You didn't think that we were finished doing podcasts with our buddy Greg Cosell of NFL Films and ESPN's NFL Matchup just because the NFL season is over, did you? Well, if you did, fear not -- we're back in the saddle (and Greg's now writing for Shutdown Corner as well) to do a new series of podcasts in which we evaluate the draft prospects by position. We start with a group of quarterbacks that have been much-maligned because there isn't an obvious superstar in the bunch ... but there are a lot of interesting prospects (and projects) in the 2013 draft class. Greg has taken his decades of experience, and oodles of coach's tape, and transferred both to the college side just in time for the pre-draft process.
A few words of wisdom from Mr. Cosell:
On West Virginia's Geno Smith: "There's no question that he has an NFL arm -- he's an NFL talent. But he's got some other issues. He's got footwork issues, but that can be corrected. He plays almost exclusively in the shotgun, and he's a bit of a bouncer -- in other words, he doesn't take the snap, drop back, stick his foot in the ground, and get ready to go. He sort of bounces, so when he decides where he wants to throw the ball, he then needs to plant and deliver. Sometimes he hurries himself doing that if there are bodies closer to him, and at other times, he's a beat late with throws, because he has that extra half-second where he then has to plant and throw. At times, I thought he was a little bit erratic and scattershot with his accuracy, and he left some routine throws on the field."
On USC's Matt Barkley: "Much depends on his team. Do I believe that Matt Barkley can't play a down in the NFL? No. But I believe that there are certain attributes that are required to play the position at a high level. Now, if you're going to draft Matt Barkley in the first round, you're saying that you believe he can. Because there are people I respect who think of him highly, I keep watching games and thinking that I must be missing something. But a couple of things stand out. First, he doesn't have very good arm -- arm strength would be considered average by NFL standards. He does not drive the ball down the field, and USC ran a pro-style offense. So, you're seeing NFL route combinations and progressions. This is not a spread offense where he's throwing the ball four yards. Second, I think his feet are a little bit slow and deliberate. And when you're a shorter quarterback without a big arm, you need quicker, lighter feet."
On North Carolina State's Mike Glennon: "I think he has a very good arm -- you could argue that he has the best arm in this class. Glennon is a guy I'm struggling with a little, because the more I watch, the more I believe there is to like. But there are a couple of concerns. When there's pressure around him, he's another guy who does not have very quick feet. And when he has to move, at times, he can't quite get his feet set. So he can't throw the ball properly, and he becomes scattershot. In the NFL, you don't get that open space as often as you do in college. But I watched him against North Carolina, and I thought he did a good job of reading and recognizing coverages."
On Florida State's E.J. Manuel: "When you look at Manuel, there's a lot to work with. Size, arm strength, athleticism, and I think he can run read-option stuff. Now, he's a little sloppy with his footwork. He had a tendency to fall away from throws. I thought at times he was a bit of a pusher [of the ball] with a very high elbow position. There were times when he leaned over his front foot when he needed to re-set, and that impacted his ability to make accurate throws. As most quarterbacks are in college, he was very over-reactive to bodies around him. There are concerns, but when you look at some of the positives, I'm very anxious to see where he gets drafted, because he gives you that read-option factor."
As with everything involving Greg Cosell, this podcast is a must-listen for those fans of advanced tape analysis. Subscribe to the Shutdown Corner iTunes link (in iTunes, go to "Advanced/Subscribe to Podcast," and paste this link in: http://ysportspods.podbean.com/category/shutdown/feed/). You can also use the link below to either left-click and listen, or right-click to save to your computer.