MOBILE, Ala. - There is no doubt that, compared to year's past, this isn't the sexiest quarterback class at the Senior Bowl. But, that doesn't mean the guys here aren't turning heads, especially Louisville's Malik Cunningham and TCU QB Max Duggan.
Surrounded by his former coach Scott Satterfield, the former Louisville Cardinals quarterback was all smiles during the post practice media session Wednesday. It certainly wasn't only because his former coach was in town, no, it centers around his play on the field. His dual-threat mobility, along with his arm has stood out to those NFL teams in attendance.
Receiving the last-minute call to the Senior Bowl presented Cunningham an opportunity to showcase his skills, which came around the time Stetson Bennett declined to participate. Malik accepted his invitation, which has proven to be the best thing for him, no matter what happens from now until the draft.
"I kinda got an idea that I was going to be here two or three weeks ago, I was just waiting to see if some other guys would drop out. My high school teammate, Grant Dubose, so they tried to make it be like a big collab and show everybody. It's just good to be here, I am blessed and honored."
Even though his first day got off to a shaky start, timing from Cunningham only got better on Wednesday. For a group that hasn't worked together before, a two hour practice isn't going solve things quickly.
"First day is always going to be a little wobbly, working with new receivers and getting the timing down," Cunningham noted. "But once we started to connect, it was all good, especially the timing. Tomorrow will be much better.
What NFL Scouts Are Saying About The Quarterbacks
For the group that includes former TCU QB Max Duggan, BYU's Jarren Hall, Fresno State's Jake Haener, it surely doesn't fit the star power of having a guy like Kenny Pickett from last year. But, this hasn't stopped these guys from proving their worth in Mobile.
Coming off a rough performance against Georgia in the national title game, Max Duggan has taken the first few days to re-establish himself in the public eye.
"It was tough seeing him against Georgia a few weeks ago. Duggan didn't have any time in the pocket, but his physical toughness stands out," One NFL scout noted. "Now, this is somewhat of a fresh start for him. He's getting folks to forget about his last game, and trying to make us remember why he beat Michigan and others during the season."
So what does this mean for a quarterback like Tyson Bagent out of Shepherd University in West Virginia, which is a Division II school. Bagent has the frame, standing 6'3, with a powerful arm and the ability to read a defense. He'd also be the first quarterback drafted from a Division II school in the last century.
"None of these quarterbacks are being looked upon as future NFL pro-bowlers at this moment" Another NFL Scout said. "But, a team will draft a guy like Hendon Hooker, Malik Cunningham or Max Duggan, because they have the ability to be a dual-threat and time to learn. Look at how physical Duggan is, while even a guy like Jake Haener can make plays outside the pocket. A few of the quarterbacks here, they’re good enough and have enough time to improve their stock. Some NFL teams will find a diamond in the rough here that they’ll track over the next two months.”
It's safe to assume that a few of the QB's will get a shot in the NFL over the next few years. The question is who will take advantage of the opportunity.