TCU quarterback Casey Pachall might go undrafted, ruining a longtime dream. It matters, but, then again, it doesn’t matter.
Pachall still figures to get a shot at the NFL.
Even better, he graduated from TCU and turned his life around.
“I think he’s in a really good place right now,” TCU coach Gary Patterson said.
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Only two years ago, it appeared Pachall would be where Blake Bortles, Johnny Manziel and Teddy Bridgewater are today. He was one of the top quarterbacks in college football with a bright NFL future.
Now, CBS Sportsline ranks Pachall as the 22nd player at his position, behind SMU’s Garrett Gilbert and West Texas A&M’s Dustin Vaughan.
Pachall wasn’t invited to the NFL Scouting Combine last month, leaving him TCU’s Pro Day to prove to scouts he is worth a contract. Pachall was one of eight Horned Frogs to work out for 26 scouts from 21 teams Thursday, but no position coaches showed up at the Sam Baugh Indoor Practice facility to see him throw.
Pachall measured 6-3 1/2 and weighed 216 pounds. He had a 29-inch vertical jump, an 8-foot, 8-inch broad jump, and he ran the 40-yard dash in 4.96 and 4.94. He looks the part of a prototypical quarterback.
“I’ll say one thing for Casey: He’s got a real good arm,” Tennessee Titans scout C.O. Brocato said. “I think he needs to learn to follow through a little bit more with the bottom part of his feet. … He’s got some things he’s got to learn, but he’s got the good arm. He’s got size. And he’s a tough kid. I think if he picks it up real well and picks it up pretty quickly, I think he’ll be all right.”
Pachall, 23, completed 67 of 72 throws in the throwing session run by his personal quarterback coach, Brad Frazier. Pachall threw three uncatchable passes, and his receivers dropped two passes.
Frazier, who said Pachall had “a good day,” believes Pachall has an NFL future.
“He’s a competitor,” said Frazier, who began Old School Quarterbacks in 2003. “He has knowledge of the game, and he has an ability to handle all the stuff. He’s overcome a lot. There’s nothing he can’t work through. He’s strong, perseveres.”
Pachall said he has no private workouts or visits yet, but he will continue working out at the Michael Johnson Performance Center in McKinney.
“I’m going to take whatever opportunity I can get and whatever opportunity any team gives me, I’ll take it and make the best out of it, because it only takes one team,” Pachall said.
Pachall has had bigger doubts about him. He missed eight games in 2012, leaving school and entering a treatment program after his arrest on suspicion of drunken driving.
The 16 teams that met with him at the inaugural Medal of Honor Bowl in January also had questions about his failed team-administered drug test before his former roommate was one of four players arrested in a February 2012 drug bust.
“I would say more than 60 percent [of what scouts want to know] is off the field, maybe more than that, because they’re not going to want to invest a lot of money in you if you can’t keep your head on and stay out of trouble,” Pachall said. “So that’s the big thing, especially with me and my shaky past.
“… I just have to keep doing what I’m doing. I can only say so much. As long as I keep my rap sheet clean from here on out, like I have been, then that’s how I’m going to do it.”
Pachall’s 2011 season is the reason he will get a look. He completed 66.5 percent of his passes for 2,921 yards with 25 touchdowns and seven interceptions. The past two seasons are why he isn’t likely to be drafted.
Pachall returned to TCU in 2013 to play in only seven games after breaking his left arm. He ended the year with only a 56.4 completion percentage, 1,468 yards, six touchdowns and 10 interceptions.
Still, Pachall is in a good place now.
“I couldn’t be more proud of the kid,” his father, Stan Pachall, said. “What he’s done, to come back and realize that he’s made mistakes and admitted it. Everybody talks about giving people a second chance. I think he deserves his shot.
“He’s going to be a hidden gem for somebody. That’s me as a parent talking, but I also see the talent he’s got. It’s just a matter of time.”
Cincinnati Bengals defensive backs coach Vance Joseph watched cornerback Jason Verrett work out Thursday. Verrett stood on his 40 time from the combine (4.38) but he did 19 reps in the bench press despite needing shoulder surgery March 17.
Verrett, who also had a 39 1/2-inch vertical, has a private workout Friday with the Carolina Panthers.