Frank Reich: Don’t read anything into history with taller quarterbacks

NFL Combine
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After the Panthers completed their trade with the Bears for the first overall pick in this year’s draft, many people noted that their head coach Frank Reich has worked with a string of quarterbacks who are at least 6-3 during his time as the head coach of the Colts and previous assistant coaching stops.

That seemed to be a bad sign for Bryce Young’s chances of winding up as the top pick next month because he’s just 5-10, but General Manager Scott Fitterer said that the team hasn’t ruled anyone out during a press conference on Monday. Reich said the same when it was his chance to meet the media and referenced his feelings about another shorter quarterback.

“Don’t read anything into the fact, I had a high grade on Russell Wilson too,” Reich said, via Darin Gantt of the team’s website.

The Panthers have suggested that they’d be open to trading back down in order to recoup some of the assets they sent to the Bears, so it makes sense to keep every quarterback option in play even if the history points to the team going in a different direction.

Scott Fitterer: Lamar Jackson is a great, expensive option, but we’re focused on the draft

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The Panthers traded up from No. 9 overall to acquire the No. 1 pick in the 2023 draft to select a quarterback.

Carolina General Manager Scott Fitterer admitted as much during his Monday press conference, saying the Panthers “have conviction” about multiple QBs in the incoming rookie class.

But before executing the trade with Chicago, did Carolina consider pursuing quarterback Lamar Jackson?

“Like anything, you always have a conversation,” Fitterer said Monday. “But we were looking… He’s a great option — a really expensive option. But we’re focused on more of the draft picks at this point.”

Because Baltimore placed the non-exclusive franchise tag on Jackson, the quarterback is free to negotiate a contract with other teams as an offer sheet. The Ravens would be owed two first-round picks in return for Jackson if the team decided not to match the offer.

But there is a general belief that the Ravens are willing to match most contract proposals.

So, the Panthers traded up to make sure they’ll get a quarterback they like. And they will continue working toward figuring out who their next QB1 will be over the next month.

Scott Fitterer: Panthers “have conviction” on top QBs, still going through process

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The Panthers now have the top pick in the NFL Draft and the guy who swung the deal to get them to that spot says the team has not settled on a choice.

General Manager Scott Fitterer had his first press conference on Monday since trading wide receiver DJ Moore and four draft picks to Chicago to move up to the No. 1 overall. He said the team tried to avoid including Moore in the deal, but the team did what it had to do because they “wanted to get ourselves in a position to get a quarterback.”

When a team makes a move like that, there’s generally a player they have targeted but Fitterer insists that the Panthers have not made up their mind on which prospect they will be selecting next month. Fitterer said that the Panthers “have conviction” about multiple quarterbacks in this year’s class and are “still going through the process” of making their choice.

During the press conference, Fitterer was asked about head coach Frank Reich‘s history with taller quarterbacks and whether that means Bryce Young is out of the mix to be the pick in April. Fitterer said that Reich has not ruled out any player because of his height and it seems likely that the team will try to continue shielding their intentions for the pick as long as possible.

Hamstring injury to keep DeWayne McBride out of UAB Pro Day

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Former UAB running back DeWayne McBride is going to miss another chance to work out for NFL scouts this week.

McBride was sidelined at the Scouting Combine in Indianapolis because of a hamstring injury and Tom Pelissero of NFL Media reports that he will miss this week’s Pro Day workout at the school for the same reason. The hope is that he will recover in time to do a workout on his own next month.

McBride was one of the most prolific rushers in college football the last two seasons. He ran 437 times for 3,084 yards and 32 touchdowns, but he was a limited contributor in the pass game — five catches for 29 yards — in 25 games.

Teams will have to weigh how that balances out for McBride and a strong workout at some point would likely benefit his draft position.

