The second day of the NFL Scouting Combine featured what is one of the most interesting quarterback classes in a while. And I do not mean that in a good way. I mean that in the way that everyone seems to have a differing opinion on who the top guy is and I personally would not take any of these guys in the Top 10 of the Draft. This is a very strange draft year that is very talented on the defensive side of the ball and the offensive side of the ball has some talent and depth…but it has way more questions than anything.
As you can guess, I do not love this quarterback class but there are a lot of guys in that you will have probably heard of. In fact, top to bottom, it’s probably one of the most well-known quarterback classes out in a while. I could talk about every quarterback here except for Josh Woodrum (sorry I did not have time for Liberty games this year) but I’m going to keep it to 6.
Connor Cook, QB, Michigan State: I personally do not love Connor Cook as a first round quarterback in this year’s draft. And it has nothing to do with him being from MSU. He’s probably the best quarterback they’ve ever produced, but the only two I would consider taking in the first round are Jared Goff and Carson Wentz. Cook does not have great velocity on his throws and it did not seem to be much improved at the Combine (which could be the nagging shoulder issue). He tested very well in my mind with a 4.79 40, a 33″ vertical and a 9’5″ broad jump and I thought he did a decent job in drills but his footwork could still use work. Could he be an NFL starter eventually? Absolutely. I just do not see him being a guy who will start on Day 1.
Jared Goff, QB, Cal: The best quarterback in the NFL Draft in my opinion and definitely the most pro-ready…and I still would not take him in the Top 10. There is a shortage of Franchise Quarterbacks available/coming up from college football and I really do not see one this year. Goff was easily the most polished player during all of the drills and made all of the throws no problem. He also showed he was a decent athlete, running a 4.82 40, with a 27″ vertical and a 9’2″ broad jump. Goff’s only issue at the Combine was that he has small hands, his throwing motion and footwork were very good.
Christian Hackenberg, QB, Penn State: Bar none the most polarizing quarterback in this draft and it isn’t close. Not even a little bit. One minute Hackenberg can make an amazing throw, the next minute he’s skipping balls to wide receivers. Would I take Hackenberg as a developmental quarterback in the 4th round? Probably. Some seem to think he could sneak into the late first round and that makes me lol. That’s the kind of pick that would get a GM fired before the second round started. Hackenberg has legit size and measurables (except for his small hands like Goff), running a 4.78 40, a 31″ vertical and a 9’6″ broad jump. The guy is an enigma and no one really knows which Hackenberg will show up on which day, or even which throw. It’s kind of amazing. He did not have a good day at the Combine whatsoever though. He missed wide receivers in just about every way you can imagine.
Paxton Lynch, QB, Memphis: Some will call it recency bias when someone talks negatively about Lynch. Personally, I’ve never been a fan of Lynch and the Auburn game was the nail in the coffin for him for me. I do not care if your coach is leaving for another program. You had three weeks to prepare for a 6-6 Auburn team and you went 16/37 for 107 yards and an interception. No thanks.
Lynch has all the measurables. He’s 6’6.5″ 244 lbs, ran a 4.86 40, had a 36″ vertical and a 9’10” broad jump. He’s an explosive athlete, there’s no doubt about that. But in college he did not call plays in a huddle and was not under center. Lynch is going to be a project and he looked like he had a long way to go still at the Combine. His hips and feet looked stiff in his drop back and he looked uncomfortable. He has an extremely strong arm, but he missed on some easy throws. I’m just not buying him as an NFL starter any time soon.
Dak Prescott, QB, Mississippi State: Dak was not perfect by any means at the Combine but I really think he helped himself. He apparently interviewed well and he had a good year this past season. That seemed to carry on this offseason and he tested pretty well. He ran a 4.79 40, had a 32.5″ vertical and a 9’8″ broad jump. Not the most explosive athlete in the world, but he’s got plenty to work with. He also looked fairly comfortable dropping back after playing all of college in the Gun. I really like him as a developmental prospect later in the Draft.
