Ranking Top 17 Quarterbacks

There are some talented late-round options, including Jordan Rodgers and a quarterback who had a pre-draft visit with the Packers.

Here is how Packer Report ranks this year's prospects at quarterback, based on conversations with three scouts who agreed to speak on the condition of anonymity. Comments on several of the quarterbacks are from ESPN's Jon Gruden, who spoke during a conference call on Tuesday, since we didn't see any reason to waste scouts' time on the top quarterbacks.

1. Geno Smith, West Virginia (6-2, 218): Our Best in Class.

2. Ryan Nassib, Syracuse (6-2, 227): Threw for 9,190 yards with 70 touchdowns and 28 interceptions. As a senior, he had career highs of 62.4 percent, 3,749 yards, 26 touchdowns and 10 interceptions. No quarterback in school history had even thrown for 3,000 yards, directing a no-huddle scheme that was put in place just two weeks before the start of the season. Nassib, who graduated with two degrees in May and was a four-time all-Big East academics selection, was one of 15 National Football Foundation Scholar-Athletes and named the Big East's scholar-athlete of the year. "I think he can run just about any play that you can think of, whether it be an option, a full field progression," Gruden said. "You want to move the pocket, throw the quick game under center or in the shotgun or you want to go no-huddle, you want to come up with 10 or 12 new plays this week, I think he can handle it."

"3. E.J. Manuel, Florida State (6-5, 237): Almost signed on to play for Chip Kelly at Oregon before choosing Florida State. In two seasons as a full-time starter, Manuel threw for 6,058 yards, 41 touchdowns and 18 interceptions. In a big early-season showdown against Clemson, he threw for 380 yards and ran for 102, the first FSU quarterback to go for 300/100 since Charlie Ward in 1992. He went 3-0 in his bowl starts and played extensively in place of an injured Christian Ponder in a fourth bowl win. West Virginia's Pat White is the only other quarterback to win four bowl games. "I like E.J. a lot because I think you can call just about any scheme you want to call," Gruden said. "He's a presence inside the 10-yard line, much like Cam Newton in Carolina is. I know he can bring a lot to the table from an athletic standpoint. He's a really fun kid to be around. The players like him. I think he can improve as a passer. I think he can improve his protection awareness and understanding."

4. Matt Barkley, USC (6-3, 227): Won the Wuerffel Trophy as the quarterback who best combines athletic excellence, academic achievement and community service. Barkley owns 20 USC career, season and game records, 10 of which are Pac-12 marks. He is the Pac-12 career record holder for total offense (12,214), passing yards (12,327), completions (1,001), touchdown passes (116) and rushing/passing TDs (122) and is the only player in league history to have four years of 2,500 yards of total offense. He was one of 15 National Football Foundation Scholar-Athletes. "I think Barkley's going to be a starter in the league at some point," Gruden said. "Obviously, he's coming off an injury. He's done an excellent job rehabbing that. I saw him make all the throws personally with my own two eyes. Other than that, he's going to have to function as a pocket passer. I think he's going to be a guy that relies on his system, complete execution around him. I think his supporting cast is going to be important to him. But I've seen Matt Barkley throw the ball extremely well and in tight windows, and he's done it for four years. You're getting a kid that can function in the pocket with great anticipation and accuracy. I think he has enough arm strength to be very, very good at throwing the ball down the field."

5. Tyler Wilson, Arkansas (6-2, 215): Threw for 3,387 yards as a senior and broke Ryan Mallett's career passing record with 7,765 yards. It was a year of upheaval for Wilson, with coach Bobby Petrino's firing in April sending the program reeling. Wilson went from 24 touchdowns, six interceptions and first-team all-SEC accolades in 2011 to 21 touchdowns, 13 interceptions and no all-conference honors in 2012. "I like Tyler Wilson because he's tough, No. 1," Gruden said. "I saw Tyler play extremely well taking Arkansas to a Cotton Bowl. I think losing Coach Petrino the way they lost him, losing his offensive coordinator, losing three very good receivers and having the injury early in the season against (Louisiana) Monroe derailed Tyler Wilson. I credit him for trying to hold the Razorbacks together and a lot of adversity. This was not his best campaign, no question about it. But he's tough. He has some functional mobility in the pocket. He's sharp, and I think he's got some real leadership traits that are going to work for him at the next level."

6. Landry Jones, Oklahoma (6-4, 225): Replaced Sam Bradford, the No. 1 overall pick of the draft of the 2009 draft, and wound up winning the Sammy Baugh Award as the nation's top quarterback in 2010. In 50 career starts, he left Oklahoma as the Big 12's career leader with 16,646 passing yards. He completed 63.6 percent, with 123 touchdowns and 52 interceptions. He was a finalist for Senior CLASS Award. "I think when he's in rhythm and has protection, he's very, very good," Gruden said. "I think when he gets knocked off the spot or he's under duress, I think he took a step back this year. But remember, Oklahoma didn't have a tight end much this year. In the past they had a tight end, a strong running game and a better play-action passing system. I like Landry Jones. I think if you're looking for a quarterback that's proven he can take care of the football, make a variety of throws and be reliable person on and off the field, I think Landry Jones might be for you."

