The 2013 NFL draft class was already thin at quarterback, but there were several that went undrafted and were quickly picked up by teams as free agents—and for good reason.
It's rare that an undrafted signal-caller rises to the top of the depth chart, but look no further than the Dallas Cowboys' Tony Romo as proof that it is possible. He came out of Eastern Illinois without an NFL destination before signing with America's Team, and then became one of the better quarterbacks in the league.
It remains to be seen what the respective fates of the following three players will be, but it'll be an interesting situation to monitor going forward. Let's power rank the three best undrafted quarterbacks that were signed Saturday evening.
3. Ryan Griffin, New Orleans Saints
The former Tulane quarterback isn't quite up to the level of an unrelated current QB with the same last name, but there is reason to be impressed with Ryan Griffin nonetheless.
New Orleans felt strongly enough to sign Griffin, per Larry Holder of NOLA.com.
Athleticism is definitely not his strong suit, as he only runs a 5.15 40-yard dash. Whatever he lacks in that regard, though, is made up for by his extremely high football IQ, work ethic and leadership intangibles.
Dane Brugler @dpbrugler
There are only 2 QBs in this class I'd "bang the table" for: Ryan Nassib (early 2nd round) and #Tulane Ryan Griffin (mid-rounds)2013-4-23 21:57:14
Dane Brugler @dpbrugler
3) Just throwing this out there, but I gave #Tulane QB Ryan Griffin a higher grade than QB Landry Jones...all Griffin needs is a chance...2013-4-10 01:31:06
That chance is coming with the Saints, and Griffin will be able to learn behind one of the best quarterbacks in the league in Drew Brees. If he can find his niche in the Saints' system, he could conceivably develop into a promising pro QB.
At 6'3" and 221 pounds, Griffin possesses even more ideal size than Brees. Of course, that doesn't mean he'll see the field soon, but he's in a great situation to blossom.
2. Tyler Bray, Kansas City Chiefs
Bray unquestionably has the best arm of any undrafted prospect, and renowned analyst Jason La Canfora couldn't believe someone didn't take a flier on him on Day 3 of the draft:
Jason La Canfora @JasonLaCanfora
Of all the things that went down on 3rd day of draft, Tyler Bray going un-drafted is probably most surprising to me2013-4-28 00:15:25
Although he did benefit from having dynamic receiving weapons at Tennessee, the former Volunteer QB had to hang tough in the pocket in the SEC, which is filled with swarming, punishing defenses.
That led to serious punishment, but it also allowed Bray to average over eight yards per attempt for his three-year career.
Accuracy and mechanics aren't Bray's strong suit, and that leads to inconsistency. His maturity away form the field is also in question due to a couple of notable mishaps.
The quarterback room is crowded with starter Alex Smith and experienced backup Chase Daniel, but Reid saw enough potential in Bray to take a chance on him. He has a stronger arm than any signal-caller ahead of him on the depth chart, which can only help his cause in making the 53-man roster.
1. Matt Scott, Jacksonville Jaguars
The combination of unique mobility and arm talent that Scott brings to the Jags makes him the top undrafted free-agent signing at the quarterback position.
Jacksonville's quarterback situation is far from resolved due to the presence of apparent first-round bust Blaine Gabbert and the perpetually inconsistent Chad Henne. Both of those players figure to compete for the starting job.
However, Scott may break out as a surprise candidate to get the nod under center—well, more prominently in the shotgun—despite his raw tools as a passer.
Scott has a fairly strong arm and did throw for 3,620 yards and 27 touchdowns for the Wildcats this past season despite having an underwhelming supporting cast of receivers.
His intangibles and competitive fire apparently aren't a problem either, as Scott seems fired up to get down to business for head coach Gus Bradley:
Matt Scott @mscottqb10
Got a chip on my shoulder I'm coming for someone's spot #yougonelearntoday #jaguars2013-4-28 00:00:20
The biggest asset he brings to the table, though, is his aptitude for running the zone-read option. Under Rich Rodriguez, Scott ran for 506 yards and six touchdowns in 2012—even after accounting for sack yardage.
Option and spread concepts are becoming an emerging trend in the NFL, and that makes Scott worth holding onto even if he doesn't progress as expected from a mental standpoint in grasping a pro-style playbook.