BYU's Beck was most impressive at combine
Rob Rang / NFLDraftScout
/ Sports Xchange
Posted: 18 hours ago
With JaMarcus Russell and Brady Quinn opting to save their audition for their Pro Days, scouts were anxious to see if anyone would emerge during Sunday's session at the Combine as the clear No. 3 quarterback of 2007 draft.
If workouts are any indication, BYU's John Beck deserves consideration.
Beck was the most impressive quarterback I viewed inside the RCA Dome on Sunday. He has a compact delivery and generates good zip on his passes, showing particularly sound velocity on his curls, quick slants and the out routes. This observation was backed up numerically by the fact that Beck's ball speed was timed at 61.1 mph, second-fastest among all quarterbacks testing. Beck also showed deft touch on the post-corner routes and placed the ball on the outside shoulder on his deep throws. I entered the practice session higher on Beck than most, and left feeling as though I've been underrating him.
Stanford's Trent Edwards and Houston's Kevin Kolb, two others viewed as candidates to be the third quarterback selected, had solid showings, but neither was as accurate or strong-armed as Beck. Edwards had the better accuracy of the two, especially on the curls and quick-slants. His deeper passes seemed to sail and, while catchable, forced receivers to adjust.
Kolb's accuracy overall was a little inconsistent for my liking. He threw some of the better, more catchable passes of the session, but also had to wind up a bit for longer throws and receivers were often forced to change direction and speed to adjust.
Throwing later in the day, Drew Stanton and Troy Smith each flashed the ability to warrant consideration on the draft's first day. Stanton was the best looking of the late group and is considered by many to have the highest upside of all the quarterbacks not named Russell or Quinn. Smith, like Kolb earlier, threw some nice balls and completed the vast majority of his passes, but was a little inconsistent in his ability to hit receivers in stride.
One quarterback who really helped himself Sunday was Toby Korrodi of Central Missouri State. Korrodi was surprisingly accurate throughout the session and his arm strength was the most impressive of all the passers tested. Not only did Korrodi lead the quarterbacks statistically with his passes being clocked at 63 mph, some of the passes he didn't connect on simply were dropped by receivers surprised by the velocity of the throws.
Catching passes from these quarterbacks was an exciting crop of receivers.
Calvin Johnson cruised to a 4.35 40.
(Michael Conroy / Associated Press)
Georgia Tech's Calvin Johnson was the early star of the show as expected, running a 4.35 40-yard dash after weighing in at 239 pounds. The other highly-ranked wideouts who worked out here proved that their hype was well justified.
Tennessee's Robert Meachem ran a 4.39 and his athleticism and sure hands drew raves from the crowd. Scouts knew South Carolina's Sidney Rice wouldn't help himself in terms of his speed — and he didn't, running in the high 4.5s, but his strong, secure hands and body control helped him make acrobatic catches that had veteran scouts listing him as among the most impressive receivers here. Similarly, LSU's Dwayne Bowe continued his strong post-season with another impressive performance Sunday. His burst out of his breaks stood out and he snatches the ball out of the air impressively.
A few other receivers who stood out in my eyes were Ohio State's Anthony Gonzalez, LSU's Chris Davis, Lane's Jacoby Jones and Texas Tech's Jarrett Hicks.
Gonzalez struggled to keep his feet throughout the entire practice. He struggled coming out of his breaks, going down to the ground several times. He also was the unfortunate recipient of some of the session's worst passes, forcing him to adjust on the fly. Unfortunately, he wasn't able to come through with many of these difficult receptions.
Hicks had the best catch of the day, a beautiful one-handed reception on a go-route. Hicks seemed to catch the ball well throughout the session. His lack of speed and explosiveness runner was also apparent, however.
Florida State's Chris Davis also helped himself. He dropped a couple of tough passes early, but adjusted very well to the ball and is cat-quick.
After emerging as one of the real hidden gems of the East-West Shrine Game, I was anxious to see how Jones would perform under the big lights. He moved well, showing good explosiveness throughout his routes and caught the ball cleanly.
I was surprised to see so many wideouts rounding out their routes, especially on the post-corners.
Rob Rang is a Senior Analyst for NFLDraftScout.com. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org