Will QBs be shut out of first round of 2013 NFL Draft?
With three of the teams thought likely to be considering a QB early in the NFL Draft adding veterans recently, could Geno Smith, Matt Barkley and the rest of the 2013 crop of passers slip out of the first round entirely?
Geno Smith was 6 years old the last time that no quarterbacks were selected in the first round of an NFL Draft.
That last occurred in 1996, when the St. Louis Rams, in just their second season after moving from Los Angeles, made Tony Banks out of Michigan State the first quarterback selected, at No. 42 overall.
In the 16 drafts since, 44 quarterbacks have been chosen in the first round, including four each of the past two years.
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For months, we've known the 2013 draft class wasn't nearly as gifted as recent years, but the prevailing theory was that teams would continue to reach for passers on draft day simply because of the value of the position.
Many of the teams thought likely to be considering a rookie passer, however, have since attempted to fill the position with veterans.
The Bills reportedly agreed with Kevin Kolb on a two-year deal on Saturday.
It was reported Friday that the Raiders and Seahawks reached a tentative deal that would send Matt Flynn to Oakland if he agrees to restructure his contract.
The Cardinals agreed to a deal with veteran Drew Stanton on March 17. While Stanton lacks the starting experience of Kolb or Flynn, Arizona coach Bruce Arians knows him well after working him last year while each were with the Colts. The Cardinals are also reportedly interested in Carson Palmer, if he were to be released from the Raiders.
After investing a first-round pick in Brandon Weeden a year ago, the Cleveland Browns were never considered likely to do the same thing in 2013. But new offensive coordinator Norv Turner told me that he was pretty impressed with Barkley after the two of us watched the USC Pro Day. The chances of Cleveland drafting a quarterback high, however, were drastically reduced with the addition of veteran Jason Campbell.
Of course, none of these deals would necessarily keep a team from selecting a quarterback in the first round if their front office had stamped a high enough grade on the rookie. By adding veterans, the Bills, Cardinals and Raiders (potentially) might be simply putting in place a contingency plan in case the rookie quarterback whom they like most isn't available to them.
As such, it wouldn't be a shock to see one or more of those teams still invest a high-round selection in a rookie.
The Eagles and Jets remain potential first-round suitors for Smith, USC's Matt Barkley or Syracuse's Ryan Nassib, among others. But with no one quite sure what to expect from Chip Kelly or Rex Ryan on draft day, the possibility that no quarterback is selected in the first round seems more plausible.
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