Elite 11 - Day Two

Aliso Viejo, Calif. - Day 2 of the Elite 11 offered up a variations on drills that showcased a different set of skills that favored different quarterbacks, and let some yesterday's top guns separate themselves from the pack.

The Elite 11 quarterback camp is a teaching camp flush with former participants and coaches. The 12 participants are broken up into three groups and rotated through various stations in which to work on footwork, drops and sets, a multitude of throws, and reads. 

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Tuesday's action incorporated the same 7v7 and accuracy competition to conclude the day, but the teaching session had more movement from the quarterbacks as the participants worked rep after rep on rollouts and deep outs. There was still a lot of drop back passing, but the main difference from Monday to Tuesday was the rollouts on the longer throws.

The weather sometimes plays a factor at Elite 11 as day 2 in the heat can wear on the quarterbacks, but it was a cool overcast morning, and the Elite 11 participants all looked noticeably stronger during day 2 than some of the previous classes.

With the new drill criteria, there were some new top performers, and some quarterbacks that solidified themselves as contenders for top overall.

Archie Bradley (6-3/220)
Broken Arrow, Okla. - Oklahoma Commitment

Bradley seemed to have a little more zip on his passes today after a sub par effort on Monday. He had some trouble initially on his rollout to his right, but he recovered nicely to hit the 16 yard out on several occasions. Bradley finished strong by taking the Golden Gun jersey away from Teddy Bridgewater after winning the target practice session of the day.

Teddy Bridgewater
(6-3/200) Miami, Fla. - Miami Commitment

Bridgewater looked a little worn out. His body language didn't show the same competitiveness, or even the upbeat personality that he's so well known for. He threw the ball nice and easy and with good accuracy, but during the 7v7s he seemed content to dump the ball underneath to his running backs on easy swing routes. He wasn't bad per se, but it wasn't a performance that he's apt to show.

Evan Crower
(6-5/190) San Diego, Calif. - Stanford Commitment

Crower has good field vision, in the 7v7 portion. He was the greedy passer gobbling up big chunks of yardage as many in his group were content to go underneath. Evan doesn't do any one thing that makes him stand out in the crowd (either good or bad), and seems to blend in with the other competitors.

Jeff Driskel
(6-3/220) Oviedo, Fla. - Florida Commitment

By comparison to Crower, Driskel is the quarterback that makes me want to stop and watch each of his throws. He has that kind of big league arm . It didn't take long for him to some steam off of his first few passes after overthrowing on Monday. His accuracy didn't suffer.  Driskel pounded the out route. His ball on the deep out arrived time and time again with noticably more zip than any of his Elite 11 teammates. There tends to be a little more wobble to his ball on the roll outs than in his dropbacks, but that didn't effect his accuracy either left or right. During the 7v7s on a nice throw on a slant over the middle I had a hard time picturing a linebacker having the reflexes or the hands to intercept an intermediate pass unless it's tipped up in the air first.

Phillip Ely
(6-0/190) Tampa, Fla - Offers from Clemson, LSU, Tennessee among others

Ely's long release is a little more exaggerated on his rollouts. He still delivers the ball with good accuracy while rolling, but it's also not hard to picture chasing linebackers taking swipes at the ball as it drops to his waist and below. 

Kiehl Frazier
(6-3/215) Springdale, Ark. - Auburn Commitment

Frazier got off to a quick start throwing crisp, accurate passes to both sides of the field. Frazier has an effortless motion and can generate velocity without ever giving the appearance that he's throwing the ball hard. His mechanics break down a bit on the run as rolling left and rolling right he usually threw off the wrong foot making him use much more arm than necessary and looking off balance.

Everett Golson
(5-11/170) Myrtle Beach, S.C. - North Carolina Commitment

Golson's first throws rolling to his right tend to be a little high, but as he settled in, he was right there with Driskel as the best passer on the move. His height could be a liability in the pocket, but he has a pro-style arm. He made a nice read on a three step drop and slant to his left with a bullet that hit the receivers chest with an audible thud.

Cody Kessler
(6-2/225) Bakersfield, Calif. - USC Commitment

Cody Kessler is accurate. It's that simple. It's rare to see a Kessler thrown ball hit the ground. On his rollouts, he tend to hold the ball and extra count and shorten the throw. He over threw one ball rolling right and didn't miss throwing to his left. His first rep during 7v7, showed off what he does well, find the deep receiver on a corner route and drop it right over his shoulder. 

