Special Guest Post!
Sean Perry (@subsfootball) provides the Dynasty Sports Empire community with an inside look at just some of the players who stood out on the offensive side of the ball during the NFL Combine. So, without further adieu… Enjoy!
Some call it the biggest interview of their lives; others say it’s a bunch of men running around in gym shorts, I say it’s one of my favorite times of the year. The NFL combine although it is still very early and there is plenty of time between now and the draft in April, this week is one of the most important weeks of these players’ lives.
Now these rankings are based on players that impressed me in the combine. I choose not to rank Matt Barkley or Eddie Lacy because lacy didn’t participate and Barkley didn’t throw. I also tried not to look back at their college careers or stats just pure combine performance.
1.) Cordarrelle Patterson – Tennessee
Paterson is said by many to be the first wide receiver who will be drafted. He has an amazing vertical which automatically makes him a valuable end zone target. When thrown his way his large frame enables him with the ability to come down with a jump ball many others at the position just aren’t capable of going up and getting . He still seems like a raw talent but has the highest ceiling of this draft class of receivers.
2.) Tavon Austin – West Virgina
Tavon certainly has elite speed. That being said I feel as though he got screwed with his 40 time. His size is comparable to Dexter McCluster, however, he can be a better slot receiver and a threat on special teams which lends more to the skill set of a Percy Harvin type. It was a disappointment that he didn’t run the cone drill, the cone drill would have shown his ability to create separation and add major value to his draft stock.
3.) Tj Moe – Missouri
T.Moe looks like a tough gritty player, who in my opinion will make a great future slot player. Although he disappointed with his 40 time, he said in a combine interview he isn’t the guy who is going to blow by and outrun someone but he has the quickness to create separation which he certainly showed during his 3 cone drill.
Bonus! Ryan Swope – Texas A&M
Swope surprised myself as well as many others with his speed. He had the same forty times as Tavon Austin and will be a great late round steal. Didn’t know much about him prior to the combine definitely opened up some eyes and will be a hot topic going forward.
1.) Geno Smith – West Virgina
Smith came into the combine as the highest rated quarterback in a presumably weak quarterback class. He looked to be a good pocket passer who also has the legs and speed. He had the best forty time of the quarterbacks, proving that he has continuously stated that he is a pocket passer whom has the ability to make plays with his legs if he need be.
2.)Ej Manuel – Florida State
After watching a few Florida state games I didn’t realize how much faster he looked in the 40. Here’s an interesting note I took during a throwing drill that won’t show up on a combine stat sheet but is certainly worth a scouts notice. During the first passing drill for the sideline pass. The trainer corrects a mistake Ej and the other qbs were making. The scout mentioned that the quarterbacks were throwing to the wide receivers and not having them stretch out and catch the sideline ball. After that was said Ej was next up and essentially executed just as the scouts had coached him to. He rocketed a perfect pass to the sideline for the the WR to stretch out for. This is extremely important at the next level. Keep in mind that putting your WR’s in a protected position away from the cornerback prevents the defense from making plays. Often times baited throws such as these are the downfall of many a rookie QB. However, a beautiful spiral, and a perfect pass along with the fact that he seems coachable leads me to believe he has what it takes to learn at the next level and continually improve his game.
3.)Ryan Nassib – Syracuse
I’m sure he impressed more in the interviews and in film study then he did in drills this weekend. I was very high on him coming into the combine and I was hoping for him to impress me and show me more accuracy in his passes. He did however exhibit better arm strength then I had previously thought and threw a good deep ball.
4.)Tyler Bray – Tennessee
Bray is another big body qb, with a great deep ball who would be a great fit with a team of receivers who can catch the jump ball. His major knock has always been the inconsistent nature of his game which was displayed both in his college career, and also during drills. He will still be an early draft pick because of this absolutely less then stellar draft class he finds himself in.
5.)Matt Scott – Arizona
Remains a great dual threat Quarterback and would benefit from finding himself land in a read option offense. Matt ran a respectable 4.66 in the 40 yard dash and his cone drill time was amazing for a quarterback. He displayed a tight spiral on his ten yard roll out WR drill and seems to have the tools to compete at the next level.
1.)Montee Ball – Wisconsin
Ball is going to be a great work horse back which is somewhat of a dying breed in the modern day NFL. His style of running will help his transition into the NFL more so than Eddie Lacy. This is what makes him my favorite back in this draft, If he had come out in this past year’s draft he would of probably been drafted before Doug Martin.
2.)Giovani Bernard – North Carolina
Gio had a good 40 time and will most certainly be a valuable threat in the passing game. Seems like he had a great head on his shoulders and came off as very humble in combine interviews from what I saw. Very quick feet, with good body control make for an intriguing player in Mr. Bernard.
3.)Stepfan Taylor – Stanford
Remains yet another work horse back, he isn’t the fastest or the strongest but surely makes up for it via other vital characteristics (Harvard!). Was great in pass protection at Stanford and will do so again in the next level. For his first year in the NFL he would be a great complimentary back with high upside.
Bonus! Knile Davis – Arkansas
This bruising back just ran an unofficial 4.30 forty at roughly 230 pound! Power and speed for a 3rd down back open up new worlds for NFL O coordinators. Nothing like having a running back that can punch you in the mouth on a passing down.
1.)Tyler Eifert – Notre Dame
Held by far as the best tight end in the draft. He certainly showed scouts why with his solid combine performance to solidify his upcoming draft stock. His vertical jump also shows his ability to possibly get the jump ball and use his body in traffic (New England duo ring a bell?).
2.)Zach Ertz – Stanford
Ertz disappointed a few with his performance in the combine speed drills. Though I still feel as though he showed he can be a late first round talent. He has great hands which was on display during each and every phase of the pass catching drills.
The rest of the pack in regards to the tight ends have no real standouts for me aside from Jake Stoneburner. He’s a big tight end and was still one of the fastest in drills. He doesn’t have the best hands but rumors are circling that he is quickly moving up scouts draft boards so be sure to tune into his pro day at THEE Ohio State University March 8th, 2013 .
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