Combine Review – WRs, RBs, and QBs

WRs

Justin Blackmon – The top rated WR didn’t do a full workout due to an injured hamstring, but he did go through the positional drills. Blackmon caught the ball well. He made terrific cuts as part of his route running. That’s part of what makes him special. He isn’t the biggest or fastest, but has great hands and great body control. I like the fact he did what he could in the workouts. The hamstring really seemed to be bothering him so even a partial workout showed his competitive nature.

Stephen Hill – The star of stars. Measured in at 6’4, 215 and then he ran a 4.36. Wow. The big question with Hill was his hands. He only caught 28 passes all year long. He had some big drops during the year. Because of the limited amount of passes that came his way it was hard to judge if he had bad hands or just made some costly mistakes. Hill made a sensational grab on a downfield route at the Combine to get things off to a good start. He followed that up with 2 good trips through the gauntlet. Hill caught between 15-20 balls in the drills and showed good hands. He looked natural catching it. Think about that for a second. 15 to 20 passes at the Combine vs 28 for the entire season. Weird. There will now be some talk about him as a potential 1st round pick. I think he’s more of a 2nd round prospect because a good workout in Indy can’t undo the drops he did have this year. Great job by him.

Michael Floyd – Floyd had a very good showing in his own right. Floyd had great production at Notre Dame and has good hands. His biggest question was speed. Floyd took care of that with a 4.47 time in the 40, which is good speed for a guy of his size (6’3, 220). He caught the ball well in the drills. He was very good in the gauntlet, plucking the ball with ease and then tossing it down on his way to the next pass. You could see some issues with getting in and out of breaks, but that was due simply to the fact he’s such a big guy. Should be a Top 20 pick for sure. Only thing that could hurt him at this point are some off field issues, but he was trouble free as a Senior and that will tell teams a lot.

Kendall Wright – Not everyone can have a good day. Wright shockingly ran a poor 4.61. The expectation was for 4.4 or so. I’m not all that upset. The guy is fast on tape. Running slow in Indy isn’t good, but he’ll go again at his Pro Day in March. A slow time there becomes an issue. Generally caught the ball well in the drills. Good catch on sideline drill. Good grab on downfield throw that was a bit too wide, but made sure to get his feet in.

Chris Givens – I haven’t been the biggest fan of the Wake Forest Junior, but he had a good showing. He measured in at 5’11, 198 and then ran a 4.41. That is a good size/speed combo for him. Only had 1 drop in the gauntlet, but there were times when he looked like he was fighting the ball rather than catching it smoothly. Caught the ball well in the other drills.

Junior Hemingway – Is his nickname Papa? Should be. I was happy when I saw his name on the Combine invite list. Junior is one of those guys who always caught my eye when watching Michigan, but he seemed under the radar. He’s got an odd build at 6’1, 225. I figured speed would be an issue, but he actually ran pretty well in the 40. I did not expect him to be the top WR in the 3-cone and SS drills. Wow. He was good in the positional drills as well. Very good in the gauntlet. Junior helped himself in Indy.    

Dwight Jones – Not a good showing. Measured in at 230 pounds, which is huge. He’s not fat, but that still might be a bit big for a rookie WR. Ran a 4.55, which is fine for that size. Didn’t light up the positional drills. At one point Mike Mayock had them show a replay where Jones didn’t follow directions, didn’t catch the pass, and then casually jogged instead of finishing the drill. Jones got yelled at by the coaches. He actually had hustle issues on a couple of reps. NFL teams are looking for stuff like that. It hurts him that UNC players have a bad rep in league circles right now. Jones will not be on all 32 draft boards. This may sound like nitpicking to some, but it is like going to a job interview and showing up late, improperly dressed, and unprepared. Players need to be on their best behavior at the Combine. When they aren’t, that’s not a good sign.

Keshawn Martin – I happened to watch the Big 10 title game on Friday night. Martin was a star in that game and then he had a really good workout at the Combine. Ran 4.45, had a VJ of 39.5, and a 3-cone time of 6.85. That shows speed, explosion, and body control. Had a pretty good day catching the ball. Game tape is equally impressive. Also a good PR. Someone is going to get a good player late in the draft.