Jalen Carter pleads no contest in connection with deadly crash, will get probation

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Former Georgia defensive lineman Jalen Carter, one of the most talented prospects in the 2023 NFL draft, has pleaded no contest to misdemeanor driving offenses in connection with a crash that killed his Georgia teammate Devin Willock and Georgia football staffer Chandler LeCroy.

Carter’s lawyer told Seth Emerson of that Carter pled no contest in a deal with prosecutors and will receive 12 months’ probation, a $1,000 fine and 80 hours community service. He will also have to finish a driving course.

Carter was charged with racing and reckless driving after the investigation of the deadly crash revealed that he was driving alongside the car that crashed. Police say Carter initially told them he wasn’t there before later admitting he had been in the vicinity but denying that he was racing the car driven by LeCroy.

Although Carter is considered an elite athletic talent, there were reports that some teams had concerns about his character even before his role in the crash was revealed. Carter also had a poor performance at Georgia’s Pro Day yesterday.

Jalen Carter struggles with position drills at Pro Day

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It doesn’t look like former Georgia defensive tackle Jalen Carter helped his draft stock at the team’s Pro Day workout on Wednesday.

Mark Schlabach of reports that Carter opted not to run the 40-yard dash or do any work other than position drills ahead of the workout. Carter did not complete that workout because he was cramping, however.

Carter also weighed in nine pounds heavier than he did at the Scouting Combine a couple of weeks ago. He did not do any drills or physical tests in Indianapolis.

Carter’s stay at the Combine was broken up by a trip back to Athens, Georgia to be booked on misdemeanor charges of racing and reckless driving related to his alleged participation in events leading up to the car crash that killed Georgia offensive lineman Devin Willock and recruiting staffer Chandler LeCroy in January. Carter said in a statement that he expects to be fully exonerated.

2023 NFL Draft order: Complete list of every pick from Round 1 through Round 7

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The 2023 NFL Draft begins Thursday, April 27 with the Carolina Panthers set to make the first overall selection after a blockbuster trade with the Chicago Bears. After a disappointing last season which included the firing of head coach Matt Rhule, new hire Frank Reich looks to jumpstart the Panther’s rebuild. With the most logical choice at first overall being quarterback, Reich and the Panthers organization look at the top choices of the draft: Alabama’s Bryce Young, Ohio State’s C.J. Stroud, Kentucky’s Will Levis and Florida’s Anthony Richardson look promising.  

While it is almost certain that the Carolina Panthers will choose one of the above listed quarterbacks, other top prospects in this years draft include: Georgia’s Jalen Carter, Alabama’s Will Anderson Jr, Illinois’s Devon Witherspoon, Texas Tech’s Tyree Wilson, and Ohio State’s Jaxon Smith-Njigba.

This year’s draft will be held in Kansas City’s famous Union Station. The 2023 NFL Draft begins with Round 1 on Thursday, April 27 before Rounds 2 and 3 on Friday, April 28 and Rounds 4-7 on Saturday, April 29. Below are all 259 picks and traded selections in all seven rounds of the 2023 NFL Draft, including compensatory picks (denoted with an asterisk *). Check out additional 2023 NFL Draft coverage including analysis, and more here.

2023 NFL Draft Order

Round 1

1. Carolina Panthers from Chicago Bears
2. Houston Texans
3. Arizona Cardinals
4. Indianapolis Colts
5. Seattle Seahawks from Denver Broncos
6. Detroit Lions from Los Angeles Rams
7. Las Vegas Raiders
8. Atlanta Falcons
9. Chicago Bears from Carolina Panthers
10. Philadelphia Eagles from New Orleans Saints
11. Tennessee Titans
12. Houston Texans from Cleveland Browns
13. New York Jets
14. New England Patriots
15. Green Bay Packers
16. Washington Commanders
17. Pittsburgh Steelers
18. Detroit Lions
19. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
20. Seattle Seahawks
Round 1 Pick 21 – Choice Forfeited (Miami Dolphins)

