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NFL Combine: Scouting the Quarterbacks

Posted Feb 23, 2014

An in-depth analysis of the quarterbacks who worked out at the NFL Scouting Combine.

Ricky Henne’s Take: A trio of top prospects didn’t throw in Teddy Bridgewater, Derek Carr and Johnny Manziel.  One who did was the big riser heading into the Combine in Blake Bortles, and the Central Florida prospect didn’t do anything to stop his meteoric rise.  My big winner of the day though was AJ McCarron.  Alabama quarterbacks haven’t had the most success in the NFL recently, but I sincerely think McCarron has a chance.  Overall, I thought he was quite polished.  When addressing the media earlier in the week, McCarron said he hears questions about his arm strength on distance throws the most.  He was looking forward to alleviating those concerns, and I think he did just that as I was particularly impressed with his deep ball.   I was also eager to see San Jose State’s David Fales compete because he is a prospect I heard a lot about heading into the 2013 collegiate season, but then didn’t hear as much. I like the way he spins the ball and think he has the chance to be a pretty good player. In the non-throwing portion, Virginia Tech’s Logan Thomas made an impact.  He posted the fastest 40-yard dash time with a 4.61, had the highest vertical jump at 35.5 inches and leapt the furthest in the broad jump with a 118.0 mark. Finally, the mandatory Manziel update since everyone wants to know every detail about him no matter how small.  I thought he showed well.  His athletic ability was on display as he ran a 4.68. He also measured in just shy of 6-0 and has massive hands (9 7/8 inches). 

Jordan Beane’s Take: When it comes to the three-ring circus that is the Combine, the quarterbacks are clearly the main event.  Although Johnny Manziel didn’t throw a pass here in Indianapolis, he did impress with his 40 time of 4.68, displaying enough speed to help show why many draftniks believe “Johnny Football” could go number one overall. Another player considered a first pick possibility is UCF’s Blake Bortles. At 6-5, Bortles didn’t set the world on fire with his official 40 time of 4.93, but he was one of the only consensus top QB’s that did pick up a football at Lucas Oil Stadium.  With a ball in his hand he looked comfortable under the bright lights, throwing accurate passes all over the field. From a player that was nearly moved to tight end early in his career, Bortles showed he belongs in the discussion to have his name called first in New York.  One QB that didn’t have a lot of buzz heading into the Combine but might be leaving with some is Connor Shaw. The former Gamecock was physically impressive (he ran the third fastest forty, had the third highest vertical and the second farthest broad jump) and looked very confident throwing the football as well. Before the Combine started many had Shaw as a sixth or seventh round pick, but after his performance today he may see his draft stock climb a little. Shaw also got some nice press from his former coach Steve Spurrier, with the old ball coach comparing Shaw to Russell Wilson. You combine that with his work on the field in Columbia, where he was the school's all-time winningest QB and never lost at home, and you might have a later round gem in Shaw.




40-Yard Dash

1. Logan Thomas, Virginia Tech – 4.61
2. Stephen Morris, Miami – 4.63
3. Connor Shaw, South Carolina – 4.66
4. Johnny Manziel, Texas A&M – 4.68
5. Derek Carr, Fresno St. – 4.69

Vertical Jump

1. Logan Thomas, Virginia Tech – 35.5 inches
2. Derek Carr, Fresno State – 34.5 inches
3. Connor Shaw, South Carolina – 34.0 inches
4. Blake Bortles, Central Florida – 32.5 inches
5. Johnny Manziel, Texas A&M – 31.5 inches

Broad Jump

1. Logan Thomas, Virginia Tech – 118.0 inches
2. Conor Shaw, South Carolina – 116.0 inches
3. Blake Bortles, Central Florida – 115.0 inches
T-4. Teddy Bridgewater, Louisville – 113.0 inches
T-4. Johnny Manziel, Texas A&M – 113.0 inches


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