Adam Pittser
(6-1/190) Richmond, Ill. - Offers from Central Michigan and Ball State

There was no noticeable drop in velocity after a very good showing on Monday. If this were Survivor, Pittser's spot would be safe for several vote offs. In this group of quarterbacks, Pittser has a plus arm in both velocity and accuracy, and he's making the right reads despite coming from a predominantly run oriented offense in high school. He's the type of quarterback that has made the MAC a quarterback central of sorts. Pittser may end up at a MAC school before it's all said and done, but it won't be because of a lack of BCS offers once the "bigger" schools get a good view of him.

DaMarcus Smith
(6-0/180) Louisville, Ky. - Louisville Commitment

Day 1's top passer, Smith started the day throwing darts, but his accuracy suffered while on the run. Finding out that he missed his junior season with an ACL injury helps explain the drop off while in motion. Back in the pocket, I still believe Smith has the cleanest delivery in attendance, and he gained accuracy rolling right after several reps. A good self evaluator, Smith completed a short out to the slot receiver on his right during 7v7s, then  immediately lamented the throw as his outside receiver had broken free further down his line of sight.

Kendall Thompson
(6-2/180) Moore, Okla. - Oklahoma Commitment

Thompson seemed to be at his best when there was little time to worry about mechanics and just let the ball go. The Elite 11 team ran a simulated blitz, and Thompson got rid of the ball on a three step hot route better than his five step and set for a similar route. A lefty, Thompson throws better to his left. He throws one of the nicest balls rolling left in attendance, but rolling right and throwing across his body, he's a liability, and it's something he knows he needs to work on. His first throw in 7v7 was a streak on the left sideline for a touchdown.

J.W. Walsh
(6-2/200) Denton, Texas - Oklahoma State Commitment

I sometimes get the impression that Walsh is a little off balance. He seems to throw the ball with his weight leaning backwards rather than planting his back foot and driving. He's got enough arm to get away with it, but when he's on the roll out to his right, he's forced to push off his back foot, and he throws a nearly flawless ball. Walsh was actually more accurate on the roll than in a drop back. During the 7v7s Walsh's best throw was a seam route from the right slot position that he zipped between defenders for a touchdown.

Scott's Top 5 from Day 2

1. Cody Kessler - doesn't feel the need to show off his arm, but it's there when he needs a little more heat on the throw. Outstanding accuracy.

2. Jeff Driskel - Better accuracy on Day 2, and still the quarterback most likely to be identified by the sound of the ball hissing down the field as it goes by. The strongest arm award that is given out by the instructors tomorrow afternoon shouldn't be in doubt.

3. Kiehl Frazier - Makes everything look effortless whether he's dropping back or on the roll. 

4. Everett Golson - Shined on the move and shows enough arm strength out of the pocket to stay there and still be dangerous.

5. J.W. Walsh - A fiery competitor, Walsh is right behind Driskel for pure arm strength.

5a. Adam Pittser - The teams that did their homework and offered Pittser early are going to be happy for the player, but curse their luck, as he should have a lot of options before signing day.

Scott's Top 5 from Day 1 (Review)

1. DaMarcus Smith - best delivery, Top 3 of strongest arms. Accuracy was strong through the day. Seemed to lose a little steam towards the end, and it will be interesting to see how he rebounds on Tuesday with a short turnaround.

2. Kiehl Frazier - Maybe the best pure athlete in attendance. He has quick feet and good flexibility. Frazier shows good field vision and can hit all areas of the field.

3. Teddy Bridgwater - The highest ranked quarterback in attendance, Bridgewater surprised me by winning the accuracy contest to finish the day. A gamer with average arm strength, plus size and athleticism, Bridgewater had a better first day showing than I was expecting given the camp format.

4. Cody Kessler - A solid showing, Kessler looked conservative on day 1. I'd like to see him put a little more starch on some of the outs and deep throws.

5. Jeff Driskel - By contrast, I'd like to see Driskel take a little starch off his throws. A world of talent, Driskel looked like a thrower rather than a passer, but that arm...

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