21. Los Angeles Chargers
22. Baltimore Ravens
23. Minnesota Vikings
24. Jacksonville Jaguars
25. New York Giants
26. Dallas Cowboys
27. Buffalo Bills
28. Cincinnati Bengals
29. New Orleans Saints from San Francisco 49ers and Miami Dolphins and Denver Broncos
30. Philadelphia Eagles
31. Kansas City Chiefs

Round 2

32. Pittsburgh Steelers from Chicago Bears
33. Houston Texans
34. Arizona Cardinals
35. Indianapolis Colts
36. Los Angeles Rams
37. Seattle Seahawks from Denver Broncos
38. Las Vegas Raiders
39. Carolina Panthers
40. New Orleans Saints
41. Tennessee Titans
42. Cleveland Browns
43. New York Jets
44. Atlanta Falcons
45. Green Bay Packers
46. New England Patriots
47. Washington Commanders
48. Detroit Lions
49. Pittsburgh Steelers
50. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
51. Miami Dolphins
52. Seattle Seahawks
53. Chicago Bears from Baltimore Ravens
54. Los Angeles Chargers
55. Detroit Lions from Minnesota Vikings
56. Jacksonville Jaguars
57. New York Giants
58. Dallas Cowboys
59. Buffalo Bills
60. Cincinnati Bengals
61. Chicago Bears from Carolina Panthers from San Francisco 49ers
62. Philadelphia Eagles
63. Kansas City Chiefs

Round 3

64. Chicago Bears
65. Houston Texans
66. Arizona Cardinals
67. Denver Broncos from Indianapolis Colts
68. Denver Broncos
69. Los Angeles Rams
70. Las Vegas Raiders
71. New Orleans Saints
72. Tennessee Titans
73. Houston Texans from Cleveland Browns
74. New York Jets
75. Atlanta Falcons
76. New England Patriots from Carolina Panthers
77. Los Angeles Rams from Miami Dolphins from New England Patriots
78. Green Bay Packers
79. Indianapolis Colts from Washington Commanders
80. Pittsburgh Steelers
81. Detroit Lions
82. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
83. Seattle Seahawks
84. Miami Dolphins
85. Los Angeles Chargers
86. Baltimore Ravens
87. Minnesota Vikings
88. Jacksonville Jaguars
89. New York Giants
90. Dallas Cowboys
91. Buffalo Bills
92. Cincinnati Bengals
93. Carolina Panthers from San Francisco 49ers
94. Philadelphia Eagles
95. Kansas City Chiefs
96. Arizona Cardinals *
97. Washington Commanders *
98. Cleveland Browns *
99. San Francisco 49ers *
100. New York Giants from Kansas City Chiefs *
101. San Francisco 49ers *
102. San Francisco 49ers *

Round 4

103. Chicago Bears
104. Houston Texans
105. Arizona Cardinals
106. Indianapolis Colts
107. New England Patriots from Los Angeles Rams
108. Denver Broncos
109. Las Vegas Raiders
110. Atlanta Falcons from Tennessee Titans
111. Cleveland Browns
112. New York Jets
113. Atlanta Falcons
114. Carolina Panthers
115. New Orleans Saints
116. Green Bay Packers
117. New England Patriots
118. Washington Commanders
119. Minnesota Vikings from Detroit Lions
120. Pittsburgh Steelers
121. Jacksonville Jaguars from Tampa Bay Buccaneers
122. Kansas City Chiefs from Miami Dolphins
123. Seattle Seahawks
124. Baltimore Ravens
125. Los Angeles Chargers
126. Cleveland Browns from Minnesota Vikings
127. Jacksonville Jaguars
128. New York Giants
129. Dallas Cowboys
130. Buffalo Bills
131. Cincinnati Bengals
132. Carolina Panthers from San Francisco 49ers
133. Chicago Bears from Philadelphia Eagles
134. Kansas City Chiefs
135. New England Patriots *

