About to get physically and emotionally dissected in every manner this week, Jacob Eason showed up at the NFL Combine in Indianapolis and told the assembled media he was ready to pursue his pro football dream.
He gave no thought to staying at the University of Washington for another season. It was time to see where he lands as a pro quarterback. Rightly so, it was all about him and what he wanted.
"I felt like I maximized what I was going to be able to do in terms of school and college and everything in the area," Eason said. "The NFL has been a dream of mine for as long as I can remember and I felt ready and I wanted to go take on that challenge."
Eason represents one of the more curious players in the draft, possessing an arm that no one else has, yet no great resume for team success in either of his stops at Washington or Georgia. His teams finished 8-5 with a second-tier bowl victory each time with him running the huddle.
Two unidentified NFL general managers told nfl.com (check out the story) said Eason should have stayed in school for another year and come to the pros as a more seasoned player. A GM told Husky Maven/Sports Illustrated the same thing at midseason.
Yet for every cautious Eason naysayer, there are team executives barely able to contain their glee over the bazooka that the Lake Stevens product calls his right arm.
"The guy can drop f----- dimes," a general manager told nfl.com, the league's website. "He's an extremely talented passer and he's gonna rise up the board as the draft gets closer, because people are gonna look at his build and see him throw and go, 'Where am I gonna get a guy like that?' "
Before coming to this Indiana showcase event, the 6-foot-6, 227-pound Eason spent the past several weeks working out in Orange County, California. He's been trying to fine-tune his footwork, which he's been advised needs an upgrade.
As for that golden arm, those at this NFL talent show only advise him not to overthrow the football. His normal passing motion leaves people awestruck as it is.
Two months before the draft, Eason currently ranks behind quarterbacks Joe Burrow of LSU, Tua Tagovailoa of Alabama and Oregon's Justin Hebert, all likely top 10 draftees.
Eason is considered a second-tier selection, along with his former Georgia teammate Jake Fromm and Utah State's Jordan Love. There is nothing to suggest that can't change, that the former Husky can't shoot up the draft order if some team suddenly thinks he's the next John Elway or Dan Marino.
Bob Condotta, Seattle Times Seahawks reporter, is covering the combine and wrote how Eason's year off as a transfer helped him appreciate the game more and probably got him ready for early entry. You can read the Times story and listen to Eason's combine media briefing here.
However this all shakes out, Eason will hold the UW fans spellbound that he left behind, even the ones who said he was disappointing as the Husky QB and they wanted him to move on. The above video shows him after one of those down moments, taking the blame for his Oregon miscues.
Love him or hate him, no one else in the draft can throw like him. With a gun like that, anything's possible.
"Man, can he sling it," another unidentified GM said from Indianapolis.