Path to Draft 5: San Diego St.'s Lindley

Following up on the Packers' attendance at San Diego State's pro day on Thursday, here's the scoop on quarterback Ryan Lindley from NFL Scouting's Dave-Te Thomas. This is just part of what Thomas provides to the NFL and most of its 32 teams.

San Diego State's rifle-armed passer, Ryan Lindley, not only has been a model of consistency on the field, he has been the team's starting quarterback since he arrived on campus, as he holds the school career record with 49 consecutive starting assignments. In each of his four seasons at the helm, he displayed that impressive arm strength, completing at least 237 passes.

Lindley went on to set numerous San Diego State and Mountain West Conference records, as he holds the career marks for the team and league in pass completions (961), pass attempts (1,732), yards passing (12,690), starting assignments (49), total plays (1,822) and total offense yards (12,415). His 90 touchdown tosses set the Aztec record and rank second in MWC history.

San Diego State quarterback coach Brian Sipe knows a little something about playing the position. He starred for the Aztecs from 1969 through 1971, then went on to have a successful 12-year career with the Cleveland Browns. Lindley has been Sipe's star pupil since 2009 and professional scouts have seen the steady improvement in his game.

While there are questions about Lindley as a ball-carrier, based on his struggles escaping pocket pressure, there are no questions about his arm strength. He can consistently find his targets without having the receivers adjust when executing the short-to-intermediate throws, especially along the sidelines. He has a tight spiral and good confidence in his ability to challenge the deep areas of the secondary.

Lindley is most effective when he varies the speed of his tosses on dump-offs and screens, keeping his backs in stride rather than have them adjust or come back for the pass. When provided protection, he stands tall in the pocket and scans the field quickly, as he does a nice job of distributing the ball and locating secondary targets rather than forcing the pass into tight areas.

Lindley lettered twice in football at El Capitan High School in Lakeside, Calif., playing for head coach Ron Burner. Even though he did not suit up for the team until his junior campaign, he was a two-time captain. He threw for 5,741 yards and 49 touchdowns during his career.

Lindley was rated the 34th-best quarterback nationally and the 97th-best player overall in California by listed him among the top 50 quarterback recruits in the nation and the sixth-best prospect in the state. An honor roll student, he ranked in the top six percent of his class and garnered first-team All-Academic honors from the San Diego Union-Tribune during his junior and senior years at the high school.

Lindley enrolled at San Diego State in 2007, but the staff redshirted him rather than have him sit on the bench behind future New England Patriots draft choice Kevin O'Connell. After a sensational 2008 spring camp, the redshirt freshman carried those performances over to the fall and earned the starting job entering the schedule.

Lindley went on to start 11 games, sitting out the Air Force clash after he injured his shoulder early in the Texas Christian game and missed the final three quarters vs. the Horned Frogs. The team MVP became the 14th Aztec to produce a trio of 300-yard passing efforts in a season. His 242 completions of 427 passes (56.67%) rank ninth on the Aztecs' season-record list, as he gained 2,653 aerial yards with 16 touchdowns and nine interceptions.

With Sipe joining the coaching staff, Lindley quickly responded, as he ranked third in the Mountain West Conference with an average of 243.58 yards in total offense and placed second in the MWC with 254.5 yards passing per game. His 23 touchdown tosses tied for eighth on the SDSU record chart, as he connected on 239-of-437 attempts for 3,054 yards en route to sharing team Offensive Player of the Year honors with DeMarco Sampson.

Sipe continued to work with his student leading to the 2010 season, which would turn out to be the finest performance for Lindley's career. The All-MWC second-team choice threw for 3,830 yards and 28 touchdowns, both good for third on the school record list. His passing yardage placed fourth on the league's annual chart. He hit on 243-of-421 attempts (57.72 percent) and broke the Aztec record with 3,799 yards in total offense, leading the conference in that category with an average of 292.23 yards per game (14th in the nation) while ranking second in the MWC and 21st in the nation with a 149.43 pass efficiency rating.


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The team's tri-captain was a serious candidate for Manning Award and Davey O'Brien Award honors (given to elite quarterbacks) as a senior. After tossing 14 interceptions as a junior, Lindley reduced that figure to eight pass thefts in 2011. He completed 237-of-447 passes (53.02 percent), and for the third consecutive year, he threw for more than 3,000 yards (3,153) and tossed 23 touchdowns, tied for eighth on the school season-record list. He ranked third in the MWC with an average of 238.62 yards per game in total offense. He earned an invitation to play in the 2012 Senior Bowl.


