Each year a unique set of prospects enters the professional ranks with a chance to make an immediate impact on the country's most powerful sport. The 2013 NFL Draft, held April 25-27, won’t be any different.
Following the combine, experts now have an even playing field to compare prospect's measurables. Heights, weights, 40-yard dash times and bench reps are all official NFL Combine stats. Today, we rank college football's best quarterbacks prospects — and do so with the help of Chris Leak, 2006 BCS National Championship Game MVP for the Florida Gators. You can follow @CLQB12 or hear him on SiriusXM College Sports Nation's Coast-to-Coast nightly radio show from 7-10 PM ET with Chris Childers.
Measurables: Height, Weight, 40-yard dash
1. Geno Smith, West Virginia (Sr.)
Measurables: 6-2, 218, 4.59
Final Stats: 44 GP, 11,662 yds, 98 TD, 21 INT, 67.4%, 245 att., 342 yds, 4 TD
Smith may have the biggest arm of any prospect in the class with the possible exception of Tyler Bray. He is poised, lightning quick in his release and decision-making and has posted some huge numbers. He threw over 1,000 passes in his final two seasons with only 13 interceptions to go with 73 scoring strikes. He wasn't asked to run the ball much but was the fastest quarterback at the combine. He will be knocked for his bad second half of 2012 and that his numbers have been inflated by the shotgun, no-huddle spread attack at West Virginia. If he can prove he can play from under center and in a pro-style attack, Smith possesses all the elite tools to be an excellent quarterback on Sundays. Comparison: A more athletic Matthew Stafford
Chris Leak's Scouting Report: Elite passer at CFB level. Student of the game with high football I.Q. Field general that can have immediate impact on an NFL franchise.
2. EJ Manuel, Florida State (Sr.)
Measurables: 6-5, 237, 4.65
Final Stats: 43 GP, 7,741 yds, 47 TD, 28 INT, 66.9%, 298 att., 827 yds, 11 TD
Manuel might be the most intriguing prospect on this entire list. He entered college as an elite prospect and took three full seasons to develop into the star he is today. He has a huge frame and big arm to make all of the throws. He is an excellent member of the community who will work extremely hard in the pros. He also has above average athletic ability to keep plays alive and move the chains with his legs as his time in the 40 indicates. However, he is unrefined as a true pocket passer and will need work developing his motion and release. He was an efficient passer (66.9-percent) but scouts will wonder if that translates given the much smaller passing windows in the NFL. He also has dealt with some injury issues in his past, especially in big games like against Oklahoma in 2011 and the second half of the Florida game this fall. The upside is massive with Manuel, who led his team to a conference and BCS bowl championship for the first time in nearly a decade, but he has some major question marks. Comparison: A less efficient Carson Palmer
Leak's Scouting Report: Ideal height with the arm strength to push the ball downfield. Has ability to extend and make plays with his legs. Intriguing NFL prospect because of his raw physical tools and athletic ability.
3. Matt Barkley, USC (Sr.)
Measurables: 6-2, 227, N/A
Final Stats: 47 GP, 12,327 yds, 116 TD, 48 INT, 64.1%, 132 att., minus-113 yds, 6 TD
It was important that Barkley checked in at 6-foot-2 as some doubted his overall size. But he has more than adequate build and bulk to be a starter on the next level. His numbers have been huge —12,327 yards and 116 TD passes — and he is an upstanding member of any locker room. He wasn't overtly efficient (64.1 completion rate, 48 INT) but produced at a high level in the face of severe NCAA sanctions. He has a big arm and plays in a pro-style offense, but overcoming his late-season shoulder injury this fall will take some effort. There is little downside to Barkley as a professional as there are no questions about his work ethic, commitment, dedication to winning and leadership. The injury and team struggles in '12 have overshadowed a record-setting and admirable career for a prospect who is used to living in a fish bowl. Comparison: A slower Andy Dalton
Leak's Scouting Report: Intelligent QB who does so many of the little things well. Fundamentally sound and solid mechanics will allow immediate success at next level.
4. Tyler Bray, Tennessee (Jr.)
Measurables: 6-6, 232, 5.05
Final Stats: 28 GP, 7,444 yds, 69 TD, 28 INT, 58.6%, 61 att., minus-207 yds, TD
There is no middle ground with this prospect as his ceiling is as high as his floor is low. Bray has a first-round arm, a first-round frame and has played against first-round competition in the SEC. But the pure pocket passer currently has a seventh-round head on his shoulders and a terrible record against that elite competition. He can make every throw in the book, but he hasn't proven he can protect the football, stay healthy or lead an offensive huddle. He has a terrific 2.5 touchdowns-per-game career ratio but that's tempered by an ominous 1.0 interception-per-game career rate. Scouts will love his raw skills but will have major doubts about his mental makeup, maturity and dedication. Comparison: A taller Philip Rivers
Leak's Scouting Report: Gunslinger with great height to scan entire field. Great feel on downfield throws. Needs to improve accuracy on intermediate throws.
5. Tyler Wilson, Arkansas (Sr.)
Measurables: 6-2, 215, 4.95
Final Stats: 37 GP, 7,765 yds, 52 TD, 26 INT, 62.8%, 110 att., minus-44 yds, 4 TD
Wilson was highly thought of by college and pro personnel alike until this fall. His offensive production was clearly not the same without Bobby Petrino and it will raise questions about Wilson's long-term upside. He is one of the smallest quarterbacks in the top 10 and that is a concern as a pro-style pocket passer. He has a solid arm, displays toughness (just ask his OL), yet he does not possess one elite discernable talent . However, he has no glaring weakness either, making his floor higher than many others on this list. His team went from 11 wins to four in one year and his numbers plummeted in his senior season (3,638 yards, 24 TD, 6 INT in 2011 and 3,387 yards, 21 TD, 13 INT in 2012). His touchdown-interception ratio is one of the worst among other highly ranked quarterback prospects (2:1). Comparison: A better Mark Sanchez
Leak's Scouting Report: Possesses a strong arm, and has ability to fit passes through tight windows. Didn't progress as a senior however.
