Beck recalls draft tests

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Sports,NFL,Redskins,John Keim

Two days before a scheduled visit with the Dolphins before the 2007 NFL Draft, a package arrived for then BYU quarterback John Beck. It was a condensed version of Miami's playbook with a set of instructions: memorize this before you arrive.

So Beck did.

But the Dolphins never directly asked him about any of the plays he had learned in the past 48 hours. After a half hour Beck asked why. Their response: Beck would tell them this is how they termed a particular formation, then he'd say how Miami called the same look. It was clear he had learned their plays.

It solidified the Dolphins' belief in him, and they drafted him in the second round.

"When Miami drafted me I felt happy because I knew they wanted me," Beck said.

It was just part of the process a quarterback goes through before the draft. Scouts, coaches and executives pore over college game tape to determine who they like. But a final decision can be swayed in the interview room or during chalk sessions.

In Baltimore, Beck remembered being quizzed about coverages and what play he'd call to beat it. They wanted to know what he was thinking in a certain situation. Then they wanted to see: his best game throwing deep; his best game throwing into tight coverages and then his worst game.

Another team peppered him with questions about one of his late-game drives at BYU, asking him if he remembers the play -- and then the one that came next.

"They want to see how does what you've been doing translate into what they're trying to do," Beck said.

But they also want to see how they handle tough questions.

"The Jets tried to get me flustered at the board," he said. "But I knew what they were doing. ... Teams will say, 'Why are you doing this?' They want to see how the athlete responds to criticism. A quarterback in the NFL has to take all that stuff. It's part of the game."

jkeim@washingtonexaminer.com

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