Chris Owusu – The Stanford Senior made himself relevant again with a terrific workout. Ran a 4.36 and had a VJ of 40.5 inches. Looked like a good player in the positional drills. Problem is evaluating his concussion history and figuring out how to value him. Owusu has the physical skills and ability to play WR in the NFL. Definitely showed that in Indy.

Eric Page – Up and down. Only ran a 4.60 at 5’9, 186. Small receivers like him should be faster than that. Also had poor numbers in the VJ/BJ tests. They show how explosive a player is. Page did test well in the 3-cone and tied for the best time in the SS. He is quick and agile. He has good game tape, but an undersized underclassmen could have used a better showing to boost his draft value. Did make a nice catch on a deep ball. Extended and snared the ball.

Brian Quick – The top I-AA offensive player in the draft had a solid showing. Ran 4.55 at 220 pounds. Caught the ball well in the positional drills. One of the early passes his way was up high and Quick was able to reach up and pluck it. Made another impressive catch running an out route to the other side. Needs to work on route running and cutting. Had a 9’11 BJ and 34 VJ. Those are good numbers for a guy his size.

Travis Benjamin – At times, wow. Timed well, but his speed passes the eye test even more impressively. On a field full of fast guys, Benjamin stood out. Very fast. Very quick. Fluid. Good feet. Struggled in the gauntlet drill. Caught the ball well after that. Only 5’10, 172, but his 4.36 speed is legit. Interesting prospect.

Mohamed Sanu – Up and down. Only ran a 4.67, but anyone who watched him at Rutgers knows speed isn’t his game. Big guy at 6’2, 211 with a very muscular upper body. Did a good job of really extending for the ball on a drill near the sideline. Dropped one deep ball and had to double catch another, although on that one the pass was underthrown and Sanu had to almost stop and wait for it. Timed well in the 3-cone. That shows quickness and body control, which are important parts of his game as a possession receiver who works the middle of the field.

Tommy Streeter – 6’5, 219 and he ran 4.40, but there is little buzz on him compared to Stephen Hill. Streeter wasn’t nearly as good in the positional drills. Looked awkward on a couple of reps. Appeared too casual for my taste. Had a couple of drops and then would jog after them. Players who caught passes hustled. Streeter should have as well. You can’t question his natural ability, but he’s raw as a receiver and didn’t project an air of professionalism in his workout.

Jordan White – Slow. Ran just a 4.69. Looked pretty good in the positional drills.

Devon Wylie – Good day. Ran well, clocking 4.37. Good in the drills as well. Excellent body control. Smooth hands. Outstanding slot receiver prospect. Solid mid-round target.

TJ Graham – Flashed good speed when he ran a 4.41, but struggled with catching the ball. Didn’t have a ton of drops, but just didn’t look smooth, natural even when he did catch it. Did everything full speed, which was impressive. Looked fast in the drills and running his routes.

Kashif Moore – Made a real impressive grab on an out route. Ball was up high and he plucked it smoothly and turned upfield. Made a leaping catch on another route. Snagged a ball that was behind him on a drill over the middle. Impressed in the tests, running 4.42 and jumping 43.5 inches. Small guy at 5’9, 180, but he can run, jump, and catch.

LaVon Brazill – Might have had the best run through the gauntlet on his first trip through. Caught the ball smoothly and looked really good. Ran a 4.48 in the 40. Nice showing. Eric Page had the bigger rep coming into the Combine, but Brazill had the better workout. Has a medium build at 5’11, 192.

Reuben Randle – There was some thought he might go in the 1st round with a strong showing in Indy. Was only so-so. Didn’t do anything to hurt himself, but failed to stand out as a special prospect. Had one spectacular grab on a deep ball where he had to really extend to hang onto the ball. Ran 4.55, which is a tad disappointing, but not a huge deal for a 210-pound WR. Solid 2nd round pick.

QBs

Andrew Luck and RG3 both had very impressive results in the athletic tests. They can really run and jump. We’ll have to wait for their Pro Days to see them throw.

Kellen Moore – I thought he made some good downfield throws. There was no wind or pass rush to contend with, but he showed he can get the ball downfield. Doing it in a live NFL game is another story. Moore can only deal with the challenges directly in front of him and I thought he was solid.

