One of the most highly recruited quarterbacks in the country back in 2002, he put up some of the greatest passing statistics in prep history at Independence High School in Charlotte, NC. Leak worked his way into the starting lineup for the Gators as a true freshman and proved to be very productive for four years. Awarded All-SEC honors as a sophomore and a senior, he directed Urban Meyer's team to a national championship this past season by destroying Heisman Trophy winner Troy Smith and the rest of the Ohio State Buckeyes in the BCS Championship Game.
Nevertheless, Leak did not hear his name called in the 2007 NFL Draft this past weekend and was forced to sign with the Chicago Bears as an undrafted free agent.
At the NFL Combine in Indianapolis back in February, he simply did not display the kind of measurables and ability expected of a signal-caller at the next level. Of the 20 QBs there, Leak was the shortest at 5-11 7/8 and the third-lightest at 209 pounds. Even more telling was his passing performance. Leak's ball speed throwing left was 46 miles per hour at its peak and 44 when caught, and then he posted 48.2 and 45.3 throwing right. All four numbers were dead last of the 19 quarterbacks that threw in Indy.
It's been suggested that Leak is a pretty good athlete and may be able to make the switch to wide receiver or running back like Michael Robinson of Penn State did for the 49ers last year, but upon closer inspection, the numbers tell a different story.
In his two attempts at the Combine, Leak was timed at 4.79 and 4.80 seconds in the 40-yard dash. The only receiver prospect – a total of 42 ran at least once – who ran slower was Georgia Tech's Reggie Ball, another college quarterback needing to make a position change for the chance to play on Sundays.
When comparing him to the running backs, Leak's performance was equally uninspiring. His vertical jump of 32.5" was better than only five of the 22 RBs tested, and those players outweighed him by an average of 21 pounds. His broad jump of 9'2" would only have been good enough for 20th.
|John Crist is the Publisher of Bear Report and Editor in Chief of BearReport.com. To read him every day, visit BearReport.com and become a Chicago Bears insider.|