2014 NFL Combine Preview: Five Quarterbacks to Watch

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Nov 16, 2013; Auburn, AL, USA; Georgia Bulldogs quarterback Aaron Murray (11) scores a touchdown against the Auburn Tigers during the second half at Jordan Hare Stadium. The Tigers won 43-38. Mandatory Credit: John Reed-USA TODAY Sports

We are two weeks away from the NFL combine, which means we are getting closer and closer to figuring out who the Kansas City Chiefs are going to select in the 2014 draft. For the next few days we are going to take a look at some guys who could play into the Chiefs draft thoughts, and, therefor, should have your attention at the combine.

First up, the quarterbacks.

1. Jimmy Garoppolo

School: Eastern Illinois
What to Watch: Height and Weight, 40 Time
2013 Stats: 375-568 (66%), 53 touchdowns, nine interceptions; 70 carries, 62 yards
Met with Chiefs: Yes

Paying attention to all of the players the Chiefs are known to have met with should be a priority when watching the NFL combine. It will give you an indication of what types of players the Chiefs are looking at as well as what they are thinking about doing in the draft and in free agency.

Garoppolo is an interesting guy for the Chiefs to meet with. He’s a small school guy with average size (we’ll see if that changes at the combine), but has being numbers and a skill set that fits with what the Chiefs try to do on offense.

He doesn’t have great arm strength based on reports, but we probably won’t get a chance to see for ourselves at the combine. A lot of quarterbacks don’t throw at the combine because of the conditions – lack of chemistry with the wide receivers, types of routes run at the combine, etc. If you’re a quarterback whose skill is based on timing routes and reading receivers, throwing go patterns to a guy you just met doesn’t best display your abilities as a quarterback.

However, some teams could care less about the end result of the throw (catch, overthrow, etc.) and worry about how the ball comes out of the quarterback’s hand. Footwork matters a lot here, too, when it comes to three, five, and seven step drops. If we do get a chance to see Garoppolo throw, these are things we should be paying attention to.

If Garoppolo opts not to throw, what we will be looking for are the basic measurables and trying to figure out what kind of a natural athlete Garoppolo is. These kind of things will help us figure out how Garoppolo would fit into the system and what kind of ceiling he may have if the Chiefs drafted him.

Keep in mind Andy Reid likes to take quarterbacks who do not have big names, and those players have turned into useful pieces for him. Kevin Kolb turned into a high-round draft pick while Nick Foles was tremendous this season for Philadelphia. If anything, the combine may give us an better idea of what Reid is looking for in a quarterback.

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  • Tristian

    I love me some Aaron Murray. He is underrated and would be drafted higher if not for the torn ACL. He is a less mobile Alex Smith. Short to intermediate passing is his strength but he xan beat you deep too. Very accurate. Not a one read guy either. Scans the field and makes plays. If he went 3rd round hed be a steal

    • Troy Utt

      Funny how a year changes things! Had he come out last season he may well have been on KC’s roster. As many of the pundits had Murry as the best fit for the Chiefs ( Reids system) as their new QB during the discussions of what to do with that #1 pick… Had he not returned for his Senior yr. Murry would most likely have been the top ranked QB in the draft rather than Geno. Fast forward to this season due to the injury he’s not even in the discussion for the top ten! Makes you wonder what’s up with that when they now have AJ McCarron at #5?

  • tm1946

    The QB position is only behind WRs as the heart breakers for NFL teams. We see “something” that apparently is not there over and over. The Chiefs have an issue about cap money and Chase makes to darned much for a backup, the team has to catch a break, turn over a rock, and find QBs who can backup and be less expensive if possible.
    As for these kids, no idea, hope they all make it somewhere. Is the QB of the future there?

  • toperspective

    Good write-up. As much as I’d like to see the Chiefs find their QBOTF, they have so many needs and no 2nd round pick, so it’s hard to see them using a pick on a project. However, if they can’t get a favorable extension with AS, a QB will be the way to go.