The combine is a fickle “thing” and by no means should be considered the chief component to evaluate prospects but there are a number of players that made themselves some money and a handful that cost themselves guaranteed cash.
QB – Bryce Petty Baylor -The NFL is starved for quarterbacks. Petty didn’t do anything spectacular but demonstrated a live arm. His footwork was ahead of his spread quarterback counterparts albeit no bullets flying.
RB – Jeremy Langford Michigan State – I highlighted Langford here and with a 4.42 40-yard-dash that led all running backs he no longer will be available on Day 3 of the draft, in fact, he may not make it out of the 2nd Round.
WR – Jaelen Strong Arizona State – Scouts liked Strong coming into the Combine considering his size, production and ability to make contested catches. What they questioned was his ability to consistently separate and pigeon-holed him as a possession receiver. Kevin White grabbed headlines among the Top 3 receivers in the class but Strong’s 4.44 40-yard-dash and 42 inch vertical combined with impressive tape may have vaulted him to being the 4th receiver selected and maybe even a late 1st Round pick.
TE – MyCole Pruitt Southern Illinois – Pruitt displayed impressive athleticism by running a 4.58 40-yard-dash at 250+ lbs. in a relatively shallow tight end class. He also posted an 81/861/13 line this past season so the production is obviously there.
OL – Ereck Flowers Miami (FL) – I have Flowers pegged as a road-grader type right-tackle with good pass-blocking chops. He led all players at the combine with 37 bench reps of 225 lbs. despite his long arms (a huge plus for offensive linemen). In a class without a clear favorite at offensive tackle, Flowers did himself a favor.
DL – Carl Davis Iowa – The 6’4” 320 lbs. Davis demonstrated good athleticism with a 5.07 40-yard-dash and an even more impressive 1.73 10-yard-split. Defensive lineman with size and athleticism are coveted in the NFL and depending on how teams feel about Texas’ Malcolm Brown and Oklahoma’s Jordan Phillips, Davis might find himself at the bottom of the 1st Round.
LB – Vic Beasley Clemson – I gushed about Beasley here and he didn’t disappoint in Indianapolis. The only knock on Beasley coming into the Combine was his size. Beasley put on nearly 25 lbs. of apparent muscle, adding strength as evidenced by his 35 bench reps and managed to do so without sacrificing any of his explosiveness with an impressive 4.53 40-yard-dash. Beasley may have overtaken Shane Ray and Randy Gregory in April’s draft.
DB – Trae Waynes Michigan State – Many figured Waynes would be the first defensive back selected in April, a consensus Top 20 pick. After scorching the combine with a 4.31 40-yard-dash and possessing the length NFL teams so desperately covet among press corners in today’s game, Waynes may have found a way to crack the Top 10.
QB – In an otherwise, shallow QB class, no one completely face-planted. Lot’s of spread QBs with awful footwork and hit-or-miss accuracy.
RB – David Cobb Minnesota – Cobb hurt himself during the 40-yard-dash and ended with a 4.81 time. Despite good film, if Cobb can’t run during his pro day and improve upon that time he is going to fall to Day 3, previously received Day 2 consideration.
WR – Ty Montgomery Stanford – Montgomery’s 4.55 in the 40-yard-dash was underwhelming and he didn’t do anything to dispel the notion that he isn’t a natural pass-catcher. Lots of talent at this position and Montgomery’s arrow is pointing in the wrong direction.
TE – Nick O’Leary Florida State – O’Leary’s 4.93 40-yard-dash and 30 1/2 inch vertical leap suggests marginal athlete. He isn’t an in-line blocker and despite excellent hands he will struggle to be a reliable red-zone target unless he consistently makes contested catches.
OL – Brandon Scherff Iowa – Scherff was the most ballyhooed offensive lineman heading into the combine but frankly his stock could only go down considering his limitations from a measurable standpoint. That being said he is still the Top Interior OL in my eyes. Thing is, that may not be good enough to be a Top 10 pick this year.
DL – Arik Armstead Oregon – Armstead’s height, weight and length make for an ideal 5-technique in an odd-man front but the lack of statistical production and less than desirable combine results (times) may have relegated him to being a mid Day 2 pick at best.
LB – Paul Dawson TCU – Dawson figures to be a sideline-to-sideline weak-side linebacker in a 4-3 defense but his 4.93 40-yard-dash was uninspiring. His tape is fantastic, but a poor combine workout has made it all but certain that he won’t hear his named called until Day 2.
DB – Kevin White TCU – Another Horned Frog whose measurables simply don’t match his game tape. The diminutive White ( 5’9″ 183 lbs.) by NFL standards ran a pedestrian 4.63 40-yard-dash. His film suggests he plays bigger than his size but that foot speed coupled with the fact that he will struggle to win the jump ball against NFL receivers torpedoed his chances of going in the 1st Round.