For the first time in a couple years, there is no elite quarterback prospect (or prospects) in this year's NFL draft class. Or at least there isn't as of late January.
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There are a couple of players, such as Matt Barkley and Geno Smith, who put up big numbers in college, but their ability to transition to the professional level has been questioned by scouts. Then there are other guys, such as Ryan Nassib or Mike Glennon, who did not garner much attention at the collegiate level, but project much better for the NFL with their size and arm strength.
According to the latest mock draft from CBS Sports, Barkley will go No. 8 overall to the Buffalo Bills. The same mock has Smith going No. 1 overall to Kansas City and Glennon going seventh to the Cardinals.
Matt Barkley, QB, Southern California: With new head coach Doug Marrone in Buffalo, his former Syracuse quarterback Ryan Nassib makes a lot of sense for the Bills in the second round. With two quarterbacks already off the board in this scenario, Barkley could be the third after impressing NFL teams during the interview process.
This time last year, Barkley seemed like a near-lock for the top draft pick given his strong junior campaign. He decided to return to USC for his fourth and final season, which led to numerous disappointing losses and a shoulder injury that kept him out of the team's final two games.
Barkley threw for 3,273 yards, 36 touchdowns and 15 interceptions in 2012. While there is no denying he has talent, his stock has taken a bit of a hit recently. It still seems likely he is a first-round pick, although it's unclear just where he'll land at this point.