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Business again figures to be brisk at NFL’s scouting combine
Question of the Day
“When you’re talking about a potential top-10 quarterback, once you get all the measurables, what’s most important to me is does the kid has to have a passion for the game of football?” said Mike Mayock, NFL Network’s draft analyst and a former safety for the New York Giants. “He’s got to have a football IQ, and he’s got to have an unbelievable work ethic. You need to find that out about Robert Griffin.”
Griffin is not expected to throw for scouts and coaches at the combine — an abstention common among touted quarterbacks who prefer to wait until their Pro Days with receivers they’re familiar with - but he will meet with teams.
However, both quarterbacks will make the interview rounds, continuing an evaluation that will last the next two months. First impressions in an interpersonal setting could shape lasting opinions.
“I think the more [conversational] they are about the technical game of football, the pass protections and the coverages - when you’re 22 years old, the more you can look a 50-year old man in the eye and answer his questions and shake his hand and spit something back out to him and… the more you can show that eagerness to learn and the aptitude to learn, the more I think it’s going to help you,” Mayock said.
The on-field drills also are critical for some players. Mayock and other evaluators believe performance in college games should trump whatever prospects accomplish in T-shirts and shorts inside Lucas Oil Stadium this week, but the latter can’t be discounted.
Ryan Kerrigan impressed Shanahan last February with his athleticism in linebacker drills, even though he was a defensive end at Purdue. He extensively trained for them before the combine, and his performance was a major reason why the Redskins selected him 16th overall and converted him to linebacker.
“To showcase my skills during those drills and show my athleticism was huge because I think that was a big question mark going into the combine,” Kerrigan said.
Kerrigan echoed Lichtensteiger’s lament about the rigors of the week, but the test is a manageable one.
“It is stressful, but at the same time it’s a job interview, so you can’t think too much into it,” he said. “You’ve just got to go out there and perform.”
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