MOBILE, Ala. — This likely will not go down as a banner year for the quarterbacks at the Senior Bowl.
But the remaining five quarterbacks on the two squads have yet to show they can be considered anything near NFL starting material coming out of college. That has been the biggest takeaway of this intriguing but fairly underwhelming group so far.
The wind played havoc with everyone's throws Tuesday, but it was not a factor on Monday, and several of the quarterbacks' downfield accuracy has been noticeable.
Clemson's Tajh Boyd already is working with one obstacle: his size — under 6-foot-1, and 222 pounds at Monday's weigh-in — is something that could knock him off of some more rigid teams' draft boards. Although most teams do not have a hard-and-fast rule about quarterbacks needing to be 6-2 or taller in this Russell Wilson and Drew Brees era, but Boyd must show he can play around that measurement.
So far, the results have been inconclusive. He has been the best of the North team QB lot, but neither Virginia Tech's Logan Thomas nor Miami's (Fla.) Stephen Morris have stood out. All three have strong arms, but the accuracy on deep balls for all three has been bad.
Boyd at least has shown some touch on intermediate balls, and his movement skills — a decided strength — have not been put on display in the team drills to this point. Boyd mentioned that the Oakland Raiders have shown the most interest in him so far, but it would be more than a reach if they looked at him with either one of their two top-40 picks based on what we've seen here so far.
Thomas is the best looking quarterback of the bunch from a physical standpoint, but his timing has been bad and he needs to speed up his throws. Without a doubt, Thomas' arm strength would place him in good NFL company right now, but he will require some patient coaching at the next level. He overthrew Wyoming receiver Robert Herron by a good 10 yards on one thrown downfield.
On the South squad, Eastern Illinois' Jimmy Garoppolo has shown a willingness to correct his mistakes quickly and learn from them, although his ball handling has been shaky at times as he adapts to an under-center, pro-style offense after using predominantly shotgun in college.
South teammate David Fales of San Jose State has not thrown a lot of pretty passes, although he seemed to be the type of bad-practice, good-in-games quarterback whom the Jacksonville Jaguars coaches enjoy working with.
"I like how both of those guys [Fales and Garoppolo] are smart, competitive and prepared," Jaguars offensive coordinator Jedd Fisch said. "They come ready to play, with a plan, and I like that. Both guys have done well so far handling everything we've thrown at them."
It just hasn't translated to a slew of great throws for either, although both improved Tuesday after up-and-down performances Monday.
Oklahoma corner Colvin suffers torn ACL
The first major injury in Mobile occurred when Oklahoma CB Aaron Colvin — a player who was generating some early buzz — crumpled into a heap during Tuesday's South team practice after falling to the turf, and it was announced he had suffered a knee injury.
Hours later, the news got worse: It was a torn ACL, as first reported by NFL Network's Albert Breer, which will end Colvin's Senior Bowl and drop his draft stock significantly. Colvin had been mentioned as a second- or third-round prospect before the injury but now figures to be taken on the third day of the draft.
Colvin and Vanderbilt WR Jordan Matthews had some good one-on-one battles in Monday's practices and when asked which defensive backs stood out, Matthews mentioned only Colvin. "He's a great player, very tough," Matthews said.
We spoke with Colvin on Monday night, and he said he was happy to be at the Senior Bowl — and most of all healthy. He had suffered an AC joint injury and a painful, nagging turf toe ailment this past season, and still played well down the stretch in massive wins over Oklahoma State and Alabama.
Now, Colvin's long road to rehab begins. Tough break for a player who was off to a nice start down here.
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