As the NFL combine kicks off its New Year tomorrow afternoon; with all the prospects, social media, and coaches of every single team participating and viewing every single event on display. The combine was established in 1985 for general managers, coaches, and scouts to get a better view into all the college players entering the draft. It’s sole purpose when the program first started was to test a players athletic measurables and question their way into a prospect’s psyche. Quarterbacks are arguably the most important, and most scrutinized, position in the game today. A franchise can become heavily criticized for how they handle their quarterback position and whether or not that player can validate himself as the future franchise of his NFL team. The height of to where his talent plateaus is crucial key into evaluating a key piece to their team, but other measurable features, like the players height and size; has become somewhat of a non factor in the evaluation process of today.
There are a few QB’s in this years draft that seem to be somewhat small in stature, compared to what people used to call the prototypical NFL QB. It used to be said that QB had to be 6’5″ or taller, have huge hands, and a cannon for an arm, in order to make it in the league. Size to see over the offensive line, gigantic hands to grasp the ball in any conditions and zip the ball downfield, and the arm strength to launch a football 60 to 70 yards down the numbers. It may be somewhat of an exaggeration but that was just a little gist of what it used to like. Today’s NFL you have quarterbacks that are just under six feet becoming some of the best the league has to offer. Just this years Super Bowl offered a five foot eleven inched, Russell Wilson, that dismantled the Denver Broncos defense and guided his Seattle Seahawks to their first ever Super Bowl Championship. Others like Drew Brees, Doug Flutie, and Fran Tarkenton have all made successful careers proving that height has never affected them from having a successful NFL career.
Some of the prospects coming into the draft like Johnny Manziel or Aaron Murray can use their past predecessors as fuel to motivate them through the process, and help sustain a successful professional career. The draft in itself can become a bit of an excruciating experience for some. Prospects may train for months on end for this weekend to come and wind of performing exceptionally worse than expected; and some may perform even better than when they were training. The NFL combine has been known to either raise or drop a players expected stock in the draft in either which way they perform so its crucial they use this coming weekend to showcase their talents. For quarterbacks height may not be much of a factor anymore, but for today’s NFL a strong work ethic like an every day working man, may get you a long ways in the meeting rooms, and into the hearts of their franchises fan base.
By Justin Huffman