Yes, a disconnect exists between actual football and the Scouting Combine. Yes, the media has a clear interest in blurring that line during the Scouting Combine. Yes, Seahawks receiver Doug Baldwin recently pulled back the curtain on that dynamic.
While the question of who does and doesn’t throw at the Scouting Combine doesn’t merit the media applause (for those who choose to throw) or the media finger-wagging (for those who don’t), there’s one potential benefit to be derived from choosing to throw this year. As one league source explained it on Friday, the quality of the incoming class of receivers could go a long way toward making the men throwing passes to them look very good.
Quarterbacks typically choose not to throw in part because they have no knowledge of or familiarity with the revolving door of wideouts who’ll run the routes during the quarterback drills. If there’s a miscommunication between quarterback and receiver or a flat-out mistake by the wideout and the ball sails over his head or bounces before getting to him or otherwise misses the mark badly, most will assume it’s the quarterback’s fault.
This year, that’ll be less likely to happen. Which could make Central Florida quarterback Blake Bortles emerge from the process looking better.
In the end, it won’t matter much either way. But this year is one year in which the risk of the quarterback looking bad for reasons beyond the quarterback’s control is reduced.