Jacobs awaits NFL Draft

There is only one month left for Omar Jacobs to wait before he can realize his dream of playing professional football.

Just 31 days remain until the 2006 NFL Draft in New York City from April 23-24 when Jacobs and the rest of his drafting class can put to rest all the speculation and all the talk that has surrounded them since their seasons ended a few months back.

The NFL Combine has been over for a month and all that is left for Jacobs to do is sit around and wait to see if all his hard work during that time has paid off.

“It’s been pretty slow,” Jacobs said of the last month. “I haven’t had any personal workouts with teams since the combine. Just been hanging around Bowling Green kind of waiting around for those – trying to workout and stay in shape.”

Jacobs, a 6-foot-4-inch, 224-pound native of Delray Beach, Fla., has been slated by many to be the fourth or fifth best quarterback in his draft class. This came after a strong showing at the combine where his draft stock shot up after a disappointing junior season that saw not only his numbers fall, but his draft status as well.

In his combine workout, Jacobs was timed at 4.77 seconds in the 40-yard dash, recorded a vertical jump of 32 inches and went 10-for-12 in the passing drill. It was the kind of performance he was looking for.

“I was peaking at the right time when I went to the combine and things went well,” Jacobs said. “I ran alright, but my throwing was the thing they wanted to see the most and I did real well with that.”

Five teams took notice of Jacob’s performance and showed interest at the combine, but Jacobs knows nothing is for sure in the NFL Draft and that he could fall anywhere.

“The draft is like a big poker game you know,” he said. “Teams may have already seen what they want to see from me and may not want anymore personal workouts so it’s hard to tell what they’re thinking.”

One thing that has influenced a lot of thinking has been the spread offense Jacobs was part of at BGSU. He has suffered through criticism that he was part of an offensive system that “padded” statistics and may have made the quarterback’s running those offenses look better than they really appear, because of the short passing routes involved with it.

A majority of the snaps Jacobs took came from the shotgun formation and eliminated the pocket that most NFL quarterbacks have to learn to maneuver.

“The main thing for me is getting snaps under center,” Jacobs said. “That is something that I have to continue to work on.”

“At first the big thing for me was mechanics when people were looking at me,” he continued. “But people have been kind of shying away from that because of how accurate I was and how much loft I was getting under the ball, so that kind of put a damper on it.”

When asked what makes him unique from Matt Leinhart, Vince Young and Jay Cutler – the top three projected quarterbacks in the draft – Jacobs feels he can mesh his game to add his own element to the games they already have.

“I think I can be kind of like a mixture of those guys,” Jacobs said. “Leinhart is more of a pocket passer, and I can do that. Vince Young is more athletic and I can run to deke past a pass rush, so I think I can bring both of those things to the table to make myself stand out.”

Though he most likely won’t get the chance to move up in draft status, Jacobs knows all he can do is continue to work hard and sometimes that can be a challenge with Ohio’s weather in March.

“Bowling Green is weird,” Jacobs said. “Some days it’ll be like warm then the next day you can hardly breathe and there’s a wind chill below something – you don’t want to go out because it’s so cold.”

In the next few weeks though Jacobs will have an extra motivation to go outside, as he is excited to watch his former team start spring practices. Though he can’t take part in the workouts themselves he can’t wait to see what he says, is “a whole new team” going through their first steps without him.

Also missing from this year’s squad will be likely NFL free agents P.J. Pope, Steve Sanders and Charles Sharon who also played a key role in BG’s success the past few seasons. The three haven’t gotten as many looks as Jacobs, but he knows if they are given the chance they too can have NFL success.

“Those guys have always been kind of underrated,” he said. ” I think Chuck [Sharon] and Steve [Sanders] are two of the best receivers in the nation, and I think if any of those guys gets a shot they can prove people wrong and have a good career.”