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Houston Texans

QBs, WRs headline combine's glamour day


INDIANAPOLIS – Quarterbacks and wide receivers starred in the most glamorous day at the NFL Scouting Combine when they took the field Sunday for a series of timed workouts and passing/catching drills.

Headlining a group that featured 10 quarterbacks was USC's Mark Sanchez (6-2, 227), who showed his competitive nature on Sunday by displaying good mechanics and throwing accurate passes in go and slant patterns..

Sanchez only started 16 games as a Trojan, but he is coming off the best game of his career at the Rose Bowl where he completed 28 of 35 passes for 413 yards and four touchdowns in a 38-24 victory over Penn State. Sanchez elected to go through all the drills in Indy to prove he should be the top quarterback taken in this year's draft.

"That's just me," Sanchez said. "I've got to do this. I feel like I want to do it. I'm a competitive person. I want to win, and that's what I'm about. It would kill me not to throw.''

{QUOTE}Matthew Stafford (6-2, 225) of Georgia entered the combine as the highest rated quarterback and elected not to throw, waiting until his pro day to workout with familiar receivers. Atlanta's Matt Ryan, the third overall pick in the 2008 NFL Draft, skipped the all throwing workouts at last year's combine.

Stafford showed off his gamesmanship by loosening up Sanchez before the drills and cheering for him on the field. Stafford did compete in running and vertical drills, edging out Sanchez in the 40-yard dash by running a 4.84 twice. Sanchez ran a 4.88 and 4.97. Sanchez topped Stafford in the vertical jump, leaping 32.5 inches to Stafford's 30.5.

Stafford still is considered by most talent evaluators to be the higher rated prospect, but Sanchez believed he made a strong case for himself as the top overall draft pick.

"I better think that," Sanchez said. "I've played in a pro-style offense, practicing against a pro-style defense. I've been in a large media market. I'm ready for this stage.

"And I think he (Stafford) should think that, too. That's what we've got to think. As a competitor, that's all I want to do is be the best that I can be. And the best you can do in this draft is be No. 1.''

West Virginia's Pat White (6-0, 197), the record-breaking senior passer, could see his draft stock soar after putting together an impressive performance at Lucas Oil Stadium. White, who can play quarterback or receiver, threw the ball accurately and with authority, especially in deep patterns. He also finished with the fastest 40 time among quarterbacks with a 4.55. Stephen McGee (6-3, 225), out of Texas A&M, finished second with a 4.66.

The wide receivers looked like the fastest position group in Indy this year with four prospects running the 40-yard dash in less than 4.4 seconds. University of Maryland wide receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey (6-2, 210) finished first overall, clocking a blazing time of 4.3.

Florida's Percy Harvin (5-11, 192) placed seventh overall among receivers with a 4.41 and did not have the monstrous performance at the combine that would have eased fears about the chronic foot and ankle injuries he suffered in college.

Texas Tech's Michael Crabtree (6-1, 215) has been projected to be a top-five pick, but he was forced to miss drills due to a stress fracture in his left foot. Doctors discovered the injury while Crabtree was going through medical tests at the combine and advised him to rest for six to eight weeks.

Crabtree said he will go through drills at his pro day, where he will run the 40-yard dash.

"It's an old injury I've been having," Crabtree said. "I've never had any pain in it. I will run my 40 and after I do that, I will have surgery. I'm looking forward to going to the next level."

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