By Kyle Casey, Staff Writer
The 2013 NFL Draft quarterback class is full of hit or miss prospects. With just a little over two months until the draft, there’s still no clear-cut top quarterback. The number of quarterbacks that will go in the first round is also still up in the air.
Some mock drafts have zero first round quarterbacks, while others may have up to three or four. With such an uncertainty regarding this year’s quarterback class, opportunities may open for a few late round prospects. While quarterbacks selected on the third day of the draft rarely ever get a chance to compete for a starting job, many successfully stay on NFL rosters for several years.
The backup quarterback role is an underrated aspect of an NFL team, as having a reliable and talented backup is something that is a necessity. On the third day of the draft, a few quarterbacks could be selected that will latch on NFL roster for several years and maybe even compete for a starting job one day.
Here are a few sleeper late round quarterbacks:
Tyler Bray, Tennessee
The 6’6 gunslinger isn’t necessarily a sleeper prospect per se, but there’s a chance that he could get drafted in the fourth round or later. Bray has one of the strongest arms in this year’s class and has every physical skill needed to be a successful NFL quarterback. However, Bray still struggles with his poor footwork, elongated throwing motion and decision making. He also has off-field issues that will need to get cleared up in order for him to deal with life in the NFL. If Bray can devote himself to correcting his plethora of mechanical problems, he could turn out to be one of the best quarterbacks in the draft five years from now. In order to be successful, Bray needs to be drafted by a team that is set at starting quarterback so that he can focus on improving his mechanics and maturity before competing for a starting job.
Matt Scott, Arizona
With the running quarterback becoming a theme in the NFL nowadays, Arizona’s Matt Scott may find a spot on an NFL team for several years. He’ll likely go in the fourth or fifth round of the draft and doesn’t project to be any more than a backup at the next level. However, for a mid-round pick, that’s not too bad of a role in the NFL. Scott has a good build for a quarterback, but needs to add more weight to his 6’2 frame. With underrated arm strength and above average mobility and speed, Scott will be a solid day three selection for an NFL team in April.
Jordan Rodgers, Vanderbilt
While it’s not a certainty at this point that Jordan Rodgers (brother of Aaron) will get drafted, he has the necessary skill set to be a reliable career backup in the NFL. Standing at just 6’1, Rodgers’ lack of size may scare away some teams, but his accuracy and athleticism are what can make him have success in the NFL. Just like his brother Aaron, Jordan Rodgers has enough speed to take off and run with the ball when needed. He didn’t have many designed run plays at Vanderbilt but still managed to rush for 491 yards and six touchdowns in his two seasons as the starting quarterback for the Commodores. Rodgers could be selected in the sixth or seventh round, but if he isn’t, he will be a priority undrafted free agent for many NFL teams.