The Quarterback Prospect Shuffle
The fact the 2013 NFL Draft doesn’t have a clear-cut No. 1 quarterback prospect makes this draft very interesting. Look for the last half of the first round to include a mad scramble of trades. This is what happens when a quarterback class features prospects so closely graded.
Let’s first look at the different quarterback prospects. West Virginia’s Geno Smith is the only quarterback I have with a solid first-round grade. He represents the most balance between NFL readiness and upside.
Smith is generating the most buzz as the potential No. 1 overall pick. The workouts and interviews will be key to where he lands. This is a good sign for Smith, as he boasts a high football IQ and displays leadership.
After Smith, the rest of the group is jumbled together as early second-round prospects. This group includes Matt Barkley, Tyler Wilson, Mike Glennon, and Ryan Nassib. Each one of these quarterbacks has a legitimate shot of coming off the board in the first round. This is why we can expect to see a flurry of trades between picks 26 and 32.
The quarterback-needy teams that might consider making a move include the Kansas City Chiefs, Jacksonville Jaguars, Arizona Cardinals, New York Jets, and Buffalo Bills. Each of these teams have varying degrees of need at the position. However, they all must come out of this draft with a young quarterback to develop for the future.
Owning the No. 1 overall pick puts the Chiefs in the past position to land the quarterback they prefer the most. They need to decide if Geno Smith is worth the No. 1 pick, or they’ll have to consider a trade to get back into the first round.
The Jets, Bills and Jaguars all have a quarterback in place that can hold down the fort. These are the teams that are more than likely willing to sit back and wait to see who falls into their laps. However, if they favor a specific quarterback, making a trade is the right decision.
Arizona is the other team that desperately needs to address the quarterback position. This is the one team that could reach on a quarterback early in the first round.
After listing the quarterback-needy teams, it’s time to identify those teams that might consider moving out of the first round. These are typically teams that have solid starters at most positions, or don’t see a worthy prospect at a position of need.
The Denver Broncos, San Francisco 49ers, and New England Patriots are teams that don’t have a pressing need. Of course, they could add talent in different areas, but they have enough to address those holes in the second round.
Teams like the Green Bay Packers and Seattle Seahawks have specific needs that they might be able to be addressed at the end of the first round.
Now, it’s time to look at some scenarios.