With the final day of the Combine in the books, I want to take the time to interject some of my observations about the “sexy” skill players: QBs, RBs, WRs, an CBs specifically. But before I dig in, I have to say that I always enjoy the Combine. It’s one of my favorite times of the NFL off season. It’s the prelude to the upcoming season. Who can’t get excited about that?
I know that everybody is talking about RGIII and Andrew Luck, and they are who we thought they were. But first, is Indy better off without Peyton and putting their future in the hands of Luck. And is RGIII worth the number of draft picks that its going to take to get that second pick from St. Louis. The last I heard was its going to take 2 number 1s, 2 number 2s and a number 3 to get that pick from the Rams. Jeff Fisher, take that deal. I guarantee you will win a Super Bowl before the team that gives up all of the picks for Griffin. There’s not a lot to say about any other QBs at the Combine mainly because none of them didn’t particularly impress. In fact the only other probable 1st round QB, Ryan Tannehill from Texas A&M, wasn’t even at the Combine. However, there were a few bright spots from Houston’s Case Keenum, Kellen Moore from Boise St., and Jacory Harris from the U. But they won’t be drafted higher than the 3rd round.
There were some impressive Combine performances from WRs Stephen Hill from Ga. Tech and Notre Dame’s Michael Floyd, but no WR performed well enough to knock Justin Blackmon out of the #1 wideout spot on the draft board. Floyd and Hill, as well as South Carolina’s Alshon Jeffery, have a chance to join Blackmon in the 1st round. In fact, there could be up to six WRs drafted in the first round. I also have to mention Miami’s Travis Benjamin who tied for the highest 40 time with a 4.36. But unfortunately, Benjamin is projected as a 3rd or 4th rounder.
The RBs were even more impressive in the Combine. Lamar Miller from the U, and a definite 1st rounder, had the fastest 40 time with 4.40. Other notable RB performances came from LaMichael James from Oregon and Chris Polk from Washington. But the RB whose name will probably be called first on draft day will be Alabama’s Trent Richardson, who will probably go in the first 15 picks.
Lastly, I want to mention the CBs. I paid very close attention to them primarily because my favorite team, the Cowboys, could use one, two or five good corners. The corner who made a lot of noise today was Josh Robinson who played at Central Florida. Robinson had the fastest 40 time of the entire Combine with a very impressive 4.33, but he probably won’t crack the first round. Morris Claiborne from LSU is the top CB on the draft board, who is a true cover corner. Stephon Gilmore is another possible 1st rounder from South Carolina, who has size and speed. Another CB making noise on the field is North Alabama’s Janoris Jenkins, who also has made headlines of the field with multiple arrests 4 children under the age of three. This likely would make some teams shy away.
The NFL Combine is not the total barometer for how a player will perform at the next level. There are also a battery of psychological tests, interviews and Wonderlics. But none of this will truly determine how a player will do Sunday after Sunday. The Combine is a great introduction to see who will rise like a phoenix or descend like a bubble going down the drain. I can’t wait to see how things turn out.