Who helped themselves the most in this year’s combine? The 2016 NFL scouting combine is officially behind all players, coaches, and scouting personnel. Next up, will be individual team pro days but before players get another chance to boost their stock in their personal workouts here is the list of players who stood out in the 2016 NFL combine.
QB Jared Goff – California
There is a quality QB in this draft class not named Carson Wentz. With many analyst and draft experts drooling over Wentz to be the second coming of Andrew Luck, Cal quarterback Goff quietly outperformed the rest of the competition this weekend. Not only is Goff more precise, accurate, and polished than his counterparts but he is also the most NFL ready quarterback in this draft class.
RB Kenyan Drake – Alabama
Living in the shadow of Heisman Trophy winner Derrick Henry and former Bama back T.J. Yeldon could of derailed Kenyan Drake’s path to the NFL. But not only did Drake overcome being the forgotten man in Nick Saban’s/Lane Kiffin’s offense, he has also bounced back from multiple injuries in his college career and entrenched himself back in the “Day 2 of the Draft” conversation after an excellent combine. His 4.45 40-yard dash answered any questions regarding his speed coming back from a major knee injury and his versatility and pass catching ability will make NFL teams consider drafting Drake in the second round.
WR Will Fuller – Notre Dame
We all knew Will Fuller would absolutely dominate the 40-yard dash and he didn’t disappoint by running a 4.32 (the second fastest in the combine). But where he made money was in the positional drills by catching the ball effortlessly with his hands away from his body. Fuller’s Notre Dame career was plagued with drops but that was not the case this past weekend. Couple his excellent combine with his speed and big play TD capabilities, Fuller has cemented himself in the Top 5 draft class WR discussion which gives him a first round grade.
OL Jason Spriggs – Indiana
Protecting the quarterback is the first priority for many organizations as the NFL is now a pass first, second, and third type of league. Von Miller single handedly for all intents and purposes won the Super Bowl with his constant and dominate pass rush on Cam Newton and Tom Brady during the Broncos’ playoff run. Teams will tend to reach for offensive tackles in this day and age and the biggest riser from the NFL combine was Jason Spriggs. Spriggs took the momentum from his very strong Senior Bowl week performance and parlayed it with an impressive combine where he displayed his athleticism, quickness, and body control throughout the positional drills. Before the combine Spriggs was projected to be selected in the second round but I wouldn’t be surprised to see Spriggs drafted within the first 15 picks after his combine performance.
DL Emmanuel Ogbah – Oklahoma State
The physical specimen that is Emmanuel Ogbah clearly stood out this weekend as a hulking figure at 6’4 273 pounds with an amazing speed to power dynamic that that teams will drool over. Every year it seems to be a native African pass rusher with incredible measurable that shoots up the draft board and Ogbah is that guy this year. At Oklahoma State, the 2015 Big 12 defensive player of the year, had tantalizing production recording 24 sacks over the last 2 seasons. The raw Ogbah is a player NFL teams will covet due to his immense potential despite his lack of experience.
LB Kamalei Correa – Boise State
One of the biggest surprises and unheralded players in this year’s combine was Kamalei Correa. With the linebacker position riddled with injuries to their Top 2 prospects (Jaylon Smith and Myles Jack) Correa displayed his twitchiness and athleticism striding easily in and out of drills. His change of direction and ability to play in space will have teams intrigued in the first round. Correa’s combine performance and upside will warrant a 3-4 defensive scheme teams’ attention as a hybrid playmaker on the edge.
CB William Jackson III – Houston
Here is a guy I was really impressed with this past weekend. The cornerback position just got a bit more interesting with the ascension of William Jackson the third. Already one of the best CB classes in a while with Jalen Ramsey, Vernon Hargreaves, Eli Apple, Mackensie Alexander, and Kyle Fuller in the fold, it is now time to put Jackson with those names as a first round cornerback candidate. Jackson started his combine blazing, running a sub 4.4 40-yard dash at 4.37 coupled with his short area quickness, fluidity in his hips, and terrific ball skills. Jackson at 6 feet is a taller cornerback, with length that can fly and play the ball. He will be an instant demand in our pass happy league.
S T.J. Green – Clemson
Just how many quality defensive players does Clemson have in this draft? A new name has surfaced with safety T.J. Green joining his fellow Tigers’ defensive players Shaq Lawson, Kevin Dodd, D.J. Reader, and Alexander. At 6’2 210 pounds Green dazzled at the combine running a 4.34 40-yard dash which will make nearly all scouts go back to watch more of his film. His inexperience at the position will have people questioning his football IQ but watching him at the combine he flashed with great ball skills and movement within drills. Maybe Green could have improved his draft stock by staying in school another year but teams will definitely target him in the mid rounds after his combine performance.