2014 NFL Scouting Combine – Sunday Notes On Quarterbacks, Wide Receivers, Running Backs

By Alex Kozora

Notes from the second day of workouts at the NFL Combine in Indianapolis. quarterbacks, wide receivers and running backs worked out Sunday. Nothing too in-depth. Just some musings. Bear in mind tape, the interview process, and medical, are all far more important than the events themselves. Maintaining perspective when watching the Combine is critical.

Did not get to watch nearly as much of the Combine Sunday so my “Drills” notes are pretty sparse.

Quarterbacks

The Weigh In

– Interestingly enough, there were only three quarterbacks in Indy taller than 6’4. Not sure how it stacks up to past years but the number feels light. List includes UCF’s Blake Bortles (6’5), Virginia Tech’s Logan Thomas (6’6/1), and West Texas A&M’s Dustin Vaughn (6’4/7). Thomas and Vaughn will be Day Three selections meaning Bortles is the only tall “top” quarterback.

– Do like A.J. McCarron’s makeup. 6’3 220 with short arms (31 1/2 ) and 10 inch hands. Short arms lends itself to a quicker release while big hands helps gripping and holding onto the football.

– Bouncing off that, one reason why Eastern Illinois QB Jimmy Garroppolo has such a lightning quick release is his 31 inch arms. Watched him on tape. Zero wasted throwing motion. Big reason why scouts (and I) like him.

The Events

– Big issues with him throwing the ball but have to love Logan Thomas’ triangle numbers. Over 6’6, 248, and ran the best 40, a 4.61. Showed explosiveness with a group best 35 1/2 inch vertical.

Derek Carr showed surprising athleticism. His 40 was just .01 seconds slower than Johnny Manziel, turning in a 4.69. 34 1/2 inch vertical, too.

Tajh Boyd is faster on tape but his numbers are still disappointing. Just a 4.84 40, an average 30 1/2 vertical, and a 7.33 three cone time that was slower than McCarron and identical to what Pitt’s Tom Savage ran.

The Drills

– Wished Louisville’s Teddy Bridgewater would have competed. Granted, no one is going to say in two months, “I wish he would have thrown, we’ll have to knock him for that” but to not throw or run the 40? Come on dude, go perform on the big stage.

Wide Receivers

The Weigh In

– Not that I need to pile on or make Steelers’ fans drool any more but Kelvin Benjamin’s makeup is just not fair to defensive backs. 6’5 with just under 35 inch arms and 10 1/4 hands.

John Brown (Pittsburg St) blazed today but still have to recognize his size. 5’10, 179 with short arms and tiny hands. May never be anything more than a slot receiver. Even in today’s world of 11 personnel, still limits his value.

– Saw some draftniks making good points today. Benjamin gets all the love but Rutgers’ Brandon Coleman offers similar size (6’6, 34 inch arms) at much later value.

– BYU’s Cody Hoffman offers intriguing size. 6’3/7 with 33 1/4 arms. Has bulk at 223. Awful vertical, however.

Jarvis Landry out of LSU has gotten Hines Ward comparisons from Mike Mayock. Like Ward, he’s undersized and ran an awful 40 (4.77) but has big 10 1/4 mitts on his 5’11 1/2 frame. Larger than Texas A&M’s Mike Evans.

Jordan Matthews’ size helps his case as a sure handed position receiver. Large catch radius. 6’3/1 with 33 1/4 arms and 10 3/8 hands.

Jalen Saunders was explosive at Oklahoma but will his frame hold up at the next level? Not even 5’9 and 165 pounds.

– Pitt’s Devin Street with a 6’2/7 frame he can grow into. Just 198 pounds. Perhaps some biased living close by, but a guy I want to check out and learn more about.

The Events

Sammy Watkins might be the Clemson WR that gets all the hype but Martavis Bryant is worth watching on Day Two or Three. Turned heads running a 4.42 at 6’3/6 211.

– Oregon State’s Brandin Cooks with the fastest 40 of the day for the wideouts. 4.33 with a 1.51 ten yard split, third best on the day.

