QB's late in the draft (John Skelton and Ryan Lindley), most experts seem to be in agreement that new head coach Bruce Arians will want to find his star in the 1st Round.

The three names most tied to the Cardinals: Matt Barkley, Geno Smith, and Mike Glennon. Let's take a look at the next potential face of the franchise:

Matt Barkley

Season

Cmp

ATT

YDS

CMP%

YPA

LNG

TD

INT

SACK

Rate

2012

246

387

3273

63.6

8.46

83

36

15

14

157.6

2011

308

446

3528

69.1

7.91

82

39

7

8

161.2

2010

236

377

2791

62.6

7.40

61

26

12

16

141.2

2009

211

352

2735

59.9

7.77

75

15

14

17

131.2


Going into his 2012 season with the USC Trojans, Barkley was predicted to be one of the top picks in the 2013 draft. However, his senior year exposed some of his flaws, causing many to predict that he'd have to fight for a top spot in the draft, something he had practically already locked up just a year before (If he had come out with Andrew Luck in the 2012 Draft, he would have definitely gone in the Top 10).

Strengths:

Barkley has been noted to have good football technique (Translation: Good posture and throwing motion in the pocket). His accuracy on passes below 20 yards has also a high point for him in his career. He's also been said to be a very bright player (Which can definitely help when leading an NFL offense).

Weaknesses:

One of his most talked about weaknesses is his arm-strength. Barkley does not possess the cannon of an arm that is sometimes thought of as a necessity for NFL quarterbacks. Also, having utilized USC's quick-strike passing attack strategy all his career, Barkley's decision making has been masked. Many have their doubts about whether he'll be able to take the pressures of playing against an NFL defense. He also struggles with accuracy on long passes (Over 20 yards).

What this all means:

If the Cardinals wish to draft Barkley, they will have to design a system around him, and not force him to conform to one he's not comfortable with. They'll need to play up to his strengths (And consider his weaknesses). Some are doubting that Barkley will be drafted in the 1st Round at all, so the Cardinals could potentially grab him in the 2nd.

Comparisions:

Sam Bradford (St. Louis Rams), Drew Brees (New Orleans Saints).

Geno Smith

Season

Cmp

ATT

YDS

CMP%

YPA

LNG

TD

INT

SACK

Rate

2012

369

518

4205

71.2

8.12

87

42

6

19

163.9

2011

346

526

4385

65.8

8.34

84

31

7

26

152.6

2010

241

372

2763

64.8

7.43

71

24

7

28

144.7

2009

32

49

309

65.3

6.31

33

1

1

5

120.9


Taking over the West Virgina offense as a sophomore, Smith initially showed he could be a solid player. It was his junior year, however, that really projected his name into the national circuits. He has been mentioned as one of the best players in the draft.

Strengths:

Smith has a great size and frame for an NFL QB. Measuring at 6'3, 220 pounds, he's definitely built to take a few hits. He has also been noted for his speed. In contrast with Barkley, Smith's accuracy on deep balls is excellent, and his poise in the pocket is definitely noticeable. Also, Smith is accurate on the run, and can analyse defenses well.

Weaknesses:

Having played in the spread his entire career, Smith may see struggles early on as he adjusts to the NFL. Also, when pressured, he can sometimes be inaccurate (Like many QB's). Like RGIII, Smith may need to bulk up a little more to match his height.

What this all means:

Smith has been predicted as a likely target of the Kansas City Chiefs, who hold the #1 pick, so he could very likely be gone by the time the Cardinals are up to pick. He isn't completely NFL-ready like RGIII or Andrew Luck, but he could definitely be someone to build a team around. An important aspect of Smith is that while he possess the athleticism to make big runs, he's still as much a passing QB. If he drops to the Cardinals, he is definitely someone to consider.

Comparisons:

Alex Smith (San Francisco 49ers).

Mike Glennon

Season

Cmp

ATT

YDS

CMP%

YPA

LNG

TD

INT

SACK

Rate

2012

330

564

4031

58.5

7.15

83

31

17

36

130.7

2011

283

453

3054

62.5

6.74

87

31

12

31

136.4

2010

9

13

78

692

6.00

17

0

0

0

119.6

2009

24

39

248

61.5

6.36

24

1

2

2

113.2

Replacing Russel Wilson (Who transferred to Wisconsin) as the starter for North Carolina in 2011, Glennon led his team to an 8-5 record and bowl win in just his first year as a starter. He's been thought of as one of the top QB's in the draft, along with Barkley and Smith.

Strengths:

Standing at 6'6, Glennon is able to look down the field at all of his receivers. He has also been noted for his poise in the pocket, and his intelligence with running the game. His arm strength is also recognized, as well as his mobility (Along with the ability to step up in the pocket). Glennon also has experience in a pro-style offense, as evident with his smooth drop-backs under center.

Weaknesses:

His footwork has been noted to be a hindrance when it comes to evading defenders. He has also had a problem with turnovers, and is inconsistent on deep throws. Another area of concern is his inconsistency when not equipped with a clean pocket. He may also need to bulk up to match his weight to his height.

What this all means:

Glennon impressed at the Senior Bowl, driving his draft stock up. The Cardinals may be wary about drafting another "big-armed, inconsistent" QB, but Arians likes a guy who can get the ball down the field, which is something Glennon is definitely equipped to do.

Comparisions:

Joe Flacco (Baltimore Ravens).

Verdict

The final decision will likely weigh largely on Coach Arians' shoulders. For insight on what type of QB Arians goes for, Brad Wells of Stampede Blue (Indianapolis Colts Sb nation) weighed in:

In terms of ability, a strong, powerful arm and mobility are the attributes most associated with Arians QBs. Manning was the only non-mobile QB I can think of, but early in Peyton's career he was pretty spry in the pocket. Now, by "mobile" I don't mean running all over the field, ala Kaepernick or RG3. Dante Culpepper would have been a good QB for Arians to work with, pre-knee injury. Arians likes his QBs to move in the pocket and extend the play. The goal is to keep looking downfield and gain "chunk yardage." Arians looks for big plays out of his QBs. He isn't a short pass, move the chains kinda guy.

The draft prospect that seems so obviously an 'Arians QB' is Geno Smith. He'd thrive with Arians, in my opinion. I'm not so convinced he'd do as well under Andy Reid in KC. Reid is a bit of a fraud when it comes to developing QBs, but that's simply my opinion.

I'm not an expert on this year's draft by any means, but from what I've seen, most people seem to be in agreement that this year isn't the greatest for QB's. There isn't any sure-fire #1 out of all of them. Geno Smith is getting a lot of mentions as a potential #1 pick. Like Brad Wells mentioned, Arians seems to like big-armed QBs who can make the deep throw, and Smith fits that description. I remember Barkley's name being thrown in with Luck's as a candidate for the top pick in 2012, but his senior year really hurt his draft stock. As for Mike Glennon, the Senior Bowl aided in pushing him up the charts.

My personal choice would be to not draft a QB at all. I'd rather they restructure Kolb's contract, keep Hoyer, and maybe bring in a Free Agent to add to the competition. However, it's very likely that Arians will want to start his era off with his own hand-picked QB. If Smith falls to the #7 pick, he could be their man. But ultimately, it's a toss-up. There's just no clear-cut #1 QB in the draft.

Let us know what you think in the comments below!

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

Join Revenge of the Birds

You must be a member of Revenge of the Birds to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Revenge of the Birds. You should read them.

Join Revenge of the Birds

You must be a member of Revenge of the Birds to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Revenge of the Birds. You should read them.

Spinner

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9341_tracker