The NFL Combine is now underway and though we must wait until Saturday for the on-field testing portion of the Combine to begin, in the meantime, we can take a look at some physical measureables. Below, you'll find a handy sortable table with the numbers for the quarterbacks group, all courtesy of Alfie Crow over at Big Cat Country.
One of the more important attributes that I know John Schneider looks for in a quarterback are big hands. It's something that he's harped on over the past few seasons because when it's cold and wet in late December or January, and you're playing at the CLink or on the east coast somewhere like Pittsburgh, New York, D.C. or New England, being able to grip the ball is absolutely essential to playing the position. One of the major reasons Schneider liked Russell Wilson so much was because even at 5'10 and 3/4", Wilson has those 10 1/4" hands that enable him to spin it even when it's cold, rainy, and windy- JS scouted some of Wilson's games late in the college season 2011 - and a few of those were in the blustery and cold northeast or upper mid-west -- Wisconsin, Michigan State, Penn State, Minnesota, Ohio State, Illinois -- so he saw it first hand.
With that in mind, I'm guessing that Schneider will continue to make that a fairly important focus. Coincidentally, the one quarterback in this year's draft that could probably legitimately emulate Russell Wilson's throwing and movement skills, something Pete Carroll acknowledged would be preferable in a backup, is FSU's E.J. Manuel, whose 10.38" hands were the largest of the group. Manuel measured in at a solid 6'5, 237 pounds too, and his throwing sessions this weekend will be pretty interesting to watch. It's looking unlikely he'll fall much further than the 2nd or 3rd round, at this point, but if he does end up sitting there in the 4th, the Seahawks just may have an interest.
Going down the line -- Ryan Nassib and Matt Barkley won't fall far, so I tend to think they won't be on Seattle's radar too clearly. Marqueis Gray - a running quarterback out of Minnesota that had, I thought, until recently, been trying a conversion to wide receiver, measured in at an impressive 6'4, 240 with big 9.78" hands, but the fact that he's still lumped into the quarterbacks group is a tad mystifying. Regardless, he's a phenomenal athlete - he runs like a running back, with strength and vision - and was on my list as a late-round TE/H-back/WR type prospect. I have no idea how he throws, but I don't think he's gotten rave reviews in the past. Someting to watch.
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