Kirk Cousins – Good day from what I could tell. Kirk is the kind of QB who should shine in this setting. Not special physically, but has a solid arm and is mechanically sound.

RBs

David Wilson – I’ve had a hard time figuring out who to put as #2, Wilson or Lamar Miller. Wilson has the better career numbers and he had the stronger workout in Indy. Wilson caught the ball well and looked good as a runner. Added a 41-inch vertical. I still don’t value him in the 1st round, but he will be my #2 RB.

Lamar Miller – Ran a 4.40, fastest of any RB. VJ was only 33. Didn’t see him in the drills. Not sure what the issue was.

Doug Martin – Good day. Wouldn’t shock me to see him jump up to the #2 RB spot. Showed okay straight line speed with a 4.55, but more importantly he did well in the SS and 3-cone. That kind of body control and cutting ability in a 223-pound RB is very impressive. Looked good catching the ball. Martin is a 3-down back, which gives him added value. Also a good KOR.

Bernard Pierce – No man’s land. He’s 6’0, 218. Too small to be a power back. Too big to be a slasher. Ran okay at 4.49 and did well in some athletic tests, but in some of the drills you could see his issues. Lacks ideal quickness and agility. Had to slow down to catch the ball in a receiving drill. Solid overall. Should be a 3rd or 4th round pick. Can start in the NFL, but will need the right situation to succeed. Not so gifted that he can thrive just anywhere.

LaMichael James – Lacks ideal size so he needed to be fast and athletic. He was. Ran 4.45 and was 6.88 in the 3-cone. Looked good in the pass catching drills. Showed what teams want – the ability to be a change of pace/3rd down back.

Chris Rainey – Didn’t blow people away in the 40, but did well in his overall tests. 6.5 in the 3-cone is outstanding. So is 3.93 in the SS. Very quick. Great body control. Looked very natural at catching the ball, whether short stuff or down the field. Will have different values to different teams, but showed the kind of athleticism people wanted to see.

Robert Turbin – Someone get this guy in the weight room. Looks pitiful. His biceps are only the size of small cars. Did 28 reps. Wow. LaRon Landry and David Boston are impressed with this guy’s arms. Almost too big. Looks stiff at times. Showed okay speed, but poor COD skills. Straight line guy. Get him going N-S and he’s just fine.

Lennon Creer – Rough day. Only ran 4.71. Only 33.5 VJ. Creer is a downhill runner with some size. He’s not going to light it up in agility drills and athletic tests. And he didn’t. More football player than athlete.

Cyrus Gray – Flashed good natural running ability in some drills.

Isaiah Pead – Up and down. I thought a guy with his build and skill set would light up the athletic tests, but he was good and bad.

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6 Responses to Combine Review – WRs, RBs, and QBs

  1. Anthony Pupo says:

    Tommy Lawlor
    Diamond in the rough ?? Do you think that there might be some interest in.
    Derek Moye 6’10” 210 lbs 101 receptions 1670 yards 16 1/2 yard avg.WR from Penn State ? Checked out the 6’10” guys but they had a good QB passing the ball. I seen Him climb the ladder, catch balls inches off the ground, 2 feet inbounds & dive flat out. I saw too many big guys burn my Eagles. Maybe the practice squad.

    • Tommy Lawlor says:

      I watched him in a few reps. Hard to read. Couldn’t decide if he was going easy or just a really smooth player. He does have NFL potential. Did some great things for PSU. Not sure he gets drafted, but will be in a camp and it won’t surprise me at all to see him make a team. Will have to embrace playing STs and doing the little things. Seems like a hard worker.

  2. tball says:

    Devon Wylie.. very noticeable.

    third round target? Or is that reaching? Looks explosive in and out of cuts. His production wasn’t all that. Does he hvmave return experience?

    • Dday says:

      He returned a ko against Boise state and a pr against Nebraska for td

    • Tommy Lawlor says:

      He could be 3rd Rd value to a team that really likes slot receivers. I think most teams would see him more in the 4th round, but all it takes is that one team to like you. Good receiver. Good RS. What makes him interesting is speed. Wes Welker is quick, but lacks top speed. Wylie ran 4.37. That’s fast. He’s also quick. Could be very good on right team, with right QB.

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