Who's Next: Barkley or Nassib?
By Bill Lund
With three rounds of the 2013 NFL Draft in the books, only three QBs have been taken. Two quarterbacks in particular were slated as Day One or Two picks have essentially been left at the altar: USC's Matt Barkley and Syracuse's Ryan Nassib.
Most NFL pundits and front office personnel have lamented the fact the 2013 QB draft class lacked “franchise” appeal. Now, we all know the story of Tom Brady, who went from sixth round afterthought to superstar and future Hall of Famer. Both Nassib and Barkley have enough "want to" to become starters, but certainly they would need time and the right situation to make it work.
Barkley would do well in a West Coast system, or any system based on using short to intermediate passes predominately in the offense. Barkley has worked in an NFL system and would quickly adapt to anything similar that fit his skill set. His fall from the first three rounds is most likely indicative of his lack of arm strength and lack of need by a West Coast offense. Realistically, he would be better off to become an undrafted free agent and choose a situation he can grow and learn. Certainly the onset of teams looking for the next Colin Kaepernick does not help the situation, since Barkley lacks the physical tools to be a read zone QB. If Barkley lands in a place he can grow and learn, he could certainly make his mark down the road.
Nassib was the fast-rising QB after the Senior Bowl. Many pundits and fans felt he was a natural fit with Buffalo, considering his college coach Doug Marrone is now the man charged with leading the Bills back to the playoffs. Nassib displayed the arm talent scouts like. He has the ability to make every throw. His knock may be his ability to be accurate down the field. He also has a gunslinger attitude, and as much as that may work at the college level, forcing the ball at the next level could cost you a job. Nassib possesses a nice, compact throwing motion that allows for a catchable ball, but his touch was a question mark with some teams. He has the tools, but needs a system and time to develop as a QB at the next level.
With the quarterback position, fans and pundits alike tend to anoint players because the position tends to get put on a pedestal compared to others in the draft. QBs will make or break a franchise, so the search is on-going for many teams to find a player than can lead them to the promised land. Both Barkley and Nassib had a lot of early publicity, but the draft has shown the flaws each possess. Each player will need more time to develop since they were not deemed to be at the level needed to be drafted in the first three rounds. History has proven though that players that have a “chip” on their shoulder tend to rise from the depths of the draft to lead a team to a championship.