The Scouting Combine a/k/a the Underwear Olympics are little more than a week away, and as usual the big names belong to quarterbacks.
This year, with the top quarterbacks in a shallow pool lining up to run the gauntlet of workouts, there are two names to watch as the T-shirts-and-shorts phase of the pre-draft process commences.
As one team-side league source explained it, North Carolina State quarterback Mike Glennon and USC quarterback Matt Barkley are expected to have strong performances in Indy, which could vault them much higher in the draft than most expect them to go.
Glennon is the quarterback who bumped Russell Wilson from N.C. State to Wisconsin in 2011; presumably, Glennon has talent. (Then again, Tyler Palko is the guy who bumped Joe Flacco from Pitt to Delaware. Tyler who? Exactly.) Barkley would have been among the top picks in 2012, but a poor showing last season coupled with a shoulder injury and the chronic failure of recent USC quarterbacks to achieve sustained success at the NFL level has dragged Barkley down.
For plenty of scouts, the hay is already in the barn, since none of these workouts reflect actual football skill. But the Underwear Olympics and the tightly-controlled Pro Day workouts still can help — or they can hurt.