For the quarterbacks, what we get to see on television ultimately comes down to their throwing session with the wide receivers and tight ends in attendance. Overall, the quarterbacks will throw slant routes, out routes, curl routes, dig routes, post-corner routes, and deep go routes. Those last three routes call for the quarterback to push the ball down the field, and here are things you may notice on those passes.
Velocity and accuracy are important for any quarterback. See which passers are able to combine both elements on these throws.
It’s hard for quarterbacks to make these throws – which require a bit of timing with the receiver – to guys they’ve likely never worked with before. It’s always interesting to see which quarterbacks are just willing to cut it loose in this situation. Sometimes a pass is thrown right where it should be, but it falls incomplete. It’s important to note that those disconnects are not always on the quarterback.
Here are the players who have a chance to shine in these drills:
C.J. Stroud (Ohio State) – It doesn’t take long while watching Stroud at Ohio State to see that this guy is just a naturally accurate passer. He throws with impressive touch, timing, and ball placement to targets at every area of the field. He should really impress in these drills.
Tanner McKee (Stanford) – Standing tall at 6-foot-6, 226 pounds, McKee’s ability to repeatedly hit receivers in stride is what made him an effective part of the Cardinal’s offense the last two years as a starter. He’s only got 21 games under his belt, but McKee’s consistency should carry him a long way when it comes to the passing reps in Indy.
Jaren Hall (BYU) – Before, and after, Zach Wilson was the starting quarterback at BYU, that was Jaren Hall’s job! Hall faced some injuries halfway through his career with the Cougars, but has since been a healthy contributor to their offense as a very efficient passer with impressive ball placement and touch to all areas of the field. Those traits will serve him well in these drills at Lucas Oil Stadium.
These players have great stories to tell, but who has taken the most unique journey to get to this point?
Stetson Bennett (Georgia) – If you’re even just a mild college football fan, you’ve likely heard the story of Stetson Bennett, the former walk-on with no FBS offers who went to Georgia, tested the waters at the junior college level, then returned to Georgia to go 29-3 in the last three years as a starter with two National Championship Game wins and a seat in New York as a Heisman Trophy finalist to boot. Like Cunningham, Bennett is small for the position (listed at 5-foot-11 and may come in at under 190 pounds as well), but he’s been counted out before.
Hendon Hooker (Tennessee) – Hooker took the college football world by storm in 2022, his second year starting for the high-flying Volunteers offense. A third-team All-American, Hooker put up video game numbers this year with 27 TDs and just two interceptions at a 69.6 percent completion rate. He RARELY put the ball in harm’s way this year, and had Tennessee geared up for its first College Football Playoff berth before tearing his ACL late in the season. Hooker, who won 13 games as a starter for Virginia Tech before transferring to Tennessee, co-wrote a children’s book with his brother two Decembers ago and has been known as one of the best people off the field in the nation these last two seasons. Hooker is someone you root for.
Tyson Bagent (Shepherd) – It’s not often you get a Division II quarterback in Indianapolis for the Combine, but Bagent certainly deserves it. The 6-2, 213-pound passer shattered a number of records at that level of competition throughout his career and has earned a seat at the table this week. Bagent is also the son of a world champion arm wrestler (look it up!).