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Ask Farrell: Should McSorley consider playing defense in NFL?

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Trace McSorley threw for 9,899 yards during his illustrious and record-breaking career at Penn State. He had 77 touchdown passes to 25 interceptions and he also put up huge numbers on the ground with 1,697 rushing yards and 30 scores.

The former three-star athlete from Ashburn (Va.) Briar Woods smashed every expectation others had for him when he chose the Nittany Lions, one of the only programs that would have given him a shot to play quarterback, and even after a fantastic college career there are still questions about his game.

That’s why this week at the NFL Scouting Combine, at least one team asked McSorley to work out at defensive back, his probable position if quarterback did not happen. He declined the opportunity.

His testing numbers were strong, as he was the fastest quarterback at the event in the 40-yard dash at 4.57 seconds. He was tied for sixth in the vertical jump and seventh in the broad jump, tied for fifth in the three-cone drill and tied for second in the 20-yard shuttle.

Combining his testing numbers with his college stats, McSorley looks like an appealing quarterback prospect in this draft, especially when quarterback height – he checked in at 6-foot, 202 pounds – seems to have less importance these days.

Former Penn State teammate Saquon Barkley, upon hearing of teams asking McSorley to work out at defensive back, wrote on Twitter that it was “so disrespectful.” According to reports, though, it’s a common occurrence, as Nick Bosa, Rashan Gary, Josh Allen, Ed Oliver and others were asked to play different positions at the combine.

Is McSorley not getting the credit he deserves as a potential NFL quarterback? Or should the former Penn State QB be open to changing positions, like Julian Edelman, Braxton Miller and other quarterbacks? We ask National Recruiting Director Mike Farrell.


“McSorley was a very good defensive player in high school, which is why we ranked him as an athlete. But I like that he’s sticking to his guns and staying at quarterback. He has a shot to be a mid-round pickup for some team and a solid backup quarterback in the NFL. I don’t think his combine was that impressive from a throwing standpoint, but he has skills and is very good at keeping his eyes downfield while the pocket collapses around him. And he’s a winner, no doubt about that. Let him make or break his career as a quarterback. He’s earned that.”