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Day 4: Notes from Combine QB & WR Drills

Live at the Combine.
Live at the Combine.
  • The media is not allowed in the stadium to watch the drills, even though NFL Network is airing. It's very bizarre. Regardless, a small group of us were allowed to go in and yours truly made it in. I sat with ESPN's John Clayton and Doug Farrar, who's heads you can see in the picture. A lot of my notes came from their observations. Both are extremely knowledgeable and of course are the cream of the crop in sports journalism.
  • A TV was in our area and I'd say the NFL Network showed about 15% of all the drills I saw (commercials, Mayock talking, etc)
  •  Ryan Mallett by far was the best QB in the drills. All the drills were routes: 2,4,1,3,8,9. The QBs were very inconsistent as a whole, but Mallett was throwing the ball with zip and accuracy. A lot of the QBs were floating their passes on the 9 route.
  • Kaepernick threw some great balls, but was inconsistent. I asked one scout here about Kaepernick at the next level, and he said the Nevada QB is a great talent, but a stretch even in the 2nd round. You love him one day and hate him the next. His biggest issue at the Senior Bowl all week was if his first progression was not there, he'd tuck the ball and run. Doug Farrar compared his throwing motion to carrying a pizza.
  • John Clayton is a funny, funny guy. Hankerson completely bit it in the gauntlet drill, which prompted John Clayton to say "Shankerson. I guess he didn't stay in a Holiday Inn Express last night." Classic.
  • Locker showed off his inaccuracies again drawing comments, "He pulled a Skelton." (John Skelton last year in the gauntlet drills threw the ball all over the place. Behind WRs, in dirt. Reporters here said Skelton couldn't have thrown the ball worse if he tried). In the route running drills Locker did pretty good, but nothing that will get the monkey off his back.
  • Jon Baldwin and Leonard Hankerson, 2 WRs I like, did not do well. Lots of drops.
  • Julio Jones was clearly the best WR in these drills. Reporters here praised his route running, specifically that he kept his speed through cuts in his 8 route and that he could "breakdown, plant, and split." A scout said of Jones, "I don't see a ceiling on this guy." 
  • On the 3 and 4 route drills, WRs are suppose to run a perfect 90 degree angle, and most of the WRs struggled to do this. 
  • Pat Devlin looked horrible. Lots of underthrows and on one 9-route hanger, I started shouting "quack quack quack" which drew some laughter. 
  • I'm going back in for the next session shortly where Cam Newton will throw.