After a nearly quarterbackless first two days of the 2013 NFL draft, the big name throwers found homes during day three. The Eagles got things started by trading up to draft USC’s Matt Barkley with the first pick in the fourth round and the Giants grabbed Ryan Nassib – who was regarded by many as the top QB in the draft – midway through the fourth round. Then later in the round, Landry Jones landed with the Steelers and Arkansas’ Tyler Wilson found a home in Oakland.
While Nassib and Jones will certainly enjoy a year of learning behind two of the league’s best quarterbacks, Barkley and Wilson may have a chance to play right away. Last year we saw a third round pick – Russell Wilson – win the starting job in preseason and the same could happen for these two fourth rounders.
It was Matt Flynn who lost that starting spot in Seattle to Wilson last year and coincidentally, Flynn will be battling for the starting job in Oakland this year with another rookie, who also happens to be named Wilson. Tyler Wilson’s strong arm and toughness makes him a good addition to the Raiders, even though Flynn might be irked by the pick.
Meanwhile, Barkley has a real shot to win the job in Philly, which is a wide open competition, according to new head coach Chip Kelly. Kelly obviously likes Barkley and knows him well from his days coaching against him in the Pac-12, but Kelly has also liked what he has seen from Michael Vick and Nick Foles. Choices, choices. We’ll just have to wait and see how training camp and preseason plays out.
After QBs finally started to go in the fourth round, the fifth, sixth and seventh rounds still provided some fairly big-named skill players, including Mike Gillislee, who went to Miami; Stepfan Taylor, who ended up in Arizona; and Spencer Ware who was drafted by Seattle.
In comparison to last year, 2013 may have seemed like an uneventful draft, there’s a good chance this draft will later come to be known for producing numerous long careered pros out of the late rounds. For most, at least right now, it will be known as the draft dominated by offensive lineman, but I have a feeling we will see many rookie skill players make a major impact this season as well.