Zac Dysert

2013 NFL Draft: Predicting the Quarterback Rankings of the Draft’s QB Needy Teams

Each quarterback board is different for every NFL team. Factors such as current roster/quarterback situation, past experiences among decision makers, and scheme fits affect how teams evaluate quarterbacks. Teams adjust their “round grade” on quarterbacks drastically based on these factors, which results in wildly different opinions among teams throughout the league.

While this doesn’t include any insight into exactly what these teams are thinking, I’ve done my best to evaluate how each quarterback-needy team likely evaluates these top quarterbacks.

Kansas City Chiefs
1. Geno Smith, West Virginia
2. Ryan Nassib, Syracuse
3. EJ Manuel, Florida State
4. Zac Dysert, Miami OH
5. Matt Scott, Arizona

Notes:
Considering Andy Reid’s past with Donovan McNabb, Smith certainly could fit that same mold of a confident, athletic, yet able to win the pocket quarterback. While it seems highly unlikely that they’ll take Geno, he’s certainly the best fit for the Chiefs scheme-wise. We saw Reid take the decisive pocket passer Nick Foles last year, and while Nassib doesn’t have the same arm strength, it’s his decisiveness and high ceiling long-term that Reid has worked with in the past. Manuel fits Reid’s desire to take athleticism in a quarterback when possible (outside of the Foles pick), and Reid would have loved the chance to develop Manuel. Dysert’s ability to make plays on the move and big arm also ties into the Donovan McNabb-esque comparison, and his ability to keep plays alive, experience in multiple offenses, and strong arm could tempt Reid if he’s there in the early 3rd round. Finally, Matt Scott is another high ceiling passer with athleticism, and could be a Chiefs target in 3rd or 4th round.


Jacksonville Jaguars
1. Geno Smith, West Virginia
2. EJ Manuel, Florida State
3. Ryan Nassib, Syracuse
4. Zac Dysert, Miami OH
5. Matt Scott, Arizona

Notes:
The Jaguars seem to be focused on athleticism at the quarterback position based on their comments in the past as well as their focus on this current QB class. Geno Smith, who likely will be available with the 2nd overall pick, fits into what the Jaguars seem to want to do. Even moreso with the athletic quarterback, EJ Manuel fits that bill perfectly. With Gus Bradley seeing the success of a non-1st round athletic quarterback in Russell Wilson (who I’ve heard Manuel to be compared mentally and work-ethic wise), they could pass on Geno in favor of trading up for EJ Manuel. The team has worked out Nassib in the past, and though he isn’t nearly as athletic as Manuel/Smith, he does have some nimbleness to work inside and outside the pocket, and would work well early on with the short area working Blackmon. Also, new OC Jedd Fisch worked with Jay Cutler while in Denver, who shares some similarities (minus the arm strength) to Nassib. Dysert also fits the Fisch quarterbacks of the past, even moreso tied to the Jay Cutler comparison.

Oakland Raiders
1. Geno Smith, West Virginia
2. Matt Barkley, USC
3. Tyler Wilson, Arkansas
4. Mike Glennon, NC State
5. Zac Dysert, Miami OH

Notes:
The Raiders new offensive coordinator Greg Olson likely wants to run a more run-focused offense considering his success as a run-focused coordinator in Tampa Bay and St. Louis in the past. He seems to want more conservative, efficient passers who finish throws and make plays outside the pocket as well as winning in the short area. That fits Geno Smith to a tee, which is a major reason why I wouldn’t rule out Geno Smith at #3 overall. While Barkley doesn’t have the same athletic ability, he’s maybe the most NFL ready in terms of managing an offense, finishing throws in the short area (especially with a talented offensive line). Wilson was decisive as a short-mid range passer in 2011, when he had more talent at receiver and a more consistent run game. Glennon also fits that role as an efficient short area passer as well as one who can take advantage of teams bitting on the run game. Finally, Dysert fits the mobility, Josh Freeman-esque role that Olson has worked with in the past, and could be the developmental 3rd rounder they’re likely looking for at quarterback if they pass on Smith/Barkley at #3.


Philadelphia Eagles
1. Geno Smith, West Virginia
2. EJ Manuel, Florida State
3. Ryan Nassib, Syracuse
4. Matt Scott, Arizona
5. Zac Dysert, Miami OH

Notes:
Finding athletes that can fit what Chip Kelly’s NFL-adapted offense makes this one of the easier boards to project. Geno Smith could be the ideal transition for Kelly, as he’s athletic enough and has some experience as a zone read quarterback, while also having the arm and passing mechanics to take the offense to the next level. EJ Manuel fits the read option mold extremely well, and he could be the perfect heir to Michael Vick after a year of developing. Ryan Nassib (maybe surprisingly to some) has some experience running zone-read ideas, and it’s his decisiveness as a downfield passer that could be what Chip Kelly’s passing game needs. Finally, Matt Scott fits the athletic mold Kelly is likely looking for to develop behind Michael Vick (and has seen him before from his time at Oregon), and Zac Dysert has the athleticism to develop in zone read systems and is very moldable in terms of using his experience, arm strength, and athleticism.


