Hello my die hard readers, last week we highlighted three senior quarterbacks, and this week we will look two seniors and one junior. Seniors Geno Smith, and Matt Barkley are two big name players that have been seen as high prospects. As a senior Geno pushed his way into talks to be the number 1 overall quarterback picked, with the high scoring West Virginia offense causing teams headaches. Coming off his junior season, Matt Barkley was looked at to be one of the top recruits in the 2012 draft, but instead of declaring he decided he would return for his senior season at USC. This was probably not the best choice for him. Coming into this years draft, he has seen his stock drop drastically. The junior that I will highlight is Tyler Bray from the University of Tennessee. Bray is leaving rocky top early along with his top two receivers (we will probably meet one of them when I preview wideouts).
Tyler Bray, 6-6 210 lb., QB Tennessee
The first thing that stuck out to me watching Bray was his arm strength. This dude can really throw the ball around. He completed 59% of his passes this year, which would have been higher but he was hurt by dropped balls all season. His long ball is amazing, and reminds me a little of that deep ball you see Joe Flacco chuck all the time. He can throw from any angle, and doesn’t need to plant his feet to really throw a fast ball. Obviously with he has that 6-6 frame that NFL teams love to see, but his footwork and maturity really could hurt him in the draft. I think that a big reason he left early is because he losing his two big targets at receiver. I think he has a lot to learn at Quarterback, but hey sit him behind a good QB for a few years and he will learn
Matt Barkley, 6-2 230 lb., QB USC
Everyone knows that if Barkley didn’t stay his senior year he would probably be in position to be a starter (or in a QB competition) on a crappy NFL team. He came back to school, and it hurt him bad. He didn’t have bad stats this season (throwing for 34 touchdowns) but his decision making was terrible in my opinion. He also injured his shoulder which caused him to sit out a few games. His size, and skill set aren’t the most talented, but I don’t think people should count Barkley out. On an NFL team that has the talent, i think he can prosper. I see him to be a lot like Mark Sanchez. A team will take a chance on him, and they might look great, or they could look like the Jets do right now. Barkley will be a project but I truly think a team will take him.
Geno Smith, 6-3 214 lb., QB West Virginia
Heres the stat line that sticks out to me: West Virginia vs. Baylor, Smith was 45-61 for 656 yards, and 8 touchdowns. Oh yeah, he also didn’t throw a pick that whole game. His accuracy is great, and his field vision is amazing. He can fit balls into tight windows, and also drop finesse passes into his receivers bread baskets. He also showed he has good football intelligence that I think will transition well into the NFL. He is also very mobile, and if this season didn’t prove it, next season will, the NFL really digs Quarterbacks that can move around inside and out of the pocket. He will definitely have to develop his footwork at the next level but I think that will come with experience. He also has to work on sustaining drives, but it looks like he will be a top 20 pick this year, and possibly even top 10.
Well thats all for this week folks. Check in again next week when I start Part 1 of my preview on running backs. Just a heads up for readers, I like speed, so expect these running backs to be some of the fastest in their draft class. I hope you all enjoyed, and be excited to see what ball carriers I think will thrive in the draft, and also take it easy.