– Best 10 yard split went to Saginaw State’s Jeff Janis on his second run. 1.47, 4.42 40.

Marqise Lee with a very Robert Woods-esque 40 time. Lee with a 4.52. Woods ran 4.51 last year.

– Despite his large size I touched on above, Matthews turned in an impressive 4.46. Had himself a nice day.

– Ole Miss’ Donte Moncrief has been linked by draftniks to the Steelers. Combine won’t quiet those ideas. Great triangle numbers. Size (over 6’2, 223) and speed (4.4).

– Based off the data alone, Bruce Ellington (South Carolina) appears to be a build-up speed type runner. Pretty 40 time of 4.43 but average to below average 10 yard splits. 1.63 in both runs.

– I’ll be the first to admit bench press reps mean nothing but Jared Abbrederis raising 225 just four times? Going to get some ribbing from the veterans in training camp.

– Some notable “true heights”. Height + vertical. Stat I want to revise for a later post but something to go over for now.

Martavis Bryant/Clemson: 9.5 feet  (6’3 height, 39 vert)

Mike Evans/Texas A&M: 9.5 feet (6’5 height, 37 vert)

Allen Robinson/Penn St: 9.5 feet (6’2 1/2 height , 39 vert)

Donte Moncrief/Ole Miss: 9.5 feet (6’2 height, 39.5 vert)

Damian Copeland/Louisville: 9.3 feet (5’11 height, 40 vert)

Tevin Reese/Baylor: 9.3 feet (5’10 1/2 height, 41 vert)

Devin Street/Pittsburgh: 9.3 feet (6’3 height, 37 vert)

Davante Adams/Fresno St: 9.2 feet (6’0 height, 39.5 vert)

Kelvin Benajmin/Florida St: 9.1 feet (6’5 height, 32.5 vert)

Marqise Lee/USC: 9.1 feet (6’0 height, 38 vert)

Albert Wilson/Georgia St: 8.9 feet (5’9 1/2 height, 37.5 vert)

Robert Herron/Wyoming: 8.7 feet (5’9 height, 35.5 vert)

Cody Hoffman/BYU: 8.6 feet (6’4 height, 27.5 vert)

Jalen Saunders/Oklahoma: 8.6 feet (5’9 height, 34 vert)

As others have pointed out, these wide receivers were fast. Jarvis Landry aside, no one really ran “bad” times.

The Drills

– After catching 131 passes his senior year, Davante Adams made the gauntlet look easy. Soft hands.

– John Brown showed soft hands and speed through the gauntlet.

Damian Copeland had one drop, one body catch, and one double-catch his first time through the gauntlet.

– Baylor’s Tevin Reese made a nice adjustment to the ball during the nine route drill. What the scouts are looking for.

– Matthews and Lee both natural catches. Pluck passes away from their body.

Allen Robinson struggled in the gauntlet. A drop and body catch his first time through, body catches in the second.

– Ball State’s Willie Snead soft hands and very explosive through the gauntlet.

– Missouri’s L’damian Washington struggled in the gauntlet. Slow, short, choppy steps through. Didn’t test himself. On his second try, turned the wrong away to begin the drill. For a player that was 46th of 47 recievers, shouldn’t be making instructional mistakes.

Running Backs

The Weigh In

– Always liked Notre Dame George Atkinson’s build the few times I’ve casually watched him play. 6’1/3 218.

– Former Georgia top recruit Isaiah Crowell, who finished his college career at Alabama State, weighed in at 5’11 224.

– LSU’s Jeremy Hill round mound of a runner, tipping the scales at 233. One of two running backs with 10+ hands (Bishop Sankey the other).

Tre Mason with good bulk, weighing at 207 on a 5’8 1/2 frame.

– As has been reported, San Diego State’s Adam Muema left the Combine. Disappointing. Had a great bowl game. Wanted to take a look at home. Unclear if he’s still wanting to play football.