Cleveland Browns
1. EJ Manuel, Florida State
2. Geno Smith, West Virginia
3. Tyler Bray, Tennessee
4. Matt Barkley, USC
5. Zac Dysert, Miami OH
 
Notes:
Figuring out what the Browns will do on draft day in general stems from new GM Michael Lombardi’s style similarities to Bill Belichek. Belichek is always looking to draft playmakers and guys with high upside, especially at key offensive positions (Gronkowski, Hernandez, Ridley, Mallett, for example). EJ Manuel has the arm to fit in new head coach Rod Chudzinski’s offense, but also the athleticism to adapt to the new style of the NFL. With Weeden likely not the long-term answer and Jason Campbell on a “show-me” backup contract, they certainly could be in the market for a quarterback early, especially if they trade back from #6. Tyler Bray certainly fits the “Ryan Mallett-esque” pick for Lombardi, who can take the risk on Bray in hopes his elite arm strength/ability can develop in the future. Barkley may not fit smoothly into the offense nor does he fit the “playmaker” mindset, but if Lombardi can get a cerebral passer in the late 2nd/early 3rd, he may find it too good of a value. Finally, Zac Dysert seems like the opposite of Brandon Weeden in more ways than one (who Lombardi ripped on when he was with NFL Network), fits the Chudzinski offense, and could be had in the 3rd round.


Arizona Cardinals
1. Tyler Wilson, Arkansas
2. Mike Glennon, NC State
3. Zac Dysert, Miami OH
4. Geno Smith, West Virginia
5. Tyler Bray, Tennessee

Notes:
While it may be surprising not to include Matt Barkley considering the rumors, head coach Bruce Arians is likely targeting strong armed quarterbacks who can make plays under pressure. While his ball placement was an issue this year, Tyler Wilson fits the offense almost perfectly. With the Palmer trade, it seems unlikely they’ll target a quarterback in the 1st round. But don’t rule out Wilson in the 2nd, if he’s there. Glennon has been linked to the team repeatedly, and though his really slow feet and lumbering style at times, his strong arm fits exactly what Bruce Arians wants in his quarterback. Dysert, similar to Wilson, fits the offense very well, and is a more mobile yet slightly less polished version of Wilson. Geno Smith may be higher based on the fact that, disregarding scheme, he’s the best quarterback in the draft. But he doesn’t fit the system Arians is expected to run, so barring any changes/adaptations of the offense, Geno may not be a high priority.
 

Buffalo Bills
1. Geno Smith, West Virginia
2. Ryan Nassib, Syracuse
3. Matt Barkley, USC
4. EJ Manuel, Florida State
5. Landry Jones, Oklahoma 

Notes:
Based on what I’ve heard and seen reported, the Bills are the favorite to make the trade up to the Top 3 to secure the draft’s best quarterback in Geno Smith. His skill set and athleticism fit what Doug Marrone wants to do, especially considering he ran some zone-read concepts and bootlegs at Syracuse that would fit well with Geno Smith. While the Bills have tried to evade the Nassib connection this off-season, he’s displayed starter talent throughout his career at Syracuse, fits the Marrone system (obviously), and could give this team a day one starter. Marrone has said in the past that he felt Matt Barkley was in Andrew Luck’s class of quarterbacks. Now, whether he feels the same way after his own film study about his NFL prospects is a different story. But the appreciation is there from Marrone to make Barkley a realistic pick, even at #8 overall. The Bills have worked out EJ Manuel in the past, and if Doug Marrone is looking to adapt his offense to a more zone-read heavy idea, he could consider Manuel to develop behind new quarterback Kevin Kolb. Finally, Landry Jones fits the short area, west coast focused passing offense, and could be groomed behind Kevin Kolb for a season if the Bills can’t get one of the Top 4 guys.


New York Jets
1. Geno Smith, West Virginia
2. Tyler Wilson, Arkansas
3. EJ Manuel, Florida State
4. Matt Barkley, USC
5. Ryan Nassib, Syracuse

Notes:
Despite currently having five quarterbacks on the roster, the Jets have zero that new GM John Idzik can build around. While they could work through the draft without addressing the quarterback spot and plan for next year, they could get a potential starter, even one who can battle early on, in the 2nd round. IF Geno Smith is there at #9, it may be hard to pass him up, however, and no one could blame Idzik for doing so. After him, the Jets will need one of two types of quarterbacks: One that can lead this team mentally and as a leader through these expected frustrating first few years, or a quarterback that can develop for year one and be the “savior” in year two. Wilson fits that first option to a tee, and could be the high character, genuinely tough leader this team needs. Manuel is more of the high upside guy that could be had for a quick 2nd round trade up. Barkley and Nassib could both be second rounders that have little pressure to start early on, but could push Sanchez to either have a “Drew Brees-esque” motivated season, or show himself the door.

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