2010 NFL Combine: Fordham QB John Skelton Misses The Mark In Workout

Michael Schottey@SchotteyNFL National Lead WriterMarch 2, 2010

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - FEBRUARY 28: Quarterbacks Theadeus Lewis #12 of Duke, Anthony Pike #14 of Cincinnati, Zac Robinson #15 of Oklahoma State and John Skelton #16 of Fordham receive instruction from a coach during the NFL Scouting Combine presented by Under Armour at Lucas Oil Stadium on February 28, 2010 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Scott Boehm/Getty Images)
Scott Boehm/Getty Images

John Skelton wasn't in the helping mood on Sunday.

While working out at the NFL Combine, he did little to help the receivers he was throwing to.

He also did very little to help his chances at being picked in the 2010 NFL Draft.

As a small school prospect, Skelton—a former Fordham Ram—has a few things that make him attractive to an NFL team.

The first is his size. Skelton stands at 6'5", 243lbs. That isn't just elite size for an NFL quarterback, it is a pie-in-the-sky/pipe dream type of frame that NFL scouts dream about like the rest of us dream of Eva Mendes.

The second intrigue about Skelton is his arm. In the words of Danny Vermin, the ball "goes through armor. And through the victim, through the wall, through a tree outside..."

No doubt Skelton can sling it.

Where the ball ends up is a bit of a question mark.

During his NFL Combine workout, I was privileged to attend the session live as a (brand new) member of the Pro Football Writers of America. The P.F.W.A completes pool reports on the sessions and I was assigned Ohio receiver Taylor Price.

It was hard not to watch the train wreck.

Skelton messed up almost every wide receiver during the "gauntlet" drill with throws wildly off the mark. Golden Tate was, arguably, his biggest victim when Skelton's buck shot altered Tate's timing on both run throughs.

During route running, things went mostly downhill.

In route running, the crowd learned that Skelton can make every throw, but almost certainly won't with any consistency.

I wasn't the only onlooker with this opinion.

Although "who said what" won't be revealed, I can tell you my group was packed with enough NFL knowledge and who's-who names to make even the strongest NFL fan blush.

Sites represented in the group include CBSDraftScout, ESPN (four times), Scout.com (three times), NBCSports, and NFL Draft Bible...as well as my site, DraftTek.com

One of the group started referring to John as "Red," highlighting the comedic appeal of his workout.

Try grading a receiver when the QB throwing to him is doing his best Jamarcus Russell impersonation. It isn't easy.

What is worse for the small school prospect, is the utter lack of tape on many of his games. Scouts and personnel people won't have much to go on other than the throws his displayed at the combine.

The easy out is calling Skelton a project—albeit one of epic proportions. The problem is that no QB coach has ever figured out how to teach accuracy.

Fixing mechanics helps consistency, which improves things like completion percentage. But, better mechanics don't fix a systemic accuracy problem.

An easy out is also running Skelton out of the league already.

I may be heaping on him in this space, but don't get the wrong idea—Skelton deserves to be an NFL quarterback.

His rare arm strength, size, and athleticism are a once in a lifetime combination that would land a more accurate quarterback in second day consideration.

For Skelton, who isn't accurate, it makes him a third string/practice squad quarterback for an ambitious coaching staff with extra time on their hands.


Michael Schottey is a Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report and Detroit Lions Team Correspondent for DraftTek.com. He is LIVE from Indianapolis this week with NFL Combine updates. Follow him at Twitter .

Previous Reports

John Jerry (OG Ole Miss)

Brandon Carter (OG Texas Tech)

Brett Swenson (K Michigan State)/Jared Veldheer (OT Hillsdale)

Eric Decker (WR Minnesota)/Jacoby Ford (WR Clemson)

Sam Bradford (QB Oklahoma)

Ndamukong Suh (DT Nebraska)