A draft never passes without its share of later-round success stories. San Diego State QB Ryan Lindley surely hopes to be one of them. One of six quarterbacks who played in the 2012 Senior Bowl, the 22-year-old Lindley was a four-year starter for the Aztecs, setting school records for passing yards and TDs.
We recently caught up with Lindley, and here’s what we learned about the passing prospect:
• He believes his arm strength is his top pro physical attribute. This jibes with what PFW personnel analyst Nolan Nawrocki wrote in PFW’s 2012 Draft Preview. Said Lindley: “I feel like when I get back there, I can put the ball all over the field. I don’t think there’s many throws in the NFL, or that we’ve made before, that I didn’t think I could get it there with my arm strength.”
• His accuracy needs to improve, and he knows it. Lindley never completed more than 57.7 percent of his throws in four seasons with San Diego State. Lindley said his hips — and especially his feet — will be key for him to be more pinpoint. He completed just 53 percent of his passes as a senior, something he chalked up to technique. “Everything starts from the feet up," he said. "You’ve got to have a good platform to throw from, and I kind of got a little lazy with that, and it hurt me (from) an accuracy standpoint.”
• He has worked with former longtime NFL assistant Ted Tollner on his technique, and he likes the results. “I feel a lot better about it now going into a camp than I did, say, three or four months ago. So it’s something I’ll continue to work on. And with me, I’m a bigger guy — I’m not super fleet-of-foot — but it’s just something for me to work on to get better at, to get my feet right."
• He believes 49 collegiate starts can only help him as the NFL experience begins. “I think that’s another aspect that helps me out, that’s going to help me with the learning curve next year and in years to come,” he said.
• Here's Lindley on his leadership style: “For me, I think you’ve just got to go in and work and prove to the guys that they can trust you, that you’re reliable, you’re going to be consistent.”
• He played baseball in high school, but stopped at age 15. For the record, he could hit the low-to-mid 80s with his fastball, he said. If football didn’t pan out, he might make a “last ditch effort” to rekindle a baseball career, he said, but football is his priority.
• If he wasn’t preparing for a sporting career, Lindley would be seeking a job as a high school history teacher.
• Lindley is ready for whatever comes on draft weekend. “I’d love to be in a position where I can be under a guy who’s established, who’s done well, who’s been successful, and just see what makes him successful, learn from that, and use that to help myself grow,” he said. “Regardless of whether I’m in that situation or in a situation where I’m going to get thrown into it Week Two, I’m going to run with it, do the best I can and just put my heart and soul into it.”