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Old 12-09-2012, 12:34 AM    (permalink
Caulibflower
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Default I Think These Are My Top 5 Seniors

MIKE GLENNON

Similar to Eli Manning/Matt Ryan. No better than average athletically at the quarterback position, but he's tall and has a legit arm. Has good pocket presence, accuracy, decisiveness and aggression with his throws and possesses the ability to read defenses and go through his progressions. I think this is the number one quarterback this year, and I'm pretty comfortable with that. No one else gives me the same confidence that he could step into an offense and start slinging it; all the other prospects have elements to their game that make me think their coaches would gameplan to protect them a little bit - with Glennon, the coaches of course are going to be bringing him along as they think he's capable, but I think his learning curve looks to be the shortest; I think he could go to a team like Arizona and be putting up 250 yards a game immediately. He'll probably be throwing a few picks, and might even be a bit of a liability in that regard throughout his career, (like plenty of "great" QBs) but at the very least he strikes me as a QB who's always going to get his yards every game. He'll definitely be able to move an offense, but the littler things that lead to NFL success always remain to be seen. Think Brandon Weeden if he was 5 years younger.

And remember - Russell Wilson was his sensei.


MATT BARKLEY

Reminds me of Matt Hasselbeck/Kurt Warner - more athletic, high-profile version. Still not a fantastic athlete, nor does he have great size or arm strength, but he's pretty well-composed, has a quick release and gets rid of the ball quickly and has an attacking mentality. He can make NFL throws - his arm is strong enough. He can beat defenses with timing and accuracy. He'll set up his receivers to make plays. I see him as having a low floor. If he can't win games, I feel like he won't lose them. He could start for the Cardinals tomorrow. Would you pick him out of a pool of "blue chip" prospects? Maybe not. But he could start for the Cardinals tomorrow.

I'm fine with first round. If a team can settle for what looks to me like competent, fire away.


GENO SMITH

Less-composed, bigger-armed Sam Bradford/Alex Smith(current version). Good enough to be a long-term starter if you're ok with not having a superstar. That's how I see him. You don't really think of Geno Smith as being "cautious" like those two, due to his stats, but that's the way he plays - remember, both Alex Smith and Sam Bradford put up huge numbers in college, but haven't measured up against NFL peers in the same way. That's what I see for Geno. I see someone who doesn't like to come off of his primary reads and doesn't respond especially well to pressure. He's a pretty good athlete, but not quite on the level that he can be a regular rushing threat.

He does have nice touch on his deep ball. He's accurate when he's comfortable. As most quarterbacks are. I think the Mountaineers have a crazy good offense this year. I think Geno's a big part of that. Something about me just doesn't trust him at the top of the first, though. I think later in the round, or in round 2, but he's a lot like Kaepernick was to me coming out, (without quite the arm), in that his performance in the passing game mostly consists of receiving a snap, and then taking a few steps back while looking at the receiver he wants to throw to, and then eventually either throwing it, running it, taking a sack or, very rarely, throwing it to another receiver. But the Mountaineers have such good players right now that everything works, and they can just attack defenses where they want to. I'm just not sure how he'll respond if a much heavier burden is placed on him. He's got a very good arm, and there's nothing to suggest he can't read defenses, but the fact that his footwork is pretty bad and I don't see him going through progressions means you're drafting pretty much purely for the arm and you have to expect a learning curve. He could pick it up quickly, but it looks like there's some work to do.

That said, mid first is fine, or really any team that's resigned to a rebuilding year or has a transitional-type starter (Jacksonville, Etc.) But I don't think if a cellar team drafts him he's going to have anything close to the kind of success we've seen this year's rookies enjoy. At least, I would be surprised. Impressed, rather.


TYLER WILSON

The comparison I find myself wanting to make is Christian Ponder. Is a guy with above-average athleticism that doesn't really make him a better quarterack. He's just an above-average-ly erratic passer. Doesn't wow me at all with his arm. Doesn't have great zip. Sometimes I think it's because he tries to throw only with his arm.

