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Old 01-23-2014   #8
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Default Re: Todd McShay on 2014 NFL Draft

Senior Bowl: Evaluating Carr, Garoppolo
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Let's take a look at what each of these guys does well, including how they've performed in Mobile, and what the remaining questions are about them as prospects. They certainly have scouts intrigued. But will they be deemed worthy of a high draft pick?

Carr: When Carr doesn't have to deal with pressure, he can be a very effective quarterback. He has pretty quick feet and can be very accurate on short and intermediate throws. That's why it isn't surprising that he's performed well this week in Mobile, as he isn't facing any fear of pressure in the drills. He has shown well in practices, doing exactly what you'd want to see out of him.

But the problem we're seeing when we watch Carr on tape is that his mechanics and throwing accuracy fail when pressure is a threat. We've studied seven tapes of him over a two-season span, and we've seen him consistently have trouble dealing with the pass rush. Additionally, his footwork can be sloppy at times, and he has some significant work to do on his lower-body mechanics.

In our experience, unless there's a specific reason for struggles while in college (and Carr had an ideal situation at Fresno State, with a good offensive coaching staff and skill-position players around him), performances at all-star games like the Senior Bowl should never trump what stands out about a player on tape. Which is why, even as he shines this week in Mobile, we have some concerns about Carr's game.

Garoppolo: Having come from a small school, there's a lot less known about Garoppolo, but he certainly has NFL scouts intrigued. We saw him at the East-West Shrine Game, and he stood out as the best QB there. We've watched only two tapes on him so far, but we liked what we've seen. He's light on his feet, has sound mechanics and a quick release. And while he doesn't have a big-time arm, his arm strength is adequate and he can make all the NFL throws.

He ha flashed anticipation as a passer this week in Mobile, but what has really stood out is his ability to marry his feet with his eyes, making him always ready to get the ball out as he goes through his progressions. He underwhelmed us on Wednesday after good showings Monday and Tuesday, but there are reasons to excuse that a bit, seeing as how he's in the midst of his second consecutive week of All-Star game practices, which can drain on you both physically and mentally. (A quarterback make a ton of throws at these events.)

The bottom line for us is that we're excited to study Garoppolo further (in particular, we'll be looking to see how he fares throwing the ball in bad-weather games, given his small hand size), but the limited amount we've seen so far makes us think that he could be a potential NFL starter. If teams end up feeling the same about him -- or Carr -- that could go a long way toward shaping the second tier of QBs in this draft...
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