Summary: Thanks to the success of Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo, hailing from Eastern Illinois is no longer a bad thing for a quarterback. While playing at a lower level of competition is going to cause some doubts for any signal-caller, Garoppolo's skill set and his production landed him on the radar of NFL scouts during his senior season.
Garoppolo was a prolific point machine in 2013. He threw for 5,050 yards with 53 touchdown passes and nine interceptions while completing 66 percent of his passes. All 32 teams have scouted him this year, with two general managers visiting him on campus.
His impressive season landed him an invitation to the East-West Shrine Game. In St. Petersburg, Florida, Garoppolo had an impressive week of practice. He didn't dominate, but he consistently threw the ball well. Garoppolo displayed a strong arm and superb throwing motion. He showed some nice field vision with the ability to look off safeties to help open up his receivers.
When Alabama quarterback A.J. McCarron turned down the Senior Bowl, that opened up a spot for Garoppolo, who took advantage of the opportunity. Garoppolo played better in Mobile than he did the week previous, and that isn't surprising considering the rust factor and having better receivers to work with. Garoppolo had a good week of practice where he displayed accuracy, decision-making and had no issues practicing against a higher caliber of competition.
As a passer, Garoppolo has a nice skill set. He has a strong arm with a fantastic delivery. His quick release and field-vision potential illustrates the likelihood for him to be a good pocket passer.
For the NFL, Garoppolo will have to improve his feet and operating under three-, five- and seven-step drops. That will help him to throw the ball accurately and in rhythm. WalterFootball.com has received positive feedback on Garoppolo from scouts and coaches. They view him as a nice developmental option for the second day of the 2014 NFL Draft.
Player Comparison: Sam Bradford. Obviously, Garoppolo won't be drafted anywhere close to Bradford's slot as the No. 1 overall-pick in the 2010 NFL Draft. Bradford (6-4, 230) is bigger than Garoppolo, but they both have strong arms with good mechanics. Each one can move around and make all the throws the NFL requires. Some have compared Garoppolo to Tony Romo because they went to the same college, but Romo's mobility and spontaneous style of play is different from Garoppolo's.
NFL Matches: Jacksonville, Cleveland, Oakland, Minnesota, Tampa Bay, Arizona
There are a lot of quarterback-needy teams that could select Garoppolo on the second day of the 2014 NFL Draft. Going in the first round looks unlikely, but if one of the quarterback-needy teams in the top 10 drafts a different position, Garoppolo could be that team's target on Day 2.
The Jaguars, Browns, Raiders and Vikings are desperate to land franchise quarterbacks. Garoppolo would make sense as a plan B.
Tampa Bay could also have interest in Garoppolo depending on how the new regime feels about Mike Glennon. The Arizona Cardinals could also groom Garoppolo to be the heir apparent to Carson Palmer.