QB Crop in 2014 Senior Bowl Has Much To Prove to NFL Scouts

By Rick Stavig
Senior Bowl
Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

The rosters for the 2014 Senior Bowl are nearly complete.  As usual, the list of accepted invites to the game is overflowing with talented prospects hoping to improve their 2014 NFL Draft stock.  Considering how close we are to the beginning of practice week, let’s look at how some of the positional groups are shaping up.

First we’ll look at the quarterbacks.

There’s five QB prospects who’ve accepted invites so far; Tajh Boyd (Clemson), Derek Carr (Fresno State), David Fales (San Jose State), Stephen Morris (Miami) and Logan Thomas (Virginia Tech).

What I absolutely love about this group of quarterbacks is that they’ve all, aside from Carr, seen their stock plummet during their senior seasons, meaning they all still have a lot left to prove.

Boyd began the year projected as a top-5 draft pick this May, but is now viewed as more of a second day prospect.  No one questions his physical skill set, but there’s still questions about his durability and his tendency to turn the ball over while forcing either a run or throw.

Fales also started the year with high projections, many thinking he was a dark horse first round candidate, but is now looking more like a second or third day pick. After a mediocre season by SJSU (who, in defense, was breaking in a new head coach and scheme), Fales had a decent season statistically, but there’s still questions about how well he takes care of the ball (22 INT’s the last two seasons), and if he has the arm strength necessary to make all the throws at the next level.  This will also be the first chance he’s gone against elite competition day in and day out, so there’s a lot to gain with a strong performance.

Morris began the year similarly to Fales, a fringe first round candidate, and is now projected as a third day prospect.  Morris regressed in development this past year, especially when it came to protecting the ball.  Morris nearly doubled his INT number from junior to senior season, while also attempting nearly a hundred fewer passes.  He’ll need to prove his accuracy won’t be an issue moving forward.

Thomas is a guy that has always had all the physical skills, but has never been able to put it all together.  At 6-foot 6, 260-pounds, he looks like Cam Newton under center, only with different results.  His major problem has been mechanics, which have been the primary reason for his paltry numbers.  He needs to show that he can be consistently accurate in practice and make the right reads, another thing he’s struggled with in college.

Finally we have Carr, the one guy who’s seen his stock rise since the beginning of the season.  The biggest question for Carr will be to see how he responds to playing against better competition than what he’s used to seeing in the Mountain West.  The last game we saw of Carr was against USC, easily the most talented team he faced all year, and he had his worst game statistically.  It will also be interesting to see if he plays with apprehension so as not to get hurt.  If he gets hurt, that top-10 stock he currently carries could plummet.

I’d expect at least one more QB to join this group before it’s all said and done, to keep three on the South team and three on the North.

Without a doubt, the QB competition of the 2014 Senior Bowl will provide many intriguing story lines.

Rick Stavig is an NFL Draft Columnist for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @rickstavig or add him to your network on Google+.


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