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A Tale of Three QBs in Indy

Posted by Randy Lange on February 22, 2008 – 3:22 pm

There was more than one politician gunning for a big prize in Indianapolis this morning. Hundreds of feet away from Monument Circle, where Republican presidential candidate John McCain was holding a town hall meeting at an Indy radio station, Matt Ryan took the podium at the Indianapolis Convention Center.

Ryan is the Boston College quarterback who is some folks’ candidate to be the top pick in April’s draft. And he had the political polish to dance around some questions, answer others point-blank and schmooze with reporters during a break in his busy day at the NFL Scouting Combine.

For example, "How important is it to be the No. 1 overall pick?" was not a question Ryan was going to take head-on.

"It’s exciting to be mentioned in that light," he said. "For me, I just hope somebody gives me an opportunity to go in and compete and help try and make an organization a winner. It doesn’t really matter what number that is as long as somebody gives me chance."

Good answer. So were his responses about the prospects of being drafted by Miami at No. 1 — "It’d be a great situation for a quarterback, and it may end up working out" — or by Atlanta at No. 3 — "I don’t think one person would be the cause of change down there, but I definitely think I could help. I think I would be a great fit."

But one topic Ryan wasn’t going to finesse was what he’d be doing at the combine. He’ll be doing his timed running drills here but he won’t throw until March 18 at BC’s pro day.

Why not throw in the calm air and room temperatures of the RCA Dome?

"We have a bubble up over our stadium at BC, so we’ve got great conditions to throw on our pro day," Ryan explained. "I want to portray to the teams that are going to be looking at my skills an accurate representation of what it would be like in a game situation, so I want to throw to the guys I know and give the teams a chance to look at what I’m capable of doing."

And for anyone who missed the point he was making, he said a few minutes later: "I’m comfortable with the decisions I’ve made in this process and confident that there’s plenty of game tape that shows that I show up when the games on the line, that I’m a competitor. I’ve made my decision and I’m going to stick with that."

Certainly a well-stated reason for not wanting to do everything desired of him at the combine. NFL coaches and GMs would prefer that everyone invited here would do everything here, but that’s not the way the system has evolved. Some players want the conditions to be close to ideal when they perform before the draft, so as to maximize the offers in their rookie contracts, and they have the potential, the standing — the juice — to do it their way.

Others do not. As far as this year’s quarterbacks, Michigan’s Chad Henne and Delaware’s Joe Flacco, both of whom also talked with the media today, fall into that category.

Henne is in this group because of his injury history. He played with a separated right shoulder virtually all last season, so his game video is not going to be as optimized as Ryan’s.

"I wasn’t healthy throughout the whole year," said Henne. "I’ll work out hard here and try to prove as much as I can. It’s a great opportunity for myself. Hopefully, I can open some scouts’ eyes."

The scouts probably didn’t need to be alerted due to Henne’s pedigree at UM, also known as Tom Brady U. Michigan QBs don’t always come into the NFL with high profiles — Brady, of course, was famously drafted by the Patriots in the sixth round of the 2000 draft — but they seem to turn out pretty well.

"I think we’re very well prepared at Michigan," Henne agreed. "It’s a great place to be, one reason I went to Michigan."

Henne at the moment is considered by draft analysts to be the third QB in this draft, behind Ryan and Louisville’s Brian Brohm, a late-first- or second-rounder. Flacco figures to come in perhaps before, perhaps after Kentucky’s André Woodson in the second or third round, and the reason for that appears to be not health but level of competition. Delaware is in the NCAA Division Championship Subdivision, formerly known as I-AA.

"I guess that’s important because people keep bringing that up," Flacco said, sounding not totally convinced. "But we have good athletes, we play good teams. We made it to the national championship game, which nobody wants to talk about."

Flacco has great size at 6’6" and 236 pounds, and he said the greatest myth about him "is that I can move. … There’s definitely big guys that can move around." In that regard he sounded a little like Vinny Testaverde to me.

