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QB Foles fails to impress at Arizona Pro Day

By Rob Rang | The Sports Xchange/CBSSports.com
Poor weather conspired against the University of Arizona athletes working out at their Pro Day but an average performance from the school's top two prospects didn't help.

Quarterback Nick Foles was the obvious center of attention at the workout. The perception among some is that Foles needed to have a strong performance to stop his stock from sliding after disappointing performances at the Senior Bowl in January and Scouting Combine in February.

If Foles needed an eye-popping workout, he didn't deliver it Monday, according to two separate sources on the scene.

"He was average," one talent evaluator said. "Don't get me wrong, he wasn't bad and the weather didn't help but he didn't drive the ball like you'd expect a quarterback of his size to and he has only average accuracy once you get past 15 yards, so I can't imagine that anyone is raising his grade based on what they saw Monday."

Another source wasn't quite as careful with his wording.

"[Foles] was terrible. He couldn't throw a spiral. Obviously, the weather conditions played a part in that but in reality, it only accentuated that he couldn't throw a spiral."

The truth of the matter is that regardless of how Foles threw Monday, he has good enough tape and showed enough at the Senior Bowl and workouts since to earn a draftable grade. He showed some improvement athletically between the Combine and the Pro Day, registering slightly faster on campus in the 40-yard dash (5.02-5.09) and jumping higher (33.5") than before (5.15; 30.5") and has the frame every team is looking for (6-5, 244). Those facts should result in his getting drafted, though it may not come until Saturday (rounds 4-7).

The reviews were more positive for Foles' primary target, Juron Criner, despite the fact that the playmaking Wildcat receiver again timed slower than scouts had hoped.

The 6-3, 222 pound Criner was timed at 4.52 seconds by one watch at Monday's Pro Day, a signficant improvement from the 4.68 second time he was "officially" credited with at the Combine. Sources, however, were quick to point out that due to the weather the athletes were asked to run inside on a carpet, which should result in faster results. Some teams add as much as a tenth of a second to 40-yard dash times ran on fast surfaces such as this one. Criner also proved that the 38" vertical jump he posted at the Combine was no fluke. In fact, Criner beat the effort with a 39" jump Monday.

Not surprisingly, Criner was also very impressive during the positional drills. While Criner isn't an elite athlete he does have excellent hands and body control, each of which were demonstrated at the workout.

Cornerback Trevin Wade elected not to do any of the timed drills Monday after a solid performance at the Combine. I've been told by scouts that we're ranking Wade too low on our current cornerback rankings but only a handful of the "30 or so" scouts and coaches on hand for Arizona's Pro Day elected to wait until the end of the workout to watch Wade's positional drills.

One sleeper prospect who may have earned himself a draftable grade based on his workout was wide receiver David Douglas. The 6-1, 205 pound Douglas was overshadowed throughout his career by Criner but timed faster (4.40-4.46) and surprised scouts with his crisp route-running and soft hands despite the ugly weather.

"The other receiver was pretty good. He had a strong workout. He may have moved himself into the 7th round Monday."

There were few big names among the scouts and coaches on hand for the workout. There were no general managers or head coaches present, though the Buffalo Bills' Director of Scouting Chuck Cook did attend.
 
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