This is the 2016 NFL Combine Field Drills Recap for the quarterbacks. Follow me @walterfootball for updates.
2016 NFL Combine: Field Drills Recap - Quarterbacks By Charlie Campbell - @draftcampbell
The average of quarterbacks in 2013 in the 40-yard dash were 4.86. In 2014, the average was 4.86. The 40-yard dash isn't a critical test for quarterbacks. Last year, the top two quarterbacks had vastly different times, and both played well as rookies. Marcus Mariota had a time of 4.52 seconds and Jameis Winston was timed at 4.97.
North Dakota State quarterback Carson Wentz (6-5, 232) had a strong Combine performance. Wentz is a mobile and athletic quarterback who tied for the second-fastest 40 time of 4.77 seconds. In the field work, Wentz spun the ball well. Wentz had good footwork and quiet feet that led to him setting up well after dropping from under center. There were some throws where timing was a bit off, but Wentz was throwing to unfamiliar receivers. He did make some beautiful deep throws as well. Overall, the Combine went well for Wentz.
Cal quarterback Jared Goff had a nice showing at the Combine. Goff threw the ball well in the field drills. In the 40-yard dash, Goff posted a time of 4.82 seconds. He showed off a smooth, good release. He has quick feet and with an easy motion that led to some accurate passes. Goff's deep balls were a touch flat, and he needed more air underneath some of those throws. That in part illustrates that Goff has a quality arm, but not a powerful one. Overall, he had a strong showing at Indianapolis to confirm the high estimates with his draft projection.
Memphis quarterback Paxton Lynch (6-6, 244) had a solid day at the Combine. Lynch's 40 time was a bit slower than expected at 4.86, but he displayed the ability to do things with his feet in college. Lynch has the potential for good feet, but he needs development after not gaining experience working under center in college. Lynch's feet and setup are not as fast as Wentz or Goff's. Lynch lofted in some pretty passes downfield and displayed his strong arm in the field drills. Lynch's performance at the Combine won't cause him to leap ahead of Goff or Wentz, but it should keep him safe as the third quarterback and a first-rounder.
Penn State quarterback Christian Hackenberg (6-4, 223) had a Combine performance that was indicative of his last two seasons at Penn State. Hackenberg had a few passes off the mark, but also made some beautiful throws downfield showcasing a powerful arm. The ball comes out of his hands nicely on most throws, but a few were off the mark. Others were just perfect like a picturesque corner post deep downfield. In the 40-yard dash, Hackenberg was faster than expected with a time of 4.78, surprisingly quicker than running quarterbacks like Vernon Adams and Dak Prescott. Hackenberg was one hundredth of a second slower than Trevone Boykin, a former receiver who tied for second. Hackenberg confirmed that he has a good arm and the physical skills, but needs work as a passer.
There had been some talk that Michigan State quarterback Connor Cook would test well at the Combine, as he had more athleticism than one saw as a pocket passer for the Spartans. That proved to be all hype as Cook (6-4, 217) had a 40 time of 4.79 seconds, which was solid but not jaw-dropping. In the field drills, Cook threw well on the out passes especially. In college, he did well throwing to the sideline and launched a beautiful out route at the Combine. He also dropped in some nice deep balls. Overall, Cook threw pretty well in the field drills, but his team interviews were more important because NFL franchises have a lot of questions about Cook as a person.
At the Senior Bowl, Mississippi State quarterback Dak Prescott blew teams away in the meeting room and they loved his character, leadership, and football I.Q. Prescott was a little slower than expected in the 40-yard dash with an official time of 4.79 seconds. However, he did throw the ball well in the field drills. He was very smooth and comfortable making the drop from under center. The ball came out nicely and was catchable. Prescott put nice touch on his passes and showed quality feet to set up his throws. The Combine should only further invigorate Prescott's draft stock.
Ohio State quarterback Cardale Jones has a cannon for an arm, but unfortunately, it was never seen. Jones (6-5, 253) pulled a hamstring during one of his 40 runs and was done for the day. It was a sad turn of events that robbed Jones of being able to wow NFL evaluators with his rifle arm.