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Monday, March 1, 2010
Getting up: Assessing QB verticals

By Mike Sando
ESPN.com

Cardinals quarterback Matt Leinart posted a 37-inch vertical jump at his pro day workout in 2006.

That wasn't the reason Arizona selected him 10th overall in the draft.

Tim Tebow's 38.5-inch jump at the combine tied Josh McCown's record for a quarterback at the annual event, narrowly edging the combine marks Philadelphia's Michael Vick and Seattle's Seneca Wallace posted. But those vertical-jump marks aren't particularly relevant when teams size up quarterbacks -- or players at other positions, in a lot of cases.

The mark is one indicator of overall athleticism. I suppose an especially poor mark could raise concerns about players at some positions. But when you consider players with exceptional verticals in recent combines -- Gerald Sensabaugh, Cameron Wake, Chris McKenzie, Donald Washington and Chris Chambers were all at 45 inches or higher -- it's not as though they all became top players.

Seattle's Nate Burleson (42.5 inches) and San Francisco's Vernon Davis (42) are among the current NFC West player with excellent verticals at recent combines. Rams receiver Keenan Burton and Cardinals cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie posted 39-inch verticals at the 2008 combine.