QB’s steal spotlight Friday at Combine

Friday the NFL Combine was all about the quarterbacks and why not, with Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III highlighting a group which could include four first-round picks. 

Apparently one quarterback grew, while another shrunk sometime over the past few months.

One knock on RG3 was his height, or lack there of many believed. Originally thought to be slightly under 6’2, Griffin officially measured in 6’2 3/8 which just below the league average of 6’3. He decided not to throw here in Indy, but was impressive fielding questions. Thought it was cool he said he patterned his game after Randall Cunningham. Mentioned he watched tapes of how Cunningham kept plays alive by moving laterally in the pocket and said the former Eagle and Viking revolutionized the duel-threat quarterback in the NFL.

While Griffin “grew,” apparently ASU’s Brock Osweiler “shrunk.” Listed at 6’8, he measured 6’6 3/8 this morning. Some NFL personnel that I spoke to actually think this helps his positioning in the draft due to the success rate of other tall, but not too tall, signal-callers (Joe Flacco). Personally, I wonder why this is even a story. Aren’t we splitting hairs here? What, he can’t see over the line of scrimmage now because he’s ONLY 6’6 3/8. It’s not like he was listed at 6’8 and came in at 6’11/2. Unfortunately, we didn’t get to hear from Osweiler on Friday, but there are usually a couple quarterbacks who speak on Saturday so we’ll see.

We did hear from the other in-state quarterback Friday afternoon. Nick Foles said he patterns his game after fellow Austin, Texas native Drew Brees and Peyton Manning among others. He looked comfortable at the table fielding questions and credited growing up in Texas dealing with the media after practices in high school. The “big stage” of Texas high school football helped prepare him mentally for being in the spotlight as a Pac-12 quarterback after transferring to UofA from Michigan State.

You could hear a pin drop in the hallway as the media swarmed into the interview room to circle around the podium where Luck spoke. The more I see and hear him away from the field, from covering him leading up to the Fiesta Bowl and this week, you see why this guy is a once-in-a-generation-prospect. He speaks and acts like he’s been in the league ten years. When asked what it would be like to possibly learn under Peyton Manning, Luck referred to Manning as his “hero growing up.”

We heard from a slew of wide receivers, but UofA’s Juron Criner and ASU’s Gerell Robinson were not among them. It’s pretty clear there are two types of receivers in this class. The tall and physical like South Carolina’s Alshon Jeffrey and the short and quick like Oklahoma’s Ryan Broyles. I will be interested to see where Broyles lands after an extremely productive career in Norman who’s’ senior season was cut short with a mid-season torn ACL. 

As Ed Cole and I head back to Phoenix, it’s interesting to think back to what a spectacle the combine has become. We were one of probably eight radio shows set up inside Lucas Oil Stadium. Two years ago there were three. I was told media requests nearly doubled from last year. Somewhere Roger Goodell is smiling. People can’t get enough of NFL coverage. Further proof why the NFL has been and will continue to be king of the sports universe.  

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