Report: Trace McSorley Declines to Work Out with DBs at 2019 NFL Combine

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistMarch 2, 2019

Penn State quarterback Trace McSorley throws at the NFL football scouting combine in Indianapolis, Thursday, Feb. 28, 2019. (AP Photo/AJ Mast)
AJ Mast/Associated Press

Penn State Nittany Lions quarterback Trace McSorley reportedly declined an invitation to work out with the defensive backs Monday at the 2019 NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis.

Jeff Legwold of ESPN.com reported McSorley, who worked out with the quarterbacks Saturday, was asked to compete with the DBs on the combine's final day. He declined, "telling all involved he is concentrating on being a quarterback" ahead of the NFL draft in late April.

The 23-year-old Virginia native was also recruited as a safety coming out of Briar Woods High School, but his desire to stick at quarterback led him to pick the Vanderbilt Commodores and head coach James Franklin. When Franklin moved to Penn State, the dual-threat QB switched his commitment to PSU.

In November 2016, Nittany Lions assistant Ricky Rahne told Greg Pickel of PennLive there was a lot to like about McSorley as a secondary prospect.

"At safety, he had good speed, he had quickness, he was always around the ball, had great instincts, and the other thing, he was tough," Rahne said. "That toughness, you can see week in and week out."

McSorley decided to remain on the offensive side of the ball and became Penn State's all-time winningest quarterback last season.

His overall numbers faded in 2018, though. He completed just 53.2 percent of his throws for 2,530 yards with 18 touchdowns and seven interceptions across 13 appearances, which followed a junior season that saw him complete 66.5 percent of his passes for 3,570 yards, 28 touchdowns and 10 interceptions.

McSorley discussed the drop in production during his combine media session:

"It wasn't going where we wanted to early on and I think that I started to tense up a little bit and started trying to press and make perfect throws. Going back over the film this past year, I was skipping guys at times in the progression. I was looking for the guy that was most open, not a guy like, 'Get him the ball and let him be a playmaker.'"

His lackluster numbers and size (6'0'', 202 pounds) combined with his athleticism and past experience in the defensive backfield must have got teams wondering whether he could translate back to safety in the NFL, leading to the combine workout request.

McSorley, who Bleacher Report's Matt Miller ranks as his No. 14 quarterback in the 2019 class, remains focused on leading an offense at the next level, though.