2010 NFL Combine: For QBs, Skipping Passing Drills Is The Right Decision

Dan NelsonCorrespondent IFebruary 22, 2010

ARLINGTON, TX - SEPTEMBER 05:  Quarterback Sam Bradford #14 of the Oklahoma Sooners warms up before a game against the Brigham Young Cougars at Cowboys Stadium on September 5, 2009 in Arlington, Texas.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

In the past few weeks, top college quarterbacks Sam Bradford, Jimmy Clausen, Tim Tebow, and Dan LeFevour have all elected to skip the passing drills portion of the NFL Scouting Combine.

While Clausen will not participate because of a toe injury, Tebow, LeFevour, and Bradford are all skipping the drills by choice.

Colt McCoy, however, will throw at the combine, hoping to show that his injured right shoulder is fully healed.

Tony Pike, quarterback out of Cincinnati, has not announced his intentions for the combine, but it seems that he may participate in passing drills with Colt McCoy.

While throwing in the combine may help McCoy's stock if he shows off a healthy shoulder, it is not the best venue for accomplishing that goal.

McCoy has not had a whole lot of time to get his throwing motion back after getting taken out of the National Championship game. Waiting until the Texas Pro Day would give him more time to get his rhythm back and assure 100 percent shoulder health.

On top of that, McCoy's only real competition at the combine will be Tony Pike, a fellow second to third-round prospect. This provides little opportunity to improve draft stock at the combine's passing drills.

Bradford, who also must prove that he has a healthy throwing shoulder, is making the right decision by waiting until his Pro Day to participate in throwing drills.

First, Bradford needs to be sure his shoulder is 100 percent so that he can keep from being labeled with the "arm strength question mark."

Secondly, at the combine, quarterbacks do not have the benefit of throwing to familiar receivers in a familiar venue. At Pro Day, however, they get to throw to their favorite targets on their own territory.

There is really no reason for a highly regarded quarterback to participate in the throwing drills at the combine, because they can wait for their Pro Day.

At Pro Day, a quarterback is almost guaranteed to have a better outing, because he will be much more comfortable working with his own receivers.

This is especially true for first-round quarterbacks like Bradford and Clausen. Their stock will likely not improve at the combine, but could be damaged by a poor showing.

Another quarterback that is skipping combine drills and looking to make a splash at his Pro Day is Tebow.

He is certainly making the right decision by skipping combine passing drills. Reports surfaced this week that Tebow has been working on a new throwing motion.

Tebow has been working with coaches to get rid of his below-the-belt motion and perfect an above-the-shoulder "NFL style" delivery. Initial reports are that Tebow is learning and improving quickly.

With a few more weeks before Pro Day, Tebow will have more time to learn and improve his new technique. This will be an opportunity for Tebow to drastically improve his stock if his new motion really works.

LeFevour, on the other hand, has few glaring question marks, but is skipping the combine drills. This is absolutely the right decision for him.

Without Bradford and Clausen, there is really no one worth being compared to at the combine drills.

Being rated as better than McCoy or Pike will not significantly improve LeFevour's stock. However, being rated below those two could significantly damage his stock.

For the quarterbacks skipping combine passing drills, they are making the smart decision. Scouts will still get to see them throw, but in a more comfortable venue.

For Colt McCoy and Tony Pike, there is just not enough potential reward to make the combine passing drills worth participating in. They might as well wait until Pro Day to show their stuff with Jordan Shipley and Mardy Gilyard catching their passes instead of whoever the combine gives them.

If the combine comes down to McCoy vs. Pike, neither has much to gain.