2015 NFL Scouting Combine: Six quarterbacks under scrutiny

Prospects to watch at combine: LB | DL | OL | WR/TE | RB | QB

The NFL Scouting Combine runs Feb. 17-23 in Indianapolis, and it brings together 323 of the nation's most draftable players and numerous front-office representatives and scouts from each NFL team.

A big portion of the combine is the individual events, such as the 40-yard dash, the bench press and the vertical jump.

We'll take a position-by-position look at the combine, spotlighting six players who will be scrutinized and also look at some notable event performances in the last five combines. We'll also look at how some notable current players performed at their combine events.

Part 1 is on quarterbacks. The combine events aren't all that meaningful when it comes to evaluating a quarterback. You'd like a quarterback to be fast or athletic, but just take a gander at some of the numbers Tom Brady -- you know, the guy who just won his fourth Super Bowl -- turned in at the 2000 combine before you dismiss quarterbacks who score poorly.

Six to watch this year

(A caveat to this section: Oregon's Marcus Mariota and Florida State's Jameis Winston are far and away the top two quarterbacks available. We're looking at guys in the mix to be the third guy taken and/or trying to be drafted at all.)

Bryan Bennett, Southeastern Louisiana: He was in the mix to be Oregon's starting quarterback in 2012 before he was beaten out by Mariota. Bennett was a backup for the Ducks that fall, then transferred to Southeastern Louisiana, an FCS school, for the final two seasons of his career. He threw for 5,522 yards and 39 touchdowns and rushed for 1,715 yards and 31 TDs in his two seasons with the Lions. He is a top-flight athlete who lacks a big arm and rarely has been under center. Still, he will have a chance to potentially solidify himself as a third-day pick with a consistent combine.

Shane Carden, East Carolina: He was lightly regarded out of high school in Houston but became a three-year starter in a pass-happy offense. Carden threw for 11,991 yards and 86 TDs in his career. He lacks a big arm and has issues with his throwing motion. While he is a gritty guy with big-time intangibles, that won't necessarily show at the combine. Still, he'll get a chance to show that he is a better athlete than most think.

Garrett Grayson, Colorado State: He definitely is in the mix to be the at least the fourth quarterback taken. He was one of the four quarterbacks to throw for 4,000 yards this season, and also had 32 TD passes and just seven picks. He has good mechanics, though he lacks a big arm. Grayson needs a strong combine all-around to further intrigue scouts.

Brett Hundley, UCLA: He definitely looks like the No. 3 quarterback overall heading into the combine. He is a true dual threat who can hurt foes with his legs and arm. While his athleticism is not in question, his ability to be an accurate passer is. His pocket presence at UCLA left something to be desired. That obviously is not going to be on view at the combine. But how he looks throwing the ball and how he performs in the drills will be scrutinized.

Sean Mannion, Oregon State: Mannion had a great junior season (4,662 yards, 37 TDs, 66.3 completion percentage) but struggled as a senior (3,164 yards, 15 TDs, 62.3 completion percentage), and some analysts wonder if he can be an NFL starter. He should look good in the passing drills because of his comfort level with all sorts of drops and throws, but his athleticism is a question, too.

Bryce Petty, Baylor: He went into the season generally considered the top senior quarterback, and he might exit the combine in that position, too. But that designation and $1 will get you a soda. He will be out to show he is the best athlete among the quarterbacks. He has been clocked as fast as 4.62 seconds in the 40, has had a vertical jump of 38 inches and has broad jumped 10-foot, 5 1/2 inches. He also can squat 510 pounds. If he performs to those standards at the combine, he will impress the scouts. But he has some on-field issues -- perhaps most notably, his ability to read defenses -- and those aren't going to miraculously disappear, even if he shines athletically at the combine.

Combine bests over last five years


1. Robert Griffin III, Baylor
Time: 4.41 in 2012
Draft status: 1st round (2nd overall), Washington Redskins

2. Tyrod Taylor, Virginia Tech
Time: 4.51 in 2011
Draft status: 6th round, Baltimore Ravens

3. Colin Kaepernick, Nevada
Time: 4.53 in 2011
Draft status: 2nd round, San Francisco 49ers

4. Jarrett Brown, West Virginia
Time: 4.54 in 2010
Draft status: Undrafted

5. Russell Wilson, Wisconsin
Time: 4.55 in 2012
Draft status: 3rd round, Seattle Seahawks

Notable players
Tom Brady, Michigan: 5.28 seconds in 2000
Andrew Luck, Stanford: 4.59 seconds in 2012
Johnny Manziel, Texas A&M: 4.68 seconds in 2014
Cam Newton, Auburn: 4.59 seconds in 2011
Aaron Rodgers, California: 4.71 seconds in 2005


1. Josh Portis, California (Pa.)
Jump: 40 inches in 2011
Draft status: Undrafted

2. Robert Griffin III, Baylor
Jump: 39 inches in 2012
Draft status: 1st round (2nd overall), Washington Redskins

3. Tim Tebow, Florida
Jump: 38.5 inches in 2010
Draft status: 1st round (25th overall), Denver Broncos

4. Tyrod Taylor, Virginia Tech
Jump: 37.5 inches in 2011
Draft status: 6th round, Baltimore Ravens

5. Jacory Harris, Miami
Jump: 37 inches in 2012
Draft status: Undrafted

Notable players
Blake Bortles, UCF: 32.5 inches in 2014
Tom Brady, Michigan: 24.5 inches in 2001
Joe Flacco, Delaware: 28.5 inches in 2008
Andrew Luck, Stanford: 36 inches in 2012
Cam Newton, Auburn: 35 inches in 2011


1. Jordan Lynch, Northern Illinois
Time: 6.55 seconds in 2014
Draft status: Undrafted

2. Tim Tebow, Florida
Time: 6.66 seconds in 2011
Draft status: 1st round (25th overall), Denver Broncos

3. Matt Scott, Arizona
Time: 6.69 seconds in 2013
Draft status: Undrafted

4. Austin Davis, Southern Miss
Time: 6.73 seconds in 2012
Draft status: Undrafted

5. Johnny Manziel, Texas A&M
Time: 6.75 seconds in 2014
Draft status: 1st round (22nd overall), Cleveland Browns

Notable players
Tom Brady, Michigan: 7.20 seconds in 2000
Joe Flacco, Delaware: 6.82 seconds in 2008
Colin Kaepernick, Nevada: 6.85 seconds in 2011
Andrew Luck, Stanford: 6.80 seconds in 2012
Cam Newton, Auburn: 6.92 seconds in 2011

Mike Huguenin can be reached at mike.huguenin@nfl.com. You also can follow him on Twitter @MikeHuguenin.

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