7. Mike Glennon, N.C. State (6-7, 225): Glennon started his final two seasons after replacing Russell Wilson. As a senior, he completed 58.5 percent for 4,031 yards with 31 touchdowns and 17 interceptions. Against Vanderbilt, he threw for 383 yards but tossed three interceptions. On the other hand, he rallied the team to a 17-16 win against Florida State by throwing for 149 yards and two touchdowns in the fourth quarter with three fourth-down conversions on the winning drive. He statistically was better as a junior, with 62.5 percent, 31 touchdowns and 12 interceptions. He's tall but can't move; he's reminiscent of a favorite Brad Childress phrase — an "iron deer on the lawn."

8. Tyler Bray, Tennessee (6-6, 232): Our Overrated prospect.

9. Zac Dysert, Miami (Ohio) (6-3, 231): The school's first three-time captain, Dysert led the conference with 3,483 passing yards. His 12,016 passing yards broke Ben Roethlisberger's school record, rank third in MAC history and 20th all-time. His numbers would have been even better if not for missing a few games with a lacerated spleen in 2010. The RedHawks went 15-28 in his 43 starts, though scouts don't see that as a knock on Dysert. Incredibly, he was responsible for 81.1 percent of the team's total offense the past two seasons.

10. Ryan Griffin, Tulane (6-4, 216): Our Sleeper prospect.

11. Sean Renfree, Duke (6-3, 219): Led Duke to its first bowl game since 1994 by completing 67.3 percent with 3,113 yards, 19 touchdowns and 10 interceptions. The bowl game didn't end well, though: On his final collegiate pass, he was hit, threw an interception and sustained a torn right pectoral muscle that required surgery and kept him out of the pre-draft process. He's seventh in ACC history with 9,465 passing yards. Renfree learned under coach David Cutcliffe, who mentored Peyton Manning at Tennessee and again during Manning's comeback. He was a finalist for the Senior CLASS Award and a National Football Foundation Scholar-Athlete.

12. Jordan Rodgers, Vanderbilt (6-1, 212): See our exclusive interview. "I wouldn't mind taking him in the seventh," a scout said. "Yeah, he's short and he doesn't throw it that well but he knows how to play the game."

13. Colby Cameron, Louisiana Tech (6-2, 212): Was named the WAC Player of the Year, won the Sammy Baugh Award as the nation's top quarterback and the state of Louisiana's top offensive player. Cameron led an offense that was ranked No. 1 in scoring and No. 2 in total offense. He completed 359-of-522 passes for 4,147 yards with 31 touchdowns and five interceptions, and broke Russell Wilson's record with 444 consecutive passes without an interception. He's just not big enough and doesn't have a good enough arm, though he impressed scouts at the East-West Game. "For a team like Green Bay, he'd be an intriguing guy with a couple seasons with McCarthy," a scout said.

14. Matt Scott, Arizona (6-2, 213): Rich Rodriguez's scheme proved a perfect fit for Scott, who threw for 3,620 yards with 27 touchdowns and 14 interceptions while adding 506 rushing yards and six scores. He throws a nice long ball and is accurate on the move but needs to work on his touch. For teams looking for a quarterback to run the read-option, he'd be a perfect fit. Thus, he almost certainly ranks much higher on other teams' boards than we have him here.

15. Brad Sorensen, Southern Utah (6-5, 229): Named the FCS Elite Quarterback by the College Football Performance Awards as a senior. He finished his three-year career at SUU with 9,445 passing yards and 61 touchdowns, including 3,139 yards and 23 TDs in 2012. He was second-team all-Big Sky as a senior and was the Great West Conference Offensive Player of the Year as a junior. He redshirted at BYU in 2009. Give him time in the pocket, and he'll deliver. Based on arm talent, he's been compared to Joe Flacco. Pressure him, and you're in trouble.

16. Matt Brown, Illinois State (6-3, 237): Brown started the final 45 games of his career. He was the Missouri Valley's offensive player of the year as a senior with 65.0 percent accuracy, 3,370 passing yards and 27 touchdowns. Plus, he rushed for seven touchdowns. Brown said he's not a scrambler but has enough movement to buy time and find passing lanes. He's a winner; the school hadn't had four consecutive winning seasons since 1947 through 1950. He had a pre-draft visit with Green Bay.

17. Jeff Tuel, Washington State (6-3, 221): Tuel inexplicably entered the draft a year early. He set a school record with 61.3 percent accuracy. He threw for 2,780 yards with 18 touchdowns and 12 interceptions in 2010 and 2,087 yards with eight touchdowns and eight interceptions in 2012. In between, he played in just three games in 2011 due to a broken collarbone and started just seven games in 2012.

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Bill Huber is publisher of Packer Report magazine and PackerReport.com and has written for Packer Report since 1997. E-mail him at packwriter2002@yahoo.com, or leave him a question in Packer Report's subscribers-only Packers Pro Club forum. Find Bill on Twitter at twitter.com/PackerReport.

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