NFL combine QB recap: Tyler Bray rises, Geno Smith holds steady
INDIANAPOLIS — The 2013 NFL Draft quarterback class is ripe for someone, really anyone, to step up and take the reins as the lead prospect.
One of the players in the mix to potentially do that, Matt Barkley, was one of three quarterbacks invited to the scouting combine that did not participate in drills because of an injury (Zac Dysert and Sean Renfree being the others). Barkley’s absence left a host of other contenders hoping to close the gap on West Virginia’s Geno Smith, currently a general-consensus pick as the No. 1 QB available.
The QB group worked through its on-field drills on Sunday, two days after meeting with the media. A quick look at how some of the top participating quarterbacks fared this weekend, and what it might mean going forward:
Geno Smith, West Virginia
Height: 6-2 … Weight: 218 … 40 time: 4.59 … Vertical jump: 33.5 inches
If you needed any further proof that there is no RGIII in this year’s QB class, Smith running the best 40-yard-dash at this position should do it. But for Smith, his 4.59 40 should help convince teams that he can get out of the pocket and make plays, even if he’s not an option-offense prospect.
On the flip, however, Day 4 of the combine wrapped without any real sense that any QB had separated himself from the rest. All the throws were there for the West Virginia product, but his inability to really run away and hide from the rest of the class certainly will not help his case for the No. 1 overall selection.
Ryan Nassib, Syracuse
Height: 6-2 … Weight: 227 … 40 time: 5.06 … Vertical jump: 28.5 inches
Nassib’s low-end 40 time (unofficially 5.06, better than only Landry Jones at quarterback) proofed what his college tape showed and what he told the media here Friday: He’s not a speed QB.
“I’m not much of a runner by trade like some other guys,” Nassib said, when asked if he could run the zone-read.
As a pocket passer, though, Nassib did nothing to hurt his stock during Sunday’s workout. The knocks on Nassib include that he lets his mechanics slip and occasionally floats passes downfield. But in the controlled combine environment, he was able to flash a strong, accurate arm. Nassib is a more athletic QB than he showed in the 40, too, so don’t expect his 5.06 to hurt him too much.
Mike Glennon, N.C. State
Height: 6-7 … Weight: 225 … 40 time: 4.94 … Vertical jump: 26.5 inches
Right now, Glennon is a sort of take-what-you-get prospect for NFL teams. He did manage to come in under 5.0 seconds unofficially in the 40, topping Nassib, Tyler Bray and Jones, but he’s simply a tall, gangly QB with room to grow both physically and as a passer.
There’s no denying that he has a strong arm — one of the strongest in the draft. Is that enough to convince NFL teams to overlook his downsides? Maybe, but Sunday likely will not go down as his distinguishing moment.
Tyler Bray, Tennessee
Height: 6-6 … Weight: 232 … 40 time: … Vertical jump: DNP
Say hello to your high-riser at the QB position out of the combine. Bray weighed in at 232, up a whopping 24 pounds from his final game at Tennessee. Like Glennon and Nassib, he’s far from a burner or an option guy, so his high 40 time shouldn’t hinder him too much.
And that’s especially true because Bray zinged the ball (and did so accurately) during drills. There’s definitely room for quarterbacks to rise and fall between now and the draft, and Bray’s weekend work has him trending in the right direction.
Tyler Wilson, Arkansas
Height: 6-2 … Weight: 215 … 40 time: 4.94 … Vertical jump: 28.5 inches
Wilson was middle of the road in most of Sunday’s drills. That’s an improvement from a couple days ago, when Wilson measured in alongside Colby Cameron and Matt Scott as the smallest QB prospects here (6-2) and stood alone with the smallest hands (8 3/4). The latter could be an issue for a lot of teams — small hands are believed to translate to a weak grip on the football and, thus, fumbles and/or passes that tend to wobble.
Wilson still has work to do as a passer, where his footwork tends to desert him. He did not make any glaring mistakes Sunday.
E.J. Manuel, Florida State
Height: 6-4 … Weight: 237 … 40 time: 4.65 … Vertical jump: 34 inches
Manuel said Friday, “I definitely feel I’m the best quarterback in this class.” Even though that may not wind up being true, Manuel continues to look more and more like a definite Day 2 option for teams hoping to develop a quarterback. Manuel finished second to Smith in the 40, but he measured in with the biggest hands of any QB (10 3/8 inches), put up the top vertical jump and posted the second-best broad jump (9 feet, 10 inches).
He’s an athlete with a nice arm, plus might be capable of running at least a little read-option. All of that could combine to drive Manuel up the draft board.
Landry Jones, Oklahoma
Height: 6-4 … Weight: 225 … 40 time: 5.11 … Vertical jump: 31 inches
Jones timed in as the slowest of the quarterbacks who participated Sunday, with a 5.11. That’s only so important for a pocket guy like Jones, but it does further the perception that Jones’ all-around game is tolerable yet underwhelming. Jones appeared to have a fine day throwing the football — hitting his spots when able to set and fire has never been his bugaboo, though.