Former Husky quarterback taking a shot at NFL
The former Husky will try to impress at this week's scouting combine, but an injured foot is slowing him down.
Seattle Times staff reporter
His right foot still hurts.
He won't be able to take part in agility or speed-testing drills, and only hopes to throw passes this week.
He says his severely sprained foot might not be healed enough to allow him to practice until June or July.
But Isaiah Stanback presses on. The former Washington quarterback leaves for the NFL's annual scouting combine in Indianapolis today, hoping for the best. And hoping that NFL teams see him the way he wants to be viewed — as a quarterback and not just a multipurpose athlete.
"My heart's set on being a quarterback," Stanback said last week from Southern California. "I just want to be given the opportunity. A quarterback is going to take time to develop. I'm just hoping that whoever I end up with will want to take that time."
Six other players from state universities will join Washington's Isaiah Stanback at the NFL scouting combine in Indianapolis this week. Here's a look at each and a brief pro scout's take:
TE Michael Allan (Whitworth) Bellevue native played well in East-West Shrine Game; good hands but needs to improve blocking.
S Dashon Goldson (Washington) Might be seen as a cornerback by some teams, depending on how fast he runs in workouts. Projected as a midround pick.
DE Mkristo Bruce (Washington State) Renton native has size but needs to work on quickness.
CB Tyron Brackenridge (Washington State) What he might lack in size is made up for with ball-hawking skills and feisty play.
S Eric Frampton (Washington State) Underrated and could be a first-day pick after a solid senior season.
WR Jason Hill (Washington State) Only Cougar at Senior Bowl. Good hands could make him a third-round pick.
José Miguel Romero
Not that Stanback is against being used as a receiver or return specialist, with his speed and athleticism. He was used at receiver and return man as a Huskies freshman in 2003.
Stanback would be willing to take on those roles, as long as he gets a fair shot, as he put it, at quarterback.
But any team that drafts Stanback will have done so without seeing him run. And that could affect where he is drafted, or if he is at all.
At the combine, only the surefire top picks generally have the option of skipping some drills for the pro scouts because their ability to be impact players is considered a given.
Stanback injured his foot in the Huskies' loss to Oregon State on Oct. 14.
Gone were his chances to play in the Senior Bowl, where the highest number of NFL scouts and coaches congregate in late January.
Stanback is feeling better but can't put a percentage on how well he is. But there have been no setbacks with the foot.
"I'm on schedule as far as doctors' orders," he said.
Rest assured, NFL team medical staffs will be examining the foot thoroughly at the combine. Stanback, for his part, will carry an impressive presence at 6 feet 3 and 215 pounds. He also believes he will do well on the bench press and in individual interviews with teams.
But Stanback has to work on his dropbacks and rollouts once he is cleared to run. Teams won't be able to see him do that live — even, most likely, at the Huskies' Pro Day next month — yet Stanback hopes to send out as much game tape of himself as he can.
"I'm sure it will affect me," he said of not being able to run for the scouts. "I hope teams know how fast I am."
And what of the talk of Stanback as something other than a quarterback at the pro level? If that happens, it won't be because of a lack of arm strength.
"Accuracy is a concern," said Rob Rang, senior draft analyst for nfldraftscout.com, "but he made significant improvement as a senior. Stanback showed so much improvement that you have to give him a chance at quarterback."
Scouts view Stanback as a fourth- or fifth-round pick.
Seneca Wallace, the Seahawks' backup quarterback, knows all about being viewed as an athlete rather than a quarterback. He heard the same talk when he came out of Iowa State in 2003.
"Everybody has their own opinion," Wallace said. "If you can play football, you can play football. People will look at him as an athlete because they [the Huskies] didn't play well. But you can't put it all on the quarterback."
Wallace offered Stanback some advice.
"If he wants to prove people wrong, it's important for him to stick to his guns," Wallace said.
José Miguel Romero: 206-464-2409 or firstname.lastname@example.org