A new feature at New Era Scouting- each week we will be breaking down the most important player’s on the field… the quarterbacks.
News and Notes:
– Chad Henne will take over as quarterback of the Miami Dolphins this week after the season-ending shoulder injury to Chad Pennington. Henne was drafted in the 2nd round of the 2009 Draft and tabbed as the future of the Miami franchise. Many will remember that Henne was graded as a late 1st round prospect leading up to the ’09 Draft, and many had him rated higher than Baltimore Ravens starter Joe Flacco.
– Sam Bradford appears to be well on his way back from shoulder surgery. The junior had a solid day at practice again yesterday and has been splitting reps with the 1st team. There is an outside shot that Bradford will play against Miami (FL) on Saturday.
– A week off is just what the doctor ordered for Texas gun-slinger Colt McCoy. Those scouting McCoy so far this season have noticed that he has looked off, especially early in games. Against Wyoming McCoy was battling the flu, but that does not explain poor showings against Texas Tech and Louisiana-Monroe. McCoy has been consistently high on his passes, especially when throwing to his left at 15-20 yards. A full week of rest should help get the Heisman hopeful back on track.
Games to Watch: Washington vs Notre Dame
For those of us who love scouting quarterbacks, this is the game of the week. Washington’s Jake Locker has always been an impressive prospect, we even had him rated as a top 5 player after his freshman season, but he seems to be putting it all together under new head coach Steve Sarkisian. Locker has the look of a potential #1 overall pick in the 2010 Draft. On the other side of the field will be Jimmy Clausen- a prep star turned college stud under the watchful eye of Charlie Weis.
The two will battle this weekend in South Bend. Watch to see how they do against the dialed up pressure from both defensive coordinators. Locker is known as a phenomenal athlete who can hurt a defense by getting outside the pocket. Look for Notre Dame to spy Locker and bring zone blitzes to try and confuse him from the pocket. Clausen will operate from the shotgun, giving him more time to process the defense. Clausen has taken many, many shots early this season and we will be watching to see if he can hold up against the U-Dub pressure.
Scouting Tip: Arm Strength
Watch a quarterback throw a few routes and you can tell a lot about his arm strength. When a quarterback throws a deep out (20-25 yards and then a break to the sideline), watch the ball to see if it is thrown on a line (with little arc) or if it is lofted. We want this route thrown hard and without loft. The comeback route (10 yards and then break back to the line of scrimmage) should be thrown like a fastball. The ball should arrive as the receiver breaks back to the quarterback and should be in the air for approximately one second. The longer the ball is in the air, the less arm strength a player has. The fade route (or fly) should be thrown with arc, but you can watch the rotation of the ball here. We want a tight spiral, not a ball that is moving on the ends. Lastly, watch the quarterback throw any intermediate crossing routes. We want this route thrown hard and straight to reduce the time the ball is in the air. The pass should be thrown quickly and in a very tight spiral.