Senior Bowl: Jimmy Garoppolo, QB, Eastern Illinois


Aug 31, 2013; San Diego, CA, USA; Eastern Illinois Panthers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo (10) on the sidelines during the second half against the San Diego State Aztecs at Qualcomm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

Jimmy Garoppolo was not a name on many people’s lips a few days ago, but a big performance at the East-West Shrine game changed all that. Now the suddenly-famous Garoppolo is being worked into the conversation as a potentially major QB prospect.

How much of this is shiny-new-toy enthusiasm and how much of it is legit? We hoped to get some help answering that question during this week’s Senior Bowl practices, where Garoppolo was a participant.

The reviews on everyone’s favorite QB that they hadn’t even heard of five minutes ago but now they desperately want their team to draft?

Mixed. Mixed.

This is what the scouts have been saying about the QB, who measured in at 6-2, 222 lbs.

Eric GalkoDespite sporting an exceptionally quick release and crisp delivery mechanics, Jimmy Garoppolo could not get into a rhythm when throwing versus defenders. His dropbacks were not always in sync with called route combinations, causing telegraphed decisions and a flurry of incompletions. Garoppolo led the South practice with 11 misfires. Ultimately, Garoppolo’s issues revolve around timing and chemistry within a traditional NFL passing scheme; more accustomed to quick, immediate decisions in a Baylor-like, up-tempo offense, his transition to the next level will require time depending on the scheme implemented.

Tony PaulineStarted strong then fizzled.  Was on the same page as his receivers early on and to his credit has the quickest release of any signal caller on the North.  By the end of practice he threw a number of wayward passes and struggled hitting targets.

Lance ZierleinNot a great day but did not really hurt himself either.  He missed some throws in passing drills, a deep post off flea flicker pass first play during Team, and was late on a pass in 7 on 7. Still solid accuracy and timing. He seems to understands and grasp everything that’s going on and making Mike declarations every play.  In Team, he showed really good poise and calm in the pocket.  Have not seen him be get rattled.  He continues to look like a legitimate NFL QB prospect.

Rob RangEastern Illinois quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo continued the positive momentum he’d gained from the East-West Shrine Game with an impressive initial practice. While he does not possess Carr’s howitzer, Garoppolo has a very quick set-up and release and frequently threw led his receivers away from defenders, showing better ball-placement than Carr on several of his throws.

Dane BruglerWhile Carr is the top quarterback on the South roster, Eastern Illinois QB Jimmy Garoppolo has been the next-most-impressive at the position and, in my opinion, is the second-best quarterback in Mobile. He doesn’t have elite arm strength, but his velocity is good enough and it has been noticeably better than the arm strength of San Jose State QB David Fales, the other quarterback on the South team. Garoppolo started to build some momentum in St. Petersburg last week at the East-West Shrine Game and it’s continuing here at the Senior Bowl. He projects as a solid second day draft choice and a future starter in a year or two in the NFL.

Garoppolo sounds like exactly the kind of player some QB-needy team will talk themselves into liking, reach for on draft day and then regret ever hearing about three years later.

So much of this guy’s scouting report screams “Christian Ponder” to me. I’m skeptical. I definitely wouldn’t take him in the top few rounds. Maybe the fifth. Potential franchise QB? Not seeing it. Yet.

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