Combine preview: What's under QB's helmet

Combine preview: What's under QB's helmet
February 22, 2012, 10:05 pm
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The Redskins' process of selecting their next quarterback starts a new phase this week in Indianapolis. Mike Shanahan has been viewing college quarterbacks on film since before the regular season ended. Washington's scouts have been reviewing film on QBs since long before that. They are now quite familiar with the games of the likes of Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III. This week, they will start to get to know what is under their helmets.

Comprehensive interviews aren't possible at the Combine. The conversations are more of the job-fair variety, although the prospective employers already are quite familiar with the candidates. There is much more eliminating of prospects going on than there is selection. A few quick questions can indicate whether a quarterback can call the right protection if the safety walks up to the line. That could be all that is needed to stop further investigation of that player and move on to another.

Luck is the top prospect, and he might as well go ahead and pick out a locker at Lucas Oil Stadium while he is there. The Colts are on the clock, and they are certain to pick the Stanford product.

Griffin, of course, has many Redskins fans buzzing to the point where the web is flooded with images of him Photoshopped into a burgundy and gold uniform. Certainly, they will be keeping a close eye on him and try to maximize their time in face-to-face meetings. They will have to be very, very confident that he can be a franchise quarterback if they are going to try to swing a deal to move up to draft him. They have seen the performances that earned a quarterback from Baylor (Baylor!) the Heisman Trophy. Now they have to figure out if he can get it done against defenses from other than the Big 12.

The Redskins might not stop at drafting one quarterback if they take Griffin or Ryan Tannehill, the consensus third-best quarterback in the draft. Its certainly possible another quarterback will be the best player on the board sometime during the later rounds of the draft. That could be B. J. Coleman, a former Tennessee Vol who transferred to Tennessee-Chattanooga. He has solid skills and needs some development. Or perhaps Shanahan was impressed enough with the mind and raw skills of Ryan Lindley of San Diego State when he coached him at the Senior Bowl to take a late-round shot at him.

The complete list of quarterbacks invited to the combine is below. They are in the order of Wes Buntings scouting grades.

CSN Washington will have wall-to-wall coverage of the NFL Combine starting Feb 23 and our Rich Tandler will be in Indianapolis. If there are any players on the list youd like to know more about, let us know in the comments or hit Rich up on Twitter @Rich_Tandler.