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.