Evaluating The 2013 NFL QB Class

Evaluating The 2013 NFL QB Class

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The 2013 NFL Draft was by no means considered elite for QBs. Skill players were not highly desired with a plethora of offensive lineman and defensive players drafted early.

Perhaps not elite, this draft contained a few QB prospects that had the potential to develop into franchise talents. There was tons of doubt as to where everyone would be drafted, uncertainty spread through draft night. Let?s check out how these prospects panned out.

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E.J. Manuel: Buffalo Bills (Round 1, Pick 16)

With scouts not being able to hone in on a #1 QB prospect, the Buffalo Bills decided to draft E.J. Manuel to be their face of the franchise. Manuel came from a highly coveted Florida State program. With his elite size, strong arm, and tantalizing athleticism, Manuel was a raw prospect that could be molded into something great.

Manuel got the starting nod from Day 1. His first few years were a legitimate struggle. Manuel never got his career off the ground. Injuries, inconsistency, poor accuracy all hampered Manuel?s chances to excel as an NFL starter. As the years went on, Manuel?s productivity declined as he fell out of favor with the organization.

After 4 years with the Bills, Manuel signed on to back up Derek Carr in Oakland. Manuel predictably struggled in spot starts in 2017 before being released in the 2018 offseason. E.J. Manuel will go down as one of the bigger 1st round busts in recent history. Manuel is talented enough to potentially latch on as a backup somewhere but is by no means ever going to be a starter in the NFL again.

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Geno Smith: New York Jets (Round 2, Pick 39)

Geno Smith was a 1st round talent who was the closest thing to a franchise QB in this draft, so to see him go in the 2nd round was a surprise. Still, the Jets got their franchise QB and replacement for mega bust Mark Sanchez. Smith had an NFL caliber arm and all the tools to develop into a franchise QB.

Smith looked lost as a rookie, throwing for a disgusting 12:21 TD to INT ratio. Smith had a ?better? sophomore year throwing for a 13:13 TD to INT ratio. The Jets remained committed to Smith in 2015, but a resurgence from Ryan Fitzpatrick had Geno Smith regulated to backup duties. Fitzpatrick remained the starter in 2016, but ineffectiveness had him benched in favor of Smith halfway through the season.

In his first start of the 2016 season, Geno Smith tore his ACL in the middle of the game, effectively ending his season. The Jets moved on from Smith, who signed on to be the backup to Eli Manning for a year before going to LA to hold the clipboard for Philip Rivers. Like Manuel, Smith will continue as a backup in the NFL, but his days as an NFL starter are over.

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Mike Glennon: Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Round 3, Pick 73)

Mike Glennon was drafted to be the backup to starter Josh Freeman, who had a career season the year before. Glennon stood big & tall at 6?7? 225 lbs, he was an immobile QB who struggled with accuracy but had an insane arm. Glennon was set to be a quality backup who could eventually develop into a starter.

With Josh Freeman struggling mightily the first three games of 2012, Glennon was named the starting QB in week 4. Glennon impressed with a 19:9 TD to INT ratio that season. But still, Tampa did not see enough to have Glennon be their QB of the future. Glennon mostly rode the bench the next few years, stepping in for a few spot starts but generally struggling when he did.

The Chicago Bears signed Glennon to a huge 3-year $45 million contract in 2017 to be their starting QB. Glennon lasted all but 4 games before being benched in favor of rookie Mitchell Tribusky. Glennon was cut following the 2017 season and proceeded to sign with the Arizona Cardinals as their no. 3 QB. After a strong rookie year, Glennon?s NFL days are going to be relegated to 2nd and potentially 3rd string duties, being an NFL starter is out of the question.

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Matt Barkley: Philadelphia Eagles: (Round 4, Pick 98)

Matt Barkley was quite the peculiar case. The USC QB got better each of his 3 years and likely would have been an early 1st round pick if he left after his Junior year. Instead, Barkley opted to stay for his senior year which hurt his draft stock, but nobody predicted he would slide all the way to the 4th round. Barkley didn?t have the elite arm or athleticism but was a strong decision maker with good accuracy.

The Barkley experiment was a disaster from the beginning. Delegated to backup duties his rookie year, Barkley came in relief of a Nick Foles and threw 3 INTs in the 4th quarter. Barkley barely saw the field the rest of his rookie and sophomore years. The Eagles traded Barkley to the Arizona Cardinals in 2015.

Barkley bounced all around the league, barely playing, struggling if/when he did. His latest contract came with the Cincinnati Bengals who released him in September after a torn ACL ended his season. Barkley?s days in the NFL are likely finished. While he may be signed as a backup somewhere, Barkley is most likely going to be regulated to practice squads for the rest of his career.

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Ryan Nassib: New York Giants (Round 4, Pick 110)

It?s almost terrifying to think about, but the Buffalo Bills were very close to drafting Ryan Nassib in the 1st round. They instead took the aforementioned E.J. Manuel, and the Giants swooped up Ryan Nassib in the 4th round, who was tabbed to be the Eli Manning?s eventual successor.

Nassib simply never put it together as an NFL starter. Touted as Eli Manning?s eventual successor, Nassib?s career took a steep dive after his rookie year. Nassib went from being a steady backup his rookie year to being almost cut his 2nd year, to being almost traded his 3rd and 4th years.

Nassib?s time with the Giants eventually expired and Nassib went running around the league to anyone that would give him a chance. Nassib continues to sign practice squad contracts only to get dumped short after. Preposterously suggested as a 1st round pick many years ago, Nassib?s career has fallen off a cliff and it?s fair to question if he?ll ever be on an NFL roster again.

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Landry Jones: Pittsburgh Steelers (Round 4, Pick 115)

With an aging Ben Rothlisberger, the Steelers made the smart decision to draft Landry Jones with the hopes of grooming him into their eventual starter. After impressing his first two years, Jones slumped his final two years at Oklahoma. Jones most definitely had an NFL-caliber arm, the rest of his game was in question.

Jones was relegated to 2nd and 3rd string duties for the majority of his first four years. He stepped in for spot starts, struggling mightily. The Steelers resigned Jones in 2017 to a 2-year contract. Jones played 2nd fiddle to Rothlisberger for a year before being cut in the 2018 offseason.

With the Steelers drafting Mason Rudolph in the 3rd round this year, Landry Jones was deemed expendable. After 5 years, Jones couldn?t put his arm talent to good work, struggling with pocket presence and decision making. Jones is not starting material, but he should resurface soon as a backup.

The Others:

4th Round: Tyler Wilson

7th Round: Brad Sorensen, Zac Dysert, B.J. Daniels, Sean Renfree

A group of players taken late with little to no expectations, these QBs never developed into anything tangible.

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Final Thoughts

It?s pretty obvious, this QB draft class was atrocious. One of the worst QB draft classes of all, this is a draft class filled with a bunch of ?once upon a time(s).? The 2013 draft class did not have huge expectations, but nobody expected these guys to flame out like this.

Geno Smith, E.J. Manuel, Matt Barkley were viewed as potential franchise guys at one point. Now they?re all backups or out of the league. It?s a very disappointing draft class, with 0 hope for the future. The worst QB draft class of all time might be the JaMarcus Russell led 2007 draft class, but this certainly rivals it.

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