No NFL For Red Raiders Quarterbacks
Total Pro Sports – This year the NFL combine will be held in Indianapolis, Indiana at Lucas Oil Stadium. A number of college players will show up to the 6 day event to display their skills. As they are put through intense drills, tests and interviews, with more than 600 NFL personnel on hand including head coaches, general managers and scouts. These players will attempt to raise their draft value and others will try to hurdle the fine line of good or not good enough.
For Texas Tech Red Raiders quarterbacks this is where the party ends, a bitter sweet ending to a college career. It is hard to argue that since the arrival at Texas Tech, Mike Leach has had some of the most talented players play the quarterback position, so why are these guys having problems at the professional level? The answer can be found in the hands of their coach every gameday, yes Mike Leach’s ingenious playbook. It is the system, however great at the college level for its ability to exploit weak nickle and dime packages, slow reacting linebackers and undersized defensive linemen it does not prepare its quarterbacks for the real challenges on Sunday’s.
It was the same with Kliff Kingsbury, B.J Symons, Sonny Combie, and Cody Hodges, all great college players but no where to be seen. Graham Harrell has not looked like the regular season quarterback that led the Red Raiders to a wonderful season in the practices leading up to the Senior Bowl. He is adjusting to taking snaps under center, he is realizing that his completion-attempt numbers are going to be down, his deep balls are being under thrown and his accuracy is dependent on the stiff wind. These are not good signs for a player trying to establish a professional career.
All scouts that attend these games will inform the media that the game itself is insignificant, but we really do not believe that. To the extent that the final score has no meaning, you can bet your bottom dollar that these scouts are watching each player closely. In a quarterback they may not care how many touchdowns he throws, passes he completes or even yards that he rushes for. They are looking for the intangibles, how comfortable is he under center? Does he have a sixth sense for the pass rush? How does he lead the offense? Does he force the ball down the field or throw it away?
Can Graham Harrell reverse the curse? We are not so sure that he can, but he will have an opportunity to prove us wrong in the Senior Bowl. If he manages to impress the scouts here, it will be off to Indianapolis for the combine and maybe if the stars align just right his number will be called on either April 25 or 26.