The NFL draft is fast approaching and the Ravens front office is busy preparing. the NFL combine is coming up soon and before that happens, lets get some preliminary rankings done by position. In this first edition we will take a look at the Wide Receiver class.
Overall thoughts: This class sucks. Maybe we have just been spoiled by the past couple years of super deep and talent heavy classes, but this year just seems horrible. There are only a handful of guys that teams should even consider in the first round, That group is basically Geno Smith, Mike Glennon, Tyler Wilson and Tyler Bray. Of that bunch, 3 are major project players and the other doesnt have a game that clearly translates to the pro style. yikes. That is the biggest reason that i found the assertion that the Ravens could let Flacco walk in exchange for 2 first rounders, there simply isn’t a viable replacement to be found.
1. Geno Smith, West Virginia- (2/14/13)Smith is the unquestioned top QB in the draft. He has great athleticism and accuracy but sometimes makes poor decisions. Overall though smith is the only QB that is highly talented and basically ready to start right now. the problem is that he needs to be in an offense that caters to his skills, they need to roll him out of the pocket and let him make throws in space. Smith certainly isnt a running QB, but he does have athleticism in spades and needs to be able to show it. Pro Comparison: Eli Manning.
2. Mike Glennon, NC State- (2/14/13)Glennon is the most interesting QB in the top of this draft. He has a huge huge arm. Like a Joe Flacco/Jay Cutler/Matt Stafford type arm. He is extremely tall(though he is very lanky and needs to pack on about 20 lbs to his frame) and can make every throw on the field. He has a good feel for defenses and shows a lot of potential. he basically had nothing to work with on the NC State offense and he still churned out some pretty good numbers. I like Glennon quite a bit and i probably have him ranked higher than you will see most places. Glennon is a bit of a project though, his footwork in the pocket leaves a lot to be desired and he tends to get trigger happy when there are bodies at his feet and his OL falls apart. Those are both very fixable things(he isnt afraid of contact like Gabbert). Pro Player Comparison: a skinny Joe Flacco.
3. Tyler Wilson, Arkansas- (2/14/13)Wilson is a tough guy to read. He had a pretty disappointing season this year, but he didnt have great WR targets and the coaching staff at arkansas was a bit of a mess. Wilson has all the physical skills, but has never quite put it all together at once. Even so, he will be a top 10 pick based on the desperation for QBs. Pro Comparison: Tony Romo.
4. Tyler Bray, Tennessee- (2/14/13)I really like Bray. If i were a team looking for a guy that i could develop into my franchise player, I would choose Bray over every other guy in the class. I love everything about this kid(ok maybe not everything). He has a monster arm, it will be a top 10 NFL arm from day one. He is big(6’6″ 220lbs) and strong and has big time pocket presence. Has a few years of experience running a pro offense and he possesses great mechanics in his throwing motion. He is a bit of a project though, he needs work on his footwork, he needs to make better decisions and learn to better protect the ball and he doesn’t have a reputation for being much of a leader. That said, those are all things you can work on and his physical skill set is the best in this draft. Pro Comparison: Jay Cutler.
5. Matt Barkley, USC- (2/14/13)Honestly, I am not so sure I don’t want Nassib above Barkley. I am a big believer that Barkley was responsible for a large portion of USCs issues this season. The guy had an NFL caliber receiving corp, a top 10 runningback, a top 10 OL and a solid TE. He should have shredded everybody. instead he was inconsistent and ultimately led USC to a terrible season. Barkley will be taken earlier than he deserves because teams reach so badly for QBs out of desperation. There is a chance he is a late first round pick but I grade him out as a late 2nd or early 3rd round player at best. Pro Player Comparison: Alex Smith.
6. Ryan Nassib, Syracuse
7. Landry Jones, OU
8. Zac Dysert, Miami(Ohio)
9. E.J. Manuel, FSU
10. Matt Scott, Arizona-
11. Alex Carder, Western Michigan
12. Colin Klein, K-State
13. Tino Sunseri, Pittsburgh