For someone who has never paid much attention to the combine (everything is on film), I'm not really sure what I expect to get out of Indy this weekend. I certainly will be shadowing the Redskins scouts (so make sure to follow our @hogshaven Twitter and I will be posting here regularly throughout the next 3 days).
The Quarterback position, for good reason, has been a hot debate among Redskins fans. I was on the Junkies yesterday morning arguing with Lurch, who was insistent that a team can't win without franchise QB (the last umpteen million Super Bowl winners validate that), and the Redskins need to draft one. As I rebutted, Redskins have too many holes to draft a guy that will ride the pine his first year, and it would be criminal not to use that 1st pick on a guy that has a higher chance of succeeding. The 2007 draft to this day has ZERO starting QBs in the first 2 rounds (Jamarcus Russell, Brady Quinn, Kevin Kolb, John Beck, and Drew Stanton). Kolb has sat for FOUR years by the way. Drafts come and go with no stud QBs, and this one appears no different.
So, what's my point? Well, a lot is to be said for QBs that do not throw at the combine.
Is throwing (as of now): Andy Dalton, Colin Kaepernick, Ryan Mallett, Cam Newton, Chris Ponder, Jake Locker and Ricky Stanzi
Not throwing: Blaine Gabbert
The only thing you're doing by not throwing is hiding something. Matt Bowen explains:
Show the NFL that you can perform and produce results under the most stressful of situations-because that is exactly what is expected of you on Sundays in the league. Don't hide. Instead, show up ready to run, throw, jump, etc. If I am a coach or a GM, that is what I want to see.
There are scouts, coaches, GMs and owners from every single NFL team in Indianapolis and they are all there to watch you... As a player, you want your name in the notebooks of the top brass of the NFL. Will a Bill Belichick or a Mike Tomlin come to your pro day? Maybe, but they are guaranteed to be in Indy.
Then of course there is the simple reason for increasing your pay day.
Last year Sam Bradford and Jimmy Clausen chose not to throw, but they were still hampered by shoulder and toe injuries. Let's go back to that 2007 draft. Jamarcus Russell and Brady Quinn did not work out by choice. Dan Lefevour, who entered the combine with questionable arm strength last year, skipped the throwing drills and his value plummeted.
Like Tebow, Blaine Gabbert is working with a special throwing coach to fix any bad habits. QBs like this are not guys I want in the first round when we desperately need a NT and OLB. Instead, Gabbert will throw at his Pro Day with WRs he feels comfortable with and no pass rush. Sounds intense. I'm raising the red flag on Gabbert for that reason.
Matt Ryan, Sanchez, and Jay Cutler are all QBs who sky-rocketed on draft boards after good combine showings, and in relation to what Matt Bowen was getting at, they've shown they can handle the pressure.