2013 NFL Draft: McShay says E.J. Manuel is draft's top read-option quarterback


In a conference call on Friday, ESPN NFL Draft analyst Todd McShay weighed in on the read option and which prospects in this year's class can fit that system.

It's the latest craze sweeping the football world. Pete Prisco calls it a gimmick, Trent Dilfer has spent hours on TV discussing how to stop it, and plenty of talented writers from around the web have detailed it's intricacies.

Also read: Zac Dysert 2013 NFL Draft scouting report

We're talking, of course, about the read-option.

Colin Kaepernick, Robert Griffin III, Russell Wilson and Cam Newton have all had success running this type of offense, bringing more attention to mobile quarterbacks.

ESPN NFL Draft analyst Todd McShay views it as a tool to help bridge the developmental gap between college football and the NFL for young quarterbacks.

"I'm not saying it's definitely here to say," McShay said in a conference call on Friday. "But I do think we're learning more and more about the complications it presents. If you can add some of those elements, it makes it easier for a young quarterback if he has experience with the read-option. It helps the development and transition from college to the NFL."

McShay added that the read-option can't do much for an offense if the quarterback doesn't present a threat. Of McShay's top seven quarterbacks in this class, none fit the read-option system. There are some Day 2 and Day 3 options that could fit that mold, though. McShay's top-ranked read-option quarterback is Florida State's E.J. Manuel.

"He's strong enough to take that punishment," McShay said. "He's athletic enough and has the speed."

McShay went on to mention Zac Dysert of Miami (Ohio) and Matt Scott of Arizona as other potential fits for the system. Dysert has some experience running the read-option at Miami, but Scott needs to get a bit bigger if he is going to take that kind of punishment in the NFL.

This year's draft may not be the best time for teams to start building their read-option attack. Not a ton of quarterbacks project well in that role.

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