Today, the Quarterbacks began their workouts in the 2011 NFL Combine, and although most of us want to see someone like Von Miller, Patrick Peterson, or Robert Quinn taken with the fifth overall pick in the Draft, one of these guys might appeal to the Cardinals enough for them to take a chance on them.
The big news today is that Cam Newton had an uneven day in the drills. He ran a very impressive 4.59 in the 40, and he also had a 10'6" broad jump, but in the passing drills he was only 11 of 21. Newtons performance here probably helps out Blaine Gabbert who chose not to throw until his Pro Day. Looking back a few weeks, Netwon wowed everyone who attended his media workout in San Diego a few weeks ago, including Trent Dilfer who slobbered over Newton's performance and had an odd comment about Newtons butt, but in that workout he also had receivers that he was more familiar with to throw too.
With Newton, I do see him as a slower and taller version of Michael Vick (during his stint in Atlanta). He has a ton of physical talent, but in the NFL I don't know if he has the accuracy or the ability to read defenses to be a great passer. Looking back at the offense he ran in Auburn, he basically had to make one read, and if it wasn't open he could just take take off and run with the ball which is basically what Vick did earlier in his career. Newton is a project, but he has all of the tools to be great in the NFL. The team that drafts him just needs to be patient with him though.
Two of the other guys that stood out were Ryan Mallet and Jake Locker. Mallet raised some eyebrows with an awkward interview session to start the Combine where he wouldn't answer questions about his alleged drug use, but in the passing drills he showed great accuracy and one of the media members in attendance said it was one of the best performances by a Quarterback at the Combine in the last ten years. Mallet has some character issues that could drop him out of the first round, but he has the kind of arm that can make every throw in the NFL. Locker also impressed during his workouts. He also ran a 4.59 in the 40 yard dash, and he was also timed at 4.52 for one of his runs. His accuracy was also improved since the Senior Bowl workouts, and he appears to have a revised throwing motion.
Among some of the other Quarterbacks, Tyrod Taylor had the fastest 40 yard dash time with a 5.51 followed closely by Colin Kaepernick who clocked in at 4.53. Christian Ponder was highly praised for his accuracy. Kaepernick and Andy Dalton didn't fare as well in those workouts, but Kaepernick did well in the other drills, and Dalton struggles were expected by some people because he is a guy who relies on having his timing down with his receivers, and he is working with receivers that he doesn't have a lot of practice time with.
I wasn't able to catch a lot of the workouts because I don't have the NFL Network so I have been relying on what the scouts in attendance were posting on other websites. If you were watching the workouts, leave your thoughts on the Quarterbacks who you thought helped or hurt their draft stock today.