QB With Most To Gain
MATT CORRALKyle Crabbs: Matt Corral’s decision not to throw will leave the door open for another passer to grab eyeballs in that capacity, but Corral is getting his first chance to get in front of NFL decision-makers this week. That will certainly carry a lot of weight after each of the other top QBs spent time in Mobile, Alabama for the Senior Bowl this year. Corral’s work will be done behind the scenes in interviews or on the whiteboard—but coming out of an offense that didn’t offer a high volume of reps that will transfer to the NFL level, Corral will need to showcase his football acumen.
Desmond RidderJoe Marino: The combine could be a terrific showcase opportunity for Desmond Ridder. He has a live arm and is an outstanding runner. From an athletic testing standpoint and how he tests athletically, I wouldn’t be surprised if Ridder comes out of the week with plenty of buzz and picks up ground in the QB rankings. Keith Sanchez: Desmond Ridder is known for being an athletic duel-threat QB. If he can manage to put together a good 40 time, I believe that he can raise his draft stock and get teams to look at him as an offensive weapon at the QB position. He is also a high-character QB, so he should really impress in his meetings with NFL general managers and head coaches.
QB Who Could Surprise
SKYLAR THOMPSONKyle Crabbs: Skylar Thompson is a fun player! He’s a plus athlete and has shown the ability to win as both a runner and a passer at Kansas State. With a strong early impression coming from the Shrine Bowl earlier this offseason, Thompson might be *that* quarterback this year—the Day 3 flier who has the tools to become a long-term NFL player; even if it isn’t as a starter. Joe Marino: With six names in the running to be QB1, the mix of day-three quarterbacks isn’t discussed much. With that said, Skylar Thompson has a chance to make some noise at the combine. Thompson was never a high-volume passer at Kansas State, but he improved every season and it was clear that the team was different with him in the lineup as he dealt with some injuries. I expect there to be some steam for Thompson when it comes to the most appealing developmental options after the big names are off the board.
Sam HowellKeith Sanchez: I'm going to go with Sam Howell here. Howell has flown under the radar for the majority of this draft process, but this could be a good environment for him to showcase his skills in and outside of testing. Howell is an athletic QB that should put up above-average testing numbers that could help his case of being a potential starting NFL QB.
I'm Worried About...
CARSON STRONG’S MEDICALSKyle Crabbs: Carson Strong has been trying to change the narrative on his knee for quite some time—he played through issues all season long and had a tremendous season. With nearly 4,200 passing yards and 36 touchdowns, he’s a top producer among signal-callers this year, but only medical checks at the NFL Combine can put this storyline to bed for good. It’s time to pay the piper. Joe Marino: On one hand, Carson Strong is a classic pocket passer that had a productive career and offers a big arm. He was in full command of the Nevada offense and it’s impressive to watch him set protections and function with full autonomy at the line of scrimmage. On the other, there are medical concerns and how operating in the air raid system will prepare him for the next level. And in a group where the top quarterbacks offer mobility, Strong doesn’t.
Kenny PickettKeith Sanchez: This is a tough one to choose because there are a couple of QBs that I'm worried about in this class who may underperform in a setting like this. But the QB I’m most worried about would have to be Pitt QB, Kenny Pickett. Following the season, Pickett was labeled as the No. 1 QB in this class but that started to falter some at the Senior Bowl. I'm worried that another event where Pickett isn’t in a controlled environment may affect his results and get people to question if he is indeed the No. 1 QB.
Test I'm Most Looking Forward To
Kenny Pickett's Hand SizeJoe Marino: The answer here has to be Kenny Pickett’s hand measurement. So much has been made over the size of his hands and the discussion continued after he opted to get them measured at the Senior Bowl. Whatever he did over the course of the last month to impact this measurement needs to result in the questions about his hand size going away or else even more questions will be raised about the size of his hands.
MALIK WILLIS’ 40-TIME[Editor's note: Willis said on Wednesday that he will not be running at the combine] Kyle Crabbs: Malik Willis has been reported to have run in the 4.3s in the past (a 4.37 time as a sophomore at Auburn to be exact). Does he still have THAT juice? I’m hoping we get the chance to find out as Willis continues to press for the top quarterback spot in this class. His traits are already tops in the class but that kind of dynamic speed would be a great cherry on the top. Keith Sanchez: This one is easy: Malik Willis running the 40. Willis is rumored to be a sub-4.5 40-yard dash guy, so it would be exciting to see a quarterback put up those types of numbers. It would also prompt a reaction from the NFL community about how they can maximize Willis’ athletic skill set.
Wish You Were Here
C.J. STROUDKyle Crabbs: Hey, C.J. Just spending some time here in Big Ten country thinking about you and your talent. As we get ready to watch what I perceive to be the most questionable QB class of the last few years come through the combine, I certainly wish you were here. Enjoy your 2022 redshirt sophomore season in Colombus and maybe we’ll see you next year?
Matt Corral’s Right ArmJoe Marino: I know that Matt Corral is here, but he isn’t throwing. After we had a chance to see the other top guys all throw at the Senior Bowl, this was Corral’s chance to be on the same field as the rest of the class and showcase his ability. Instead, we’ll have to wait until his pro day and will never have the opportunity to compare him on the same field and under the same circumstances as the rest of this class. Keith Sanchez: Obviously, this is Matt Corral. The former Heisman front-runner during the season hasn’t really done anything since injuring himself in the Sugar Bowl. In a QB class where there seems to be a new No. 1 QB every month, I would have liked to see Corral showcase his skills and firmly entrench his name as the No. 1 guy in this class. It's tough because while Corral isn’t necessarily hurting himself through this process, I can definitely say he isn’t helping himself.
- Mar 11, 2022
- Mar 11, 2022