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Possible Pick: EIU's Garoppolo Has Romo-Like Qualities


(Editor's Note: Heading into the upcoming NFL Draft, held May 8-10, will take a closer look at the prospects, including some that could be potential fits with the Cowboys. Today's featured player is Eastern Illinois quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo).

Name:Jimmy Garoppolo


College: Eastern Illinois   

Height/Weight:6-2 / 226


Honors: With an outstanding 2013 season, Garoppolo won the prestigious Walter Payton Award, given to the top player in FCS football. The only other Eastern Illinois player to win it is none other than Tony Romo. Garoppolo threw for 5,050 yards and 53 touchdowns while completing 66 percent of his passes.

Key stat:Last year, EIU went 12-2 and won their games by an average of 30.8 points. Garoppolo was often removed from games at halftime or before. Of his 53 touchdown passes, 25 occurred in the first quarter.

Where He's Projected:He's not exactly a first-round pick but who knows what might happen on draft day, especially with so many teams wanting a quarterback. But it's likely Garoppolo will be a second-round pick and perhaps a third. He's got good size and measurables but the small-school tag could hurt him. Then again, there has been a pretty productive player to come from the same school. [embedded_ad]

How He Helps the Cowboys:If the Cowboys were to draft him as a future project, it's likely the term "Baby Romo" would be applied to Garoppolo for a multitude of reasons. Coming to a team like Dallas would be helpful for a young quarterback from a small school because he'd get the chance to sit and learn from Romo, but maybe Kyle Orton as well, depending on his uncertain future. But Garoppolo would be a future quarterback in just about any situation he goes to.

Scout's Take: Ideal size for the position. Does a nice job of standing in the pocket and delivering the ball. Is a very efficient passer. Will keep his eyes down the field despite what is going on around him. Plays with really nice accuracy. Gets rid of the ball quickly. Would not say that he has an elite type of NFL arm but ball comes out of his hand well enough. Throwing point is a little lower and at times, almost side arm. Could see some NFL coaches working with him to try and raise it a bit. Plays with more confidence in his arm than he should really have. Will attempt to put the ball in very tight windows. Has the ability to hit the receiver on the move. Do not see receivers have to really work to make catches for him. Good at directing the offense from the shot gun. Plays with confidence and poise as you study him on tape. Appears that not too many things bother him while he is on the field. Plays with a calmness about him. Able to line up his teammates and get them in the right play. Nice command of the offense. Played well in his all-star game opportunities. Things didn't look too big for him. Uses his smarts to help him. Used hard count well in the San Diego State game. Makes throws that are effortless. Showed deep ball touch. Is a steady down after down performer that played at a lower level of competition but thrived when he got the chance to go up in weight class. Could see some teams having him on their boards about Derek Carr and even Teddy Bridgewater. Played in a cold weather setting during his college career and handled that well. 

Bryan Broaddus

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