Lindley holds the school career-record by starting 49 consecutive games for the Aztecs, as he set San Diego State and Mountain West Conference all-time records for pass completions (961), pass attempts (1,732), yards passing (12,690), starting assignments (49), total plays (1,822) and total offense yards (12,415)…His 90 touchdown tosses also set the Aztec all-time record and rank second in MWC history…The senior ranks fourth on the school season-record chart with 447 pass attempts in 2011, seventh with 437 in 2009, ninth with 427 in 2008 and tenth with 421 as a junior…He holds the last three spots on the SDSU season pass completion annual record list, with 243 successful tosses in 2010 (eighth), 242 as a freshman (ninth) and 239 as a sophomore (tenth)…His 3,830 yards passing in 2010 rank third in school history and fourth on the conference season-record chart…Tied for eighth in Aztec season annals with 23 touchdown passes in both the 2009 and 2011 campaigns, as his 28 scoring strikes in 2010 rank third on that chart…Holds the school season-record and ranks third on the MWC annual record list with 3,799 yards in total offense in 2010…His 90-yard touchdown toss vs. Utah in 2010 is the third-longest pass completion in both school and conference history…Ranks fourth on the Aztec game-record chart with 528 yards passing vs. Utah in 2010, as his 36 pass completions vs. the Utes was the third-highest ever in a game by an Aztec…Tied for fourth on the SDSU game chart with six touchdown tosses vs. Colorado State in 2009…His 59 pass attempts vs. Notre Dame in 2008 is tied for third on the Aztec game list…During his career at San Diego State, spanning 49 games, Lindley produced fourteen 300-yard passing performances, four 400-yard efforts and one 500-yard contest.


The team captain and offensive MVP started all twelve games, ranking third in the Mountain West Conference in total offense (238.62 ypg) and fourth with a pass efficiency rating of 125.67…The senior's 447 pass attempts (completed 237 for 53.02%) rank fourth on the school season-record list, as his 3,153 aerial yards rank tenth and his 23 touch-down passes rank tied for eighth…Threw just eight interceptions and gained 3,102 yards in total offense…Produced ten games with at least 200 yards passing, including two for over 300 yards and one for over 400…Had at least one touchdown toss in all but the New Mexico and Fresno State contests…Was sacked just eleven times for losses of 92 yards.


Set the SDSU career record for passing touchdowns (71) in the opening win over Cal Poly, completing 15 of his 27 attempts for 203 yards, four scores and no interceptions in his 37th career start...Threw for 146 yards on 8-of-18 tries, including a 68-yard touchdown pass on the game's second play at Army...Added 273 yards to go with two touchdowns to tight end Gavin Escobar in the victory over Washington State, completing 21 of his 37 pass attempts. In the process, he became just the second Aztec to clear the 10,000-yard mark in career passing yards on his completion to Bryce Quigley in the second quarter, but saw his streak of consecutive pass attempts without an interception come to an end vs. the Cougars at 112...Completed a season-high 23 passes on 48 attempts for 253 yards and the Aztecs' only score at Michigan...Tossed a pair of second-half touchdowns in the loss to Texas Christian, finishing with 201 yards on 15-of-41 throws...Had his best game of the season (rating wise), throwing for 209 yards and two touchdowns, while completing 15 of his 21 attempts at Air Force...Collected two touchdowns en route to a 247-yard game vs. Wyoming, surpassing the SDSU total offense record, as he hit on 13-of-27 tries...Was 16-for-24 for 271 yards vs. New Mexico, but had his streak of consecutive games with a touchdown snapped at 17...Broke the Mountain West career passing record and the SDSU career passing record at Colorado State, going 19-for-35 with 154 yards and a touch-down…Completed 30-of-51 passes with a season-high 350 yards and three touchdowns vs. Boise State...Broke the Aztec career completion record at Nevada-Las Vegas, throwing for 152 yards and two touchdowns on 13-of-29 chances...Gained 281 yards on 21-of-40 attempts vs. Fresno State...Had an outstanding final collegiate game, completing 28 of his 49 pass attempts for 413 yards and three scores with no interceptions in the New Orleans Bowl vs. Louisiana-Lafayette.


