Ranking QBs in the 2013 draft

Jaws goes to the film room to break down the draft's top eight QBs

Originally Published: April 9, 2013
By Ron Jaworski | ESPN Insider

Evaluating prospects of any kind for the NFL draft is a tough exercise. But it can be particularly complex when it comes to the quarterback position.

College presents a challenging environment for observation because of two major factors. First, no defense is NFL-caliber, and the defenses these quarterbacks face can vary drastically in ability. You have to be able to decipher a quarterback's talent against that of the defense. Even a mediocre QB can put up gaudy numbers against consistently deficient defenses -- we see it all the time. Second, the schemes many of these QBs run simply don't translate to the NFL. For example, no NFL offense is going to succeed with the quarterback taking every single snap out of the shotgun. Even as we see new (or refurbished) looks constantly on Sundays, you don't want a shotgun-dependent player. So for some of these prospects who are strangers under center, you deal with a lot of projection.

To that end, NFL talent evaluators don't really care much about statistics (which is why you won't find any below). What they want to see are traits often found among good NFL quarterbacks. They want to see "NFL throws" -- passes into tight windows, with velocity and precision -- that are going to beat not only Joe Redshirt Freshman but Ed Reed, too.

Similarly, when I evaluate college quarterbacks, I focus on my list of attributes that I find essential for a successful quarterback in the National Football League: a winning track record, leadership, arm strength, accuracy, toughness, touch, mechanics, pocket awareness, size, mobility and character -- those are the foundational qualities I look for. I've also added an attribute I call "the fifth quarter," which is how a player handles himself off the field and in the public eye. As I present my findings on the best eight QBs in the 2013 draft below, those qualities make up the measuring stick I'm using.


To read the complete list of the top eight QBs in the 2013 NFL draft, you must be an ESPN Insider.

Ron Jaworski

NFL analyst / writer
Ron Jaworski is one of the most popular and knowledgeable analysts covering the NFL today. Since joining ESPN in 1990, the former standout NFL quarterback has covered the league from virtually every angle -- sideline reporter, game-site reporter, host and both studio and game analyst. From 2007-11, Jaworski occupied one of the most coveted positions in sports as a Monday Night Football analyst.