INDIANAPOLIS – With all the evaluating and dissecting of prospects that comes at the NFL Combine, the process can be extremely taxing on hopeful draftees.
For Kansas State’s Collin Klein the nitpicking began at the quarterback position and carried over to the tight end drills.
NFL scouts have questions on whether or not the 6’5”, 225-pound Klein can become a professional quarterback.
What does the quarterback think?
“I want to pursue every door that I possibly can at quarterback and until everyone one of those are close I’m not considering anything else,” Klein said at this year’s NFL Combine.
“That’s (the quarterback position) my heart, I know I have the tools to do that. I know I’ll bring a lot to the team at that position.’’
In trying to show scouts that he has the tools for an NFL quarterback, Klein is working with 10-year NFL veteran Jake Plummer in preparation for the next level.
While the two have worked on Klein’s mechanics, Plummer has also offered some mental advice for the Heisman Trophy finalist.
“He’s got great perspective, obviously he was very good for a lot of years, definitely a lot of strengths, a lot of perspective, I’m just very blessed and it’s been a great time,” Klein said of Plummer.
“We’ve been working on a couple things, keeping my front shoulder closed, always making sure my feet are in the right spot, where they need to be.’’
During Klein’s five seasons at Kansas State, he was primarily used as a receiver during his first two seasons.
In 2010, Klein was a situational quarterback, rushing 76 times for 432 yards while attempting just 18 passes.
As a full-time starter the last two seasons, Klein turned in a pair of prolific years at the quarterback position with over 2,000 rushing yards and 50 touchdowns to go along with 4,559 passing yards and 29 touchdowns.
NFL Network Analyst Mike Mayock admitted that he is rooting for a player of Klein’s character but there is no denying the questions in his throwing motion.
“He's a good athlete, but he's a better football player than he is a natural thrower of the football,” Mayock said. “I think the problem for him is he's going to be hinged heavily on his lack of throwing ability, funky motion, questionable accuracy and arm strength.”
Mayock said Klein struggled at the East/West All-Star Game in January and if he wants to last in the NFL, a starting quarterback position might not be the ideal route.
“I do believe there is a place for Collin Klein,” Klein said. “You can talk about wildcat, natural home for him. You can talk about a back up quarterback and some others. But I don't think he throws the ball well enough to be a starting quarterback, and because of that, I think he's going to slide pretty far down to the last day.”
Klein is open to adapting to another position at the next level but when it comes to playing quarterback, he offered some characteristics that the All-American signal caller feels he possesses.
“I’d say my mental approach to the game, and preparation, I.Q., is one; I’d say my tools, my arm and my legs, which I feel are under-rated; and toughness that permeates an entire football team that we’re very detail oriented and do whatever it takes to win a football game,” Klein said.