Round 5

136. Chicago Bears
Round 5 Pick 2 – Choice Forfeited (Houston Texans)
137. Buffalo Bills from Arizona Cardinals
138. Indianapolis Colts
139. Denver Broncos
140. Cleveland Browns from Los Angeles Rams
141. Las Vegas Raiders
142. Cleveland Browns
143. New York Jets
144. Las Vegas Raiders from Atlanta Falcons
145. Carolina Panthers
146. New Orleans Saints
147. Tennessee Titans
148. Chicago Bears from New England Patriots from Baltimore Ravens
149. Green Bay Packers
150. Washington Commanders
151. Seattle Seahawks from Pittsburgh Steelers
152. Detroit Lions
153. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
154. Seattle Seahawks
155. San Francisco 49ers from Miami Dolphins
156. Los Angeles Chargers
157. Baltimore Ravens
158. Minnesota Vikings
159. Atlanta Falcons from Jacksonville Jaguars
160. New York Giants
161. Dallas Cowboys
162. Indianapolis Colts from Buffalo Bills
163. Cincinnati Bengals
164. San Francisco 49ers
165. New Orleans Saints from Philadelphia Eagles
166. Kansas City Chiefs
167. Los Angeles Rams *
168. Arizona Cardinals *
169. Dallas Cowboys *
170. Green Bay Packers *
171. Los Angeles Rams *
172. New York Giants *
173. San Francisco 49ers *
174. Las Vegas Raiders *
175. Tampa Bay Buccaneers *
176. Dallas Cowboys *
177. Los Angeles Rams *

Round 6

178. Kansas City Chiefs from Chicago Bears from Miami Dolphins
179. Houston Texans
180. Arizona Cardinals
181. Tampa Bay Buccaneers from Indianapolis Colts
182. Los Angeles Rams
183. Detroit Lions from Denver Broncos
184. New England Patriots from Las Vegas Raiders
185. Jacksonville Jaguars from New York Jets
186. Tennessee Titans from Atlanta Falcons
187. New England Patriots from Carolina Panthers
188. Houston Texans from New Orleans Saints
189. Los Angeles Rams from Tennessee Titans
190. Cleveland Browns
191. Los Angeles Rams from Green Bay Packers
192. New England Patriots
193. Washington Commanders
194. Detroit Lions
195. Denver Broncos from Pittsburgh Steelers
196. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
197. Miami Dolphins
198. Seattle Seahawks
199. Baltimore Ravens
200. Los Angeles Chargers
201. Houston Texans from Minnesota Vikings
202. Jacksonville Jaguars
203. Houston Texans from New York Giants
204. Las Vegas Raiders from Dallas Cowboys
205. Buffalo Bills
206. Cincinnati Bengals
207. New York Jets from San Francisco 49ers from Houston Texans
208. Jacksonville Jaguars from Philadelphia Eagles
209. New York Giants from Kansas City Chiefs
210. New England Patriots *
211. Minnesota Vikings *
212. Dallas Cowboys *
213. Arizona Cardinals *
214. Las Vegas Raiders *
215. Washington Commanders *
216. San Francisco 49ers *
217. Kansas City Chiefs *

Round 7

218. Chicago Bears
219. Philadelphia Eagles from Houston Texans from Minnesota Vikings
220. Las Vegas Raiders from Arizona Cardinals
221. Indianapolis Colts
222. San Francisco 49ers from Denver Broncos
223. Los Angeles Rams
224. Atlanta Falcons from Las Vegas Raiders
225. Atlanta Falcons
226. Jacksonville Jaguars from Carolina Panthers
227. New Orleans Saints
228. Tennessee Titans
229. Cleveland Browns
230. Tampa Bay Buccaneers from New York Jets
231. Las Vegas Raiders from New England Patriots
232. Green Bay Packers
233. Washington Commanders
234. Pittsburgh Steelers
235. Green Bay Packers from Detroit Lions from Los Angeles Rams
236. Indianapolis Colts from Tampa Bay Buccaneers
237. Seattle Seahawks
238. Miami Dolphins
239. Los Angeles Chargers
240. New York Giants from Baltimore Ravens
241. Pittsburgh Steelers from Minnesota Vikings from Denver Broncos
242. Green Bay Packers from Jacksonville Jaguars
243. New York Giants
244. Dallas Cowboys
245. Atlanta Falcons from Buffalo Bills