The All-Mountain West Conference second-team selection and team co-offensive player of the Year started all thirteen games for the Aztecs, as he connected on 243-of-421 passes (57.72%) for a career-high 3,830 yards that ranked third on the school season-record list and fourth in MWC annals…Registered 28 touchdown passes, the third-best annual total by an Aztec, vs. fourteen interceptions…Lost 31 yards on nineteen carries, but set the Aztec season record with 3,799 yards in total offense, the fifth-best season total in the league…Led the MWC and ranked 14th nationally with a total offense average of 292.23 yards per game…Placed second in the league and 21st in the country with a 149.43 pass efficiency rating.


Reached the 6,000-yard mark in career passing yardage vs. Nicholls, becoming just the fifth Aztec to reach that milestone, as he tallied 303 yards and two scores on 17-of-26 tosses...Did not throw a pick for the second contest in a row at New Mexico State, completing 20 passes on a season-high 42 attempts for 319 yards and a touchdown...Saw his streak of consecutive pass attempts without an interception broken at 116 vs. Missouri, but connected on 17-of-24 throws vs. Utah State, passing for 362 yards and three touchdowns. His 82-yard touchdown pass to Vincent Brown in the second half was the second-longest of his career...Threw three scoring tosses for the second consecutive outing with a trio at Brigham Young, gaining 220 yards on 20-of-34 attempts...Logged 247 passing yards and a touchdown while hitting on 14-of-26 chances in the upset of No. 23 Air Force, as he also had five carries for a season-best 18 yards vs. the Falcons...Threw two touchdowns in the victory at New Mexico, posting 249 yards through 18-of-37 tries through the air...Had 365 yards behind 16-of-32 passes that included three touchdowns in the victory at Wyoming...Passed for 262 yards and two touchdowns on 11-of-26 attempts vs. third-ranked Texas Christian…Started his 29th consecutive game vs. Utah, breaking the previous school record of 28 by Billy Blanton (Oct. 15, 1994-Nov. 28, 1996), as he recorded a career-high 528 yards and four touchdowns, including a 90-yarder (third-longest pass completion in school and Mountain West Conference history, as he attempted 54 throws and completed 36 of them (third-best game total by an Aztec). The 528 yards ranks fourth in school history and are the most since David Lowery threw for a school-record 568 vs. BYU in 1991, as he also went over 3,000 yards for the season in the Utah game to become the third SDSU player to do so in consecutive campaigns...Was 22-for-30 for 338 yards and four touchdowns vs. Nevada-Las Vegas, earning MWC Offensive Player-of-the-Week accolade ... Completed 18-of-23 passes vs. Navy, gaining 276 yards and two touchdowns.


The team co-offensive Player of the Year ranked second in the conference and 19th in the nation in passing yards per game (254.5) and was 39th in the NCAA Division I ranks in total offense (243.58 ypg)...His 3,054 passing yards were the most ever by an Aztec sophomore and ranks 11th in school season history...His 437 passing attempts are seventh in the season record book, while his 23 passing scores are tied for eighth...Had sixteen interceptions, but amassed a total of 2,923 yards and was responsible for 24 touchdowns while starting all twelve games.


Lindley was named the team's offensive MVP, as he started eleven contests in his first year of competition...A shoulder contusion vs. Texas Christian saw him sidelined for the final three quarters of that game, in addition to sitting out the following contest vs. Air Force…Recorded four games with 300-plus yards passing, as he completed 242-of-427 passes (56.67%), both ranking ninth on the school season-record chart…Gained 2,653 aerial yards and 2,591 yards in total offense…Ran for one touchdown and threw for sixteen others…Also had nine interceptions.


Redshirted as a freshman…Traveled with the varsity, but did not see action.


2008 Season…Suffered a shoulder contusion early in the first quarter vs. Texas Christian, sitting out the final three frames vs. the Horned Frogs and the following week vs. Air Force. An MRI after the TCU clash revealed that Lindley had actually suffered a slight separation of his right shoulder.


4.88 in the 40-yard dash…1.70 10-yard dash…2.87 20-yard dash…4.46 20-yard shuttle…7.53 three-cone drill…29 ?-inch vertical jump…9'0" broad jump…Bench pressed 225 pounds 15 times…32 5/8-inch arm length…10-inch hands…77 5/8-inch wingspan…35 Wonderlic score.

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Dave-Te Thomas has more than 40 years of experience scouting for the NFL. At NFL Scouting, Thomas handles a staff that evaluates and tests college players before the draft and prepares the NFL's official Draft Packet, which is distributed to all 32 teams prior to the draft.

Bill Huber is publisher of Packer Report magazine and and has written for Packer Report since 1997. E-mail him at, or leave him a question in Packer Report's subscribers-only Packers Pro Club forum. Find Bill on Twitter at

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