NFL Combine breakdown: Which quarterbacks are on Arizona's radar

With the Cardinals considering drafting a quarterback of the future this April, CardinalsSource examines the Combine performances of some of Arizona's likely options.

From the moment the offseason began to the time April's NFL Draft concludes, a certain portion of the Arizona Cardinals' focus will be devoted to evaluating and comparing this year's crop of quarterbacks.

Though there's still plenty of time left for Arizona to continue monitoring each of the top signal-callers in this year's draft, the Cardinals had their first opportunity to get up close and personal with this year's quarterback class over the weekend at the NFL Combine.

Knowing that starter Carson Palmer is nearing retirement, general manager Steve Keim and head coach Bruce Arians have reiterated throughout the offseason that the Cardinals will seriously consider drafting the quarterback of the future for the franchise early in this year's draft. 

With that in mind, CardinalsSource is recapping the on-field performances of various quarterbacks from the NFL Combine.

Deshaun Watson

40-yard dash: 4.66 seconds

Vertical jump: 32.5 inches

Broad jump: 119.0 inches

3-cone drill: 6.95 seconds

20-yard shuttle: 4.31 seconds

Analysis: Unsurprisingly, Watson was one of the most athletic quarterbacks at the NFL Combine, grading out favorably in the 40-yard dash, the vertical jump and the broad jump. However, for all the straight line speed Watson displayed during the 40-yard dash, he was essentially in the middle of the pack when it came to his 3-cone drill and 20-yard shuttle, which are designed to showcase agility and change of direction abilities. Do Watson's performances in those drills hurt him? Absolutely not. After all, he's a quarterback, and the most important evaluation the Cardinals will have of Watson will likely come on his Pro Day when he throws for coaches, general managers and scouts. 

DeShone Kizer

40-yard dash: 4.83 seconds

Vertical jump: 30.5 inches

Broad jump: 107.0 inches

3-cone drill: 7.40 seconds

20-yard shuttle: 4.53 seconds

Analysis: Compared to the other quarterbacks working out on Saturday, Kizer failed to turn many heads with his athleticism, as he didn't demonstrate top-flight speed or agility. Though Kizer wasn't widely known for his mobility at Notre Dame, our guess heading into the Combine is that he would have performed slightly better than he did. Ironically, essentially all the quarterbacks available in this year's draft are more mobile and athletic than Palmer, so it's unlikely anyone's performance in the Combine is going to sway the Cardinals away from drafting a particular quarterback prospect. However, the numbers for Kizer still weren't as strong as we anticipated. 

Mitch Trubisky

40-yard dash: 4.67 seconds

Vertical jump: 27.5 inches

Broad jump: 116.0 inches

3-cone drill: 6.87 seconds

20-yard shuttle: 4.25 seconds

Analysis: NFL teams love data, and because Trubisky was only a one-year starter at North Carolina, organizations have the smallest amount of data available on Trubisky. That creates uncertainty regarding his draft stock, but it also gives him an opportunity to boost his profile at events like the Combine. And this weekend, that's exactly what Trubisky did. While Trubisky proved he possesses the same straight-line speed as Watson with his 40-yard dash time, he graded out higher than nearly every other passer in the 3-cone drill and the 20-yard shuttle, both of which gave teams a glimpse of the type of elusiveness he might have in the pocket. During his final year with the Tar Heels, Trubisky was lauded for his excellent decision making, and when you combine that type of a reputation with the athleticism he proved he brings to the table this weekend, that's a recipe for rising stock.

Patrick Mahomes

40-yard dash: 4.80 seconds

Vertical jump: 30 inches

Broad jump: 114.0 inches

3-cone drill: 6.88 seconds

20-yard shuttle: 4.08 seconds

Analysis: Saturday's performance was particularly interesting for Mahomes who we consider one of the most intriguing quarterback options on the table for the Cardinals. Though the 13th overall selection may be too early to take a chance on a player like Mahomes, if the Cardinals trade back a few slots and pick up an extra selection, Mahomes could wind up being their man because he possesses so many traits that Arians likes in quarterbacks. While his 4.80 40-yard dash wasn't anything special, he ran the fastest 20-yard shuttle time of any passer and posted the second fastest 3-cone drill time. Mahomes is remarkably elusive in the pocket and has a rocket for an arm, and Saturday's effort at the Combine essentially confirmed his quickness, agility and size all play a role in helping his escapability. 


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