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NFL Combine Quarterback workout recap

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By: Matt Holder

Michael Penix Jr. | Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images

Breaking down and ranking the quarterbacks who threw on Saturday

Indianapolis, IN – The quarterbacks hit the field on Saturday at the NFL Combine and while the big names – Caleb Williams, Drake Maye and Jayden Daniels – didn’t participate, there were still plenty of prospects on display for the Las Vegas Raiders. So, let’s dive into how J.J. McCarthy, Joe Milton, Bo Nix, Michael Penix Jr. and Spencer Rattler performed.

JJ McCarthy

Ahead of the workouts, Reception Perception’s Derrik Klassen shared a few stats from his quarterback charting for McCarthy that showed McCarthy struggles when throwing to the left. That continued to be an issue on Saturday as he was missing behind receivers a few times and then overcorrected with a pass or two that was low and in front.

However, it was a different story on the right side of the field. I had the Michigan product putting four out of four balls right on the money when throwing deep outs. He also had a few nice throws on comebacks and dropped a few in the bucket on post-corner routes, all to the right side of the field.

McCarthy’s deep passes were a little underwhelming. While he completed most of them, receivers had to drift toward the sideline. That isn’t a bad place to “miss” in games, but you’d like to see him push the ball down the field more in an event like this with no defenders on the field to show off some arm strength.

Joe Milton

Milton’s day didn’t start out great as his timing was off on the shorter routes and it was obvious he was trying to control that big arm, leading to him aiming the ball instead of throwing it.

Once the group moved on to deeper routes, it was obvious Milton was in his element. He looked sharp on the dig routes over the middle of the field, throwing with good velocity and putting the ball in front of his receivers. Then, he got to flex his muscles by dropping some absolute bombs on the go routes. The former Volunteer let one rip that traveled about 70 air yards and he made that throw look easy.

Overall, Milton was pretty impressive as this was a great event for his skillset.

Bo Nix

When throwing outside the numbers, there was a noticeable difference in Bo Nix’s passes than the two quarterbacks mentioned above. He just didn’t have the same velocity when throwing out routes to either side of the field. Wideouts were fairly consistently waiting for the ball to come to them on the sideline.

Nix did have a bunch of nice throws over the middle of the field on dig routes, though. He throws with more velocity when he has his feet set and doesn’t have to move his shoulders. Also, that’s where his accuracy shined through the most.

On the deep shots, Nix dropped a dime on his first pass but then struggled to connect with the wideouts on the next few, missing both short and long. Overall, this wasn’t his best showing and while I don’t think Nix has a weak arm per se, there’s a clear drop-off between him and the other quarterbacks that threw when it comes to arm strength.

Michael Penix Jr.

In the second group of quarterbacks, Penix Jr. struggled with the consistency of his accuracy. He missed low on a few short throws and put a couple of balls on the wrong shoulder in the deep to intermediate range. That matches up with his film as it’s one of his weaknesses.

Penix Jr.’s deep ball was as advertised though. He threw with impressive velocity and down the field to show off that arm strength which was noticeable compared to the other quarterbacks throwing in the group. The Washington product also threw three perfect comeback routes to the right, the opposite side of his throwing arm.

Overall, Penix Jr. had a good performance that pushed him ahead of Nix for me.

Spencer Rattler

After a good performance at the Senior Bowl, Rattler has been growing on me over the last two draft events. He had good placement on the majority of his throws, missing a few here and there but putting the ball where it needs to be with decent consistency. He also dropped a few deep passes right in the bucket.

Rattler showed solid arm strength overall. His passes had a decent amount of zip but weren’t overly impressive and the same could be said about his deep shots.

Day Ranking

  1. Penix Jr.
  2. Milton
  3. McCarthy
  4. Rattler
  5. Nix

Originally posted on Silver And Black Pride