Every year we go to the combine with some big question marks – How correct are the measurements given out for prospects by their respective schools? How does a player’s athleticism correlate into real numbers? And how do they fare when put into actual football drills, that can expose weaknesses? While the medical reports and interviews going on behind the scene are obviously a big part of the evaluation as well, I want to focus on the things we saw from these NFL hopefuls during their testing and workouts. Even though it is natural that some prospects fall down boards because of what they do in Indianapolis, I wanted to stay positive and point out the who stood out the most with their combine showings. Here is the list:
Every year there are prospects who boost their draft stock with amazing performances at the NFL scouting combine and then there are those who really hurt themselves with slow times in the fourty, a lack of explosiveness in the leaping events or bad on-field drills. With that being said, the combine is just a small part of the evaluation and most of the information can be found on tape. However, there are some things you see in Indianapolis that make you go back to the film and re-evaluate certain areas of these guys’ games, whether that may be stiffness in their hips, a lack of speed preventing defensive backs to survive full-time on the outside or heavy feet in the drills. Of course, these can also be positive, but for the most part it is just a confirmation of what you have already seen if nothing particularly stands out. The prospects I chose for this article are the ones who I wasn’t completely sure on where I would rank them among their position or on the big board, but really solidified or even improved their draft status.
Overall I think the linebackers and defensive linemen are the groups that really stood out on day three, which was to be expected to some degree but still was highly impressive, considering how they were able to move with the weight they carried. I was discouraged by some of the cornerbacks and there was only one quarterback who really left his mark in Indy in my opinion. Although there were a few performances that made me drop guys a few spots, I thought most of them helped themselves. So while there was nobody who completely threw off my board, I thought these young guys really shined over the weekend:
With the combine wrapped up in Indianapolis, I wanted to take a look at who impressed the scouts with their numbers and on-field workouts. While the tape is clearly the main material for evaluating these prospects, putting them into positions, that might reveal their weaknesses, can go a long way in telling you what someone can’t do. On the other hand, with a great showing at this event, players can force scouts to go back to their film, because of how well they performed and showed something, the evaluators didn’t expect them to be able to do. Either way, here are my standout performers over the weekend: