2013 NFL Draft quarterback ratings

BLACKSBURG, VIRGINIA - NOVEMBER 17: Quarterback Logan Thomas #3 of the Virginia Tech Hokies runs with the ball as linebacker Zach Brown #47 of the North Carolina Tar Heels chases at Lane Stadium on November 17, 2011 in Blacksburg, Virginia.

We're beginning our look ahead to the 2013 NFL Draft. Today, we start with quarterbacks. At this point in the process, I'm keeping juniors and seniors separate. The seniors for next year are pretty clear cut with Matt Barkley of USC and Tyler Wilson of Arkansas at the top.

The juniors, however, are far less determined. Virginia Tech's Logan Thomas is the most physically gifted quarterback in next year's draft regardless of class. But he's inconsistent and unpolished. Tennessee's Tyler Bray is also packed with talent. The sleeper may be Washington's Keith Price who developed exponentially as last season progressed.

There are some notable names missing. That's partly by design and partly due to lack of knowledge. Since it's only May and these ratings will be fluid throughout the year (and even this summer), it seemed pointless to have a baseless list just to have a baseless list.

Some players, however, were omitted more intentionally. For instance, you won't find Zach Mettenberger of LSU in the top-five juniors. Mettenberger, although promising, only has 11 career college passes. If I wanted to rate him, I'd just regurgitate old rankings from Rivals or Scout. Brad Sorensen of Southern Utah is also highly touted by some. I'm not going to lie and rate a player I haven't seen.

Lastly, there is no Denard Robinson of Michigan. He also won't be in the wide receiver ratings. It's not a personal thing, I'm just not sure what to think of him yet. Remember, this time last year, some thought Robert Griffin II as a wide receiver.

Check out the initial ratings and let me know where you agree and disagree.


1. Matt Barkley | 6'2, 230 pounds | Southern California

Although Barkley may not be a flawless prospect like Andrew Luck or an athletic marvel like Robert Griffin III, he would have been a top-five pick in the 2012 NFL Draft. Barkley has an excellent feel for the game and an arm that is strong enough to make most throws. Will need to get better on deep ball accuracy. Because of where he goes to school and his laid back nature, analysts will be trying to figure out whether or not Barkley the next Matt Leinart.

2. Tyler Wilson | 6'3, 220 pounds | Arkansas

In his first season replacing Ryan Mallett, Wilson was eased into college football with arguably the best receiving corps in the nation. With it, Wilson threw for 3,638 yards and 24 touchdowns while completing 66.9 percent of his passes with just six interceptions. As a senior he'll have less talent around him, which will prove if he's a top prospect. It's somewhat concerning that Wilson struggled last season in Arkansas' biggest games against Alabama and LSU. He's close to Barkley as a prospect, however.

4. Geno Smith | 6'3, 214 pounds | West Virginia

Smith has solid size and athleticism, but he's so highly rated because he's confident in the pocket and has a good arm. As a senior, Smith has to get the ball out quick and needs to improve his deep-ball accuracy. How much will the play of Brandon Weeden affect Smith's draft stock? There are concerns about how players transition from the Dana Holgerson offense to the NFL.

4. E.J. Manuel | 6'5, 238 pounds | Florida State

From the standpoint of reading defenses and being a pocket passer, Manuel has a way to go. So how is he rated so highly? When Manuel can roll out of the pocket, he's impressive. Manuel has a strong arm and can make throws all over the field. He also has a nice touch and gets good placement on his passes.

5. Landry Jones | 6'4, 229 pounds | Oklahoma

When everything is in its proper place for Jones, he can be a very good quarterback. But when his offensive linemen and wide receivers got hurt, he struggled. Jones' size and ability are solid, but he's often tentative in the pocket and doesn't read the defense well.

6. Mike Glennon | 6'6, 232 pounds | North Carolina State

Glennon has finally bulked up and taken over the quarterback reigns for NC State. Glennon has good timing on his drops and can really spin the football. He just needs to become more consistent game-to-game. In his first year as a full-time starter, though, Glennon threw the second-most touchdowns in a season for the Wolfpack.

7. Sean Renfree | 6'5, 230 pounds | Duke

It can be somewhat difficult to evaluate Renfree due to where he plays. Has good size. Because of the pieces around him at Duke, an all-star game will be key for Renfree.

8. James Vandenberg | 6'3, 212 pounds | Iowa

In his first year as a starter, Vandenberg expectedly went through some growing pains. Still, he threw for more than 3,000 yards and 25 touchdowns. He's a solid pocket passer with above-average physical tools.

9. Jeff Tuel | 6'3, 223 pounds | Washington State

The 2011 season was a forgettable one for Tuel. He broke his clavicle and only played in three games, throwing for just 276 yards on the season. Even when healthy he didn't get on the field late in the season. But Tuel has a good arm and should get to show it in Mike Leach's offense.

10. Alex Carder | 6'2, 224 pounds | Western Michigan

Carder is a tough quarterback with more experience than most players on this list. He's already thrown for more than 7,000 yards on his career to go with 61 touchdowns. He has a good enough arm to zip passes with accuracy outside the hashes. He's athletic too, but not overly dependent o his ability to run.

JUNIORS:

1. Logan Thomas | 6'6, 262 pounds | Virginia Tech

At times in 2011, like against Miami when he completed 92 percent of his throws passing for 310 yards and three scores, Thomas looked liked a surefire No. 1 overall pick whenever he enters the draft. But at others, like his two-interception performance against Clemson, he desperately looked like a player in need of more experience. As he develops this year, we'll find out whether or not Thomas will live up to the potential he showed against Miami. He certainly has the size and natural ability to become the top pick and live up to the Cam Newton/Ben Roethlisberger comparisons he receives.

2. Tyler Bray | 6'6, 213 pounds | Tennessee

During his sophomore season, Bray was up and down largely due to a broken thumb suffered in October. His height is an obvious plus, though he's rail-thin for a quarterback. He gets rid of the ball with a proper over-the-top release, but would do well speeding it up. He has a good understanding for the offense, though, and a lot of talent around him.

3. Keith Price | 6'1, 195 pounds | Washington

The separation between Bray and Price is minimal and Price has the skills to be a superstar. He'll always get compared to RG3, so just embrace their similarities. Price can deliver on a variety of throws and showed good accuracy and ball placement on passes near the sideline. Played through knee injuries as a sophomore.

4. Aaron Murray | 6'1, 211 pounds | Georgia

Murray sparkled at times last season — particularly against Auburn, South Carolina Georgia Tech — but has been inconsistent. Against LSU and Florida, Murray completed less than 45 percent of his passes in 2011. He's known as a hard worker in the film room and has the natural physical skills for the NFL. Most will look at Murray's size and question his upside. But his release point is good and he's probably as tough as any player in the nation.

5. Casey Pachall | 6'5, 226 pounds | TCU

Although Pachall has a ways to go in reading defenses, some expect him to become a better quarterback for TCU than Andy Dalton. He certainly has better size and a much stronger arm.

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