246. Cincinnati Bengals
247. San Francisco 49ers
248. Philadelphia Eagles
249. Kansas City Chiefs
250. Kansas City Chiefs *
251. Los Angeles Rams *
252. Tampa Bay Buccaneers *
253. San Francisco 49ers *
254. New York Giants *
255. San Francisco 49ers *
256. Green Bay Packers *
257. New Orleans Saints *
258. Chicago Bears *
259. Houston Texans *

Frank Reich: We have a little over a month to confirm which is the right QB for us

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Frank Reich had Andrew Luck as his quarterback in his first season as a head coach in 2018. Luck, the No. 1 overall pick in 2012, earned Pro Bowl honors and led the Colts to a 10-6 record in his final season.

Luck had a surprise retirement just before the 2019 season.

Reich now holds the No. 1 overall pick after the Panthers traded with the Bears for the top selection. After trying and failing to find a long-term replacement for Luck in Indianapolis, Reich will have a top prospect to work with in Carolina.

The Panthers had not publicly acknowledged the trade until Reich exchanged text messages with Albert Breer of

“Excited about this group of young QBs,” Reich wrote. “We think they all have strengths that make them unique and worthy of #1 pick. We have a little over a month to confirm which is the right one for our team.”

Alabama’s Bryce Young, Ohio State’s C.J. Stroud, Florida’s Anthony Richardson or Kentucky’s Will Levis are the top-rated players at the position. The Panthers’ future depends on getting it right.

Carolina has had eight starting quarterbacks the past five seasons. The Colts also started eight different signal callers the past five seasons, which is a big reason Reich no longer is in Indianapolis.

Panthers get word out that they could trade back from No. 1

NFL: OCT 23 Buccaneers at Panthers
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The Panthers presumably traded up to No. 1 overall to get their choice of quarterbacks. The last time — and only time — they drafted No. 1 overall they ended up with Cam Newton, who won MVP honors in 2015.

At No. 1, they would have Alabama’s Bryce Young, Ohio State’s C.J. Stroud, Florida’s Anthony Richardson or Kentucky’s Will Levis available to them.

But not so fast. . . .

The Panthers quickly got out word to their local writers that they could trade back. Scott Fowler of the Charlotte Observer and Joe Person of had nearly identical tweets: The Panthers feel they now “control” the draft, and they are not discounting backing up in the draft to recoup some of the compensation they lost if they have a couple of quarterbacks they like.

The Texans, though, would have to have interest in moving up from No. 2. Otherwise, the Panthers would risk losing one of the top two quarterbacks.

Houston also is in the market for a long-term answer at the position.

The Panthers, though, are making it known they are open for business and will listen to offers. Why wouldn’t they? But if they move back beyond No. 2, the Panthers might not get who they want.

Panthers’ trade up to No. 1 leaves Texans picking second quarterback

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The Bears owe the Colts a thank you gift.

Without the Colts’ loss to the Texans in Week 18, the Bears never would have gotten the haul that they got Friday in a trade of the No. 1 overall pick to the Panthers.

Chicago is getting the No. 9 overall pick and No. 61 overall pick in this year’s draft from Carolina, as well as wide receiver DJ Moore, the Panthers’ 2024 first-round pick and the Panthers’ 2025 second-round selection.

The Panthers are trading up to take a quarterback at No. 1 overall. They will have their choice of Alabama’s Bryce Young, Ohio State’s C.J. Stroud, Florida’s Anthony Richardson or Kentucky’s Will Levis. The Texans then will take one of the other three.

