2010 NFL Combine Analysis: Quarterbacks
The 2010 NFL combine is upon us again and, as usual, all eyes are on the big names and the touted reputations. Unfortunately, five of the top quarterbacks going into April have opted to “not play to lose” rather than “play to win.”
Florida’s Tim Tebow, Texas’ Colt McCoy, Oklahoma’s Sam Bradford, and Notre Dame’s Jimmy Clausen have all decided to wait until their prospective pro days to preform the throwing drills scouts look at in the combine.
Dan Lefevour also declined to throw to moving targets, opting instead to throw at stationary targets. He has stated he will make a full appearance of his ball skills at his pro day, a tactic that some call cowardly, but in reality it’s nothing less than what the other major names have decided upon.
Sam Bradford and Jimmy Clausen have declined to participate in any of the workout drills.
Post-combine, a few players really stood out while others fell to static performance.
1. Dan Lefevour (Central Michigan)
40-yard Dash (4.66) 3-Cone Drill (6.93) Broad Jump (9’2″)
Lefevour’s decline to throw at moving targets hurt his draft stock, but only a little. He ran the second fastest 40-yard time of any quarterback at the draft, another indicator he has the ability to escape pressure at the next level.
Like most elite college quarterbacks, Lefevour comes from a spread offense. Come pro day, the focus will be on his footwork (three, five, and seven step drop back), and whether or not his release is compact enough. Until now, though, it looks like Lefevour’s original sixth-seventh round projection is no more.
2. Daryll Clark (Penn State)
Bench Press (21)
Clark is still considered a quarterback who belongs in later rounds and, while he didn’t perform at all the drills in Indianapolis, he dominated in the bench press room. His elite upper body strength has scouts eying him for a position in a Wildcat style of offense, but Penn State’s pro day could prove that he has more capabilities.
If anything, Clark’s twenty one repetitions on the bench just shows his commitment in the weight room. A lot of guys show up at the combine after a “cramming” session with the weights, but Clark’s performance shows a constant level of conditioning and a history of muscle building.
3. Zac Robinson (Oklahoma State)
40-yard Dash (4.71) Vertical Jump (35.0) Broad Jump (9’2″)
Robinson came out of the Senior Bowl with accolades of greatness circling his limited, though undoubtedly successful performance late in the fourth quarter. His measurements at the combine didn’t fail to impress either.
He beat out Tim Tebow in his 40-yard and finished second in the vertical jump to, ironically, Tim Tebow. He has the athleticism to compete at the next level and we would should see nothing but good things at Stillwater’s pro day.
4. Jarrett Brown (West Virginia)
40-yard Dash (4.54) Vertical Jump (34.5) Broad Jump (9’6″)
We already new Brown was fast, but holding the fastest 40-yard at the combine confirms that in ways that tape can only assume. He had the third highest vertical jump and tied for third highest broad jump.
During the year, we saw inconsistencies from Brown, but his athleticism shows promise and the potential to play in a Wildcat formation only elevates his stock.
5. Tim Tebow (Florida)
40-yard Dash (4.72) Vertical Jump (38.5) 3-Cone Drill (6.66) Broad Jump (9’07)
Arguably one of the most-watched prospects entering the combine, Tebow has a lot to prove with his throwing ability, but his physical tangibles are elite, to say the least. He set a record with his vertical leap and finished in the top three in every other category.
We won’t see how he throws until Florida holds its pro day later in the month, but based off of what he showed us in Indianapolis, it’s safe to say Tebow is still the most athletically-gifted quarterback going into April.
1. Tony Pike (Cincinnati)
40-yard Dash (4.92) 3-Cone Drill (7.06) Broad Jump (9’0″)
Tony Pike didn’t disappoint at the combine so much as he failed to impress. He saw the majority of his action lined up against Oklahoma State’s Zac Robinson. Both did well with the QB drills, but Pike’s balls were a little wobbly and his high release didn’t look great.
As an athlete alone, he ran a slow 40-yard and 3-Cone drill and even his broad jump didn’t eclipse any of his pre-assumed numbers. Few consider Pike to be an especially athletic quarterback, but it would have been nice to see better numbers out of the Cincinnati journeyman.
2. Max Hall (BYU)
40-yard Dash (4.87) Vertical Jump (32.0) 3-Cone Drill (7.07) Broad Jump (8’6″)
Again, Hall isn’t considered an athletic prospect as much as a pure thrower. Even his quarterback drills in Indianapolis weren’t great, though. He didn’t show a mastered grasp on his drop backs and, in a bracket with Sam Bradford, he needed that to really shine.
His other drill numbers also failed to impress. A relatively quick 40-yard isn’t enough to cover up the fact that he had a marginal vertical and a downright bad broad jump. An NFL quarterback takes a number of hits in a game and lower body strength is important in a league where pass rushers are constantly coming after you.
3. John Skelton (Fordham)
40-yard Dash (4.85) Vertical Jump (33.5) Broad Jump (9’0″)
At the combine, it was easy to see why Skelton was listed so low on the list of NFL-ready quarterbacks. According to Rob Rang of NFLdraftscout.com, Skelton was “wildly erratic, especially early in the gauntlet drills. His high and wide throws consistently forced receivers to adjust, throwing off their balance and timing.”
Skelton will continue to watch his draft stock stagnate going into April, but a good pro day could potentially help him.
4. Sean Canfield (Oregon State)
40-yard Dash (4.99) Broad Jump (8’4″)
Canfield looked so-so at the Senior Bowl and didn’t help his chances much at the combine. His 40-yard time was one of the slower on the days and his broad jump spoke volumes about his lower-body strength.
The true concerns of Canfield circulate his exaggerated windup and his slow release. He failed to impress with his deep ball, as well. All in all, it looks like Canfield will have to shine at his pro day in order to look any better than a perennial back-up at this point.
5. Colt McCoy (Texas)
40-yard Dash (4.79) Broad Jump (9’6″)
This may come as a surprise to most people, as McCoy is considered one of the top quarterback prospects coming into the draft. However, unlike the others, McCoy isn’t considered a lock for the first round so the decision to not throw has left him in a static state.
His late-season injury has been cleared but without a proper showing of his physical tangibles, McCoy can only sit and watch the disinterest build up.