But Flacco doesn’t have Testaverde’s résumé of leading the University of Miami in its heyday and winning the Heisman Trophy, so Flacco, unlike Testaverde, will not go No. 1 overall. But the Blue Hen put together an impressive Senior Bowl week and game, and now he’s going to give it his all in this weekend’s physical and mental tests, which could boost his draft stock further still.

Ultimately, everyone does what he feels he has to do at the combine.


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Posted in Randy Lange | 11 Comments »


11 Responses to “A Tale of Three QBs in Indy”

  1. By Ira on Feb 22, 2008 | Reply

    Randy, With all these good reports you are in mini-camp form already. Way to go. BTW good move by Ryan wanting to throw to his WR’s in a familar place.

  2. By Braeden on Feb 22, 2008 | Reply

    I think the JETS should draft a qb like Colt Brennan in the 4th or 5th round, Im not sure if i saw him in a mock draft yet. He would be able to balance things out. Ive updated my Mock Draft
    1. Dolphins- Glenn Dorsey
    2. Rams-Chris Long
    3. Falcons- Matt Ryan
    4.Raiders-Sedrick Ellis
    5.Chiefs-Jake Long
    6. JETS- Darren McFadden- wooooooooooooooo
    Tell me what you think.

  3. By Drew on Feb 22, 2008 | Reply

    Am I the only one who does not think that Parcells will draft Dorsey?? He is an undersized DL. Parcells will run the 3-4 and Dorsey & Ellis are too small for that D…sound familar D-rob/Jet fans?….I know I am a UM fan but watch for this SS named Jamar Adams from Michigan. This kid is a tackling machine ,similar to Bob Sanders. I was right about D Harris and this Adams is mid round gem.

  4. By Frank on Feb 22, 2008 | Reply

    Drew, I agree because I think Parcells is going to try and trade the pick. They have so many holes to fill he is going to amass draft picks.

  5. By Michael on Feb 22, 2008 | Reply

    Braede,I agree with you with Colt Brennan. that would be nice QB for us.He would be probly 3 string if he comes.ONless chad leaves(hope not).Braede i don’t agree with you with mcfadden.I would rather get flexi Jones.Drew i also aree with you that pacells will not draft Doresy.I belive he is going to draft matt ryan.D-rob is good but he is small.i am sure hope we get jake long.

  6. By Xavion on Feb 22, 2008 | Reply

    Im not sure that Miami will be running the 3-4 though I do think they will Drew but with that said I believe they will take Cris Long as a JT type play outside LB passrusher and sometimes line in 3pt stance first I believe they will shop tailor with this option and if they dont it gives them a great duo…

  7. By Bear on Feb 23, 2008 | Reply

    What do you think about draftig McFadden @ 6?

  8. By Row on Feb 23, 2008 | Reply

    Gholston is not a fit for us, he is another 260 lb Robertson, which wouldn’t fit our 3-4 but would be great for a 4-3. Dorsey is a better fit, but has a bad knee and a bad back, I wouldn’t draft him in the top 10, Parcells WILL NOT draft him number one! Someone find a way to trade down so we can get a lineman and Desean Jackson. Everyone watch his combine and laugh at me, he is a GAME BREAKER!!!

  9. By Drew on Feb 23, 2008 | Reply

    Row???? Gholston is a DE/OLB not a DT. Are you serious with that post? He is a perfect 3-4 LB

  10. By Marc Gags on Feb 25, 2008 | Reply

    If we dont trade down, which is what im hearing we are trying to do, i saw Gholston play a few times this year and hes a stud. Perfect for the Jets at #6, if Mcfadden or Dorsey don’t slip. I dont like Dorsey’s injuries, but he is a better prospect than Gholston. We need to get the Vilma trade and possibly get a 2nd rounder n a 4th for him. We have too many holes to fill.

  11. By Dan Marcus on Feb 26, 2008 | Reply

    We should definitley trade up to get Chris Long, if we want this system to work Gholston is not the answer, Chirs Long would be a perfect fit in the 3-4, and another thing why the hell are we looking to deal Vilma, he is going to turn out to be another John Abraham or James Farrior and if he does end up getting traded, he is worth more than a 3rd round pick, he’s an all-pro linebacker.

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