No position in football draws attention like quarterback, and all eyes will be on the group of passers participating at the 2019 NFL Combine on Saturday.
The lightning rod of the group is undoubtedly Oklahoma’s Kyler Murray — a Heisman Trophy winner who already snagged headlines just for measuring a hair taller than 5’10. But Murray wasn’t one of the quarterbacks under the microscope Saturday after he decided to sit out the drills in Indianapolis.
Even if that takes a dent out of some of the star power out of the day, there were still plenty of passers worth keeping an eye on. Namely, Ohio State’s Dwayne Haskins is considered by many — including our own Dan Kadar — to be the best quarterback of the 2019 class.
There’s also Missouri’s Drew Lock and Duke’s Daniel Jones, who each have a strong chance at landing in the first round in April.
A year ago, four quarterbacks were drafted in the top 10 for the first time in nearly seven decades. A fifth quarterback, Lamar Jackson, was picked before the end of the first round. The 2019 class probably won’t be as prolific as that group, but quarterback-hungry teams like the New York Giants, Jacksonville Jaguars, and Miami Dolphins are very much in the market for a new passer anyway.
Here’s which quarterbacks stood out Saturday.
Drew Lock, Missouri
The Missouri quarterback impressed with his arm at the combine, with anonymous general managers calling Lock “the dude” on Saturday. He had the second-fastest time in the 20-yard shuffle (4.12 seconds) plus the third-fastest in the 3-cone drill (7.03), to go with a 4.69 40-yard dash.
Tyree Jackson, Buffalo
There’s not a ton of reason to care about 40-yard dash times for quarterbacks, but occasionally one will make you raise your eyebrows. Jackson measured in at 6’7, 249 pounds, which made his 4.59 40-yard dash pretty absurd.
wtf Tyree Jackson unofficial 4.59 40 pic.twitter.com/ytwq8XihAQ— Billy Marshall (@BillyM_91) March 2, 2019
Jackson also finished with the best vertical (34.5 inches) and broad jump (120 inches) at the position. He is an inexperienced work in progress, but he’s clearly not lacking in raw talent and athleticism.
Dwayne Haskins, Ohio State
Haskins had the slowest time of any quarterback who ran on Saturday, clocking in at 5.04 seconds while reportedly dealing with leg cramps.
Speed was never his strength anyway. Haskins’ credentials are his prototypical size (6’3, 231 pounds) and his arm, both of which he put on display in Indy:
"You can't throw it much better than that." @OhioStateFB QB Dwayne Haskins (@dh_simba7) put on a show for scouts.— NFL (@NFL) March 2, 2019
: 2019 #NFLCombine resumes tomorrow (9AM ET on @NFLNetwork) pic.twitter.com/x3iuKu00jA
That deep ball, especially, is nice — and we’re just saying, but it would pair well with Odell Beckham Jr.
Haskins just needed to confirm what most experts think: He’s a first-round quarterback.
Trace McSorley, Penn State
While Haskins was the slowest among QBs, fellow Big Ten QB Trace McSorley was the fastest at 4.57 seconds. But like Haskins, that was expected. McSorley has always been fast.
His numbers in the non-running drills were less impressive, and his passing was ... neither terrible nor good.
Mostly, what McSorley needed was to show that he can be a quarterback who gets drafted — at least one team wanted him to work out as a defensive back (he declined). Did he do enough to prove that? Not really.
Daniel Jones, Duke
Like McSorely, Daniel Jones could’ve used a performance that proved he belongs — not among the quarterbacks who will be drafted, but in the Haskins/Murray Round 1 tier.
His numbers were all fine. Nothing stood out good or bad. Same for his passing drills, where he struggled a bit with accuracy at times and reminded us all that he doesn’t have the strongest arm:
He was also a little late on throws. It’s still entirely possible Jones goes in the first round, but nothing at the combine solidified his case.