Eastern Illinois University quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo is looking to take a path similar to Oakland Raiders third round pick in linebacker Sio Moore as he enters the 2014 Senior Bowl as practices began in Mobile, Alabama on Monday.
During the 2013 Senior Bowl, Sio Moore took a late invite after an impressive East-West Shrine Game performance and vaulted himself from fringe status after his college career at UCONN to the third round and a prominent rookie role with the Raiders.
This year, Garoppolo, who hails from outside of the NCAA’s top division is looking to be one of the success stories of the 2014 Senior Bowl after an impressive Shrine Game performance where he was named MVP.
On the first day of practice, Garoppolo continued to impress as those at the Senior Bowl reported that the quarterback’s ball placement was impressive even when compared to the sole potential first round quarterback at the Senior Bowl in Fresno State’s Derek Carr.
Garoppolo continued the positive momentum he’d gained from the East-West Shrine Game with an impressive initial practice. While he does not possess Carr’s howitzer, Garoppolo has a very quick set-up and release and frequently threw led his receivers away from defenders, showing better ball-placement than Carr on several of his throws.
Garoppolo has his limitations, namely hand size which was brought to light during the weigh ins. Still, Garoppolo is likely the second best quarterback at Mobile this week with the likes of Blake Bortles, Teddy Bridgewater, Johnny Manziel, and even AJ McCarron opting not to attend. That likely will improve his stock as he has a real chance to once again steal the show as he did in the Shrine Game. Already being compared to as equal to Derek Carr is a good start.