It's no secret, the Jacksonville Jaguars will be looking for a quarterback in the 2011 NFL draft, likely in the first two rounds. Which quarterback the Jaguars will select is the ultimate question that we wish we all had the answer to. A plethora of quarterbacks worked out at the combine today running drills, and while it's usually well known who teams meet with at the combine, the lid has been put on it so to speak this year. We know the Jaguars met with Nevada quarterback Colin Kaepernick this morning for an interview. Outside of that right now however, we're not sure.
So, how did the quarterbacks do today?
Quarterbacks Who Hurt
Cam Newton, Auburn - Cam Newton wowed everyone with his charm at the media podium and with his raw athleticism. He ran an official 4.59 in the 40-yard dash, had a ridiculous broad jump, and looked great in everything but the drills that actually matter for his position. In the passing drills, Newton went an abysmal 11-for-21 and often sailed his passes high. It's obvious he still needs a lot of work as a passer. Now, Cam Newton is likely still a Top 5 selection in the 2011 NFL draft, but it does raise some concerns.
Ricky Stanzi, Iowa - Stanzi was rather disappointing in his passing drills. I'm not even going to mention his abysmal 40-yard dash time, because he was never seen as a quarterback who'd beat you with his legs. Passing however, has been his strong point. Stanzi seemed to aim his passes in the drills rather than anticipate where the receiver was going.
Pat Devlin, Delaware - After initially being pretty high on Pat Devlin, he soured on me during East West shrine week and he's done absolutely nothing to make that sour taste any sweeter. He was erratic in his passing drills at the combine and for a guy who was touted as the next Joe Flacco left a lot to be desired.
Quarterbacks Who Helped
Christian Ponder, FSU - It's a good thing Christian Ponder changed his mind and decided to throw at the 2011 NFL Combine because it may have made the difference between being a third round pick and a fringe first round pick. Ponder was one of, if not the, best quarterback in the drills today. He looked natural, was accurate, and his arm showed no concerns people had in the past. For a guy who was considered a first round pick prior to the 2010 season, it was very important for him to show out well and he did.
Colin Kaepernick, Nevada - After clocking the second fastest 40-yard dash time at 4.53 seconds, Kaepernick put on a nice display in his passing drills. He's got more than enough arm and actually registered the fastest pass at 59 MPH in drills. While his footwork still needs polishing and his release is funky, Kaepernick did nothing but help his draft stock this weekend.
Andy Dalton, TCU - I'm still not that enamored with Dalton and still have concerns about his overall arm strength, he did a nice job in passing drills. He was accurate, his mechanics are sound, and he has nice touch on his passes. How high he helped himself is the question, but he certainly didn't do anything to hurt his draft stock.
Ryan Mallett of Arkansas and Jake Locker of Washington also had very good days today, which was expected. The neither hurt or helped their stocks in the work outs. There was much made of how Ryan Mallett handled his press conference yesterday and it rubbed a lot of media people the wrong way, which lead to a slew of "Ryan Leaf" comparisons. The only problem I had with Mallett's podium performance was instead of flat out saying the rumors about alleged drug use and addiction wasn't true. Instead, Mallett insisted he wasn't going to address rumors. Well, if it's a rumor that isn't true... just say it isn't. The dancing around the subject makes you look guilty, even if you're not.
As far as Locker is concerned, his accuracy will still be an issue. Mike Mayock of NFL Network touched on a point I've been trying to tell people for a while. Locker's accuracy problems seem to stem from two issues: 1. inconsistent release point and 2. he has baseball feet.
What are baseball feet?
Well, when Locker drops back to throw, watch how he steps and plants his feet before he throws the football. As most of us know, Jake Locker was drafted to play baseball as well. I played baseball for much of my life through high school and played on the left side of the infield. To me, his feet look like that of an infielder fielding a ground ball and setting up to fire to first base. I believe if Locker can go to a team where he's not forced into action and can fix his footwork, he'll be fine. He's got to get rid of his baseball feet and get some football feet.