The 2016 Combine is half over, with offensive players having finished up their tests and workouts. Let’s talk about some of the players who stood out, good or bad.
QB Carson Wentz – It should be no surprise that the QB with the most experience under center looked the most natural pretending to take snaps under center and then taking 5 and 7-step drops. Wentz threw the ball very well and had an impressive showing. His footwork was outstanding. Wentz definitely has the physical ability to be a good starting NFL QB. The questions with him will be in regard to the mental side of things. Can he read defenses? Can he make the right pre-snap adjustments? Can he anticipate receivers coming open?
QB Cardale Jones – He got hurt running his second 40-yard dash. It would have been fun to see him throwing in the drills. I’m not a big fan of Jones, but there is no denying that he is very gifted.
QB Jared Goff – Measured in at 215 pounds and with only 9-inch hands. The small hands will be a concern for multiple teams. I thought Goff threw the ball well and looked smooth. He and Wentz were the most impressive QBs. You can see why the consensus is that they’ll be the first 2 taken in the draft.
QB Paxton Lynch – Listed at 6-7, 245 this year. Measured in at 6-7, 244. I wondered if he was really that big. Ran well and jumped well, showing serious athletic ability for such a big guy. Lynch showed an impressive arm and made some terrific throws (especially deep balls), but he needs work as he adjusts to playing in a pro-style system. Looks like a 1st rounder, but a project.
QB Christian Hackenberg – I watched every single college game in his career and I’m not a big fan. I thought the Combine might be a chance for Hack to impress. There is no question that he can throw the ball really well. Hack had some good moments, but hardly did anything to wow the coaches and scouts in attendance. One of my big concerns is footwork and that was up and down in Indy.
QB Kevin Hogan – I do like Hogan, but he didn’t impress. You could see that he lacks a big arm. One of the analysts noted that his motion looked a bit different and that he might be changing that with a QB guru. Hogan isn’t a workout guy. His best asset is his mind and that wasn’t a factor in the workouts.
QB Brandon Allen – I just like the way he throws the ball. Looks very natural and smooth. That’s true in games, the Senior Bowl and Combine workouts. Hands measured in just below 9 inches and that is a concern. Good mid-round prospect.
QB Dak Prescott – I have to admit that Prescott has grown on me. I still see him as a major project, but he does have the physical tools to play in the NFL. Shocks me that Mayock has him rated as the #5 QB. I don’t see anything close to that. Prescott had a solid showing in Indy. I also bet he did very well in interviews.
WR Laquon Treadwell – Didn’t run a 40 and put up pedestrian workout numbers, but did so at 221 pounds. So often we forget to check out size when talking about verticals, broad jumps and the agility drills. Treadwell caught the ball well and certainly passed the eye test. He just plucks the ball very naturally. If you want a big, physical WR, this is your guy.
WR Tyler Boyd – Another receiver who didn’t run well, but looked good in the drills. Could use a really good showing at his Pro Day to help his status. Has very good hands and looked great in the gauntlet drill. Good possession receiver.
WR Will Fuller – Ran 4.32, fastest among all WRs. Big question with him was how he would catch the ball. Fuller actually did a good job and looked much improved in that area. He still let the ball get into his body a few times. His drops on tape are still an issue, but the fact he’s making progress in that area helps his value. Beyond just showing straight-line speed, was fluid and agile. That’s critical for good route-running.
WR Josh Doctson – Outstanding showing. Looked great in the drills and then had a 41-inch vertical and a 6.84 3-cone time. He ran 4.50 at 202 pounds. That shows speed, explosion and agility, pretty much everything you would want in a WR. And he might have the best hands in the entire draft.
WR Braxton Miller – Good day. Solid showing in the drills and then posted good numbers. Had 35-inch VJ and ran 4.50. Posted great 3-cone time of 6.65. Miller is a project, but sure feels like someone that will pan out and reward the team that takes him.
WR Malcolm Mitchell – Won’t be an early pick, but helped himself. Measured in at 6-0, 198. Ran 4.45 and then had 36-inch VJ. Posted a 3-cone time of 6.94. Ran poor SS at 4.34, but that was the only negative. Also did well catching the ball.
WR Sterling Shepard – I don’t know that Shepard is in the mix for a 1st round spot, but he did everything he could to impress teams. At 5-10, 194, he lacks ideal size, but that’s the only time he comes up small. Ran 4.48. Did 20 reps on the bench. Strength isn’t a necessity for WRs, but watch Shepard block and you’ll understand how it helps him. Had a 41-inch VJ and ran 7.00 in the 3-cone. Really good in workouts as well.
WR Trevor Davis – Kenny Lawler (great name) was supposed to be the Cal wideout that got everyone’s attention. Davis stole the show in Indy. Davis ran 4.42 at 188 pounds. He had a 38.5-inch VJ and did 6.60 in the 3-cone. Beyond posting good times, he looked smooth. Looked very cool and calm while running that outstanding 40 time. Davis looked good in the drills, showing good hands. You can bet teams will be re-watching some Cal tape to take another look at Davis.
WR Devon Cajuste – In terms of raw numbers, Cajuste had the most interesting day of any pass catcher. Measured in at 6-4, 234. Ran 4.62 and jumped 36 inches. Ran amazing 3-cone time of 6.49. Is he a WR, TE or H-back? Different teams will have different opinions, but that size/speed/agility is going to intrigue a lot of people.
TE Jerrell Adams – Ran the fastest 40 of any TE at 4.64. Only 247 pounds, but Adams is an athletic pass-catcher. Had a good Senior Bowl and built on that with a good workout in Indy.