Carson Wentz, QB, North Dakota State: Do I think Carson Wentz is a bad player? No. But I do not think he’s making the transition from FCS to the NFL immediately, nor do I think it will be smooth. From a measurables stand point, evaluators will be very pleased with his athleticism (4.77 40, 30.5″ vertical, 9’10” broad jump). That’s checking boxes for him and what people see on tape. But for me, evaluators have jumped the shark a bit with the Carson Wentz reminds me of Andrew Luck comparisons. Mike Mayock must have said it 4 or 5 times on the broadcast and I was dumbfounded. He has a great arm and threw the ball with a lot of zip, his footwork is very smooth and hit on a few of his deep passes. He looked good at the Combine and he definitely helped himself. I’m still not sold on him, but I guess we will just have to wait and see. He’s going Top 10, whether I like it or not.
Extras: Cardale Jones got hurt on his second 40 and did not throw at all during the day, which did not help him whatsoever. Brandon Allen is a guy that is going to continue to steadily climb up draft boards as we get closer and closer to the draft…the same goes for Vernon Adams, who has looked very good when healthy. Jeff Driskel ran a blazing 4.56 40 but do NOT let him or his agent fool you.
Now it is time for the slowest wide receiver group since the 2011 NFL draft.
Wide Receiver measurables:
If you like slow wide receivers, then this is your class! Aside from some slower 40 times than normal this is actually a pretty decent class. Not as deep in years past (like last year), but it has some solid depth to it.
Tyler Boyd, WR, Pitt: Boyd is not going to be a burner but he excels at route running and his pass catching ability and he showed that off in Indianapolis. He posted a 4.58 40, a 34″ vertical and a 9’11” broad jump. He’s looked very smooth in drills catching the football and did not drop a pass in the gauntlet. He should be moving up team’s boards if he was not already.
Josh Doctson, WR, TCU: Doctson is a guy that is quicker than fast. He put up a 4.50 40 (1.59 10-yard), and then added a 41″ vertical and a 10’11” broad jump. The guy is extremely explosive at 6’2″ 202 lbs and is my #2 WR in the Draft. He showed very good body control and concentration during the drills and caught quite a few passes that were behind him. The last catch he made in the gauntlet was pretty slick and you can see it in the video below. Definitely helped himself in Indy.
Will Fuller, WR, Notre Dame: I’m not a Fuller fan only because he has some drop issues. That being said, he ripped up the Combine. He did not have any trouble catching passes and tested through the roof. Fuller ran a 4.32 40 (1.52 10-yard), had a 33.5″ vertical and a 10’6″ broad jump…he’s got some juice. His separation skills that he shows on tape definitely showed up in the testing and if he caught the ball in games like he did during these drills, he would probably be a lock for the first round.
Ricardo Louis, WR, Auburn: Louis is not going to go high in the Draft, but he certainly helped himself in Indy. At 6’2″ 215 lbs he ran a 4.43 40, had a 38″ vertical and a 11′ broad jump. That is some raw power from a big guy. He did not do anything to “wow” during drills but he certainly helped himself with his testing.
Braxton Miller, WR, Ohio State: He said he was going to run a sub 4.3 40 and not surprisingly, Miller did not reach that. Miller posted a 4.50 40 (Denard Robinson ran a 4.43) and was slower than expected and probably took himself out of the first round. He added a 35″ vertical and a 10’3″ broad jump and showed to be a very solid athlete…I’m just not sure that I see a team taking a chance on him so early without the elite speed. He definitely looked very comfortable catching the ball though and did himself a huge favor switching to WR last year and getting the growing pains out in college and not in the NFL.
Marquez North, WR, Tennessee: North is the guy from this class that made me wonder why he is not being talked about more after his testing. At 6’2″ 223 lbs he ran a 4.48 40, had 17 reps on the bench, a 35″ vertical and a 10’3″ broad jump. The guy is a very good athlete and looked decent during the drills and running routes. Time to go back to the tape for sure.
