It’s not uncommon for quarterbacks coming out of college and into the NFL draft to not throw at the NFL Combine. Unfamiliar receivers, media scrutiny, the reasons go on and on. The top QB’s in the draft will forego throwing and instead make teams wait until their personal pro-day workouts when they can toss the pigskin on their own turf with their own WR’s running the plays they want. So with that being said, this is not a knock on RGIII.
I doubt that Andrew Luck will throw at the Combine and haven’t heard one way or the other as of yet. I do know that Texas A&M’s Ryan Tannehill will not throw but that is largely due to his injured foot. He will throw on March 29th for teams. Today, it became apparent that RGIII, appearing on the Dan Patrick show will not be throwing at this years Combine. However, as pointed out by Michael David Smith of ProFootballTalk.com, he will be running.
In fact, he told Dan Patrick that he is targeting a 4.4 40. Very few scouts doubt the mans ability to run. A former track star and hurdler who decided to quit to pursue his dedication to football is fast. Plain and simple. To me this simply verifies that RGIII has a run first mentality. I know, it’s only my opinion, but that opinion is strengthened by that choice.
Personally, I do not like when QB’s don’t throw at the Combine. It’s a pressure situation and all QB’s who are in position to make mega-millions should go out there and perform under pressure. In the case of RGIII, I suppose it really wouldn’t matter either way. A poor performance throwing the ball isn’t going to drop him out of the number 2 slot or scare off the myriad of teams showing interest, anymore than having a stellar Combine will move him ahead of Andrew Luck.
While passing won’t hurt him, perhaps his running will. What I mean is this, if he is willing to show the league his speed and not his arm strength, what happens if he doesn’t run his best and fails to come close to his 4.4 prediction? What if he pulls up and tweaks a hamstring? Could that no hurt his prospects more than a poor showing with his arm?
Most scouts realize that QB’s at the Combine are in a precarious position of unfamiliarity so while a QB may not get a media pass for a bad day, scouts and GM’s don’t always hold it against the players until they follow it up with the same at their pro-day workouts. The same can’t be said about a player not wearing pads on a running surface who can’t show the speed they are predicted to carry.
Perhaps I have this all wrong. Maybe it’s because RGIII’s main strength is his legs that he is willing to show off his speed and that is the pressure he is under. Personally, I would want him to throw. He has stated that he plans to “WOW” teams with his interviews and knowledge of defensive reads and his intelligence, now he wants to showcase his highly touted speed as well.
For me though, I don’t want a running QB and that really is my hang-up with RGIII. I want a pure pocket passer who can get out of trouble with his legs when he needs to not because they may present the better option when compared to his arm. RGIII fits that mode to me. It’s why his decision to not throw but to in fact run and run fast, strikes me as not only odd, but further gives me doubt into whether or not he can translate into an NFL passer first and an NFL running QB second.
The NFL Combine kicks off tomorrow and runs through the week into next. For coverage and performance schedules, please visit NFL.com.