6. Mike Glennon, NC State (Sr.)
Measurables: 6-7, 225, 4.94
Final Stats: 36 GP, 7,411 yds, 63 TD, 31 INT, 60.4%, 112 att., minus-292 yds, 3 TD
There isn't much left to learn about Glennon other than one key attribute. He has a massive frame that is perfect for an NFL pocket passer and could even carry 10-15 more pounds if needed. He is not an elite athlete but has some sneaky mobility so his big frame and big arm are well-suited for the pass-happy NFL. He has played with an underwhelming offensive supporting cast and his running game has been non-existent over the last two seasons. His biggest red flag is his penchant for being inaccurate, as he barely completed 60 percent of his passes, and his tendency to turn the ball over a bit too much (29 INTs in last two seasons). But he also was the reason Russell Wilson transferred to Wisconsin and he threw for over 7,000 yards and 62 TDs in the two seasons he was the starter. Comparison: A less accurate Joe Flacco
Leak's Scouting Report: Has ideal size and arm strength for the next level, but needs to continue and improve his technique. Unpolished with his footwork and needs to refine the details of the position.
7. Zac Dysert, Miami-Ohio (Sr.)
Measurables: 6-3, 231, N/A
Final Stats: 46 GP, 12,013 yds, 73 TD, 51 INT, 63.8%, 461 att., 1,086 yds, 12 TDs
Surprisingly athletic for a player of his size. It gives him good feet in the pocket and the ability to turn nothing into something. His frame could actually carry more muscle and he could play bigger and stronger. He can, at times, give up on the play too quickly, often looking to maneuver in the pocket quicker than needed. Dysert has loads of experience and looks the part of an NFL signal caller. Does he have elite accuracy and patience in the pocket to be successful on the next level? Comparison: Ryan Fitzpatrick
Leak's Scouting Report: Displays an obvious understanding of the game of football, with great size and height with the arm strength to stretch defenses from sideline to sideline. Shows confidence in arm and throwing with accuracy.
8. Landry Jones, Oklahoma (Sr.)
Measurables: 6-4, 225, 5.11
Final Stats: 52 GP, 16,646 yds, 123 TD, 52 INT, 63.6%, 132 att., minus-375 yds, 3 TD
Few players have ever been as productive as Jones in college. He finished third all-time in history in yards behind only Case Keenum and Timmy Chang and is fifth all-time in passing touchdowns. Yet, he has struggled with turnovers (52 INTs) and has struggled to win big games — on the road or at home. He has good size and a good arm as a potential pocket-passer, but will have to overcome the dreaded "system" mantra. Oklahoma quarterbacks haven't been successful in the pro game with the possible exception of Sam Bradford, while elite wideouts, a big-time OL and mediocre defenses have inflated his numbers. Comparison: A less-talented Matt Schaub
Leak's Scouting Report: Very accurate passer in the pocket but not as much on the move. Can lead receivers down the field and on crossing routes, places throws where only his man can make a play. Ideal size and athletic ability for the next level.
9.Ryan Nassib, Syracuse (Sr.)
Measurables: 6-2, 227, 5.06
Final Stats:48 GP, 9,190 yds, 70 TD, 28 INT, 60.1%, 242 att., 168 yds, 5 TD
There is little that stands out about the former Syracuse quarterback. His overall arm strength might be his most intriguing feature. He has a solid release and can power the football to all levels. He is a smart player who led a underdog roster of two-star prospects to multiple bowl games. He will force the ball at times, is smaller than most in this draft class and overall lacks quickness and speed. He will also need to adjust to playing under center as an exclusive shotgun player in college. There is some intrigue with Nassib but more thanComparison: A much-less athletic Jake Locker
Leak's Scouting Report: Has good arm strength and is very accurate throwing on the run. Shows toughness and is a gamer with a lot of potential.
10. Sean Renfree, Duke (Sr.)
Measureables:6-3, 219, N/A
Final Stats:42 GP, 9,465 yds, 50 TD, 41 INT, 64.7%, 153 att., minus-167 yds, 9 TD
All of the physical tools are there for Renfree. He has a solid arm, quick release, quick feet and a good sized frame. He also led lowly Duke back to the postseason as a senior. However, he turned the ball over a bunch and lost a lot of games. It remains to be seen if that is more of a function of his situation and surrounding cast of lower than capable NFL talent.Comparison: A more physically gifted Matt Moore
The Best of the Rest:
11. Colby Cameron, Louisiana Tech (6-2, 212)
12. Matt Scott, Arizona (6-2, 213)
13. Jordan Rodgers, Vanderbilt (6-0, 205)
14. Alex Carder, Western Michigan (6-2, 225)
15. Brad Sorensen, Southern Utah (6-4, 229)
16. Ryan Griffin, Tulane
17. Collin Klein, Kansas State (6-5, 226)
18. James Vandenberg, Iowa
19. Mitchell Gale, Abeline Christian
20. Tino Sunseri, Pitt
2013 NFL Draft Positional Rankings:
NFL Draft Rankings 2013: Quarterbacks
NFL Draft Rankings 2013: Running Backs
NFL Draft Rankings 2013: Wide Receivers
NFL Draft Rankings 2013: Tight Ends
NFL Draft Rankings 2013: Offensive Tackles
NFL Draft Rankings 2013: Guards and Centers