Senior Bowl QBs, including Brandon Weeden, have strong resumes, much to prove

MOBILE, Ala. (AP) -- Kellen Moore and Russell Wilson have heard it before: They're too short to be NFL quarterbacks. Brandon Weeden's plenty tall, but too darn old for a rookie.

They have spent the past week addressing those concerns for NFL coaches and scouts on the field and in meetings.

Their final Senior Bowl test comes with Saturday's game in the showcase for senior NFL prospects.

"This is the top tier of the senior class coming into this draft and what better way to test what you're all about and challenge yourself," said Moore, who won 50 games at Boise State but measured at a shade under 6 feet.

The game's six quarterbacks carry impressive credentials, and some interesting story lines. Five of them leave college holding their school's career passing mark. Two were transfers.

Wilson, a former North Carolina State starter who played his final season with Wisconsin, and Oklahoma State's 28-year-old Weeden both played professional baseball.

Arizona's Nick Foles switched from Michigan State in search of playing time after coming in with Kirk Cousins and now they'll be on opposite sidelines for the game.

Foles, San Diego State's Ryan Lindley and Weeden will take turns directing the South team. Cousins, Moore and Wilson are on the North.

"Especially as a quarterback, you don't get to this point without being a unique person, a special person, and someone who has some character to them," Cousins said. "If you look at the quarterbacks who are here, that's certainly the case with every one of them.

"Everyone's got a story, that's for sure."

The game will also feature highly rated defensive ends Quinton Coples of North Carolina and Alabama's Courtney Upshaw, who could land at either end or linebacker. Cornerback Janoris Jenkins -- who finished at Division II North Alabama after getting kicked off the Florida team -- is among the other potential first-rounders.

Quarterbacks Christian Ponder and Jake Locker were both first-round picks after playing in last year's Senior Bowl.

Coveted underclassmen Andrew Luck, Robert Griffin III and injured Texas A&M quarterback Ryan Tannehill are absent, leaving the other guys with a week to improve their stock and tackle any presumed deficiencies.

Too short? Moore and Wilson emphatically say no way.

"I've been this height since about ninth grade," Moore said, "and I've managed to play with it. And I think I can continue with it."

"I played behind the fourth-biggest offensive line in the country this past season, averaging 6-5," said Wilson, who's not quite 5-foot-11. "The proof's in the pudding that I can play. It's not a factor in my mind at all.

"I can make all the throws."

Too old? Weeden shrugs that off, noting that plenty of passers don't win Super Bowls until their 30s and pointing to the similar career path taken by former Carolina quarterback Chris Weinke.

"If I can play 10 years in the NFL like he did, I'd be stoked," he said.

They all have the college credentials. Moore went 50-3 at Boise State and finished second in the NCAA in career passing touchdowns (142) and fifth in career yardage (14,677).

Wilson passed for Wisconsin-records 3,175 yards and 33 touchdowns in his lone season. He was a superb 19-of-25 passing for 296 yards in the Rose Bowl finale against Oregon.

Weeden had the Cowboys in national title contention until the end and finished with nine of the top 12 passing performances at Oklahoma State.

Cousins left Michigan State with six school career records, Foles became Arizona's first 10,000-yard passer and had a string of 208 straight attempts without an interception.

Lindley logged 49 career starts and passed for 12,690 yards and 90 touchdowns.

"We have a great quarterback crew here," Moore said. "The six of us, we all kind of know each other. We've probably spent some time together in the past and watched each other develop. It's a lot of fun."

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