Assessing the Combine throwers

Two of the top three quarterbacks elected not to throw at the NFL Scouting Combine. Viking Update attended both throwing sessions and tracked the successes and failures of the prospects.

With Vikings position coach Scott Turner on the field for quarterback workouts at the NFL Scouting Combine, there were a couple of noticeable absences. Johnny Manziel and Teddy Bridgewater, two of the consensus top three quarterbacks, elected not to throw. Blake Bortles, one of the top three, did throw and did the best among a watered-down crew.

A couple of quarterbacks in the second tier, Jimmy Garoppolo and A.J. McCarron, also performed well.

Here is how the quarterbacks that threw at the NFL Scouting Combine performed on the different required routes, as Viking Update attended both sessions:

Blake Bortles: Big, strong quarterback that hit on all four of his slant passes right out of the gate. He didn't step into his 10-yard outs to the left but was the most accurate QB of the first session on the 18-yard in routes. In deeper drops, he has some strange footwork that makes it appear like he takes a hop step. Missed on one long go route and his timing seemed a little off on 12-yard comebacks. Showed good anticipation on his post-corners.

Jimmy Garoppolo: Has an immensely impressive lightning-quick release. Overthrew one of the go routes when he didn't put enough air under it. Got the ball out quickly on his 10-yard outs but struggled with the 18-yard in routes, leaving one low and one behind before hitting on two consecutive ones. Showed much better accuracy on his three go routes. His 12-yard comebacks were all caught but were slightly behind the receiver. Looked good on the deeper post-corner routes, leaving one short and hitting on his others.

A.J. McCarron: Doesn't appear to have any one great trait, but looked smooth and comfortable throughout the session. Hits his back foot and gets rid of the ball with accuracy on his go routes. Was accurate on all three of his comeback routes and very sharp on his deeper post-corner throws.

Thomas Savage: Smooth and strong thrower with an effortless motion. Not enough air under his go routes. Hit on all three of his 10-yard outs to the right, but was behind, inside and high on three to the left. Missed on one 12-yard comeback and all three of his post-corner routes.

Tajh Boyd: Has a low, long motion. He struggled with the deep ball, overthrowing the first and appearing to overcompensate and make his receiver wait on the second one. He was inconsistent on the 10-yard outs to the left, too, throwing one low, hitting on the next three and then finishing with a high ball. He was on the money for all three of his attempts on 10-yard outs to the right side of the field. He was much more accurate with receivers working back to him on the 12-yard comeback routes. On the 18-yard in routes, he double-clutched on one, was slightly high on the second (a completion) and put it on the spot in his last attempt. His post-corner throws were all fairly accurate, although two receivers had to slow up slightly waiting for the pass.

Connor Shaw: Was a bit inconsistent on his slant routes. Hit on all three of his 10-yard outs and had one low throw on his 18-yard in route. He was accurate on all three of his go routes but didn't appear to get enough air under them. Showed good timing on his 12-yard comebacks and hit all three of them. On two of his first three post-corner routes, the receiver had to adjust, but he hit on all three of them before ending the throwing at the Scouting Combine with a perfect strike on his fourth post-corner.

Jordan Lynch: Has a strong upper body. Throws a nice over-the-shoulder ball. Left one of his 10-yard out routes inside, which is dangerous. In three 18-yard in routes, he threw one low, hit on the next and was high on the third. Put a lot of air under his go routes, overthrowing the second one.

Logan Thomas: Big, well-structured quarterback with an arm commensurate of his body. Accuracy, however, is a big issue. Struggled early with the slant routes, which should be the easiest ones to complete, throwing wide and overthrowing. Missed on 3 of 4 go routes because there wasn't enough air under the ball to allow the receiver to run under it. Looked better on his 10-yard outs, hitting 2 of 3 on both sides. Was also 2 of 3 on his 12-yard comebacks and post-corners.

Bryn Renner: A big-bodied guy. Made his receivers wait on deep routes and was wide on at least one of his slant passes. Was erratic on his 10-yard outs to the right, but missed badly on his fourth and final one to the left. Accurate on all three of his deep throws and 12-yard comebacks. Needed to put a lot of body into his deep post-corner throws.

Stephen Morris: Very small for the position. Hit all three slants, 2 of 3 10-yard outs, and missed on one 18-yard in route and one of the 12-yard comebacks. Didn't put the same amount of air under the ball on his deeper passes.

Dustin Vaughan: Inconsistent with his accuracy and his arm strength, but hit on all three of his post-corner routes. Connected on 2 of 3 12-yard comebacks but overthrew the final one.

Keith Wenning: Wasn't impressive with his accuracy. Finished with a decent showing on his post-corner routes, hitting on 3 of 4 of them.

Jeff Matthews: Big body with decent arm, but has a slow release. Didn't stand out and was a bit erratic at times.

Dave Fales: Appears to push the ball out of his hand and was one of the most inaccurate passers of the Combine throwers. Missed both of his go routes and looked like he doesn't hold a draftable grade.


Tim Yotter is the publisher of Viking Update. Follow Viking Update on Twitter and discuss this story on our subscriber message board.

Viking Update Top Stories