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Manning Passing Academy: Notes and Observations

Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

The annual Manning Passing Academy took place this week at Nicholls State University. The camp is led by the Manning family and invites the nation’s best college quarterbacks to help with the camp and later compete in the ‘air it out’ challenge.

The air it our challenge is where the quarterback has three throws to hit a moving golf cart, two crossing from 20 and 40 yard lines, and one taking off down the sideline on a go route. Some of the top names that competed in the challenge was Jake Fromm - Georgia, Jarett Stidham - Auburn, Kahlil Tate - Arizona, Jalen Hurts - Alabama, Drew Lock - Missouri, Alex Hornibrook - Wisconsin, Brandon Wimbush - Notre Dame, Mckenzie Milton - UCF, Trace McSorley - Penn State and Jake Browning - Washington. Wisconsin’s Alex Hornibrook took home the title by hitting all three golf carts with no other quarterbacks doing so.

Saints wide receiver Tre’Quan Smith was absset at the end of OTAs from an undisclosed injury and wasn’t present. But, I spotted Smith at the Manning camp with no visible limp or brace of any kind, indicating that it was a minor injury and nothing to worry about. Rookies report for training camp July 17th, so keep an eye out for Smith and how much he particaptes early in camp. I expect full particiaption in camp only being a minor injury.

Ole Miss wide receiver D.K. Metcalf (6’4”, 225 lbs) ran routes at the passing academy and looked great. Metcalf is coming off a seven touchdown season for the Rebels and will be teaming up with another WR, one of nation’s best in A.J. Brown this season. Metcalf seemed to be in great shape and really bulked up. His routes were clean and speed was impressive for a big body receiver. Metcalf will be interesting name for the 2019 NFL draft because of his size and jump ball radius.

Former Saints tryout wide receiver Bruce Thompson was also at the Manning passing academy. Thompson’s route running ability and hands were impressive. He is awaiting his next NFL chance and contuines to grind till he gets his next opportunity.