California QB Jared Goff gets tested at pro day
BERKELEY, Calif. (AP) Jared Goff had finished the scripted part of his pro day when the Cleveland Browns made a special request.
Cleveland quarterback coach Pep Hamilton doused a ball with water and had Goff make several throws with the wet football to see how a California kid would adjust to the inclement weather in the AFC North if the Browns choose to pick him second overall at next month's draft.
''Growing up in California, they probably wanted to see that and that makes sense,'' Goff said Friday. ''At the same time, I've played in cold weather before and I wouldn't be the first quarterback to go from California to cold weather. I think Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers are doing pretty well. They're able to do it.''
Teams considering taking quarterbacks in the first round of the draft leave few stones unturned as they consider everything from game tape, to interviews to hand size. Much was made at last month's combine about whether Goff's hands were too small at nine inches. They measured one-eighth of an inch bigger at his pro day at California.
''They got me a new measuring tape that is made for small-handed people I guess,'' he joked.
The most pressing question about Goff for teams deciding if he is worthy of being a franchise quarterback is the adjustment he will have to make from the spread offense he played in college to a more pro-style attack in the pros.
Goff operated almost exclusively out of the shotgun in his three years at Cal when he set school records for yards passing (12,200), completions (977) and touchdown passes (96). He improved every season and finished this past year with career highs of 4,719 yards passing, a Pac-12 record 43 touchdown passes, 64.5 percent completion rate and a 161.3 passer rating.
Goff has spent much of his pre-draft preparation with former NFL quarterback Ryan Lindley working on his drop backs from center.
''I felt pretty comfortable with it after a week or two honestly,'' Goff said. ''It obviously is going to be a transition with actual players out there. Just doing it under center, I felt very comfortable with it right away. I didn't have a transition period. It felt pretty natural to me. Obviously there's a lot of stuff I want to tighten up.''
Most of his passes at his pro day included drops from center, including some with play-action fakes, in an attempt to show he has the proper footwork to execute any offense in the NFL.
Goff was mostly accurate in his scripted workout, with one notable miscommunication when a receiver went a different way than Goff threw and a few fluttering balls that were slightly off-target or dropped. He finished with an on-target 40-yard pass that showed off his deep arm.
''I felt good overall,'' he said. ''Finished it pretty well and felt good about it. There are always going to be a couple, two or three, you want back. I'd like to have zero I'd want back but that's hard to ask sometimes. It went well. I was really happy about it.''
Goff performed under the watchful eye of scores of NFL scouts, executives and coaches. He spoke briefly with Cleveland's Hue Jackson and San Francisco's Chip Kelly, two coaches of teams with top 10 picks in the market for a quarterback.
Having grown up in the Bay Area and having played his college ball here as well, he acknowledged there would be something special about playing for the 49ers.
''Growing up as a fan of them that would be awesome,'' he said. ''But at the same time, I'd be more than happy to play anywhere and be with a team or a coach that I want to win games with or be very successful with.''