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Throwers Trump Athletes In NFL Combine QB Workouts

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Quarterbacks took center stage today at the 2011 NFL Combine, and to the surprise of no one, quarterbacks making transitions out of college spread offenses struggled throwing the football, while other, more polished players did not.

Cam Newton, Jake Locker and Colin Kaepernick were among those that wowed in non-positional drills, with all three athletes registering in the 4.5 range in their 40-yard dashes. Newton also performed well in broad and high jumps, showing off the type of athleticism that has scouts enamored with his potential.

However, when the quarterbacks joined the wide receivers for position-specific drills, only Locker got consistently positive reviews for his throwing (though he was not perfect), while Newton struggled with his accuracy, and Kaepernick with his mechanics. Meanwhile, quarterbacks like Andy Dalton, Christian Ponder and especially Ryan Mallett drew rave reviews while throwing. Scouts raved at Mallett's golden arm, and Ponder got very high marks for his accuracy (most noted he looked healthy, as well).

A Combine workout isn't going to change many opinions in the long-term, but it's interesting to note that, particularly in the case of Newton, it was clear that he's doing things (i.e. drops) that he's never done before. This is where the NFL transition comes in: these super-athlete quarterbacks just aren't ready to play in the NFL.