A pair of quarterbacks have been early standouts among teams and NFL scouts in this week's Senior Bowl practices taking place in Mobile, Alabama.
Jimmy Garoppolo (QB, Eastern Illinois, 6'2 ¼", 222)
Garoppolo was added to the Senior Bowl roster when AJ McCarron declined his invitation. Named the MVP of Saturday's East-West Shrine game, Garoppolo is quickly gaining interest this week.
"The nice thing about him in person is when you actually get to see his feet tied with his upper body," Mike Mayock of NFL Network said. "I think he's been very well-coached."
Mayock compared Garoppolo to Tony Romo, who is also an Eastern Illinois alum, for his quick release and footwork.
-Named MVP of East-West Shrine game last week.
-In 2013, threw for 53 touchdowns and just 9 interceptions with a 66% completion rate.
-Averaged 360.7 yards per game and eclipsed 400 yards five times last year.
-Started 45 consecutive games and has no major injuries.
-A self-described "nerd of the game."
"I love the game," Garoppolo said. "People always ask me if I'm getting stressed out from all of this. No, I'm playing football. I'm not working a 9-5 job. I get to go out and play with a bunch of guys and do something I love every single day. That's something you bring with you into the film room, into the weight and conditioning program. If you can do that and make it fun, you'll be successful with it."
Derek Carr (QB, Fresno State, 6-2 ¾", 209)
Derek Carr moved to Houston with his family when his brother David was drafted by the Texans first-overall in the 2002 expansion draft. Now a senior at David's alma mater, Carr is making a name for himself with his post-practice work ethic in Mobile.
"The wind gusts have been an issue for all six quarterbacks, but Carr has managed to slightly separate himself from the pack," Daniel Jeremiah said via www.nfl.com. " He has a compact delivery, throws on time and is able to cut through the wind with a very tight spiral. I've been very impressed by his ability to throw on the move. Also, he scored some points with evaluators by spending extra time working with his receivers following the end of practice."
"This week is hectic," Carr said. "Every minute is accounted for by (Senior Bowl executive director) Phil Savage and their team. Everything is accounted for but leading up to this, I did absolutely everything I could on the field from drops, never taking the snap from the gun while training for this so I was prepared when I got here."
-Named Mountain West Conference Offensive Player of the Year, completing 454 of 659 passes for 5,083 yards and 50 touchdowns with eight interceptions in 2013.
-Led the nation in completions, passing yards and touchdowns.
Three of the potential first-round quarterbacks, Teddy Bridgewater (Louisville), Johnny Manziel (Texas A&M), and Blake Bortles (UCF), are underclassmen and not eligible to participate in the Senior Bowl.
Three top-ranked senior prospects are also not participating this week. Aaron Murray (Georgia) and Zach Mettenberger (LSU) are both recovering from ACL surgery. McCarron (Alabama), the 25-2 starter who led the Crimson Tide to back-to-back national titles, declined his invitation.