I see him hang in the pocket and take big shots to deliver accurate throws. Can avoid the pass rush. Will slide up through small lanes with defensive ends squeezing down on the pocket; keeps his eyes downfield. This can sometimes be a negative in that he often tries to keep plays going as long as possible when sometimes he should just take a sack. Is improvisational, but not always with success. Will seem like he has just noticed a receiver is open and looks like he throws it the moment he glimpses that receiver (after a play has broken down), resulting in some throws which are innaccurate due to his feet being unset or his shoulders being at an awkward angle to his target. One of the things you like about Wilson is that he can make throws at awkward angles, but conversely he tries to make throws from awkward angles that make you facepalm, thinking, "No, no, no… don't notice the running back running a swing pass in the opposite direction of you and try to throw a pass to him while rotating your torso in the opposite direction 90 degrees and turning into a half-backpedal." Sometimes you wish he'd just take the time to set his feet, square up and throw instead of trying to throw from a full sprint, or while he's falling away from pressure, or what have you. It's some of the little things like that that bother me and make me wonder about his instincts, really: what do you expect to gain from tossing it to the running back who failed at pass protection if you're being sacked, and he's standing 5 yards behind the original line of scrimmage with the defense bearing down? I suppose I'm saying he's a gunslinger, but kind of a haphazard one at this point in his career. He'll shoot himself in the foot.

I suppose I'm really saying that despite as negative as all that probably sounded, with discipline this kid could be Aaron Rodgers.

Reads and reacts to defenses.

Is good at connecting on sideline throws and comback routes. NFL throws in his resume.

Occasional accuracy issues when throwing off-balance or on the move. Tendency for his balls to be high.

Right now making me think of Christian Ponder.


LANDRY JONES

Has the arm talent. I'll give him that. Has a quick release, is pretty accurate and can throw a nice deep ball. Throws catchable passes and puts the ball in places where his receiver can make a play on it.

Not impressive under pressure. Will look flustered and confused where to go - will stop looking downfield, but isn't a good enough scrambler. Throws off his back foot a lot when there is pressure coming at him. Actually makes some impressive throws doing this, but also throws up some ducks you really wish he would've stepped into.

Although in a way, I want to say he's inconsistent under pressure. It's not pressure itself forces his errors - he's not nearly as bad as Gabbert about refusing to step up in the pocket; it's not so much a panicky, instinctive backward movement away from pressure so much as that he seems kind of jittery even as he's stepping up into the pocket, even as he's moving into throwing lanes.

I'll say this about Jones - when he looks comfortable in the pocket, the passes he makes can be beautiful. When the play is set up well against the defense and he can throw to the guy he wants to throw to, the ball goes where it's supposed to and he's very effective. However, what concerns me about Jones is that he just doesn't look comfortable once the pressure gets there - he doesn't look good making plays while dealing with pressure. If he can get away for a second and re-sync, he's alright, but if the pocket is collapsing and his primary read isn't open… bad things happen. Sometimes throws it away when it looks like he still has a throw. Just not reliable. What I keep seeing is a big-time arm talent who isn't clutch. Just doesn't deal well with plays going off-script. If he sees that his receiver is about to come open, he'll hang in the pocket and take a hit, which I like. But if pressure's coming and no one's open, he just doesn't make plays happen. So I feel like his arm is good enough that he can be an NFL quarterback, but he's a guy who I'll be worrying about protection and the ability of his receivers to separate; elite QBs will compensate for that. I might compare him to Jason Campbell. Good backup-type, potential starter for some teams, has a nice arm but just doesn't have that gamer vibe. Expect him to put on a show in scripted workouts.

But again… if he's protected and can make his dropback and make his throw on-tempo, he looks like an NFL quarterback. Physically, absolutely. He's grown on me just a little since last year. I was pretty adamant that I didn't like Jones last year, but that's because people were calling him a first-round pick. He's a lot like Ryan Mallett to me. I'm impressed over and over again with his arm, but it's all about deaing with pressure for him. I think that ought to keep him out of the first round, but for teams with mediocre or aging veteran starters, Jones has got to be at the top of their lists this year for quarterbacks who can eventually acclimate to the speed of the game and be serviceable in a pinch - there are always roster spots for backup quarterbacks.

Really want to emphasize that Jones looks fantastic when he's well-protected. We just all know that's not how the NFL games will be. I'd compare him to Tannehill without as much pocket presence or athleticism. But one of the biggest positives about Tannehill was his pocket presence. Jones has only had three games all season where he did not throw an interception. Where I say Glennon throws picks because he's trying to make plays, I think Jones has a higher percentage of picks resulting not from over-aggression, but because he doesn't know what else to do but huck it.

It's always a question of how a prospect responds to coaching though, and if it's the right situation he certainly has the physical ability.
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