Grier Continues To Espouse Confidence at NFL Combine
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — As they watched players perform at the NFL Combine, these NFL coaches and scouts and general managers gathered like stable representatives at a prime yearling sale of thoroughbreds at Keeneland Race Track.
Flesh on the hoof, that was what they were looking for, players who can lead them to the Super Bowl, just as the Will Farishes and Bob Bafferts of the horse racing world are looking for a Kentucky Derby horse.
They weigh them and measure them and test them and, yes, watch them run at both places before deciding 1. if they can make it to the races or the league; 2. where they fit into their way of doing things; and 3. what’s inside them, that item that doesn’t show up in the numbers.
All of this brings us to West Virginia’s outgoing quarterback Will Grier, who is in this season’s draft group and over whom talent evaluators are split.
Most are placing him as a second-round selection, maybe first-round, rating him behind the likes of Heisman Trophy winner Kyler Murray of Oklahoma and Ohio State’s Dwayne Haskins, Drew Lock of Missouri and Ryan Finley of North Carolina State.
Grier, however, doesn’t see it that way.
He proclaimed at the Combine that he is the best quarterback in the draft.
“I’m not totally sure where people have me. I’m very confident. I feel like I’m the best quarterback in this draft,” Grier said during an interview session. “I would have felt that way if I came out last year. I’m very confident in my abilities. It’s not just about my tape, which is really good, and I think it’s the best tape that there is. But it’s also everything else that goes into playing quarterback that I take pride in.”
This doesn’t necessarily sound like the same quarterback who came to WVU humbly as a transfer from Florida, a prodigy who was the top quarterback as he graduated high school, a starter as a freshman, but a religious man, a family man with a daughter and with loving parents and a pair of brothers who had succeeded in the world on their own in non-athletic endeavors.
He was the ultimate team player, a warrior who lifted those around him, who worked overtime to get where he was and who fought through injuries for this NFL dream he is now chasing.
He did it in a confident manner, but not a boastful manner.
But now he is selling a product, himself, and if he isn’t going sing his own praises, he can’t be sure that anyone else will … and he has history to back him up.
Over and over during his career at WVU, his pass-catching buddy David Sills V, himself a top prospect in this year’s draft, would sing his praises as the two grew into not just passer and receiver but into teammates and friends who shared their drive toward excellence.
At the Combine, though, his left tackle, Yodny Cajuste, another headed perhaps for the first round, offered up a glowing picture of Grier as a teammate and leader.
Cajuste spoke of what he did in the 2017 Texas Tech game when WVU was down by 18 points in the third quarter against the 24th-ranked team in the nation. It was a time when everyone on the team was looking to see what Grier would have to offer, it being just his sixth start as a Mountaineer.
“He looked at us on the sideline and he said, ‘I’m going to win this game for us.’ And then he did,” Cajuste said.
Grier had spoken up and backed up his talk.
“It’s important,” Grier said at the Combine. “I’m the leader of the team. I want it on my shoulders, and I deliver when it matters.”
All of this has led to an interest conjecture surrounding Grier, that being that he seems to be the perfect player to be groomed to replace Tom Brady in New England when he retires … although Grier might not want to wait that long.
Brady is 42 and shows no signs of going into retirement.
Brady is known for being a winner, for coming up with plays when they must be made. It comes from a knowledge of the offense, of the defense, of his personnel and of a supreme belief in himself, the kind Grier is trying to sell to NFL team right now.
The bigger the moment, the better he says he likes it.
“I love it. I feed off it,” Grier said. “I want the ball in my hands in those kinds of situations. I don’t get nervous. I don’t feel pressure. Those are the moments I prepared for my whole life.”