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Opinions on the QBs at the Combine differ

Posted Feb 27, 2016

Conversations around the quarterback position can be polarizing all the way up until draft day.

NFL teams annually head to the combine looking for confirmation in many cases but such conclusions are often relative, especially as far as quarterbacks are concerned.

Consider, for example, the curious case of Michigan State’s Connor Cook.

At 6-foot-4 and 217 pounds, Cook has the prerequisite size and he can make all the proverbial throws.

He went 34-5 as a starter at MSU.

But Cook wasn’t one of the Spartans’ captains in his senior season.

“Polarizing conversation here,” NFL Network analyst Mike Mayock observed. “There are two schools of thought. One school is he has first-round arm talent. He was 34-5 as a starter in the Big Ten and he can make every throw necessary in the NFL and therefore he’s a first-round pick.

“There’s another school of thought that says, why wasn’t he the captain of the team? Why was he inconsistent with his decision-making and why didn’t he show up at the Senior Bowl (Cook declined an invitation)? There’s a cloud around this kid.

“I think he’s going to be a polarizing conversation right up until draft day.”

That’s often the case with quarterbacks.

Other observations about the position and the crop of draftees that was on display on Saturday during NFL Network coverage of the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis included:

Mayock on California’s Jared Goff: “Goff is ready to go today. Cleveland has gotta be looking at him (at No. 2 overall). Some scouts are concerned he’s very lean (6-4, 215), a little bit like a Matt Ryan in that he’s going to have trouble putting on size. If you want a guy that is ready now with pocket awareness, footwork, quick release, that is your guy.”

Mayock North Dakota State’s Carson Wentz: “He has the highest ceiling. He’s bigger, stronger, faster and a better athlete than Andrew Luck. I’m not saying he’s Andrew Luck because there’s considerable downside there. However, the upside is really exciting.”

NFL Network analyst Kurt Warner on what he looks for in a quarterback: “Everybody out here has to make every single throw. You have to be able to throw an 18-yard comeback (route). I want to know, do you know how to throw an 18-yard comeback? Because there’s a bunch of different ways you have to throw it based on what you’re seeing on the field.”

Warner on quarterback quickness: “Quarterback quickness is different than everything else because you’re moving within about a 1-yard box. The ability to avoid a pass rusher, turn and get your feet set and get the ball out quickly, that’s one thing that really impressed me about Jared Goff. The ability to turn his hips and get the ball out quickly in that small box is impressive.”

Mayock on what the Cowboys will do with the fourth-overall pick: “If the Dallas Cowboys think there’s a franchise quarterback in this draft and he’s there at No. 4 they have to take him. Your quarterback (Tony Romo) is 36 and hasn’t finished a season in three years. You gotta take a quarterback and if he sits a year or two, awesome.”

NFL Network host Rich Eisen on the Browns’ challenge of finding a QB to play in a division that includes starters Ben Roethlisberger, Joe Flacco and Andy Dalton: “Man, do the Browns have to figure that one out.”

Mayock on the same subject: “They’re playing catch-up and it needs to start with a quarterback.”


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