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QBs: Carr tops list after solid week

Wed, Feb 19, 2014

By Phil Savage

Reese’s Senior Bowl Quarterbacks

The most scrutinized position in sports may very well be the football quarterback, and with another class of college signal-callers headed for the NFL, the Reese’s Senior Bowl serves as a major audition in advance of the draft. The physical qualities evaluators are looking for include accuracy, arm strength and mobility, while the intangible attributes encompass playing instincts, leadership and work ethic. Based on the Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday practices, here is how Executive Director Phil Savage stacked them for the week.


1. #4 Derek Carr/Fresno State          6021/215      31 1-4” Arm/9 1-8” Hand 

Derek approached Senior Bowl week with the attitude of wanting to prove that he belongs in the discussion as a potential 1st round selection. Off the field, he spent extra time in the film room, while after practice each day, he worked with several receivers to improve their communication and timing. Derek cut the ball through the blustery winds on Tuesday and has a quick, efficient release, especially on short and intermediate passes. He is an under-rated athlete and can throw moving to his left or right. Overall, Derek handled himself well and built some momentum going into the Combine.

TEAM STATS:    7-for-9

SENIOR BOWL SCOOP: Derek is a two-time Mountain West Offensive Player of the Year and was also recognized as one of 16 National Football Foundation Scholar-Athletes.

NFL CAREER FORECAST: POTENTIAL Starter (within three seasons)

2. #10 Jimmy Garappolo/Eastern Illinois     6022/219      30 1-4” Arm/9” Hand

“Jimmy Football” earned his way to Mobile after a solid showing at the East-West Shrine game. He has quickness in his eyes, feet and release. His accuracy is reliable on short to medium throws, but he does not possess an elite arm down the field. Ideally, he fits a West Coast/rhythmic-style passing scheme where he can utilize his strengths and get the football out of his hand decisively and with tempo. Jimmy has more than enough bulk, quality intangibles and definitely raised his draft status in the Port City.

TEAM STATS:    5-for-10

SENIOR BOWL SCOOP: Jimmy won the Walter Payton Award as the most outstanding offensive player at the FCS level in 2013 after passing for 4729 yards, 51 touchdowns and only 9 interceptions as a senior.

NFL CAREER FORECAST: Developmental Starter/Dependable Backup

3. #12 David Fales/San Jose State     6013/220      31 1-8” Arm/9 1-4” Hand 

David gained confidence and appeared more comfortable in each practice as the week progressed. Like Garoppolo, he fits a timing-based passing attack because of his ability to read and release the football with efficiency. David went 6-for-7 in the game for 104 yards with a TD and INT in helping lead the South to a 20-10 victory.

TEAM STATS:    4-for-8

SENIOR BOWL SCOOP: In David’s two seasons at SJSU under two different coaching staffs, he passed for 8382 yards, 66 touchdowns and 22 interceptions. Set a Mountain West Conference record with five consecutive 300-yard passing games in 2013.

NFL CAREER FORECAST: Developmental Starter/Dependable Backup

Best of the Rest:

#3 Logan Thomas/Virginia Tech     6056/250      33” Arm/10 3-4” Hand

Logan is a giant-sized QB who can wrap his large hands around the football and, at times, can make every throw. The question is his consistency in terms of decision-making and accuracy, two areas that will have to improve for him to have a long-term NFL career.

#10 Tajh Boyd/Clemson                  6006/222      30 1-2” Arm/9 3-8” Hand

Tajh has a sturdy build and the overall body strength to shake off would-be pass rushers and get the ball out. He will have to prove that he can be accurate with the football at his Combine and Pro Day workouts.

#17 Stephen Morris/Miami-FL       6016/208      31 7-8” Arm/10 1-8” Hand

On certain plays, Stephen spins the football like a top-flight NFL prospect, while on others, he will miss badly, leaving evaluators to question his overall accuracy. Still, he is worthy of mid-to-late round consideration because of his total package of personality, athletic ability and arm strength.

Phil Savage Phil Savage is the Executive Director of the Senior Bowl. He worked 20 years in the NFL as a coach, scout and executive, including two years as the Director of Player Personnel for the Baltimore Ravens and four years as the general manager of the Cleveland Browns.