By now you've read that Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III both showed off athleticism that rivals that of Cam Newton this weekend at the NFL Combine. Griffin was expected to show off impressive physical skills. Luck shocked everyone at the underwear Olympics with an impressive display of athleticism. David Steele at the Sporting News gives us a tongue-in-cheek look at the media's perception of "athletic" quarterbacks:
Surely, the NFL folks in Indianapolis are re-assessing where Luck fits in, and the draft gurus are re-working their mocks. “What … he can run and jump really well? He’s got natural physical abilities? Hmmm – I wonder how his hands are. I wonder if he can handle 15 or 20 carries a game.”
It’s just a matter of time before we hear the magic word … “Wildcat!”
Athleticism, we’ve been told, is wasted at a position like quarterback, so you’ve got to figure he’ll get a look at the “skill” positions now.
He's right, it's not fair that some automatically question a quarterback's more traditional skills because he's athletic.
I don't know what you mean by 'fair,' but it certainly seems practical to me. The most athletic QBs generally aren't as good at route-reading, accuracy, reading defenses, etc. I understand that there are exceptions to that rule, and nobody should be pigeon-holed from the get-go (which I'm assuming is what you mean by 'fair'), but the fact of the matter is, pigeon-holing is the name of the game when it comes to scouting hundreds of potential NFL prospects. If a position or attribute doesn't historically pan out well, I expect a scout to know that and look extra hard at a prospect with that attribute. Give 'em a chance, sure, but trends become trends because they repeat themselves more often than not. And the ultimate fact of the matter is, if a prospect is reasonably good at anything, they will be looked at in full through game tapes, conversations with coaches, etc. Nobody's being overlooked. 'Fairness' is not an issue at all.
@James_Otis I think that the statements about most athletic QBs really only pertains to QBs whose careers have been carried by their athleticism, like Tim Tebow. Luck wasn't a guy who had to run the ball 15 times a game to win, but won games with his arm. I think that is what makes the comparison to other 'athletic' QBs somewhat unfair in this case.