Post-Combine brain dump

With the Combine coming to a close, I wanted to share my own thoughts on the events and how players did.

This will mostly be stream-of consciousness type stuff.

  • The Bills have been keeping their player meetings under wraps. The only guy I heard about who met with Buffalo at all during the pre-draft process was Andre Williams at the Combine. Most other teams have anywhere from 5 to 15 names already associated with them.
  • Logan Thomas is more athletic than most tight ends and has the size to match. But he might not want to convert from quarterback, even if he could be successful there.
  • I was hoping Stephen Morris might show something in drills, but he was a very inaccurate passer that didn't do his receivers any favors. All arm strength, not much else to go with it.
  • Blake Bortles might have permanently jumped into the top ten discussion with his big measurements and by throwing passes and looking good at the Combine.
  • Teddy Bridgewater mostly staying idle wasn't the greatest move, even if he is in my opinion the top QB in the draft. You'd like to at least see him run the 40, even if he won't throw.
  • Aaron Murray measured in pretty small and skinny. I don't know if I would want him on my team, I'd be worried a big hit would knock him out.
  • Kapri Bibbs failed to distinguish himself in any workouts and I have to give him the "system back" label as a guy who succeeded in college but isn't exceptional enough at anything to be worth making your starter.
  • Tim Flanders didn't show a lot of speed or explosion, but I still think he has the vision and work ethic to be a guy who works his way onto a roster and plays well.
  • Carlos Hyde is a big guy, and so the 4.66 time wasn't half bad.
  • Tre Mason did himself a big favor, with a nice 4.50 40 time, excellent vertical and broad jump numbers.
  • D'isappointed in De'Anthony Thomas. Not that I don't think he's fast - I know he is. But there are some guys you hope will break into the record books, and I thought Thomas was one of them. Nope, it was Dri Archer, with his 4.26(!) 40 time, 20 bench press reps, 38 inch vertical, 10'2" broad jump, 6.86 second three cone drill, and 4.06 second 20 yard shuttle, who emerged as the WTF athlete of the Combine.
  • Disappointed in James Wilder Jr, who ran a 4.86 40 and didn't really distinguish himself in any drills. Coming in, the word was that he was a workout wonder.
  • So it looks like Kelvin Benjamin is definitely on the "less explosive" end of the WR spectrum, with his 4.61 40 time and 32.5 inch vertical. That's fine, I kind of expected it, but with his claims of 4.3 40's I wanted to verify if we had a Stephen Hill type player or just a tall guy.
  • Brandin Cooks is super fast and looks like a really dynamic receiver, this year's Tavon Austin. He may end up in the first round when all this is said and done.
  • Well done, Mike Evans. A 4.53 40 and a 37 inch vertical are the explosion numbers I was hoping for. Combined with those huge 35 1/8" arms, this is the clear top tier "tall target."
  • Cody Hoffman: New David Nelson. 6'4", not explosive, rather slow. He'll catch passes with his size, but he'll struggle for separation.
  • Jeff Janis has earned himself a second look with his fast 40 time, but word from the Saginaw Valley area is that he has inconsistent hands and isn't the best route runner.
  • Jordan Matthews, way to deliver on that speed. A 4.46 40 time is excellent, and Matthews ticks plenty of boxes on the WR prototype checklist. He might sneak into round 1 now, but if he were available in round 2 and Buffalo didn't draft Evans, he'd be a great tall receiver to have.
  • Donte Moncrief had an excellent set of workouts to go with good size. What I don't like about him as a prospect is that he's always body catching. It limits his ability to separate from a corner and makes him more prone to drops at the next level.
  • I was surprised to see Allen Robinson run as slow as he did. He is a lot faster on film. At the very least, he is explosive, with his 10'7" broad jump and 39 inch vertical. I think he's solidly in the second round in terms of perceived value right now, but he could be another taller receiver worth drafting if we don't get Evans.
  • Sammy Watkins didn't get the elite workout numbers I wanted to see, but he looked so smooth running every drill that it doesn't matter. This is your number 1 wide receiver prospect right here, folks.
  • A 4.74 40 is not what I was hoping for from Jace Amaro, although it was the 5th best TE time and the hand timers had him with a much faster speed of 4.61. The 33 inch vertical and 9'10" broad jump were both good, but not great results. He looked very smooth catching passes in drills, but the concerns about separation aren't entirely shaken.
  • Eric Ebron disappointed me, running a 4.60 official 40, getting a 32 inch vertical and 10 foot broad jump, and not participating in any positional drills due to a hamstring tweak. I was hoping for elite numbers to show the Vernon Davis hype he has been getting was deserved. I was also hoping to see him catching passes in drills - Ebron had an 11.43 percent drop rate on passes this year, which is quite bad.
  • I was a bit surprised to see CJ Fiedorowicz's 40 time come down from the 4.80 and 4.84 he was measured at to a 4.76 officially. Still, that is not a good number. My stance remains that he is a blocking tight end and can't get separation in the NFL. It doesn't help him that he measured in 2 inches shorter than what he was listed at.
  • Xavier Grimble did not run the 40 and put up pedestrian numbers in other drills. I need to see him at his pro day to see if he has something to offer, but right now I'm leaning to "no."
  • Colt Lyerla sounded apologetic for his past transgressions, but with how the Aaron Hernandez situation devolved I'm still not convinced. He was excellent in his workouts with a 4.61 40 (4.47 unofficial), 39 inch vertical leap, and 10 foot 8 inch broad jump, but looked out of practice on receiving drills, body catching and dropping a bunch of passes.