Houston appeared a shoo-in for the top pick the entire season until winning 32-31 over Indianapolis with a touchdown and a two-point conversion with 50 seconds left. The Texans finished 3-13-1.

Then Texans head coach Lovie Smith said after the Week 18 game that he gave no consideration to taking the foot off the gas in order to get the top pick, but the team fired Smith after the season.

So, they will have to wait to see who the Panthers select before making their pick of quarterbacks.

Ryan Poles found someone to go “above and beyond” in trade for No. 1 overall

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When Peter King spoke to Bears General Manager Ryan Poles for this week’s Football Morning in America, there was a lot of discussion about trading the first overall pick in this year’s draft and one topic was when the team might pull the trigger.

Poles told King that teams would “have to go above and beyond” in order to get the Bears to make a trade before the start of free agency while adding that he thought teams in need of a quarterback might feel the need to make something happen as soon as possible in order to ensure they got what they want. The Panthers obviously agreed with that view.

Poles pulled the trigger Friday when he agreed to a deal that will send the pick to Carolina for the No. 9 pick, the 61st pick, a 2024 first-rounder, a 2025 second-rounder, and wide receiver DJ Moore. Picking up Moore also checked a box that Poles talked about at the Combine.

“There are some scenarios to add players as well, which gives us clarity for what we need to add in the draft,” Poles said, via

The timing also allows the Bears clarity for free agency because adding Moore at the top of the wide receiver depth chart should impact the players they’re going to be pursuing next week.

Cornerback Devon Witherspoon not participating in Illinois’ Pro Day today

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Illinois cornerback Devon Witherspoon is not taking part in his school’s Pro Day today, Jim Nagy, the executive director of the Senior Bowl, reports.

Witherspoon instead will hold a personal workout for scouts on April 5.

The projected first-round draft selection has not done any on-field drills in the pre-draft process because of a hamstring injury. He attended the NFL Scouting Combine last week but did not participate in the workouts or testing.

His draft stock took off after 41 tackles, 2.5 sacks, three interceptions and 14 passes defensed in 2022.

Witherspoon earned consensus All-America honors.

49ers receive seven compensatory draft picks

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The NFL announced on Thursday that 37 compensatory draft picks have been doled out for this year’s draft and the 49ers picked up seven selections in the process.

Four of the 49ers’ new picks come as a result of the NFL’s formula awarding picks to teams that have a net loss in free agents. The other three picks are a result of the league’s initiative that awards picks to the prior employer-club of a minority employee who has been hired by another club as its head coach or primary football executive. Jets head coach Robert Saleh, Commanders General Manager Martin Mayhew, Dolphins head coach Mike McDaniel, Texans head coach DeMeco Ryans, and Titans General Manager Ran Carthon have left the Niners in the last three years.

All three of those 49ers picks are third-rounders. The Browns and Chiefs also received third round selections via that route and the Rams joined the 49ers in picking up four overall picks because of their free agent losses.

All 37 picks are listed below:

Third Round

96. Arizona

97.  Washington

98. Cleveland

99. San Francisco

100. Kansas City

101. San Francisco

102. San Francisco

Fourth Round

135. New England

Fifth Round

167. Rams

168. Arizona

169. Dallas

170. Green Bay

171. Rams

172. Giants

173. San Francisco

174. Las Vegas

175. Tampa Bay

176. Dallas

177. Rams

Sixth Round

210. New England

211. Minnesota

212. Dallas

213. Arizona

214. Las Vegas

215. Washington

216. San Francisco

217. Kansas City

Seventh Round

250. Kansas City

251. Rams

252. Tampa Bay

253. San Francisco

254. Giants

255. San Francisco

256. Green Bay

257. New Orleans

258. Chicago

259. Houston

Anthony Richardson on losing record as a starter: I gave it my all every game

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Neither Bryce Young nor CJ Stroud won a national championship as a starter, though both played in the College Football Playoff in their careers. Anthony Richardson didn’t have a winning record as a starter.

