It’s the time of year where fans of teams that didn’t make playoffs turn their attention to the draft and look to the future. Unfortunately, Raiders fans are apart of that collective. Here I give you a look at the top prospects (senior and juniors that have declared to date, only) at every position as we head towards the 2013 NFL draft. We will post refreshed rankings after the combine,pro days etc.
The first position to address is Quarterback. While the Raiders may not be in the market for a top prospect, how the quarterbacks are rated will have a large effect on the top of the draft. The Raiders pick 3rd and there is a good chance that at least one of the top two selections will be a quarterback.
1.Geno Smith 6’3 220 lbs West Virginia
Has all the tools: the arm, mobility and size to be an elite quarterback in the NFL but he needs to work on his accuracy, footwork and consistency to reach his full potential. When he is “on” he can be a surgeon, cutting up defenses with ease. If Reggie McKenzie sees Aaron Rodgers in this kid don’t be surprised if he picks him. However, the Raiders may not have a chance at Smith as he very well may be first player picked.
Pro Comparison: Aaron Rodgers
2.Tyler Wilson 6’3 220 lbs Arkansas
Wilson is a bonafide gunslinger in the same mold as Favre and Romo. That is both good and bad as he sometimes makes bad decisions by putting too much trust in his arm. He has shown he elevates players around him, however. Wilson can hang in the pocket and takes the tough hits while still delivering the ball. Unfortunately, his many hits have resulted in multiple concussions so NFL teams will be looking into his medical history before spending a high pick on him. Wilson possess the best pure arm of all the senior QBs.
Pro Comparison: Tony Romo
3. Zac Dysert 6’4 230 lbs Miami(Ohio)
Another QB that elevates the talent around him is Zac Dysert out of Miami(Ohio). With above average arm and good mobility, Zac has put up good numbers passing this year, ending with 3483 yards, 26 TDs and 12 ints despite being surrounded by lesser players on the Miami (Ohio) offense. With a good Senior Bowl week, he could rise up boards.
Pro Comparison: Ryan Fitzpatrick
4.Mike Glennon 6’5 232 lbs NC State
Glennon has the size that makes scouts drool but lacks the mobility that is pined after in elite QBs these days. While lacking in mobility Glennon has a solid arm, decent touch/accuracy and the necessary leadership skills for the position. I question his frame, however, and wonder if he will be able to hold up to the pounding an NFL QB faces in a season as Glennon possesses a very slim build. Glennon’s off season leading up to the Draft will be very important in determining where he goes in the draft. It'll be interesting to see where he lands as opinions on Glennon vary widely.
Pro Comparison: Jason Campbell/Joe Flacco
5.Matt Barkley 6’2 232 lbs USC
Barkley started the year as the consensus Heisman favorite and what seemed like a sure-fire top pick in the draft. After a down year from both his team and in his own play, his stock has fallen. Barkley may still be selected high with a good offseason and based upon his potential (think Jake Locker who, like Barkley, had a poor year prior to entering the draft but still was selected in the top 10). Not helping Barkley was that he injured his shoulder later in year. What I see from Barkley is he has good accuracy, a decent arm and good mobility but he seems to lack the ability to put his skills together to elevate not only his own play, but the play of those around him.
Pro Comparison: Matt Flynn
For more thoughts on the Raiders or the NFL Draft prospects, follow Tyler on Twitter @Raiderpedia