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2022 Combine Notebook | Quarterbacks galore

(AP Photo/Darron Cummings)
(AP Photo/Darron Cummings)

Any opinions expressed in this article do not reflect those of the team.

The NFL Scouting Combine was in full swing Wednesday with quarterbacks, tight ends and wide receivers addressing the media. Here's a few notes on what they had to say.

-- Matt Corral said he is "100%" after coming off an ankle injury he sustained in the Sugar Bowl, but he is still playing it safe and not throwing during the Combine. Instead, he will wait until his Pro Day to display his game, which he said he tries to model after Aaron Rodgers. "Just watching the guy play and making it look effortless from the arm angles, from him making the throw from any platform, any angles. That is definitely a guy I want to emulate my game after, for sure."

-- Liberty quarterback Malik Willis impressed many during his media availability. Most players like to set lofty goals for their rookie seasons, but Willis is not taking that approach. Instead, he's electing to take things slow and focus on learning the ins and outs of the professional game. "All these people that think, 'I'm finna go in here and be rookie of the year; I'm finna go in here and do this and that.' Man, you never played an NFL game. You sound, like, crazy."

-- A lot has been made about Kenny Pickett's hand size, which according to has not been officially measured yet. Perhaps some consider that an issue, but Pickett does not, although he is working on some hand exercises to widen his grip. Whatever it measures, Pickett said, it measures. "I'm sure that won't be the end of it, but that'll be the last measurement I'm sure I'll take of it."

-- Desmond Ridder said he had already met with "several" teams before he took the podium. He said he feels his skillset is a blend of Deshaun Watson and Ryan Tannehill, adding that he sees similarities in Tannehill's leadership and ability to extend plays. He's certainly confident in himself and believes he's "the most ready, mentally and athletically" among his fellow quarterbacks.

-- Nevada quarterback Carson Strong said he wasn't fully healthy last season and came back to play in half the suggested amount of recovery time. That alone is impressive, but then he casually threw out that he had 4,000 yards last season. He's recovered now, and he believes his performance at the Senior Bowl showed that he can extend plays and learn a new system.

-- Bailey Zappe threw for more yards and touchdowns than anyone in college football last season while playing in Western Kentucky's air-raid system. After four years of playing at Houston Baptist, Zappe transferred to WKU and set single-season FBS records. Said Zappe: "It's the best decision I've ever made, going to Western Kentucky." That seems like an accurate assessment.

-- Prospects get asked a lot of outlandish questions during interviews with teams. Not many of them get asked to play basketball. That's what happened to Sam Howell with the Philadelphia Eagles, who asked him to play some mini hoop. Naturally, that leads to the question of how many shots he made. Howell had an answer for that as well: he was 2-of-5 in the session.

-- There will be several impressive receivers going through drills this week, but USC's Drake London won't be one of them, as he said he will only be available for the interview portion of the Combine. London doesn't need to do too much to show he's one of the best wideouts this year. He led the Pac-12 in several categories last year, despite missing a chunk of the season, including yards, catches and missed tackles.

-- Most people know Colorado State's Trey McBride for his ability as a receiver. They should; he had 90 receptions for more than 1,100 yards in 2021. But he wants to let people know that he's got some ability as a blocker as well. "I think I'm a tough and physical guy. I think I'm a tremendous run-blocker, a guy who can do it all."

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