The reviews of former Arizona Wildcats quarterback Nick Foles at the Senior Bowl practices were mixed at best.
I’ve waded through various reports and tweets and interviews from the hundreds of media, draft analysts and scouts who were there in Mobile, Ala., and then I called Rob Rang from NFLDraftScout.com for his view.
“Basically, he’s what I thought he was,” Rang said Thursday, on his way home from Mobile.
“I will give him some credit. I thought he threw the ball better deep than he had the opportunity to do at Arizona. In that regard, he helped himself in terms of my personal grade.
“But I still have some of the same concerns I had before. For a big athlete, he doesn’t move his feet that well. Can be sluggish. In today’s NFL, they’re asking quarterbacks to move so much more. So that is definitely a concern.”
Bottom line: Rang still sees Foles as a second- or third-round pick.
“The reason I say third is because he has to be the right fit for some club,” Rang explained. “If those clubs happen to fill their QB needs earlier in the draft, he might slip down the board a little bit.”
For another opinion, I got some help from Chadd Cripe of the Idaho Statesman, who was in Mobile covering Boise State’s draft prospects, including quarterback Kellen Moore.
Cripe talked to Washington Redskins coach Matt LaFleur, who is helping coach the South team, about Foles.
“Nick’s made some strides,” LaFleur said.
“I’m always on him about his footwork and whatnot. He is extremely talented. He is that prototypical size and I think he’s progressed every day. He’s getting more comfortable with what we’re doing.”
Foles didn’t wow the scouts — he won’t be on the “risers” list for the Senior Bowl prospects — but he might have held steady.
Foles, who was measured at 6-foot-5 and 244 pounds at this week’s weigh-in, still has the NFL Combine in Indianapolis next month to impress scouts. Some see him with the potential to be the third quarterback selected in the draft. We’ll see. Andrew Luck will be the No. 1 overall pick. Robert Griffin III will be the next quarterback off the board.
Rang sees Texas A&M’s Ryan Tannehill as being the next-best quarterback, followed by a big pack of others — Oklahoma State’s Brandon Weeden, Michigan State’s Kirk Cousins, Arizona State’s Brock Osweiler and San Diego State’s Ryan Lindley.
Weeden had the superior practice week compared to Foles, according to most reports, but he’s also 28 years old, which figures to work against him in the draft.
The Senior Bowl will be played Saturday at 2 p.m. Tucson time on the NFL Network.
Two ESPN opinions on Foles this week:
Todd McShay (after the second practice of the week)
“Plenty of NFL talent evaluators I talked to entering the week named Foles as a player to watch, but he has failed to blow scouts and front-office types away. He simply hasn’t shown anything over the first two days here that we haven’t already seen on tape, and he’s fallen short of the performance level in some of his best games from 2011.
“Foles has been a little less consistent with his accuracy, and as we’ve seen in the past he tends to do a lot of checking down and dumping off. That two-day practice showing alone isn’t enough to change Foles’ entire evaluation, but after watching things up close I’ve been surprised how much better Weeden’s performance has been.”
Mel Kiper, in the Miami Herald
“(H)as solid mechanics and throws on the move effectively. You can’t argue with the arm strength and size. But he’s not as accurate as you’d like.”
Note: Check back Friday for an update on former Arizona receiver Juron Criner, who turned in a positive week of practice at the Senior Bowl.