Change In Signal Caller Rankings

Sunday at the combine is traditionally a highly anticipated session as the quarterbacks take the field and this year was no different. Except for Kyle Boller, all the major prospects who could throw did exactly that and the end result was a change in signal caller rankings.

Number one ranked Carson Palmer had a solid practice but not a spectacular outing. Just like the Senior Bowl, he displayed the ability to throw beautiful passes deep down field; beautiful in their high arching spirals and even more beautiful the way he accurately placed them in front of targets, letting the wide outs run to the ball. Palmer did much the same on his crossing patterns, firing them over the middle and hitting receivers in stride. Though he was a little spotty late in the session, Palmer did nothing to hurt his potential as the draft's first choice.

To our minds Dave Ragone had the best practice of the day. Displaying timing and accuracy, the big lefty drove his passes down the field and showed excellent long accuracy. His deep outs were on the mark and the ball quickly got to intended targets on the curl-ins. Ragone may have jumped back into the first round.

Once again Seneca Wallace surprised us with his overall passing skills. The ISU star was accurate for most of the day, especially with his deep outs.

Chris Simms had a good or bad session, depending on your point of view. His short passes were crisp, accurate and on the money. Simms timed the outs nicely and even threw a few good deep outs but for the most part the further down the field he throws the ball the more Simms struggles with his accuracy. The long passes had a tendency to float and Simms did not place them well. As we said after the Senior Bowl; he's a nice short-range pocket passer and did not dispel that belief last Sunday…at least to our minds.

Brian St. Pierre had a solid afternoon. The Boston College passer has a big league arm and was relatively accurate all day. He does need to improve the overall placement of his passes, something that would be immediately helped should St. Pierre stop stepping out of his throws, which he did most of the afternoon Sunday.

Florida Gator Rex Grossman had an uneven performance. His passes over the middle wobbled badly, the accuracy was only average and he did not hit receivers out of their breaks. But then again Grossman's long passes were right on the mark and he drove the deep ball down the field. Like we said Sunday night, this was not the workout that pushed him into the first fifteen selections.

People have been kind towards Ken Dorsey and his performance at the combine. Yes, he displayed great timing and was accurate on his short passes but his arm strength is nil. Dorsey struggled to get the ball downfield and the passes wobbled. Worse, he desperately tried to put mustard on the intermediate throws and the end result saw passes sailing over receviers head. Right now Dorsey is looking like a sixth round selection.

Another who proved he does not have a big league arm was Jason Gesser. Prior to Sunday Gesser kept saying it was "the system" at Washington State that kept him from throwing the ball downfield. I then reminded people it was the same system Drew Bledsoe and Ryan Leaf played in, and it was bombs away for that pair. Much like Dorsey, the passes thrown by Gesser tended to float and the outs had no zip.

Iowa's Brad Banks was not good, and that's a compliment. While his passes displayed good zip and he occasionally hit the mark with the deep out, the vast majority of his throws were sprayed all over the field and he was inaccurate throughout the session. Worse yet was the lack of timing Banks showed all afternoon.

D. Bryant displayed athleticism, fine throwing form and a big arm. And though he occasionally placed the outs well, for the most part he sprayed most of his passes and was very inconsistent with the accuracy.

None of the three division I-AA throwers distinguished themselves though they had plenty of opportunity. All were on the field Friday afternoon and Saturday morning throwing to the running backs, then came back after Sunday to be the practice quarterbacks for the linebackers and defensive backs.

Tony Romo easily had the best arm of the trio and while he occasionally showed good deep accuracy most of the receivers were adjusting upwards or backwards for the his passes.

Juston Wood threw a catchable ball and was good inside of 15-yards but directed his passes, displayed minimal arm strength and showed marginal accuracy.

Eastern Washington's Josh Blankenship was all over the field…with his passes that is. First, he short arms his throwing motion and shoves the ball or more to the point, looks like he's throwing a shot put rather than a football. Late on the crossing routes, not accurate down the field and lacking arm strength characterized Blankenship's workout.

More: Earlier Report - Workout Numbers

Tony Pauline
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