The combine is causing draft projections to get reshuffled almost too fast to keep track of. What we do know – or at least think we know, based on what “experts” are telling us – is that USC‘s Mark Sanchez is losing his luster, while West Virginia‘s Pat White, viewed previously as a gimmicky Wildcat guy and not a legit quarterback, is gaining admirers. Here’s what SI’s Tony Pauline said about Sanchez:
Sanchez struggled most of the day and may have pushed himself out of the draft’s first 10 selections. He was accurate throwing between the numbers, but Sanchez sprayed the outs and was very inaccurate with his deep outs. Most worrisome is Sanchez showed marginal arm strength and on a number of occasions receivers were slowing up in their deep patterns as his passes were underthrown.
In other words, he’s probably closer to John David Booty than Matt Cassel. The farther he falls, the better chance the Vikings would have of trading up to grab him…but if he’s really as weak-armed as that assessment suggests, why the hell would they want to?
The news is better on Pat White, who won this rave from SI’s Don Banks:
Score one for collegiate experience and a little old-fashioned perseverance, because of all the quarterbacks who threw on Sunday in Lucas Oil Stadium, none looked better than West Virginia’s Pat White, the record-breaking senior passer who many have been trying to project as anything but a quarterback.
White threw the ball accurately and with authority in his quarterback group, looking poised and comfortable in an unfamiliar setting that has thrown many a highly-ranked quarterback off his game. White was especially strong in throwing deep outs, which always catch the eye of NFL scouts.
“I’ll tell you who looked good today and that was Pat White,” one longtime NFL offensive assistant coach told me. “He really helped himself with that workout. He made people recognize him as a quarterback.”
Most had this guy pegged as Tim Tebow-light, but now it seems he’s being taken seriously as a potential regular quarterback. Maybe he’ll be there in the second round if the Vikings want to go that way…or maybe he’ll rise all the way into the first round, if people keep saying such nice things about him.
One more thing: I noticed some people advocating for Kansas State’s Josh Freeman. Apparently, Mr. Freeman did not impress many people with his combine workout. Tony Pauline called him “erratic” though “not terrible” and suggested he won’t go till the 2nd round. Obviously, whether the Vikings are even looking QB in this draft will have everything to do with what happens in the trade and free agent market the next few weeks.