Passing on passing

Posted Mar 3, 2018

Throwing show doesn't include USC's Darnold.

The quarterbacks took center stage on Day Two of the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis.

USC’s Sam Darnold left them wanting more, a lot more in the case of NFL Network analyst Mike Mayock.

“It’s not going to affect his draft grade,” Mayock said of Darnold’s decision not to throw for the assembled talent evaluators. “However, that kid ought to want to get up before or after (UCLA’s Josh) Rosen, (Louisville’s) Lamar Jackson, all these guys, and say, ‘I’m just as good,’ or, ‘I’m better, let’s go, let’s rip it.’
“Cam Newton came out here and sprayed it around. Coaches and scouts know if you don’t complete a pass here it doesn’t matter, you don’t know the wideouts. You ought to want to burr up and compete. It just bothers me a little bit that he ought to override his trainer or override his agent or override his parents, whoever is telling him not to throw. He ought to say, ‘I’m a competitor and I want to throw.’”

Darnold was measured at 6-foot-33/8 and weighed in at 221 pounds.

He ran unofficial times of 4.86 and 4.91 in the 40-yard dash.

“I like the fact that this kid was such a good basketball player,” Mayock continued. “In high school, he played three sports. You talk about a competitor, I think he is. I just wish he was throwing today.”

One other Mayock observation on Darnold: “He claps well during passing drills.”

QB PLAN B: Mayock had this to say regarding what teams want at quarterback and how they’re contemplating finding what they need at the position:  

“We talk about the quote, franchise quarterback, and we talk all the time, there aren’t 32 of them. There are maybe eight, 10, 12 of them, whatever that number is. So what general managers and coaches are talking about right now around the league, because I’ve had this conversation with them, is, all of a sudden the Philadelphia Eagles won a Super Bowl with Nick Foles at quarterback. The Minnesota Vikings almost got to a Super Bowl with Case Keenum at quarterback. The Jacksonvile Jaguars almost got to the Super Bowl with a revitalized Blake Bortles. And guys are going, ‘Well, if there aren’t 32 franchise guys, maybe we need to look at this a little bit differently.’ And how does that affect this draft class.?

“Of course you want a franchise quarterback. But what about (Washington State’s) Luke Falk and quarterbacks of that ilk, (Oklahoma State’s) Mason Rudolph, (Richmond’s), Kyle Lauletta? Can those guys be groomed as second- or third-round picks like a Kirk Cousins, who was a fourth-round pick? And then you build around them with the additional money you have.

“It doesn’t necessarily have to be a quote, franchise guy. And there are a lot of GMs and head coaches talking about that right now. And I think it also affects the teams that have secondary quarterback needs. We have four or five teams with secondary quarterback needs because their quarterbacks are getting older.”

ARMED AND DANGEROUS: NFL Network analyst David Carr is sold on Josh Allen of Wyoming as a thrower of fastballs.

“The ball just naturally comes off his hand with effortless velocity,” Carr assessed. “The accuracy stuff, 56 percent in college, obviously, is well-documented. But the kid can rip it.

Added Mayock: “Josh Allen has the biggest arm in this draft and maybe any arm all the way back to JaMarcus Russell (selected first overall by the Raiders in 2007).”

As for the other Josh, “I think Josh Rosen (of UCLA) is the most natural thrower of the group and maybe go back to Sam Bradford before I see a quarterback that throws it as well as he does, as naturally as he does,” Mayock said.

AS ADVERTISED: NFL Network reporter Kim Jones had this to say regarding Oklahoma’s Baker Mayfield: “He told the media that he doesn’t want to settle for being a backup, that he can turn around Cleveland. Someone told me that he is over-the-top cocky.”

COMPLETE PLAYERS: Wide receiver Tre’Quan Smith’s 40-yard dash reps offered Mayock an opportunity to talk about what’s expected from players at that position at Central Florida.

“I like the UCF wide receiver credo, what they said, and they took pride in it, ‘No block, no rock,’” Mayock said. “He had two blocks on a 65-yard touchdown against Connecticut, where he hustled down the field and got the second block.”

As for the wide receiver group overall, “I think there’s more second- and third-round talent here,” Mayock said. “i think the depth of this class is more in the second and third round.”