Per tradition, it’s Examine the Stock of the Senior Bowl Quarterbacks Day at the blog.
It’s a clunky title, we know, but always a wild and crazy time — very similar to Von Miller Day in terms of tomfoolery.
Trust us, around midnight someone will end up with a Colin-Kaepernick-autographed lampshade on their head.
To close things out, we welcome CBS Sports senior draft analyst Rob Rang.
Before getting to his analysis of the Senior Bowl signal-callers, it’s worth noting that Rang considers Missouri’s Blaine Gabbert the only quarterback worthy of the Niners’ No. 7 overall pick. He doesn’t view Auburn’s Cam Newton or Arkansas’ Ryan Mallet as good fits for the West Coast Offense.
And away we go:
Jake Locker, Washington (6-2, 228): “He basically showed the same thing he showed throughout his entire career at Washington. He’s going to excite you with his upside and he’s going to disappoint you with his marginal accuracy. So he’s basically the same guy we’ve seen before … I still think he’s the most intriguing guy because he has a unique combination of being experienced in a pro-style offense and potentially coming in and contributing relatively early. But at the same time, what’s the value of when you’re going to take these guys? Locker is certainly not going to go lower than the early second round and Kaepernick’s going to go in the third, maybe even the fourth, depending on how many quarterbacks go early.”
Speaking of Kaepernick …
Colin Kaepernick, Nevada (6-4, 225): “He does have the best arm of any senior quarterback in this class. He can absolutely rifle the ball. He’s still very much still a thrower more than he is a passer and that’s the concern. He’s got kind of an awkward release. He’s still a better athlete than a football player. He doesn’t set his feet real well, but he’s a pretty dazzling runner. He’s much faster than he looks.
“He’s got a tall, gangly build, but really can move and showed much better accuracy than people gave him credit for. And coming out of that Pistol Offense, he was much better with his footwork dropping back from center than a lot of scouts anticipated. So he helped himself a great deal … When scouts left on Wednesday night and Thursday morning, he was probably the quarterback that had the most buzz about him. But he is a project. He’s a year or two away. So he’s the type of guy, because of his physical skills, maybe a guy like Jim Harbaugh absolutely falls in love with him.”
Christian Ponder, Florida State (6-2, 222): “I like him. I like his athletic ability. I like the cerebral way he plays the game. He doesn’t have a strong arm, but he really helped his stock in Mobile. I thought he was the most consistent quarterback at the Senior Bowl in terms of practice and it carried over to the game where he was the MVP. He doesn’t have a great arm for the deep ball, but he has pretty good timing. And so he was one of the more effective deep-ball passers throughout the week of practice … He’s a guy that I think has some upside. He struggled with injuries through his senior year and I think that’s a big reason why he’s kind of an unknown.”
Andy Dalton, TCU (6-2, 213): “I thought he had a solid week — not spectacular — but a solid week of practice. He doesn’t have a great arm, but the ball comes off his hand quickly. He’s got a quick release and he showed better footwork than people expected. This is a guy that played out of a lot of shotgun at TCU and for him to come in and be as effective dropping back as he was — that speaks to his work ethic and his athletic ability. Those are two underrated things about him.”
Greg McElroy, Alabama (6-2, 222): “I’m a little higher on McElroy than most people are because he’s one of the smartest quarterback that I’ve seen in a while. And we’ve seen often times that those smart quarterbacks who don’t necessarily have the ‘wow’ measurables end up being successful. So in terms of the West Coast Offense, he certainly isn’t a guy you’re going to drat the first two, three, four rounds. But in the fifth, sixth, seventh round, if you didn’t get the quarterback you want early, he’s someone you can take and at least give him a shot. See what he can do. And, of course, he’s been a winner at high level throughout his career, so that’s something that you like as well.”
Ricky Stanzi, Iowa (6-4, 221): “He’s a classic ball-control kind of quarterback in that he can make the checkdowns and make the proper read. He can put the ball in the hands of whoever is the hot read. He doesn’t dazzle you with his arm or his footwork. He’s calm and composed under pressure, though. But in terms of a pure West Coast Offense quarterback, I don’t know that he has the accuracy.”