As we edge closer to the 2013 NFL Draft, it's still anyone's guess where this year's crop of quarterback prospects will land.
With the draft right around the corner, NFL.com ranks the top prospects available at every position on offense and defense. **More ...**
Around these parts, we trust Mike Mayock.
The NFL Network draft analyst has West Virginia's Geno Smith pegged atop the heap, but Mayock repeatedly has said he doesn't have much faith in this year's group of passers. Teams might agree, but we wouldn't be surprised to see a heavy run on quarterbacks starting in the second round.
Here's my take on where Mayock's top-five passers (actually six, with the tie at No. 5) ultimately will wind up in the draft:
The Oakland Raiders hear the whispers out of Jacksonville, where the Jaguars reportedly are zeroing in on Smith at No. 2. Possibly a CIA-level smokescreen, but while the Raiders, Buffalo Bills and Arizona Cardinals actively have pursued veteran passers this offseason, the Jaguars have remained static at the position. General manager David Caldwell is being paid handsomely to assess and improve a disastrous quarterback room, but he has done nothing to upgrade a Blaine Gabbert-Chad Henne duo that cost the last GM his job. Time for a change. Destination:Jaguars, No. 2 overall (Round 1)
I don't see another quarterback going in the first round, and neither do the majority of our draft experts. Manuel makes almost too much sense for Chip Kelly's Philadelphia Eagles with the 35th overall pick. He's a big, athletic quarterback who can hurt defenses with his legs and run the option. Unless Kelly has genuine faith in brittle Michael Vick, Manuel is one of the few draft fits for the Eagles' up-tempo attack. Destination:Eagles, No. 35 overall (Round 2)
Barkley is a prime candidate to tumble to the third or fourth round. His arm strength is a question, but Barkley brings experience in a pro-style attack and he proved himself a solid leader at USC. Barkley fits as a developmental arm in a precision attack that de-emphasizes downfield passing. I can't see a team anchoring its fortunes to Barkley as a rookie starter, but he might push Christian Ponder, who's failed to live up to expectations on the Minnesota Vikings. Destination:Vikings, No. 83 overall (Round 3)
Jeremiah: Mock Draft 5.0
Glennon is a tall, big-armed passer who blows you away one play, only to baffle you the next. His arm strength alone makes the N.C. State passer a strong candidate to be over-drafted, possibly near the end of the first round. A more appropriate landing spot is the Arizona Cardinals in the second round. Carson Palmer is a patch, and Glennon would give coach Bruce Arians a raw, young talent to groom at the right pace. Destination:Cardinals, No. 38 overall (Round 2)
A month ago, plenty of folks had Nassib pegged to the Bills in Round 1, but Buffalo has far too many needs to reach for the Syracuse passer at No. 8. Still, the Kevin Kolb signing doesn't mean much to me. He's being paid like a backup, and the last coach who hitched his wagon to Kolb lost his job. Nobody knows Nassib better than Buffalo's Doug Marrone. Nobody knows Marrone's multiple-read offense better than Nassib. Where there's smoke, there's fire. Destination:Bills, No. 41 overall (Round 2)
It's time for the Pittsburgh Steelers to groom someone behind Ben Roethlisberger, and there's interest in Bray after he dined with team brass last month. The problem for the Steelers? They have needs all over the field, making the selection of a quarterback a luxury. General manager Kevin Colbert won't reach for the 6-foot-6, 232-pounder with the Steelers' third-round pick at No. 79. The Dallas Cowboys, one spot later, will. Destination:Cowboys, No. 80 overall (Round 3)