The draft’s top QBs address concerns about them
Each draft prospect has a chance to address his weaknesses–real or perceived–when he’s interviewed by team executives. Reporters here at the combine are giving these players an opportunity, too. And among the top quarterbacks in this year’s draft class, each one seems to have flaws to contend with.
Oklahoma’s Sam Bradford, Notre Dame’s Jimmy Clausen and Texas’ Colt McCoy each met with reporters this afternoon, and their respective press conferences became a mix of a medical school class and a doctor’s appointment.
Neither Bradford, nor Clausen nor McCoy threw for teams here this weekend. Instead, they’ll work out separately on their own campuses in the coming weeks. But today they gave us updates on their conditions and, in Clausen’s case, an assessment of his disputed leadership skills.
Let’s start with Bradford. He had surgery in October to reconstruct the AC joint in his right (throwing) shoulder after absorbing a pair of direct hits early in the season. He’s expected to be drafted anywhere from No. 1 (St. Louis) to No. 9 (Buffalo), providing he’s healthy.
"I think it checked out really well yesterday when I went through the team physicals," he said. "No one found anything they weren’t expecting to find. I’m in a great rehab program right now; my throwing sessions are really starting to pick up in intensity. My last throwing session consisted of over 100 throws. My arm feels great after I throw; it hasn’t started to get sore yet. It feels great and I’m really happy with where it’s at."
Fortunately for the Redskins, Bradford’s orthopedic surgeon is the renowned Dr. James Andrews, who also happens to be employed by the team. They’ll have easy access to his evaluations moving forward.
Bradford plans to throw for scouts on March 25.
"By the time my pro day gets here, I’ll be able to make all the throws I was able to make before, with probably some more arm strength I had before I got hurt," he said.
Clausen, meanwhile, had surgery on Jan. 5 to repair some bone and tendon damage in his right big toe. He was pleased with how his medical exams went here.
"They said, ‘It looks really good and it’s healing,’" Clausen said. "They told me just to take my time and not push it too much."
Clausen’s workout on April 9 won’t be as big of a deal as Bradford’s because Clausen’s throwing arm is healthy. He said he has already met with the Redskins here.
He faced more questions from reporters about his leadership ability than his health. Asked what misperceptions about him might exist, Clausen leapt at the opportunity to defend himself.
"Some people say I’m cocky, I’m arrogant, I’m not a good leader, I’m not a good teammate," he said. "I think the people out there saying those things don’t know me as a person. I’m a humble kid who loves having fun with my teammates."
Clausen said that he’s aware of the questions about his leadership, but he’s trying to quiet them in his meetings with teams.
"I like for them to get to know me as a person, just one on one," he said.
McCoy seemed eager not to be left out of the discussion about this draft’s top quarterbacks, which definitely includes Bradford and Clausen.
His height was measured here at 6-feet, 1¼ inches-which is relatively small for a quarterback.
"My height’s a knock–it is," McCoy said. "It’s what God gave me. I’m going to use it as best as I can."
There’s a ray of hope for McCoy, though. The small-ish Drew Brees just won the Super Bowl for New Orleans.
"I hope you guys can see it because I can," McCoy said smiling.
He injured his right (throwing) shoulder in the national championship game, but he said today that there’s no serious structural damage. He’ll throw on campus on March 31.