Without Geno and Barkley, this game really takes a hit. In the long run, only two or three quarterbacks per draft class end up panning out and I think Geno and Barkley are the 2013 class’ best chances. Let’s see if any of the six Senior Bowl quarterbacks will make a splash in the NFL. Here’s how I rank them heading into this week.
#1 Landry Jones, Oklahoma (SOUTH)
Remember in 2010 when everyone was sky high on Landry Jones and thought he was a sure fire RD 1 pick? Well, there’s good news and bad news to this statement. The bad news is that Landry has not progressed as a player since 2010. His growth has plateaued and he likely ‘is what he is,’ leaving little room for growth in the NFL. On the other hand, the good news is that Landy Jones in 2012 performed almost identically to Landry Jones in 2010, meaning that he’s still a high performing quarterback, relatively speaking. Away from his comfy Oklahoma environment, it will be interesting to see how Landry performs this week.
#2 EJ Manuel (SOUTH)
The good news about EJ Manuel is that he still appears to be growing as a quarterback. In virtually every metric his numbers improved from 2011 to 2012, indicating that there’s still upside. Perhaps with superior NFL coaching, the raw talent that everyone has loved will blossom into a star caliber player. The frustrating part about EJ is that the production, in the form of high TD passing game performances, isn’t there. Consider that in 2011 AND 2012 combined, he only had SIX meaningful games with 2+ TD passes. Compare this with single season performances from guys like Drew Brees (8 in 2000), Tom Brady (7 in 1999), and Andrew Luck (7 in 2011) and it’s clear to see that something is awry. Manuel is an interesting player, but I’d like to see more.
#3 Ryan Nassib (NORTH)
In the same way that Landry Jones ‘plateaued’ between 2010 and 2012, the same could be said for Nassib. He threw touchdowns at a lower rate, interceptions at a higher rate, and overall graded out as a low-ceiling prospect. He strikes me as a serviceable backup, game-manager type, but others seem to think he’s top 50 material. Like Ryan Tannehill, he seems to be a hot candidate for 3rd best QB contention, which could send him shooting up draft boards. I’ll be watching him close this week to see if he ‘flashes’.
#4 Tyler Wilson (SOUTH)
Wilson is REALLY hard to get a read on. His performance–and the team– went from outstanding with Bobby Petrino in 2011 to an utter debacle in 2012 under John L Smith. While his attempts/gm and completion percentage held relatively steady, he threw touchdowns 20% less often and interceptions 300% more often. Unlike Nassib, Manuel, Jones, and Glennon, Tyler Wilson didn’t play in a bowl game. With 7 weeks to prep for this game, he needs to impress or risk getting lost in the fray.
#5 Mike Glennon (NORTH)
Glennon is a curious case. He threw the ball 18 more times per game in 2012 than in 2011, completing fewer passes but completing them further down field. This would indicate to me that he was playing catch-up a lot. To further this theory, his interception rate was the highest of any Senior Bowl quarterback. As an overall product, he seems to have slightly regressed from his 2011 form; not the direction you want to be heading in when the competition is only going to get tougher.
#6 Zac Dysert (NORTH)
Dysert is my lowest graded QB in this game. Despite entering 2012 as a buzzy mid-major prospect, Dysert failed to back up his 2011 performance. Despite his pass attempts and pass-distance remaining steady, he completed 7 percent fewer passes. His TD% held steady but his interception% spiked. Given the disastrous state of the Miami University football program, it will be interesting to see how he fairs in this game. With an improved supporting cast, will his talent shine through? Or will the increased level of competition, compared to the MAC, cause him to struggle?