TE Beau Sandland – You love when small school guys come to the Combine and put on a show. Sandland is from Montana State so this was a huge opportunity for him. He measured in at 6-4, 254 with long arms and big hands. Did 23 reps on the bench, the kind of strength you want in a TE. Ran 4.74 and had a 35-inch VJ. Had a 3-cone time of 7.10. Caught the ball well in the drills and looked good on the move.
TE Nick Vannett – Followed up his strong showing in Mobile with a good one in Indy. 6-6, 257. Didn’t run the 40, but posted 7.05 in the 3-cone. Had 30.5-inch VJ. Looked very good catching the ball.
TE David Morgan – Another guy from a small school who helped himself. 6-4, 262. Did 29 reps on the bench. Had 3-cone time of 6.93, which is very impressive. Only ran 5.02 in the 40 so he lacks good speed. Did a solid job of catching the ball.
OL Laremy Tunsil – Solidified himself as the top OL prospect. His movement skills were simply outstanding. Really stood out in the drills. Naturally gifted.
OL Ronnie Stanley – A notch below Tunsil, but still outstanding in the drills. Measured in at 6-5, 312 with almost 36-inch arms. Ran 5.20 in the 40. Had a disappointing 3-cone of 8.03. Will need to improve that at his Pro Day.
OL Jack Conklin – Solid showing. Looked natural in the movement drills. We all love the physicality he shows on tape, but I was curious how athletic he would be. Conklin ran 5.00 in the 40. Had an 8’7 BJ and ran 7.63 in the 3-cone. Looks like Top 20 pick.
OL Cody Whitehair – The top OG prospect, but had one red flag. Only did 16 reps on the bench. You need OL, especially interior players, to be stronger than that. Was outstanding on the move. Ran 5.08 and posted a 3-cone time of 7.32. Looked good in drills as well.
OL Josh Garnett – Stanford’s LG is known as a mauler. I was pleasantly surprised by how well he moved in the drills. Looked natural on the move. Did solid in the tests as well, running 5.32 in the 40 and 7.62 in the 3-cone. Put up 30 reps on the bench.
OL Christian Westerman – Mid-round OG who had a solid showing. Ran 5.17. Had a 3-cone time of 7.69. Did 34 reps on the bench. Did a good job in the field drills. Showed a good combination of athleticism and positional ability.
OL Darrell Greene – Interesting guy. Has a thick, powerful lower body. Measured in at 6-3, 321. Ran 5.20. Did 28 reps. He’s a bit stiff, but showed solid movement ability for someone who is more of a power blocker.
OL Jason Spriggs – Great showing. Gifted athlete and posted terrific numbers. Fastest OL, running 4.94. Was tops in the broad jump and second in the 3-cone. Also did 31 reps. Has 34-inch arms so those reps were legit. Looked good on the field. Good LT prospect.
OL Joe Thuney – Lit up the athletic tests. 6-5, 304 and ran 4.95. Did 4.54 in the SS and had 28 reps. As good as those numbers were, I didn’t think his drill work was as good. Definitely a player I need to study more due to versatility and athleticism.
OL Joe Haeg – Small school player who struggled. Did not look good in the drills. Teams will focus on his game tape, but lost a chance to impress the coaches and scouts who were watching up close.
OL Willie Beavers – I thought he showed potential when I watched his game tape. Then disappointed me at the Senior Bowl. I was shocked when Mayock had him listed as his #5 OT prospect. Shocked. Then Beavers went out and looked very good in the OL drills. Showed good feet and natural movement skills. Another player I need to study more closely.
RB Ezekiel Elliott -The top RB in the class showed his ability. Measured in at 6-0, 225. Ran 4.47. VJ of 32.5 inches was a bit disappointing. Looked good in the drills. You could see he will need to work on his receiving skills. Let the ball get into him too much.
RB Keith Marshall – Ran the fastest time of any RB with a 4.31. Did 25 reps on the bench, showing impressive upper body strength. Only did a 30.5-inch VJ, which is an issue for a RB. He’s 219 pounds. His VJ should be 2 or 3 inches higher…to be mediocre.
RB Derrick Henry -Big man. 6-3, 247. Normally I hate big RBs, but Henry is unique. Great college player who can succeed in the NFL if used right. Ran 4.54, a good time for his size. Had a 37-inch VJ. Had 4.38 SS time, which isn’t great. Solid in the drills. There were times when his length was an issue. Caught most of the passes thrown his way, but doesn’t have good hands. Needs to work on that.
RB Daniel Lasco – Great showing. Measured in at 6-0, 209. Ran 4.46. Had 41.5-inch VJ. His broad jump was an amazing 11’3. Posted 4.26 SS time, which is okay. Looked good in the drills and caught the ball well. Definitely a player to check out more thoroughly.
RB Tyler Ervin -Small RB at 5-10, 192, but showed speed with 4.41 in the 40. Jumped 39 inches. Caught the ball well in drills, which is critical for him.
RB Peyton Barber – People questioned why Barber came out. He explained that his mother is homeless and he desperately needs money. That makes you feel better about his decision to come out. Measured in at 5-10, 228. Ran 4.64 which is okay for that size. Had a good 3-cone time of 7.00. Interesting player.
RB Jordan Howard – Measured in at 6-0, 230. Only did limited tests. Didn’t run the 40. Stood out to me in the drills, but not in a good way. Looked stiff. Need to check for that on his game tape.
RB Wendell Smallwood – Good showing. 5-10, 208. Ran 4.47 and posted great 3-cone time of 6.83. Only jumped 33.5 inches. I was impressed by him in the drills. Also looked good catching the ball.