7 quarterbacks for Rams to watch at NFL combine

The Los Angeles Rams brought in Baker Mayfield off waivers last season, getting a closer look at the former No. 1 overall pick. He’d make sense as Matthew Stafford’s backup in 2023, but Mayfield could get another starting opportunity elsewhere, causing him to leave L.A. in free agency.

If the Rams don’t re-sign Mayfield, they could take a look at some players in the draft in search of not only a backup, but a potential heir behind Stafford. Here are seven quarterbacks for them to watch at the combine this week.

Jaren Hall, BYU

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Hall put up great numbers at BYU, throwing 51 touchdown passes with only 11 interceptions in the last two seasons. He averaged 9.4 adjusted yards per attempt in his career, which is a huge number, but he doesn’t come without his flaws, too. He’s undersized at just 6 feet tall and his arm strength is below average, so it’s hard for him to make all the throws an NFL quarterback has to. He’s mobile, as evidenced by his 657 yards and six touchdowns on the ground in two seasons as a starter, which makes him a good fit in the Rams offense; Sean McVay tends to like mobile quarterbacks.

Jake Haener, Fresno State

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Haener is another quarterback who’s undersized (6-foot, 208 pounds) and has limited arm strength. But like Hall, he had terrific numbers: 67 touchdowns and 17 interceptions at Fresno State. Projected to be a late-round pick, Haener doesn’t bring the same mobility that Hall and some other quarterbacks do, but he’s a smart passer who works through his progressions, which is something an NFL quarterback has to do in order to succeed.

Max Duggan, TCU

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Duggan made his ability well known this past season when he led TCU to the national title game, displaying remarkable toughness and leadership by playing through injury and always putting his body on the line as a runner. Last season was really his only one as a top-end starter, throwing 32 touchdown passes and only eight interceptions on 419 attempts, but he showed enough in 2022 to get himself drafted. If the Rams want a mobile quarterback who can operate a play-action heavy offense and make the necessary throws underneath, Duggan would be a good option.

Clayton Tune, Houston

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Tune threw 70 touchdown passes and 20 interceptions in the last two seasons, being a high-volume (and high-production) quarterback at Houston. He has a strong enough arm to be an NFL quarterback and is mobile outside the pocket (1,248 career rushing yards), which is something the Rams like in a backup quarterback, but he has to improve his accuracy on throws down the field. In an offense that doesn’t rely heavily on a downfield attack, Tune can excel because he sees the field well and gets through his progression.

Tanner McKee, Stanford

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McKee looks the part of an NFL quarterback, standing 6-foot-6. However, he was only a two-year starter and threw for just 28 touchdowns and 15 interceptions. He’s also not a great athlete and is more of a traditional pocket passer with a big arm but subpar accuracy and inconsistent decision-making. He might have a slightly higher floor as a prospect because of his frame and skill set, but McKee also probably isn’t going to become a full-time starter in his career.

Aidan O’Connell, Purdue

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O’Connell is more of a traditional pocket passer with limited mobility, so don’t expect him to open any eyes at the combine during the testing process. Where O’Connell wins is with his accuracy, not his arm strength. It also helps that he played in a pro-style offense at Purdue, which will help him transition more quickly to an NFL scheme. He’ll still need to read the defense more quickly and increase his processing speed in the pocket, but he has the skills to be a backup at the next level.

Stetson Bennett, Georgia

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Bennett is already 25 years old so he’s not exactly a young rookie, which will surely hurt his draft stock – as will his size, being less than 6 feet tall. Still, he has good mobility and played at an impressively high level at Georgia, throwing 56 touchdown passes and 14 interceptions in the last two seasons as a starter. His ceiling is obviously limited by his frame and age, but for a backup who can transition relatively quickly to an NFL offense, Bennett fits the bill.

Story originally appeared on Rams Wire