The NFL Draft is nearly upon us! Fantasy owners everywhere are wondering if there’s magic in the 2013 Fantasy Football Rookie Quarterbacks class, like there has been over the past two seasons! Spoiler alert: There’s not.
But there are certainly some talented players that will see some snaps this coming NFL season, which means they could be Fantasy worthy for 2013. Granted, they’re not going to be of the Cam Newton – Robert Griffin III caliber, but you will see at least three of these guys in Fantasy lineups before season’s end.
In 2012, we had two rookie quarterbacks finish in the top 12 at their position. That’s just kooky talk. But RGIII and Andrew Luck did just that. As a matter of fact, four rookie quarterbacks from last season finished in the top 12 among rookie quarterbacks over the past 20-plus years.
Newton was the best Fantasy rookie QB Ever, with RGIII and Luck following him. And Seattle’s Russell Wilson came in fourth, with Miami’s Ryan Tannehill checking in at 12th among rookie quarterbacks since 1990.
2013 NFL Fantasy Football Rookie Quarterbacks
I don’t pretend to be an NFL Draft expert, although, I did sleep in a Holiday Inn Express last night. But I am smart enough to know where to go to find the real NFL Draft experts. While CBS, ESPN and NFL.com certainly have quality experts, the site I like the most is WalterFootball.com. These guys are entering their 14th year in the mock draft business, and they do great work.
The quarterbacks are listed in the order they are expected to be drafted.
Geno Smith, West Virginia: Round 1
Definitely the rookie quarterback that most Fantasy owners are excited about, even if it’s mostly because of Newton and RGIII. NFL.com compares him to former Saints QB Aaron Brooks because of his strong arm and athleticism. He ran the spread offense out of the shotgun in college, which could be a problem in the NFL. Possible destinations: Jacksonville, Philadelphia
Ryan Nassib, Syracuse: Round 2
Would be a good fit for a team running the West Coast Offense, and appears to have tons of intangibles. Where Smith’s weakness might be inaccuracy, Nassib has accuracy in spades. NFL Films’ Greg Cosell compared Nassib to Drew Brees’ early years. It makes sense that Doug Marrone, the former Syracuse coach that’s now in Buffalo, might draft Nassib. But when has that ever been good, even dating back to Jimmy Johnson and Steve Walsh in Dallas? Possible destinations: Buffalo, N.Y. Jets
E.J. Manuel, Florida State: Round 2
This kid’s big! He has great mobility and can hurt teams on the ground and through the air. He’s going to draw comparisons to Newton and Griffin III because he can take off, but there’s a reason they didn’t last into the second round. Possible destinations: Philadelphia, Cleveland, Buffalo, N.Y. Jets
Matt Barkley, USC: Round 3
Has there been anyone else in this draft that has gone up and down like a roller coaster more than Barkley? From last season, he was considered a high first-round pick, then he dropped to a possible late-round pick, and now he’s considered a mid-round pick again. He has already drawn comparisons to Chad Pennington. Possible destinations: Oakland, Buffalo
Mike Glennon, N.C. State: Round 3
Big thrower with a huge arm, seems like a player built to be an NFL quarterback. Unfortunately, the really tall quarterbacks seem to have issues (Joe Flacco notwithstanding). Possible destinations: Arizona
Matt Scott, Arizona: Round 4
Nick Foles’ former backup QB at Arizona, Scott played well in Mike Stoops’ offense in 2010, and then again in 2012 in head coach Rich Rodriguez’s system. He’s a rising star in most mocks right now, and Fantasy owners will want to take note, since he does have the ability to run when things break down.
Possible destinations: Cleveland, Jacksonville
Zac Dysert, Miami (Ohio): Round 4
Dysert threw for 48 touchdowns versus 23 interceptions over his junior and senior seasons combined, and he’s now being trained by former Heisman-winning QB Chris Weinke.
Possible destinations: Cincinnati, N.Y. Jets, Denver
Tyler Wilson, Arkansas: Round 4
At Wilson’s pro day, he completed 77-of-84 throws – and of those seven misses, six were drops by his receivers. Wilson has also worked with Weinke this winter. He has missed a game or two with a concussion, which has some NFL teams concerned.
Possible destinations: San Diego, Kansas City, Oakland
Tyler Bray, Tennessee: Round 5
Another 6-foot-6 quarterback!?! What are they feeding kids these days? Lay off the high-fructose corn syrup! Lay off the high-fructose corn syrup! He has a strong, albeit inaccurate, arm. Bray has drawn comparisons to Jay Cutler and Ryan Mallet.
Possible destinations: Seattle, New England, Buffalo, Dallas
Landry Jones, Oklahoma: Round 5
Much like Barkley, Jones was thought to be a first-round pick at one point, and now he’s a late-rounder. He just hasn’t re-ascended to the higher rounds like Barkley. Physically, he’s an above-average NFL prospect, but he has made some bad decisions when things crumble in the pocket. This article on Bleacher Report notes he could be a good backup QB in a Shanahan-style offense.
Possible destinations: Kansas City
We’ll try to dig in a little deeper over the next few weeks, as we approach the NFL Draft. These Fantasy Football rookie quarterbacks might not be as strong as the previous two classes, with superstars right out of the box, but there does seem to be a decent amount of talent at the position, and enough teams looking for help under center.
Do you see a prospect for your team from this 2013 NFL Fantasy Football Rookie Quarterbacks class?
David Gonos spent 5 years as a CBSSports.com Senior Fantasy Writer and three more years writing with SI.com. Over the past 17 years, his work has been published on NFL.com, MLB.com, FanDuel, FoxSports.com and USA Today. Since 2001, he has been tracking down the Top 50-plus Free Fantasy Football Draft Tools online. You can contact David Gonos here.