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February 14, 2013
ESPN's NFL Draft guru Mel Kiper, Jr. held his latest conference call fielding questions about NFL prospects on Wednesday, and he discussed both former NC State players who are expected to be taken in the first couple rounds of the event, quarterback Mike Glennon and cornerback David Amerson.
Kiper had several things to say about Glennon, and he also talked about how the quarterback position is full of question marks with no consensus in the pecking order of signal callers.
"It was just like the wheels came off for all of the quarterbacks at some point this year," he said. "Things just didn't fall right with these quarterbacks, allowing them to maximize their ability. That's why, I think, the teams right now are in the predicament they are, trying to figure this whole quarterback thing out — not to overdraft or push a guy up when he's not deserving.
"I don't have any quarterback in my top 25, I don't think [fellow ESPN analyst] Todd [McShay] does, as well, or if he does, it's right around 25 with Geno Smith, so you're talking about [quarterbacks being drafted in the] top 10 for a guy that is barely in our top 25 or not in it at all. So there you go, it's just a tough evaluation trying to figure out which quarterbacks in this draft, if any, will be great starting quarterbacks."
Kiper previously had listed Glennon on his big board of the top 25 draft eligible prospects — and he was the only quarterback listed — but he has since dropped off, and is currently ranked as the No. 3 draft-eligible field general.
"I thought he could be in the mid-first round range," Kiper said. "He didn't play great against Vanderbilt in the Music City Bowl, he didn't have a lights-out Senior Bowl week, but he's got talent, he's got ability. He also has probably the weakest supporting cast of any quarterback that we're evaluating here, in terms of dropped balls against him by his receivers — he had more than any other quarterback. Glennon, to me, is a guy that can still emerge as a late one, early two."
However, clubs are always on the prowl for a franchise quarterback, and it is likely that Glennon will wow observers when he throws at the NFL Combine, which was reported yesterday by ESPN's James Walker. Teams' desperation for finding the No. 1 guy under center could lead a signal caller coming off the board before he deserves to, according to Kiper.
"They all have flashed that kind of ability, it's just where they settle into...which makes it very difficult to project where they're going to end up," Kiper said. "Mike Glennon, I don't think would be a stretch if you took him in the late first round."
Kiper was also asked about cornerbacks who could be intriguing safety prospects, and he brought up the name of Amerson, who left school after a rocky junior season. However, the 6-foot-3, 194-pounder still tied for the ACC lead with five interceptions this fall and was projected as a high first-round pick following a 13-interception campaign as a sophomore.
"In terms of the cornerbacks who could be safety-types and would have some versatility, you go down the line of the guys who are in that mix now, and we have to wait and see, first of all, what do they run," Kiper asked. "David Amerson from NC State, what does he run? He's a cornerback, had a big year a couple of seasons ago with a ton of interceptions, but struggled a little this year in coverage. We'll have to see what happens with him, how he tests out, in terms of his 40 time and where he's projected after that. He would certainly be a guy that's at the top of that list because of what he brings to the table physically."
In addition to Glennon and Amerson, safety Earl Wolff and offensive guard Zach Allen were invited to the NFL Combine, which will be held Feb. 23-26 in Indianapolis.
N.C. State NEWS