John Beck's NFL draft stock is rising since the Las Vegas Bowl win over Oregon and his appearance at the NFL combine in Indianapolis this past week.
He is already booking team workouts heading into BYU's Pro Day workouts on March 21 in Provo.
While LSU's Jamarcus Russell and Notre Dame's Brady Quinn are listed among the two top quarterbacks in the draft, Beck is battling Stanford's Trent Edwards and Michigan State's Drew Stanton to be No. 3 or 4.
On Thursday, Beck took time out from a day-filled workout schedule to report on his combine experience.
"There are two things I wanted to really do well in at the combine," said Beck. "I wanted to do well in the interviews and all my throws. I walked away from every interview feeling I'd done my best. On my throws, I think I hit every one of them but my last, and that one kind of slipped out of my hand. It bugged me. But throwing 25 out of 26 isn't too bad when I wanted to be perfect."
Beck had the second-best throwing speed at the combine, a radar measured 61.1 miles an hour. Neither Russell nor Quinn threw at the combine. Since the workouts, Beck has received numerous calls from NFL teams, lining up personal workouts at their expense.
Beck, the MWC Player of the Year, also registered a 4.75 time in the 40-yard dash. According to published reports, Beck was impressive with all his throws, both long and short.
According to Rob Rang of NFLDraftScout.com, "Beck was the most impressive quarterback I viewed inside the RCA Dome on Sunday.
"He has a compact delivery and generates good zip on his passes. He was consistently among the most accurate passers of the Group Four quarterbacks, showing particularly sound velocity on his curls, quick slant and the out routes.
"His deep balls had touch and effectively led the receivers over the outside shoulder towards the sideline and away from where the safety worked."
The SportingNews.com reported, "BYU's John Beck ran a great 40 (4.70) and was the most consistently accurate passer among the quarterbacks. Beck hit all his targets and displayed a quick, compact release. ... "
"I, personally, view him as one of the more underrated players in the draft and one of the few QBs capable of contributing quick," said Rang.Two other Cougars were invited to Indianapolis. Jonny Harline and Daniel Coats both had workouts, and the most impressive stat posted by either was a 34-rep bench press by Coats, who ran a 4.94 time in the forty. Harline was timed in 4.84 and had just 15 reps with the weights.
UTAH: Safety Eric Weddle and defensive tackle Paul Soliai represented the Utes at the NFL combine.
Weddle wound up recording the second-best 20-yard shuttle among the defensive backs with a time of 4.12. He was third in the three-cone drill at 6.78 and tied for 10th in the 40-yard dash at 4.48, equaling the time of Florida's Reggie Nelson and Wyoming's John Wendling.
Weddle's other timed marks include 2.56 in the 20-yard dash, 1.43 in the 10-yard dash and 11 reps in the 225-pound bench press. He recorded a vertical jump of 33 1/3 inches and a broad jump of 9 feet, 5 inches.
Soliai had times of 5.10 in the 40, 2.93 in the 20, 1.63 in the 10, 4.69 in the 20-yard shuttle and 7.66 in the three-cone drill. The 6-foot-4, 344-pounder is healing from an elbow injury and did not participate in the bench press. He had a vertical jump of 29 1/2 and a broad jump of 8 feet, 7 inches.
"I think they did very well," Utah coach Kyle Whittingham said.
"I think they both helped themselves in draft status."
NFLDraftScout.com ranks Weddle as the fourth-best prospect at strong safety. He is projected to be drafted in the second or third round.
Soliai, the biggest of the 50 defensive lineman invited to the combine, is rated as the ninth-best tackle and a projected fourth-round pick.Utah's other draft prospects will participate in "Pro Day" at the Spence Eccles Field House on March 12.
WEBER STATE: Weber State only had defensive back Bo Smith for a year. But the former Kentucky Wildcat made a big impression during his only season in Ogden. The first-team all-Big Sky cornerback also turned a few heads at the NFL combine.
Recording a time of 4.44 in the 40-yard dash, he is listed among the defensive backs who helped themselves the most by draft guru John Murphy of Yahoo! Sports.
Smith also registered 14 bench-press reps of 225 pounds.
Weber State had two players drafted last year offensive linemen Pat and Paul McQuistan and may see another player selected as some experts believe defensive backs to be in high demand but short supply in the 2007 draft.
NFLDraftScout.com said Smith's stock is on the rise.The Wildcats do not have an official Pro Day scheduled, but Smith and a few other players will likely jump in with draft prospects at Utah, Utah State or BYU.
Dirk Facer and Jared Eborn contributed to this report.
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