Woody's World: Thoughts from Day 2 of Elite 11 QB Competition
MURFREESBORO, Tenn. – After an extended shutdown that scrapped most spring evaluation events, athletes from across the country are returning to the field to make up for lost time. That was the case on Tuesday in the Nashville area, where many of the nation's top quarterbacks gathered to compete in the annual Elite 11 event, which will be held over three days.
Here are some thoughts from Tuesday night's action, which featured the quarterbacks competing in a mock pro day competition. Rivals.com's Woody Wommack was on hand and shares his thoughts and observations.
CLASS OF 2022: Top 100
DAY TWO RANKINGS
We might as well get right into the good stuff as day two featured the pro day competition, which was scored by coaches on the field. Ohio State's Kyle McCord came away with the top prize and looked very impressive, but after him at No. 1 is where I differ in opinion in my rankings. Not only were some of my scores different on individual throws, but I'm also factoring in other aspects outside of just the completed result of the pass.
1. Kyle McCord (Ohio State commit) -- As I said, this was an easy one as McCord worked his way down the field in impressive fashion, making several big-time throws and drawing praise from the coaches an onlookers alike. McCord isn't a very demonstrative guy so it's easy for him to slide under the radar but there was no missing his special performance on Tuesday night.
2. Carlos Del Rio (Florida commit) -- When the final results were released I was shocked that Del Rio not only didn't finish first, that he was actually seventh in the final scoring. He did miss a couple of throws over the middle, but he didn't hold back at all and was very impressive on several different routes. Del Rio came into the event ready and it's paying off in a major way.
3. J.J. McCarthy (Michigan commit) -- McCarthy led off the night and gets credit for stepping up and going early. One thing he's really improved and showed off on Tuesday is his ability to throw on the move. During one throw he bumped into the coach simulating the pass rush and despite being off balance he delivered a throw down the field and right on the money. McCarthy finished ninth in the official scoring.
4. Ty Thompson (Oregon commit) -- I ranked Thompson No. 1 yesterday and he came out today and impressed once again. He missed a few throws early but once he got into a groove he was very impressive. His confidence appears to be growing as the event moves along and I think he's proven to himself and others that he belongs with the top quarterbacks in the class. Thompson finished third in the official scoring.
5. Caleb Williams -- The nation's top-ranked quarterback was impressive once again and he always carries himself like he's the best player on the field. I like his confidence and swagger and that attitude also helps him shake off any errant throws and move on quickly. Through two days, Williams has lived up to his five-star billing. Williams finished 10th in the official scoring.
6. Brock Vandagriff (Georgia commit) -- This was a tough one for me because Vandagriff was as sharp as any quarterback during the first half of his throws, delivering it on the money and also showing great arm strength and the ability to throw on the move. But as it went along it seemed like he ran out of gas and that led to some mistakes and misfires. I've always been a fan of Vandagriff's talent, but was hoping to see more consistency in this setting. Vandagriff finished outside of the top 10 in the official scoring.
7. Garrett Nussmeier (LSU commit) -- From my vantage point there wasn't a quarterback who was more happy with his performance than Nussmeier, who walked away with a big smile on his face after an impressive showing. He got off to a rough start, including having a ball slip backward out of his hand. But he dialed it in and was very effective, especially in the red zone. Nussmeier finished eighth in the official scoring.
8. Miller Moss (USC commit) -- If I were grading just on accuracy alone, Moss would probably be higher on the list but I felt like he held a little back, especially when it came to arm strength. He made sure his passes were on the money and that helped his score, but fortune favors the bold so I would have tolerated a few more misses if I got to see Moss really put some serious arm strength behind his passes. Moss finished fourth in the official scoring.
9. Drake Maye (North Carolina commit) -- When the scores were released I was pretty shocked to see Maye finish No. 2 overall, but after going back and watching the video afterward I can see how he put up such a good score. Maye showed nice arm strength but it was interesting to see him struggle at times when throwing on the move, especially considering he has excelled in that aspect when I've seen him in the past.
10. Tyler Macon (Missouri commit) -- Macon really impressed me with his ability to push the ball down the field and make big-time throws at the second and third levels. If it weren't for a few misses on short throws he might have finished even higher than his final spot of fifth in the official scoring.
11. Kaidon Salter (Tennessee commit) -- Salter probably made the biggest improvement from Day 1 to Day 2 and he really benefited from the pro day format, which allowed him to get in a groove. He throws a pretty ball and did a nice job showing his arm on deeper throws as well. He finished sixth in the official scoring.
The rest: A few guys that just missed out and had good showings were Florida State commit Luke Altmyer and uncommitted three-star Maddox Kopp. Kopp has helped his stock as much as any quarterback at the even thus far.
WIDE RECEIVER TALENT IMPROVES
I mentioned yesterday that the wide receiver talent was lacking and it got a major pick-me-up thanks to an infusion of talent. Several prospects from the state of Georgia worked the event on Tuesday, headlined by Josh Graham, Bobby Ezzard, Logan Johnson, Denylon Morrisette and Jamal Haynes. The event lasted for nearly five hours, so having capable receivers made a big difference for the quarterbacks as the night wore on.
WHAT ABOUT HUARD?
As I watched the top names in the country battle it on Tuesday, I couldn't help but wonder about how five-star Washington commit Sam Huard would have fared at the event. After seeing Huard throw in the past, I have no doubt that he would be in the top group at the event.
Unfortunately, he was unable to make the trip after someone he came in contact with tested positive for COVID-19. Huard was disappointed not to be able to compete and it's unfortunate he missed a chance to show his skills against the best.