NFL Combine: Quarterbacks and Wide Receivers Workout Day


Feb 21, 2015; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Florida State Seminoles quarterback Jameis Winston runs the 40 yard dash during the 2015 NFL Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

Good morning Jets fans. It’s day two of the workouts at the NFL Combine.  Now we move along to a big combine day for the Jets.

Today, the quarterbacks and wide receivers take center stage at the NFL Combine. We know that the Jets are in the market for both positions. The word is that both top prospects at quarterback, Jameis Winston and Marcus Mariota, or going to throw today. Mike Maccagnan and company will have an active day, looking for two of the New York Jets’ biggest needs.

So, what should you watch today? How do you tell who is doing well and who isn’t when watching today’s combine workouts? What should you look for in determining whether or not a player will make a good pro? Here are some thoughts.

Next: Quarterbacks

Feb 21, 2015; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Florida State Seminoles quarterback Jameis Winston throws a pass during the 2015 NFL Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

QUARTERBACKS: Our friends have it right on the money at 120 sports. What they are looking for out of Marcus Mariota is what we want to see out of all of the quarterback candidates. None of the regular drills show a big correlation with starting in the league. You have to look at how the quarterbacks perform during their positional workouts.

The combine is where the quarterbacks will be tested on all throws. Watch how they make them. Look at their feet. Do they set their feet and step into each throw, or do they throw off-balance some of the time. You can get away with that in college, but not in the NFL.

Watch the throwing motion in the upper body. Do they get good torque as they bring the ball through, or do they use only arms? This will give you an idea about their velocity. The passing windows are far smaller in the NFL than they are in college, you need to throw it with some zip. See if they have a windup, or if they get rid of the ball quickly. You can’t be accurate with a windup, ask Tim Tebow.

Don’t watch for how many completions they throw. Why would I say that? Because you don’t want to see the quarterback throwing behind a guy, just to let him catch it. Instead, watch for ball placement. Does the quarterback lead the wide receiver on each throw, so he can put up yards after the catch? Or are some of the throws slightly off the mark, too high, behind…etc.? Again, the passing windows in the NFL are small. Being inaccurate is something that will not fly in the NFL.

Those are some thoughts on how to get the most out of watching the quarterbacks perform later on today at the Combine.

Next: Wide Receivers

Feb 20, 2015; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Alabama wide receiver Amari Cooper speaks to the media at the 2015 NFL Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

The 40 yard dash is important, but not the most important drill to watch when scouting the wide receivers at the Combine.  Over the last ten years, only 35.7% of the top wide receivers in the 40 have started in the NFL.  Even when you take a look at the Three Cone Drill, which shows the ability to change on a dime, only 23.1% of the top receivers have started in the league.  After all, Stephen Hill ran a 4.38.  How did that work out?

So which drills ARE important?

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We talked yesterday about the explosion drills.  They are important when scouting the wide receivers’ combine performances.  43.4% of the top performers in the vertical jump have gone on to start in the NFL.  44.4% of the top broad jumpers have been starters.  Clearly, these are items that scouts value when watching receivers at the Combine, so we should to.  Why?  We want our NFL wide receivers to explode off of the line of scrimmage.  They need to explode into their cuts.  These drills are the most indicative of that ability.

Again, watch the position drills with these guys as well.  How do they run their routes?  To they make their cuts crisply, or do they round off cuts, and run them in a nonchalant manner?  Good route runners excel in the NFL, and bad ones sit on the bench.  Right, Stephen Hill?

How do they catch the football?  Do they use their hands?  Or do they let the ball get into their body?  We know the result when that happens.  You have to use your hands, or you will drop the football.  It is what happens.  Watch carefully how the receivers catch the football.

Enjoy today’s Combine workouts, New York Jets fans.

Next: What to Watch on Combine Day One