Richardson started only 13 games in his career at Florida and lost seven of them. The Gators were 6-6 in his 12 starts in 2022 under new head coach Billy Napier.

“A lot of people see that record and think we weren’t a good team,” Richardson said during an appearance on The Rich Eisen Show, via “A lot of people see the record and say, ‘Oh, Anthony Richardson can’t lead a team. He can’t even go .500 in the season.’ To that, I just say they don’t know the ins and outs of the game. They don’t understand what they go through daily, understand how hard we work.

“Sometimes things don’t go your way and that comes with the game. I feel like when I step onto a team, I’m there to contribute, give it my all, and provide in any way I can. I feel like I did that every game.”

Richardson was the standout at the NFL Scouting Combine last week with record performances for a quarterback in the vertical jump (40.5 inches) and broad jump (10 feet, 9 inches). He ran a 4.43 in the 40.

But his record as a college starter has prompted questions as has his 53.8 completion percentage last season. He threw 17 touchdowns and nine interceptions in 2022, giving him 24 touchdowns and 15 interceptions in his career.

Richardson said he learned a lot last season in leading his team.

“Control what I can control,” Richardson said. “It’s not little league football anymore where I can just bully ball anybody. I can’t just run around everybody. So, I learned how to manage the game. Especially as a quarterback, I can’t try to make every big play. I just got to take what the game gives me.”

Jerry Jones defends intrusive, invasive nature of the Scouting Combine

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When defending the nature of the Scouting Combine during this year’s festivities in Indianapolis, Cowboys owner/G.M. Jerry Jones unwittingly channeled Michael Corleone.

It’s not personal. It’s strictly business.

Via Clarence E. Hill, Jr. of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Jones specifically wanted to address the subject with reporters. He wanted to speak his mind, after NFL executive V.P. of football operations Troy Vincent compared the event to a “slave auction.” Also, NFL Players Association executive director DeMaurice Smith has questioned whether the Combine should be scrapped.

“I’m for continuing to work to really make this thing appropriate,” Jones said, via Hill. “I think we can make it just exactly like you would if you were interviewing for a major company or something like that and ask those kinds of questions.”

But major companies don’t play mind games. They don’t try to make their prospects mad, they don’t try to test them. They don’t have them parade around in their undershorts. They don’t ask applicants if their mothers are prostitutes. They treat the candidates like human beings, because they can exercise their free will as human beings to choose to work somewhere else.

That’s the fundamental problem with the entire process. No matter what a team says or does to alienate a player, the team still has the ability to force him to come work for that team by drafting his rights.

So what if he’s pissed off? He’ll get over it. Or he won’t. Either way, the draft gives the team dibs.

As long as there’s a draft, teams don’t have to worry about players exercising their options. They have none, other than to not play in the NFL. And so, instead of worrying about making the process more attractive to players, Jones thinks the players should simply be thankful for what they have.

“I think it’s important to the players,” Jones said. “Players really should, in my mind, appreciate the promotion. They really should and I know it’s effective. I know it financially impacts individually, making them better.”

But how does it impact them financially? Each draft slot will be filled by someone. And of all the players who went to Indianapolis this year, how many will become marketing attractions because of what they did in pajamas?

Jones also justified the process by saying that, if teams can’t get satisfied about given players, they won’t be drafted as high. But, you see, someone will be. It’s a zero-sum game. The picks will be made. Someone will be taken first overall. And second. And so on.

The teams want to be sure they’re getting the best possible players. And they feel no compulsion to be nice to the players because, at the end of the day, the players have little say. They’ve been conditioned throughout their entire lives to believe everything about it is an honor and a privilege.

The privilege belongs to the teams. And there’s no honor in treating these young men poorly, simply because the team can. The teams can because the young men have no real choice other than to go along, with all of it.