Combine 'throwing QBs' know Yates' story

INDIANAPOLIS -- A Houston Texans third-string quarterback has become the patron saint of NFL scouting combine “throwing quarterbacks.”

The last handful of signal-callers invited to participate get to do the regular quarterback work and be seen by scouts. But they also stay after the big guns leave town, doing all the throwing to all the other positions -- including defenders.

This year’s “throwing quarterbacks” are Jacory Harris from Miami, Austin Davis of Southern Miss and Chandler Harnish of Northern Illinois. They are aware that one of last year’s “throwing quarterbacks" was T.J. Yates of North Carolina, who was drafted by the Texans in the fifth round and started five regular-season and two playoff games.

“For me it’s just a great opportunity to be in front of the scouts and make an impression,” Davis said. “It’s not really the premier position, but as long as you’re here. T.J. Yates was a throwing quarterback last year. He played in the playoffs. So I am glad to be here ...”

“I was not invited initially; it was a late invitation. I think I throw to the tight ends on Saturday. I’ll go with the quarterbacks on Sunday -- I’ll do everything the quarterbacks do. Then I’ll stay here on Monday and Tuesday.

“Initially I thought it meant you only threw, that you didn’t get to do anything else. But I still get to run my 40, I get to interview, I get to test.”

The trio's work includes throwing to linebackers and defensive backs, who get a chance to show off their ability to track balls, make plays on them and change direction as they secure the ball.

“I don’t like to practice that,” Davis said. “You don’t ever want to practice that. But I’ve done drills with my defensive guys.”

Said Harris: “It’s perfectly fine (throwing to defenders). Because just like everybody else is trying to get an opportunity to go into the NFL, I want to help them. So I am going to throw perfect passes to them so they can have the opportunity to practice their skills.”