  • Really really wanted to see a Troy Niklas and ASJ 40, but Niklas chose not to and ASJ ran into a medical issue with his foot. I still really liked Niklas' build and how smooth he looked running drills, and I'm tentatively moving him up in the rankings above Austin Seferian-Jenkins. Until the Pro Days come around and I can see each player more completely.
  • Russell Bodine was not on my radar, but the center prospect put up an awesome 42 reps on the bench press and has the size to play an effective center. I'm going to watch some of his film.
  • James Hurst didn't participate in any drills as he's recovering from his injury, and he weighed in under 300 pounds. I feel more confident that he's going to need a redshirt year, or at least a redshirt training camp, before he's ready to get some reps. But he played well up until that injury, so he could definitely be a starter down the line.
  • Cyrus Kouandjio ran a bad 40 time and later reports came in of arthritis in his knee from a bad surgery. What is it with these Alabama players dealing with injuries or failed surgeries? He might drop out of the first round, maybe off a lot of boards altogether.
  • Taylor Lewan had a very good Combine and is talented enough to be picked in the top dozen picks in the draft. My concern about his character remains. I qualify my statements about him by saying that everything is "alleged" and he has never been convicted of anything, but I still get a slightly greasy, Ritchie Incognito vibe from him.
  • "Luke" Lucas measured in with huge size, but he didn't practice at all, and I'm not sure what the cause was. I had him as a possible 6th or seventh round pick, and he'll stay there.
  • Jake Matthews is a stud, and that is still true after the Combine.
  • Greg Robinson is a freak, and that is also still true after the Combine. As for which one should be ranked higher, at this point I'll put it up to personal preference. Raw athleticism or polish, take your pick.
  • Billy Turner was solid but unremarkable in his workouts.
  • Trai Turner put up an impressive 4.93 40 time that was third for the o-line group behind only Lewan and Robinson. He's a guy to pay attention to as the draft gets closer.
  • Jadeveon Clowney: freak.
  • Scott Crichton didn't really stand out to me.
  • Aaron Donald is also a freak. He's a top 15 pick now, and as I've said for a while now, probably a top 10 pick when all is said and done. He produces in spite of his size. His 35 bench press reps were second behind the 36 leader in the DL group.
  • As I was hoping, Daniel McCullers weighed in at a hefty 6'7", 352 pounds, with 36 5/8" long arms.
  • Marcus Smith put up some good numbers, and I'll have to go see his film to see if he could work as a slightly undersized wide 9 DE.
  • Howard Jones put up outstanding numbers in his workouts, but since he played for a Division 2 school and shares a name with a singer, there is no way for me to find film of him. Could be a Bruce Irvin prototype in the NFL.
  • Anthony Barr and Khalil Mack were the big names at LB heading into their workouts. They were even on speed, but Mack pulled away on strength and explosion. Mack is the consensus best linebacker in this year's draft, at this point.
  • Chris Borland showed off good but not great athleticism in his workouts. I think his stock is holding steady as a late second/early third rounder.
  • Max Bullough slimmed down from his offseason game, weighing in at 249 pounds. He topped the LB's with 30 reps on the bench press and had good numbers in his other workouts. I think he salvaged his stock a bit.
  • Andrew Jackson didn't work out, which was disappointing. Maybe someone challenged him to a duel outside Lucas Oil Stadium.
  • Boseko Lokombo was definitely on the athletic side of things, with a 4.66 40 and a 10'2" broad jump. I was kind of hoping for a little better though.
  • Trevor Reilly didn't run any workouts involving his legs, which concerned me - he's a DE candidate (need that leg explosion) who played a season on a partially torn ACL in 2012 (past injury history).
  • Telvin Smith: Still small, still fast, still probably best going to fit as a safety.
  • Kyle Van Noy put up good but not great numbers in his workouts. I think he goes in the second round at this point. He's a good player who could handle OLB in a 3-4 or a 4-3, but isn't going to be your top pass rusher. More of an 8 sack a year kind of guy, once he gets up to his potential.
  • Jordan Zumwalt is one of my new favorite players thanks to his own reaction while he was running the 40 time (NSFW language). He put up good numbers in his workouts which reassured my concerns about his overall athleticism. I think he could handle SLB or MLB in the NFL.
  • Kyle Fuller, Andre Hal, and Darqueze Dennard all delivered on the speed question in my book, with a 4.49, 4.50, and 4.51 50 time respectively. I think all three could be first rounders at this point.
  • Nevin Lawson and Marcus Roberson had good arm lengths in spite of their smaller sizes.
  • Jason Verrett and EJ Gaines were both not too good on their size measurements. On the bright side, Verrett has the 4.38 40 going for him.
  • I was impressed by Pierre Desir, Antone Exum, and Keith McGill in the DB drills.
  • Not so impressed by Ross Cockrell (dropping interceptions), Stanley Jean-Baptiste (tracking the pass, route mirroring), and Louchiez Purifoy (slower than advertised).
  • Dion Bailey was pretty average in his workout. Was hoping for better.
  • Impressed with Deone Bucannon today. 3rd best 40 time, 3rd best bench press, 3rd best vertical leap, 2nd best broad jump out of all safeties. Showed good ball skills and looked fluid moving in DB drills.
  • Jonathan Dowling: Really tall and long, seemed a bit raw with the position. Has some athletic potential there, though.
  • Calvin Pryor was back and forth against Clinton-Dix during the workouts with numbers attached, and I believe he played better in the DB drills. He showed better hands, which was the deciding factor for me.
  • Jimmie Ward was injured and that was disappointing.

Just another great fan opinion shared on the pages of

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