With the front office and coaching moves completed, the Buffalo Bills are now faced with the task of making their roster better for the 2013 season and addressing their top need, quarterback.
Here is a recap of how the 2012 season went for nine of the quarterbacks who will be available in the April draft.
Geno Smith/West Virginia- Smith closed out his career in Morgantown with his best statistical season, completing a career high 71% of his throws for more than 4000 yards. His touchdown to interception ratio was an eye popping 40-6. He earned second team All Big 12 honors.
But Smith’s season wasn’t without its issues. He was red hot out of the gate but slumped over the second half of the schedule. He didn’t face a top 20 pass defense all season and didn’t fare well against the two highest rated defenses he did see. Against Texas Tech(23rd) and Oklahoma(26th), the 6-3, 214 pounder completed only 55% of his passes with 5 TD’s and 2 INT’s.
A sub par performance in a Pinstripe Bowl loss to Ryan Nassib and Syracuse may have also hurt his draft stock. Smith turned down an invitation from the Senior Bowl.
Matt Barkley/USC- speaking of someone’s draft stock possibly taking a hit, I give you Matt Barkley who some claim would have been a top 10 pick had he come out after last season. But Barkley chose to return to school for his senior year and it was a disappointing one for he and the Trojans.
Barkley saw a drop in completion percentage(63%), passing yards(3273) and touchdowns(36) and he threw twice as many interceptions( a career high 15) as he did in 2011. His season also ended early due to a shoulder injury in a loss to UCLA. That kept Barkley from playing against top ranked Notre Dame and he missed the Trojans bowl game as well.
A four year starter, Barkley leaves USC with more than 12,000 career passing yards, 116 touchdowns and 48 interceptions.
Mike Glennon/North Carolina State- Glennon’s stock is on the rise after his senior season. A two year starter who took over following Russell Wilson’s decision to transfer to Wisconsin, Glennon’s completion percentage dropped from 62% to 57% but he threw for 600 more yards(3648) than he did in 2011. He had 30 touchdowns to go along with 14 interceptions.
The 6-6, 232 pounder led the ACC in passing yards per game and became the first Wolfpack quarterback to throw for 30 or more touchdowns in two different seasons(he had 31 in 2011).
Ryan Nassib/Syracuse- He might be the hottest stock in the QB market right now. A three year starter for the Orange and current Bills Head Coach Doug Marrone, Nassib closed out his collegiate career with a bang. While learning a new up tempo, no huddle offense, Nassib recorded career bests in completion percentage(63%), yards(3619) and touchdowns(24). He was picked off just nine times.
Named to the All Big East second team, Nassib will be the first Syracuse quarterback to be drafted since Donovan McNabb in 1999 and just the third SU QB to be selected since 1945. Nassib threw for more than 9000 yards in his three seasons, 68 touchdowns and 27 interceptions.
Tyler Wilson/Arkansas- Wilson might be one of the most gifted quarterbacks in the class but a down year for the Razorbacks kept him from receiving more acclaim. The successor to Ryan Mallet, Wilson had a tremendous 2011 season, throwing for more than 3600 yards, 24 touchdowns and only 6 interceptions. He became the first Arkansas QB to ever earn first team All-SEC honors from coaches and the media.
But Head Coach Bobby Petrino was fired in the off season and the Razorbacks offensive productivity left Fayetteville with him. The 6-3, 220 pound senior had a slight drop in yards(just under 3400) and tossed 3 fewer TD’s but his INT total went from 6 to 13.
Tyler Bray/Tennessee- Like Wilson, Bray’s team had a disappointing season but it doesn’t take away from the fact he has a strong skill set and perhaps the most powerful arm of the group.
Bray was a three year starter for the Volunteers. Bray had a career high 3612 yards passing, almost double the numbers he put up in 2010 and again in 2011. He also had a career best 34 touchdowns but his 12 interceptions were the most he had thrown in a single season. Bray’s accuracy has come under scrutiny as well since he never completed more than 59% of his passes in any season in Knoxville.
Landry Jones/Oklahoma- Jones could have left for the NFL after 2011 but like Barkley, opted to go back for his senior season. A three year starter, taking over for Sam Bradford, Jones completed 65% of his passes for the Sooners this season. He threw for 3989 yards(down about 500 yards from 2011), had 29 touchdowns(his lowest total over the 3 seasons) and 10 interceptions. Jones threw for 38 touchdowns as a junior and what turned out to be a career best 47 during his sophomore campaign.
An All BIG 12 second team selection, Jones leaves Oklahoma holding 13 school passing records including career yards at 12,379.
EJ Manuel/Florida State- Manuel was a two year starter for the Seminoles succeeding Christian Ponder. He completed 67% of his passes this season for 3101 yards, 22 touchdowns and 10 interceptions. His 2011 stat line read 65%, 2666 yards, 18 TD’s and 8 INT’s.
Manuel is physically gifted with a 6-4, 240 pound frame and running skills that make some scouts say he reminds them of Cam Newton. A second team ALL-ACC selection, Manuel’s stock might be hurt by the fact he did not fare well in the biggest games of the season, most notably a loss at home to in state rival Florida.
Zac Dysert/Miami(Ohio)- Guess who he’s being compared to? The most famous quarterback to come out of the Miami program, Ben Roethlisberger. Dysert is 6-4, 228 pounds but some scouts believe he could add another 15 or 20 pounds and still be effective. Roethlisberger is 6-5, 241 pounds.
A four year starter for the Redhawks, Dysert broke many of Roethlisberger’s records and left Miami as the school’s all time leading passer. He threw for more than 12,000 yards, 73 touchdowns and 51 interceptions. That TD/INT ratio isn’t very impressive but in Dysert’s last two seasons, it was a very impressive 48 TD’s and 23 INT’s.
The first ever three time captain at Miami, Dysert earned praise in a loss this season. Go check out his highlights from the Redhawks game at Ohio State. Dysert was 31-53 for 303 yards and a TD against a Buckeyes team that would go undefeated. He became the first visiting QB to throw for at least 300 yards in seven years.