|USC's Matt Barkley is among nine players invited to Jon Gruden's quarterback camp. (US Presswire)|
The wildly popular series has increased in size and scope since its inception in 2010. Although Gruden invited just four quarterbacks to the initial camp, all four were selected in the first three rounds. The number of invitees increased to six in 2011 and 10 last year.
Also receiving invites are Tyler Bray (Tennessee), Zac Dysert (Miami-Ohio), Mike Glennon (N.C. State), Landry Jones (Oklahoma), EJ Manuel (Florida State), Ryan Nassib (Syracuse) and Tyler Wilson (Arkansas). Smith, Barkley and Glennon have received first-round grades in CBSSports.com's latest Draft projections.
All of the quarterbacks will be invited for a film session in Gruden's office at the Fired Football Coaches Association (FFCA) in Tampa, Fla. A large percentage will also look to showcase their arm strength for the former Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Oakland Raiders head coach in an on-field workout.
Although Gruden has looked to extend invitations to the majority of the top prospects over the last three years, there have been several noticeable absences. In 2011, neither Colin Kaepernick nor Christian Ponder attended the camp. Last season, Kaepernick and Ponder finished with a higher quarterback rating than Jake Locker and Blaine Gabbert -- two 2011 attendees.
Gruden thought highly of Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson before last year's draft. With a smaller frame than a prototypical quarterback, Wilson was unable to get a first-round projection, much like Drew Brees in 2001. But Gruden described Wilson's intangibles as being “off the charts” and thought he could flourish if placed in the right system. Seattle selected Wilson with the No. 75 pick in the third round.
The Bills, Cardinals, Chiefs and Eagles may consider a quarterback in the early rounds. Last year, former Boise State quarterback Kellen Moore and former Houston quarterback Case Keenum went undrafted after appearing on the program.
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