Former NFL quarterbacks Jim Miller and Brady Quinn attended the first quarterback throwing session on Saturday with members of the Pro Football Writers of America at the NFL scouting combine at Lucas Oil Stadium.
Here’s what they had to say about the quarterbacks, including Louisville’s Lamar Jackson:
Quotes from Jim Miller, analyst SiriusXM NFL Radio, on QB Session I Saturday:
“Josh Allen, it's just effortless for him. He's got a big arm. Sometimes that can hurt you too. Because he's lackadaisical on his drops because he knows he has the big arm to overcome it. I noticed this at the Senior Bowl and it happened here at the combine. Everybody talks about his accuracy issues, a lot of that is his footwork. If you noticed even today, he missed to his left on a couple throws, like his first slant, his first in-cut, his first out-route he was a little late. But when he throws to his right, he has no issues at all. So that tells me it's more of a footwork-hip issue. Again, I think he relies on his arm too much. But the upside is tremendous with him. There's no doubt about it.
“Lamar Jackson: I know all the talk coming in here was should he switch to wide receiver. He said yesterday nobody has asked him to do that. I thought he was fine. He was one of the most explosive QBs on his drops. He actually got to his depth. Like on out-cuts when you take a 5-step drop, he should be seven yards deep in the pocket. He was every time. There was nothing concerning to me. He hit all the throws. He missed a slant route early, but I think that was jitters. It was his first throw. For him, his motion, his mechanics, his right elbow is always above his right shoulder, which is where it should be. He's inconsistent sometimes in not getting a perfect spiral every time. But I'm nit-picking on that. I don't think he did anything to hurt himself. He should want to start out as a quarterback.
“Luke Falk normally is a very accurate quarterback. Today I thought that was atypical of Luke Falk.
“The other guy who I'm going to go back and look at is Danny Etling. He transferred from Purdue to LSU. He actually had a really good day. I want to go back and look at him. His long ball, his arm, his accuracy, his drops were where they should be. His timing and rhythm were pretty good.”
Quotes from Brady Quinn, SiriusXM NFL Radio Analyst and former NFL QB
Impressions from the morning quarterback session
“For starters, Josh Allen throws the ball effortlessly. You can tell it’s just easier for him to push the ball down the field. The three slants he threw probably best summarizes what you see on film: Good. Good. Oh. There are times you see accurate ball, accurate ball, bad pass.
“I think all of them look uncomfortable coming from under center. I was surprised that Lamar (Jackson), even though he hasn’t played much under center, looks decently comfortable. Just from watching his three-step and five-step.
“It’s tough to gauge too much based on this, but I would say it’s hard for some of these guys because they don’t play under center. What you’re looking for here is anticipation, the way they drop. None of them get enough depth. I think Lamar and Quinton (Flowers), they struggle with placing … and controlling the ball, and what they want to do with it.
“Timing is pivotal in the NFL. Understanding how to be able to anticipate, how important footwork is, getting depth. One thing if you watched them do their three-step drops, well, this guy (imaginary D-lineman) is 6-7, this other guy is 6-5. You need to get back at least five yards on that throw.
“All of these quarterbacks are a work in progress. This is why Josh Rosen will look the best. Not really a lot to work on.
“They are going to miss some throws. But on those out-routes, I’m OK if they miss out front. Because they’ve never thrown to these guys. They don’t know their speed. But if they’re anticipating and throwing accurate footballs, that’s where they should miss. Out in front, trying to lead him. Not behind him or high, and all that stuff.
“For a taller, longer-armed guy (Allen), sometimes you can get a little long with your motion because you’ve got longer extremities. He actually gets it out pretty quick. And it’s effortless. You watch him throw and he kind of turns, the ball comes out, he uses his lower body. Lamar doesn’t use his lower body. He would have a stronger arm, or it would look stronger (if he used lower body better).
“The problem with J.T. (Barrett) is that he’s a little limited because his motion is longer. But you can tell he’s been coached on it.
“When you watch these guys, Josh Allen stands out the most.
“Remember Lamar’s first throw? It was a duck. Here’s the thing: Some of it is that you throw a ball, then you sit there for three minutes. So you get cold. Some of it, too, is when guys are really comfortable throwing, they turn and let it go. That drill (deep seam routes) is for the receivers, but you see how comfortable they (the quarterbacks) are following through.
“Luke Falk of Washington State. This kid’s good. Compact motion. He’s got good touch.
“It’s so mental (the workouts). When Josh missed the first slant, I was like, ‘Ok, what’s the next throw going to look like?’ Sometimes, all of a sudden, your arm gets tight. So you compensate. It’s like a pitcher who threw two balls. ‘Now I’ve got to throw a strike.’ So you feel pressure to do so. So you’re not just ripping it in there. Now you’re trying to place it.