ESPN draft guru Mel Kiper released his first mock draft of the season yesterday. He followed that up by holding a conference call with the media to discuss one of the biggest surprises of his mock - the lack of quarterbacks in the first round.
Kiper explained, "I couldn't put a first round quarterback in because I couldn't get one in the first seven or eight and no one else needs one. Now in the back end of the first round, maybe you'll see a team move up to the late 20s for Mike Glennon, Geno Smith or Matt Barkley."
Kiper also described Glennon, not Smith, as the top quarterback in the class, explaining that, after watching the film from six North Carolina State games, he saw more drops from receivers than anything wrong with Glennon. About Smith, Kiper said, "Mixed opinion on Geno Smith. Some say top 10, but I think he's in the 20s." He also stated that he almost gave Smith to the Cardinals in his mock draft at No. 7 overall, but "spoke with people in the league and didn't get that feeling."
"This group of QBs will be held to last year's standards," Kiper said, "Which is sad, but that's how it is, and I don't think they will live up to it."