Print and Go Back ESPN.com: Oklahoma Sooners [Print without images]

Friday, August 3, 2012
Three Big 12 QBs in nation’s top 10

By David Ubben

Colleague Brock Huard checked in with the next installment of the top 10 at each position nationally, offering up his list of the nation's best quarterbacks Insider.

Huard pegged three Big 12 quarterbacks in the nation's top 10, with surprises on who got in and who got left out.

The first no-brainers are Oklahoma's Landry Jones at No. 4 and West Virginia's Geno Smith at No. 5. They trail USC's Matt Barkley, Virginia Tech's Logan Thomas and Arkansas' Tyler Wilson.

Color me skeptical of Thomas, but Jones and Smith will be a season-long debate. You can rank them either way for now. Smith got the edge in the Big 12 Preseason Player of the Year Award, but the voting was pretty close.

For Huard, 2012 is about Jones validating the top-five grade NFL scouts placed on him previously.

Smith is another gunslinger like ones Mountaineers coach Dana Holgorsen had during assistant-coaching stints at Houston and Texas Tech, but Smith possesses the arm strength and size that guys like Case Keenum and Graham Harrell didn't have, writes Huard.

The most conspicuous absence from his top 10 list? Kansas State's Collin Klein. No surprise, really. Huard, a former quarterback himself, clearly defines best quarterbacks as "best passers." Klein doesn't fit that mold, but he does fit the mold of a great football player and quarterback.

TCU's Casey Pachall snuck in and grabbed the No. 10 spot. Nice pick. I love what Pachall was able to do last season, even though he didn't have a ton of pressure. When his team needed him most (Baylor, Boise State), he was at his best. I'd probably lean Seth Doege ahead of Pachall, but it's close.

Check out Huard's full list with his comments. Good stuff.