Combine Drills, Day 2

by Tommy Lawlor –

On Sunday we got to see the QBs, WRs, and RBs take the field.  We’ll start with the QB position.  Let me first say that QB workouts in Indy don’t mean much to me, good or bad.  I’m simply looking to see if anything really jumps out.  Well, nothing did.

OTS = over the shoulder
GD = gauntlet drill


* Cam Newton – Sloppy performance as a passer. Balls were off target. Wasn’t anticipating routes. He was trying to throw to his targets, which is a no-no. The point of the Combine is to throw to a spot and force the receiver to get there.  Had a terrific performance in the athletic tests.  Ran well.  Jumped well.  And did all that at 6’5, 248.  Back to his passing.  Cam’s throwing motion is good.  He needs to improve his footwork a lot, but we already knew that.  I was happy to see him willing to compete.  Don’t overlook that.  We saw Dan LeFevour last year refuse to work out.  Cam did the wise thing by taking a chance and performing, even if the results weren’t ideal.  He established a low baseline and should blow that out of the water at his Pro Day, the way the system should work.

As far as his interviews…the more he talks, the more nervous I get.  He doesn’t answer questions.  He says what he thinks people want to hear.  He’s trying to deliver a message.  All prospects do this, but it’s really heavy with Cam.  It does show that he’s coachable.  He’s doing whatever his handlers tell him.

* Ryan Mallett – Threw the ball exceptionally well.  And the sun came up in the East and Lindsay Lohan committed a petty crime.  Ryan should thrive in a controlled environment with his throwing skills.  I feel bad for the young man having to deal with the press hounding him about rumors.

* Christian Ponder – Good day. Threw the ball well. He was on target with his short stuff. He excelled in the OTS deep ball drill. His throws were exactly where they were supposed to be and they had good touch. Receivers were able to locate the ball and move into position to make the grab.

* Tyrod Taylor – Didn’t have a good day. Tested well and showed his athleticism, but struggled as a passer. Results weren’t good and his form was poor. Looked casual with his motion.  Earlier in the week Taylor made of point of saying he wanted only to be looked at as a QB, but his performance didn’t help that situation.

* Josh Portis – Florida/Maryland/D2 player made some good throws.  He had the kind of day that Tyrod Taylor needed.  Portis threw the ball well enough that it intrigued you.  Interesting developmental prospect.

* Nate Enderle – After such a disappointing Senior season it was good to see him come out and throw the ball well.  You can see he has the size and arm to be an NFL passer.  He’s got the tools.  Some team will need to correct some mistakes, but Nate showed what teams wanted to see.

* Colin Kaepernick – I was disappointed that he didn’t make more progress as a passer from the Senior Bowl to the Combine.  Colin still has his drawn out throwing motion.  His arm was great, but the mechanics need to be worked on.  He’s got a lot of work to do between now and his Pro Day.

* Jake Locker – Threw the ball well.  Jake is great when he doesn’t have to think and throw.  Give him a target and he’ll get the ball there.  Make him read a defense and go through his progressions and that’s when the fun begins.  Looked very athletic in the drills/tests, as expected.  Helped himself, but not substantially.

* Andy Dalton, Ricky Stanzi, Scott Tolzien, and Pat Devlin were basically what I expected.  There isn’t much to say about them.      WRs

* AJ Green – The #1 WR looked good.  He ran pretty well and had a solid overall workout.  Green could have made himself a Top 5 pick with a great workout.  He’ll still go in the 6-10 range, at the worst.

* Julio Jones – Big day.  He ran better than expected (4.39) and had a great overall workout.  It wouldn’t shock me if a couple of teams had Jones rated higher than Green.  He probably sealed a spot in the Top 15 with that showing.

* Edmond Gates & Ricardo Lockette – Who?  Gates is this year’s prospect from Abilene Christian, of course.  Gates tied for the fastest 40 (4.37) and then had a solid day in the drills.  Lockette, from Fort Valley State, also ran a 4.37.  He caught the ball pretty well in drills.

* Randall Cobb, Austin Pettis, Jeff Maehl, and Greg Salas all had solid days.  They caught the ball well and looked like very natural receivers.  Cobb is the best athlete of the bunch.  He’ll go early.  The other guys are mid-to-late rounders, but can play in the NFL because of how well they catch the ball.

* Tori Gurley – The Junior from South Carolina is a big guy (6’4, 216).  His route running was surprisingly good.  He cut well and showed good body control.

* Greg Little – He measured in at 6’2 1/2, 231.  That is a big WR.  He led all receivers with 27 reps on the bench.  Little was up and down overall, but didn’t do anything to greatly hurt his cause.

* Cecil Shorts – Prospect from Mt. Union had a good day.  He showed that he has good football skills.  You couldn’t tell a difference between him and the kids from big schools.


* Mark Ingram – The best RB had a solid workout.  He’s more of a gamer than a workout guy and did about what I expected.  I would absolutely spend a pick in the 11-20 range on him.

* Mikel Leshoure – He’s in a battle with Daniel Thomas and Ryan Williams to be the #2 RB taken.  Leshoure had a good workout.  I liked his footwork and was impressed with how well he caught the ball in a couple of drills.  He’s not just a big power runner.

* Ryan Williams – He also had a good day.  You can just see how naturally gifted he is.  Born to run.  Made a real impressive catch on downfield throw.  Got the ball up high.  That was good to see, since Va Tech didn’t throw him the ball much (10 career catches).

* Delone Carter – I really like this guy.  Carter has good feet.  He cuts well.  He runs N-S as much as possible.  Had a good catch/run on arrow route.  Looked natural.

* Dion Lewis – Okay, so he’s only 5’7, 193.  The dude can make some wicked cuts.  Let’s not throw out the baby with the bath water.  He’s short, but thick.  He has very good feet, cuts well, and has good vision and instincts.  He is slow.  That kills his value, but doesn’t mean he can’t play in the league.

* Brandon Saine – The underachiever from Ohio State ran a 4.43 at 220 pounds.  He then caught a short pass in one drill and turned upfield and took off.  I was blown away.  So much potential, but so little production.  He could find a place in a rotation with his size/speed combo.  Also, he’s a gifted receiver.

* Mario Fannin – He didn’t have a huge Senior year like he hoped, but shocked a lot of people by running 4.38 at 231 pounds.  Fannin is a talented, versatile back.  There is definitely a place for him in the NFL.

* Stevan Ridley – He made a mistake by coming out, unless he had no choice.  He was too upright.  He doesn’t have the kind of footwork or body control teams ideally want.

* John Clay – He got in pretty good shape, but still didn’t have a strong day.  He runs too upright.  He was great in the UW system, but NFL teams won’t just feed him the ball behind a great OL.  I think Clay showed enough to interest teams, but his value won’t be nearly as high as he would like.

* Alex Green – Hawaii’s star RB had a good workout.  He’s 225 pounds, ran a 4.53, and showed good feet in the drills.  He cut well and looked quick/agile.  I’ve got to watch a few of his tapes to get a feel for his value.  Good RB with some size.  And you know he can catch the ball if he played at Hawaii.

* Da’Rel Scott – He ran the fastest time of the RBs at 4.34.  Scott had a solid overall day, but I still have a hard time getting comfortable with him.

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