MOBILE, Ala. -- Some might say West Virginia quarterback Geno Smith did himself a disservice by not coming to Mobile for the Senior Bowl. But after watching the quarterbacks who are here for three days, chances are NFL scouts are more interested than ever in seeing him work out.
That's because the quarterbacks who are in town did not do much to separate themselves from each other. Ask five different people to rank the quarterbacks here and you might get five different rankings. There just isn't a lot of clarity between these guys.
Through three practices, which is typically the number of practices most NFL general managers stick around to see in Mobile, here's how I rank the quarterbacks.
- Tyler Wilson, Arkansas. Wilson has been the most consistent and has the smoothest mechanics, so if I had to pick one of the quarterbacks to start a game for my team, he would be the guy. He bounced back from a Monday practice that included a gross interception to have a more consistent practice Tuesday while flashing a good arm. Wednesday's work was also mostly good, especially when working to his tight ends. Wilson didn't take a ton of chances and it resulted in a lot of completions. It feels like he's a bit more of a playmaker with experience in a pro offense and that's enough to make him the best passer here.
- Landry Jones, Oklahoma. Jones is behind Wilson, but by how much? For me it's close. Jones made more errant passes than Wilson over the week but he's had a number of nice deep passes. He's got a good arm for sure but it comes down to his mobility and performing under pressure. Not that Wilson has guts of steel but at least he can move around. Jones did make a nice throw to Tavarres King Wednesday with the pocket collapsing during team drills but also missed more than any quarterback on the South roster. There just seems to be more confidence in Wilson than Jones.
- Mike Glennon, North Carolina State. After three days there's pretty much no denying that he has a strong arm. That's not to say he's wholly consistent or mobile and that keeps him from being complete. Everything you've seen and read about him being a statuesque pocket passer is true and concerns about his accuracy down the middle of the field and being frenetic when under pressure are valid. There's work to be done on him but the consensus is that his arm has potential and that might be enough for a team to fall in love with him with a Top-30 pick. I wouldn't call him great but this is where he ranks among the group in Mobile.
- Ryan Nassib, Syracuse. Many came to the Senior Bowl expecting Nassib to shine but he had some inconsistent practices. His short-area stuff was fine but his longer stuff proved to be inaccurate. On Monday he underthrew a receiver on a deep pass, on Tuesday some sideline passes fizzled short, on Wednesday he threw high on 7-on-7 drills and even in a solo goal-line drill after practice he threw balls wide of the back pylon. If there's a silver lining it's that he does well in the short area and proved last season that he could pick up a playbook quickly after the Orange changed their entire scheme in under two weeks. That experience alone will draw teams to him.
- E.J. Manuel, Florida State. Between some issues with his throwing style and his decision making, Manuel's weaknesses outweigh his potential. The guy is a beast of a quarterback with tremendous athleticism. He also has a strong arm and can push the ball downfield but he was iffy in drills all week. He's not close to being a starter in the NFL and his drafting will be done by a team that thinks they can mold him into a major threat.
- Zac Dysert, Miami (OH). While he has good size, his arm has been the most inconsistent of any player here. Of all the quarterbacks he's the one who has made the least amount of impressive throws during the week. He's not consistent throwing downfield which makes him a liability at the next level. The feeling here is that teams would rather try and develop one of the other quarterbacks listed above before Dysert.