INDIANAPOLIS – Let your play do the talking.
Boise State quarterback Kellen Moore is following that mantra, taking another step in the process of showing NFL teams he has what it takes to shine at the next level.
While top-rated quarterbacks Andrew Luck, Robert Griffin III, Ryan Tannehill and Brock Osweiler did not participate in most of the throwing drills Sunday, Moore took every rep available, showing touch and accuracy while working through a variety of routes with receivers at the NFL scouting combine.
Moore’s warts haven’t disappeared. He doesn’t have a “wow” arm by NFL standards. He’s smallish and thin for a quarterback – 6-foot and 197 pounds – and Moore said he’s been the same height since ninth grade.
Not surprisingly, Moore didn’t wow scouts with his physical prowess. He ran 4.94 seconds in the 40-yard dash, posted a 27-inch vertical jump and leaped 8 feet, 3 inches in the broad jump.
By comparison, Griffin ran a 4.41 40-yard dash and Luck ran a 4.67.
“I’m not breaking any news here, but Kellen Moore isn’t exactly the most physically imposing quarterback out there,” said Rob Rang, senior draft analyst for NFLDraftScout.com. “So this type of environment really doesn’t do him any favors. It’s going to make him look less than what he was on the field.
“But at the same time, maybe as small or as relatively thin as he might appear here, you put on the tape and it speaks for itself.”
After missing long on a few deep balls early in the throwing session, Moore settled into a groove, showing his trademark ability to anticipate receivers coming out of their breaks on out routes and comebacks.
Perhaps as important, the combine gives teams looking for a developmental quarterback an opportunity to learn more about Moore, who grew up playing football for his father Tom at Prosser High in south central Washington.
“His football intelligence is off the charts,” Seahawks general manager John Schneider said about Moore. “His instincts are off the charts.”
Added San Francisco general manager Trent Baalke: “What the most important thing for a quarterback to do? It’s to win games, find a way to win, and lead their team to victory. And Kellen’s done it better than anybody in the history of college football. And so that has to mean something.
“What it means to me is different to what it means to the next person. But you’re certainly taking a look at what they’ve done in the past, because it’s usually a pretty good indicator of what they’re going to do in the future.”
Moore takes the criticism in stride.
“I’m fine,” he said. “It is what it is, bottom line. At the end of the day, you’re going to get an opportunity to play football. Once you get that opportunity, essentially it’s up to you. It’s your opportunity to showcase what you can do.”
Boise State defensive end Shea McClellin got an up-close look at Moore’s ability to overcome questions about his arm strength and size by using his anticipation and intelligence.
“He prepares so well,” McClellin said. “It’s hard to compare him to someone. But like Peyton Manning, he does have that type of preparation. It’s something unique about him, and I think that’s what makes up for his lack of size.”
KEARSE GETS HIS SHOT
A late invite to the combine, University of Washington and Lakes High product Jermaine Kearse got a chance to see how he compares to some of the best receivers in the country.
Kearse measured in at 6-1 and 209 pounds. He finished the 40-yard dash in 4.58 seconds, posted a 34-inch vertical jump and leaped 9 feet, 11 inches in the broad jump.
During passing drills, Kearse left the ball on the ground a couple times – drops also plagued him during his final season with the Huskies.
But Kearse also showed pretty good athleticism running routes and made a couple nice catches to end the session.
Kearse’s hopes to follow up his solid performance at the combine with an impressive effort at the University of Washington’s pro day March 8.
“Certainly, looking athletic in drills will potentially help his stock,” Rang said. “But the 4.55 to 4.58 kind of time, that’s about what he looks like on tape to me.
“He’s not a guy who’s going to run away from people, but he knows how to position his body. He has legitimate NFL size and frame to him. So I think just showing that he does physically match up to some of the other higher regarded receivers in this year’s draft will be important.”