It’s time once again for the annual NFL Combine or as some in the draft community call it, the Underwear Olympics. For seven days starting on 2/22 Indianapolis will be invaded by NFL teams, NFL staff, NFL agents, and hopeful NFL players. The players will be put through a battery of tests that will test their athletic ability, speed, and strength against mostly air. While these drills won’t tell us a ton, they will allow us to get finalized measurements and official times on all the players who are participating.
We’ll start our combine preview series with the QB’s. The QB’s will get measured on Friday the 24th but not workout till Sunday the 26th. Below is a full list of the participants;
QB BJ Coleman-UT-Chattanooga
QB Aaron Corp-Richmond
QB Kirk Cousins-Michigan State
QB Austin Davis-Southern Miss
QB Nick Foles-Arizona
QB Robert Griffin III-Baylor
QB Chandler Harnish-Northern Illinois
QB Jacory Harris-Miami
QB Jordan Jefferson-LSU
QB Case Keenum-Houston
QB Ryan Lindley-San Diego State
QB Andrew Luck-Stanford
QB Kellen Moore-Boise Sate
QB Brock Osweiler-Arizona State*
QB Ryan Tannehill-TexasA&M**
QB Darron Thomas-Oregon*
QB Brandon Weeden-Oklahoma State
QB Russell Wilson-Wisconsin
QB Patrick Witt-Yale
* Early Entrant into 2012 NFL Draft
**Ryan Tannehill will attend but not workout due to a foot injury
Here is our estimate at who will be the top workout warriors from the QB position:
40 Yard Dash-Robert Griffin III 4.52
3 Cone Drill-Darron Thomas 6.68
Short Shuttle- Russell Wilson 4.08
Bench Press- Russell Wilson 22
We fully expect Andrew Luck, and Robert Griffin III not to throw on Sunday. They have nothing to gain from throwing and should wait for their own Pro Days. We also know that Ryan Tannehill obviously won’t be throwing given his injury.
If we were Brandon Weeden’s agent we would tell him also not to throw, he did well enough in Mobile to prove that he was the top Senior QB and has almost nothing to gain at the combine in drills. Guys like Kirk Cousins, Nick Foles, and Ryan Lindley all could also decline due to their current stock and fear of having a poor throwing session.
We do think that QB’s Kellen Moore and Case Keenum have to throw in Indy. Moore had a very poor week in Mobile and Keenum didn’t participate in any all-star events. Both are considered to be under the ‘ideal’ height for the QB position so they will need to show they have they timing, zip, and arm strength to make all the throws.
We also expect all three small school QB’s to throw in Indy. They have nothing to lose for the most part and BJ Coleman could stand out with his arm strength if they top guys all decline. Corp needs to prove to teams that he can drive the ball down the field, while Witt needs to show more accuracy and consistency in his passes.
The only QB’s who should even come close to challenging (or even staying with) RGIII in any of the running drills will be Russell Wilson and Darron Thomas. RGIII is a former national finalist in the 110M hurdles and should easily smoke the 40. It wouldn’t shock us if we took all three of the big running drills.
Three prospects who need to have good combines are Jordan Jefferson, Brock Osweiler, and Jacory Harris. Jefferson needs to show the NFL scouts something in his time in Indy because his 2011 tape isn’t all that good. He needs to run well and show off the arm that Les Miles put his national title faith in.
Osweiler was a surprise early entrant to us, he has a lot of technical flaws in his game but he has size that intrigues. He needs to show smoother mechanics, some fluidity in his athletic drills, and the ability to get the ball down the field.
Jacory Harris started off 2011 on a hot streak after an awful 2010. He needs to build on that and show off his arm and athletic ability. A good combine could solidify him as a draftable project prospect late in April.
Finally Ryan Tannehill just needs to have his medical tests go over well. There is concern over his foot injury which required surgery just a few weeks ago. He’s shed his walking boot and is expected to be 100% but he knows NFL teams will all want a look at that foot.
We expect the Bills to watch all of these QB’s very closely as well as attend nearly every Pro Day for this group. Look for the Bills to also bring a number of these guys in for on site workouts.
Who are you looking forward to seeing from the QB class at this year’s NFL Combine?