Chiefs evaluate quarterbacks at NFL combine
02/24/2013 2:38 PM
05/16/2014 9:15 PM
The job of deciding on a favorite quarterback became a little easier for the Chiefs on Sunday when most of the draft’s top available passers threw at the NFL scouting combine.
Geno Smith showed the ability to make all the necessary throws, though there should have been no doubt about that after his big senior season at West Virginia. Mike Glennon displayed the same live arm he had at North Carolina State.
Two of the other top prospects, Ryan Nassib of Syracuse and Tyler Wilson of Arkansas, were more inconsistent, hitting on some throws and missing on others.
Two other top quarterbacks who met with the Chiefs at the combine, USC’s Matt Barkley and Miami of Ohio’s Zac Dysert, did not throw because they are rehabbing from injuries. Barkley had a separated shoulder, Dysert a pulled hamstring.
“It’s another step,’’ Chiefs coach Andy Reid said. “It’s one more part of the process. You’re looking for a lot of things. You’re looking at the body language. You’re looking at the fundamentals. You’re looking at how he interacts with all these other great athletes around him.
“If he throws a bad ball, how does he rebound from that? You take it all in, as much as you can. You also understand this is all done in shorts, no pads on.’’
Each of 13 quarterbacks threw roughly 25 passes in a variety of drills. But throwing is only a small part of the combine process for quarterbacks.
The Chiefs met with eight of them — Smith, Glennon, Nassib, Wilson, Barkley, Dysert, Tennessee’s Tyler Bray and Florida State E.J. Manuel — in Indianapolis. The quarterbacks also participated in agility drills, including the 40-yard dash, lifted weights in the bench press and took medical exams.
All of that, plus that quarterbacks are throwing to unfamiliar receivers, can make the passing drills uneven.
“The combine is rough on quarterbacks normally because you’re in with new guys (and) it’s a pressure-packed environment,’’ veteran draft analyst Mel Kiper said. “The whole combine is pressure-packed. You have to be here, you have interviews, you have medical (exams), you have folks prodding, you have a lot of pressure. It’s not an optimum venue.
“To me, for quarterbacks, the pro day is the critical part of it.’’
Pro days on college campuses begin in March. Each of the quarterbacks at the combine intends to participate in his school’s pro day. That includes Barkley and Dysert. Both have said they soon will be ready to throw.
Since he didn’t throw at the combine, Barkley’s pro day becomes even more important for him. He could secure a spot in the first round by throwing well.
“I don’t think that I’ll be having to play catch-up in this whole process,’’ Barkley said. “I believe the meetings that I’ll be having (at the combine), who I’ll be able to come in contact with, will set a good foundation. Then come my pro day, I’ll be ready to go and I won’t miss a beat.’’
But Barkley won’t show as strong an arm as Smith and Glennon did on Sunday.
“He’s not the type of kid who’s going to wow you over in a workout,’’ Kiper said. “He’s a pure passer. He’s an accurate passer. He doesn’t have a (strong) arm, but he certainly has good enough arm strength.
“He’s the first one in, last one out of the building guy. He’s definitely dedicated. He’s definitely a respected team leader, highly regarded by his teammates and the coaching staff. We’ll have to see how all that moves along as we go through Pro Days and combines and all the things that are important now through April.’’
All the while, the Chiefs will be watching intently. General manager John Dorsey has said the Chiefs would attend the pro day for every one of the top available quarterbacks and that he and Reid would set up personal workouts for some of them.
“Andy Reid, you know he is going to try to locate a quarterback,’’ Kiper said. “He will evaluate these guys. Andy Reid loves the draft process, loves evaluating these quarterbacks, usually drafts a quarterback. He drafted A.J. Feeley, he drafted (Donovan) McNabb . . . he drafted (Mike) Kafka, he drafted (Nick) Foles.
“This is going to be the guy he hand picks, along with John Dorsey.’’
To reach Adam Teicher, email@example.com.