In the past, rookie quarterbacks didn't make much of an impact in fantasy football. Even the greats, like John Elway, Brett Favre and Dan Marino didn't post enormous stats in their first NFL season. But in the current NFL, where quarterbacks rule the roost and players like Cam Newton, Robert Griffin III, Andrew Luck and Russell Wilson have posted tremendous first-year totals, the stock of field generals is on the rise. Of course, most players aren't going to put up RG3-like numbers, but there are at least a couple of quarterbacks to keep tabs on in seasonal fantasy formats.
Here's a look at the five quarterbacks (based on NFL Network draft analyst Mike Mayock's pre-combine rankings) you should remember in the 2013 NFL Draft - and when it's time to draft your fantasy teams.
Geno Smith, West Virginia (40-yard dash - 4.59, vertical leap - 34.0, broad jump - 10'4"): Smith, who is considered the best quarterback in the 2013 class, led his position in the 40-yard dash and the broad jump while also ranking second in the vertical jump. A natural athlete who thrived in the stat sheets in West Virginia's spread offense, Smith will need to improve his footwork coming from under center - he was almost exclusively a shotgun quarterback at the collegiate level. If he lands with the right team, Smith could have a chance to start as a rookie. In a best-case scenario, he'll be worth a late-round look in seasonal fantasy leagues.
Matt Barkley, Southern California (40-yard dash - DNP, vertical leap - DNP, broad jump - DNP): Barkley (shoulder) wasn't involved in the drills portion of the Combine, and will instead hold his Pro Day on March 27. Based on the lack of no-brainer prospects at the position this season, Barkley could wind up being a top-10 pick. Of course, he could also slide out of the first round altogether as well. I'm not sure Barkley will have much seasonal value, and the failures of past USC quarterbacks at the pro level is a cause for at least some concern. Barkley, who still needs to prove his arm strength to scouts, will be more of a dynasty-league option.
Mike Glennon, North Carolina State (40-yard dash - 4.94, vertical leap - 26.5, broad jump - 8'6"): Compared to Joe Flacco because of his body frame, Glennon is not considered to be a viable first-round selection in April's draft. In fact, one former NFL General Manager said that Glennon "needs a lot of work" to become a legitimate No. 1 quarterback at the NFL level. He does have good arm strength, but Glennon needs to improve on his accuracy. Mayock explained on NFL Network that "when [Glennon] gets on a roll, it's really, really good" but also noted that there is "a lot of inconsistency." Glennon will be more of a dynasty selection in 2013 drafts.
Ryan Nassib, Syracuse (40-yard dash - 5.06, vertical leap - 28.5, broad jump - 8'9"): Nassib doesn't have great size (6-foot-2, 227 pounds) for the position and worked almost exclusively out of the shotgun in college, so he's clearly a work in progress. On a positive note, Nassib does possess a big arm and will no doubt end up being selected in the earlier rounds as a potential long-term project. The Bills, who have a need at the quarterback spot, could take a chance on Nassib because of his connection to former Syracuse and current Buffalo head man Doug Marrone. Like most rookie field generals, though, Nassib will not have seasonal fantasy appeal.
Landry Jones, Oklahoma (40-yard dash - 5.11, vertical leap - 31.0, broad jump - 9'7"): Jones ran a slow 40-time - he ranked last among the 13 quarterbacks who competed in the drill - but he did prove to be a consistent passer and did nothing to hurt his stock at the Combine. In his final collegiate campaign, Jones threw for more touchdowns with fewer interceptions and recorded a higher completion percentage than he did in the previous season. Teams that want to run the spread offense will pass on him, though, as he's more of the prototypical NFL passer with little mobility. Another dynasty-league only option, Jones won't be taken in seasonal drafts.
Michael Fabiano is an award-winning fantasy football analyst on NFL.com and NFL Network and a member of the Fantasy Sports Writers Association (FSWA) Hall of Fame. Have a burning question on anything fantasy related? Tweet it to @Michael_Fabiano or send a question via Facebook!