Although quarterbacks taken in the first round of the NFL draft get all the publicity, Russell Wilson proved this year that teams can get a quality passer in the later rounds. This year's draft is no different.
The Seattle Seahawks took Wilson in the third round, which was even considered a reach at that point. After starting in Week 1 and leading his team to the second round of the playoffs, scouts are seeing how wrong they were.
In this year's class, Geno Smith, Matt Barkley and Tyler Wilson will likely be in the top tier of quarterbacks taken. Even Mike Glennon is gaining interest as a possible first-round selection.
However, teams should look toward this group of future stars that should be available on Day 2 and will still be able to make a big impact at the next level.
Ryan Nassib, Syracuse
Many are starting to pair Ryan Nassib with the Buffalo Bills after the team hired his former Syracuse head coach, Doug Marrone. However, the quarterback should do fine in the draft regardless.
Nassib has the experience of a senior who has gotten better every year he has played in college. After being used sparingly as a freshman, he started his final three years and eventually finished 12th in the nation with 3,749 passing yards in 2012.
He also showed his ability to improve as a decision-maker. After throwing nine interceptions in his first six games this year, he threw only two in his final seven. Unsurprisingly, the Orange improved from 2-4 to 8-5 over that stretch.
The passer has a very strong arm and would likely have gotten more recognition on a better team. However, he will certainly start to make himself known over the next few months leading up to the draft.
Tyler Bray, Tennessee
Although Tyler Bray might need a few years on an NFL bench to truly develop into a starting-level quarterback, he might be worth the investment.
The quarterback has great size at 6'6", and can use it to find receivers anywhere on the field. He also has a quick release that helped him avoid sacks and rack up 34 touchdowns on the year.
Unfortunately, the entire Tennessee football team was a mess this season and Bray received a lot of the blame for the eventual 5-7 record.
In a good situation, however, Bray has the tools necessary to succeed as a professional quarterback.
Landry Jones, Oklahoma
If Landry Jones had declared for the draft last season, he would have been in consideration for a first-round pick. Since that point, the senior improved his completion percentage, threw more touchdowns and fewer interceptions from a year ago.
Still, Jones has been dropping down draft boards and will likely be a mid-to-late-round selection.
The biggest knock on him is his performance in big games. Oklahoma lost this year to Kansas State, Notre Dame and Texas A&M despite coming into the year with high expectations. This theme carried over from last year after a few bad losses.
However, this is not something that should hold someone back at the next level. A quarterback can learn to make better decisions, but it is much harder to improve arm strength, accuracy and poise in the pocket.
Jones has all of these positive attributes and could end up being a steal in the 2013 draft.
Zac Dysert, Miami (Ohio)
Unlike the rest of the players on this list, Zac Dysert had the disadvantage of playing for a smaller school, which makes it much tougher to evaluate. Still, the Miami quarterback should be a quality selection late in the draft.
Dysert started all four years in college and he put up some impressive numbers despite having little help around him.
In fact, he was sacked 159 times over the course of his career. The fact that he is still standing is almost a miracle.
However, the quarterback still showed some positives in his ability to spread the ball around with very good accuracy. He also showed his ability to create with his legs at times this year and is more athletic than people give him credit for.
With talent around him on an NFL team, Dysert could end up being very productive.
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