Tajae Sharpe, WR, UMass: Literally had no clue who Sharpe was until the East-West Shrine Game where he had a very good week. Then I actually forgot about him until I was watching the Combine and he kept flashing again. This guy has to be shooting up Draft Boards at this point. He’s not an elite athlete, but he’s just a football player and looked great going through drills. At 6’2″ 194 lbs he put up a 4.55 40, 33.5″ vertical and a 9’6″ broad jump. Again, not an elite athlete, a football player.
Sterling Shepard, WR, Oklahoma: Shepard is a top 5 WR in this class for me (though it’s like splitting hairs going from 2-7 and people are all over the board with rankings). At the Combine he showed that he is an elite athlete and he tested the best of all of the wide receivers. At 5’10” 194 lbs he ran a 4.48 40, not elite BUT, he had a 41″ vertical, 20 reps on the bench and a 10’3″ broad jump. That is one well-rounded athlete. Shepard was very fluid during drills and caught the ball very well.
Michael Thomas, WR, Ohio State: Thomas had himself a solid day. He did not do anything that really stood out to me, but he checked off some boxes. At 6’2″ 212 lbs he ran a 4.57 40, had 18 reps on the bench, a 33″ vertical and a 10’6″ broad jump. He was precise with his routes and caught the ball well. Again, nothing amazing, but kept that stock on the uptick.
Laquan Treadwell, WR, Ole Miss: My WR #1 in this class. Loved Treadwell ever since he was in high school and even though he does not have elite speed, he’s a football player. His blocking is incredible and he is an elite route runner with phenomenal hands. He did not run at the Combine, which was disappointing, but he did not need to. He only put up a 33″ vertical and a 9’9″ broad jump, so he basically confirmed that he is not an elite athlete. That’s fine, he crushed the drills and honestly reminds me of Larry Fitzgerald (he’s had an okay career I guess).
Notes: Corey Coleman (WR out of Baylor) would have been on this list but he is still recovering from an injury and did not do any on-field drills and did not run the 40. He’ll go in the top 2 rounds so he does not have anything to worry about.
There were some guys that seemed to be intent on absolutely wrecking their draft stock at the Combine. Apparently Demarcus Robinson (WR, Florida) was terrible in interviews, which is never a good sign when you get suspended four times during your career. He did not test well enough, or do a good enough job during drills to make teams feel any easier about him as a person. Duke Williams was kicked off of Auburn and was apparently remorseful during interviews and owned his mistakes. The problem is he still has major drop issues and ran a 4.72 40. Will someone take a flyer on this kid? Probably. But it is going to be a very late pick, if at all. De’Runnya Wilson came out early from Mississippi State and it is looking like a major mistake. De’Runnya walked a 4.85 40 and then struggled during the drills. He showed that he is not an athlete and that is going to be a problem.
Guys to keep an eye on:
Geronomino Allison, WR, Illinois
Aaron Burbridge, WR, Michigan State
Rashard Higgins, WR, Colorado State
Jalin Marshall, WR, Ohio State
I also found this to be a cool tool/resource to look at to see how guys did from Roster Watch.
And now onto the tight end class, which may be one of the most underwhelming classes ever.
Hunter Henry, TE, Arkansas: Henry did not even go through all of the testing but that’s because he knows he does not have to. He’s the number 1 tight end in this class because Jake Butt and OJ Howard did not come out. Henry is a solid pass catcher and has good tape. Either way, it’s not a good year to need a tight end.
David Morgan, TE, UT-San Antonio: I had absolutely no idea who this kid was until I saw him going through drills. Obviously, he did not run well posting a 5.02 40 at 6’4″ 262 lbs but he put up 29 reps on the bench, had a 30″ vertical and a 9’7″ broad jump. He looked good running routes and caught the ball well and it was a performance that will make you go back and check the tape.
Related: 2016 NFL Scouting Combine Recap Day 1: Offensive Linemen, Running Backs, Specialists
Related: 2016 NFL Scouting Combine Recap Day 3: Defensive Linemen and Linebackers
Related: 2016 NFL Scouting Combine Recap Day 4: Defensive Backs