NFL Combine Players to Watch

February 21, 2011 at 8:51 pm Leave a comment

Players  to Watch

  • Ryan Williams: He has undeniable talent but made a questionable decision by declaring early for the NFL Draft.  I understand it with a less than stellar RB crop this year, but he was hurt down the stretch for VT, so he will have to show well to get back into the first round discussion.
  • Jonathan Baldwin: This rangy receiver has stood out in the Big East for the past couple seasons.  Nevertheless, he has been facing a fair amount of criticism about his ability to get separation and toughness. Pro stature and has made big plays using size, more he slips the more of a bargain he becomes.
  • Rashard Carmichael: Good size and excellent speed, some are expecting him to run in the 4.2 range.  VT secondary was outstanding and he was the leader.
  • Vincent Brown: Brown has been rising up draft boards after an impressive bowl game and a standout performance at the Senior Bowl.  I’m assuming this week will determine how high he is on the WR boards, anywhere from the top ten to the top 3.
  • Delone Carter: The new breed of back, think MJD, Carter is thick and runs hard.  He was so impressive in his bowl game I had to re-evaluate him and think he could move way up with a good performance.
  • Adrian Clayborn: Stud who had a down year. I still believe he is a legit first round talent. His teammate from Iowa, Ballard, should show well with his speed but his pad level is his deficiency.
  • Kenrick Ellis: Excelled during the NFLPA game as it was clear he outclassed the opposition.  Potential second rounder and rising?
  • Mason Foster: Plays very hard and has good quickness on the field, want to see how he tests.
  • Leonard Hankerson: The U’s all-time leading receiver opened many eyes during the Senior Bowl and has lots of momentum heading into this week.
  • Stanley Havelli: One of the best FB prospects in recent memory. Disappointed he didn’t play in the Senior Bowl but he has shown all he has to during his career.
  • Wesley Saunders: Gets his chance at redemption after not playing in the 2010 season.  Despite character concerns the 6’8 target is the best receiving TE in the draft.  If you doesn’t show well, I wouldn’t expect the first TE to be selected until the late second round (Rudolph).
  • Cameron Heyward: Ironhead’s son has always impressed me.  Some mock drafts have had the Patriots drafting him and he would certainly improve any team’s pass rush.
  • Mikel Leshoure: Rashard Mendenhall part two?  This guy has been underrated by everyone including the NFL, the Draft Advisory Committee gave him a 4th round grade but the junior made a smart decision to declare and could go in round one.
  • Stephen Paea: Injuried prior to Senior Bowl and was targeting the combine for a return, very solid inside player who could open some eyes.
  • Mike Pouncey: The brother Pouncey was supposed to be the less talented of the two but I see him being mocked in the same position as Maurice was drafted (although he should’ve been picked higher).
  • Bilal Powell: Put up an impressive season in 2010 for a rebuilding Louisville squad if performs well could move up the board.
  • Torrey Smith: An under-the-radar receiver who I did not get a chance to watch often, but might have more upside than Heyward-Bey.
  • Daniel Thomas: taller back like McFadden, good hands, want to see his strength as well as how fast he runs.
  • Jordan Cameron: Former Basketball player who has a chance to standout in not so athletic TE group.
  • Jerrell Jernigan: Could be draft’s top slot WR. Don’t know much about him to be honest.
  • Shane Vereen: Sat behind Jahvid Best for most his career at Cal but showed observers what he could do this year as a feature back even without a passing game.  Tood McShay has knocked him down on his board and want to see how he performs.

Sleepers who can Rise:

  • Sam Acho: Forgotten among a strong class but can showcase speed in Indy.
  • Cecil Shorts III: Three 1000 yard seasons at D2 powerhouse Mount Union.
  • Kendrick Burney: Ball skills should standout during the combine.
  • Derrick Locke: After a good showing at the Senior Bowl, Locke showed he can move and a top 40 time will see him rise.
  • Benjamin Ijalama: Appearing on Mayock’s top five, the Villanova tackle has more competition than previously thought.

Don’t Need to See Anything Else:

Phil Taylor: dominated at the Senior Bowl showing size and speed.

Mark Ingram: the top running back in this year’s class.

Greg Salas: Convinced he is a solid slot

Taylor Yatts: Not a pro quarterback

Derek Sherrod: Very impressive at Senior Bowl and solid LT, want to see if he can regain some buzz.

Anthony Castonzo: Struggled at guard during the Senior Bowl but he is a tackle and a solid one at that.

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