Gruden Camp: Jimmy Garoppolo

Eastern Illinois QB is a late bloomer who needs time to adjust to NFL game

Updated: May 5, 2014, 12:09 PM ET
By Jon Gruden | As told to Mike Sando

ESPN NFL Insider Mike Sando went to Orlando, Florida, to watch Jon Gruden's QB Camp taping with Eastern Illinois QB Jimmy Garoppolo. Sando has written up Gruden's biggest takeaways from the interview and throwing sessions, in Gruden's voice.

1. Garoppolo is rising.

He is a four-year starter but actually is a late bloomer. He wasn't a certified quarterback in high school. He was a linebacker and running back and was not heavily recruited. I bet he was 155 pounds starting out at Eastern Illinois. He goes through a coaching change in his sophomore year, and the new coach comes from Baylor with that up-tempo, no-huddle offense. Garoppolo just took off in that offense. He was also beginning to flourish physically thanks to his work ethic. He really got bigger and stronger. You pair the physical improvements with this style of offense, and he just exploded onto the scene his senior year. He wins the Walter Payton Award, which is basically the Heisman of the FCS. He's the offensive MVP of the East-West Shrine Game, he goes to the Senior Bowl and looks like he belongs. This is a legitimate prospect who was under the radar for a long time.

Jon Gruden

ESPN Insider