– Good to see Jerome Smith come in lower than listed. 220 at Indy after being listed at 226 on his Syracuse bio. Haven’t seen senior tape yet but walked away impressed after watching his 2012 games over the summer.

– Another man crush with good measurables. Coastal Carolina’s Lorenzo Taliaferro. 6’0 229. Just needs a last name that is easier to spell and I’m sold.

– Ditto with Towson’s Terrance West. Ray Rice-esque 5’9 225. Ultra-productive in college.

– Fun fact. Dri Archer and De’Anthony Thomas combined weigh just nine pounds more than Tennessee left tackle Antonio Richardson (347 to 336).

– Not a fan of James Wilder’s small hands. Florida State kid just 8 1/4.

The Events

Ka’deem Carey seems to fit the bill of more quick than fast. Respectable dual 1.59 ten yard splits but an overall slow 4.7.

– Thought Hill’s 4.66 40 and 1.56 splits were very respectable. Off the field concerns his biggest thorn.

– Archer, of course, stole the show with a 4.26 40. 38 inch vertical and 10’2” broad jump more evidence of his explosion.

– Thomas on the other hand, a guy that will make you reevaluate how fast he really is. 4.5 40 and a 32 inch vertical. One of the lower results. Lacks leg strength.

– Georgia Southern’s Jerrick Mckinnon is an interesting name to keep in mind. Benefited from a triple option but looks the part. 4.41 at 208, 40.5 vert, and 32 reps of 225. 11 foot broad jump was the best of the day at running back. Tied for the best of anyone working out regardless of position.

– Not a big fan of Boston College’s Andre Williams, good but not great back that doesn’t have an elite quality, but his thick lower half turned into a 38 inch vertical and 10’9” broad.

Senior in college, blogging from mom's basement. Marrying tape and statistics. Chidi Iwuoma is my favorite Steeler of all-time.
  • grw1960

    Nice job, thanks

  • Callentown

    Man, sure looks like there are choices when it comes to wideouts with size and speed.

  • joed32

    Excellent!

  • steeltown

    If they don’t go after Evans or Benjamin early, I’ve been thinking Coleman or Moncrief in the mid Rds

  • StrengthOfVictory

    I’m liking Coleman more and more if they decide not to pull the trigger on a WR early. Picking at 15 is tough. Unless an obvious talent falls in your lap, you could end up either reaching for a guy who’s more of a 25, or waiting and then missing out on all the low 1st/high 2nd guys in the meantime.

    I want a WR with size as much as many fans do, but I want him to match the pick where he’s taken. The Steelers’ many positional needs demand it.

  • cencalsteeler

    OK, I’m jumping ship. I originally was all in for taking a wr in round one. Now, with a sneak peak at what the future NFL receiving corps is looking like, we need to address the secondary in order to cover these guys. Rounds 1 and 2 corner and safety. Round 3 Moncrief or Bryant.

  • steeltown

    Yes.. and we know the Ravens are going to select a WR at some point and the Patriots most likely will grab one of the top TEs.. We NEED to get some quality depth in our secondary

  • cencalsteeler

    Some nice FA wr’s out there for us, too!

  • Chris Ranieri

    I would be all for round 1 CB and round 2 WR. But round 1 and 2 addressing the secondary would be completely fine with me. I still think we could get a great talent at WR in the 3rd round, like many people. Either way, it would be great to pick up a receiver who could contribute some his first year rather than having to wait a year to see what we got!!

  • Matt Manzo

    Dave, u we’re high on DAdams awhile ago; does him being barely 6ft change any of that?

  • steeltown

    That kids stats, albeit against lesser opponents, are absolutely insane!

  • steeltown

    How about Kenny Britt… some people have given up on this guy, but 6’3 220lbs and only 25yrs old he could probably be brought in on a cheap 1-2yr contract

  • Alan Felicia

    Red flag on Britt – off-field issues including run-in with police 9 times (since 2011) plus a DUI in which NFL suspended one game in 2012. Talented player but comes with drama!

  • cencalsteeler

    Watched a lot of his games. Granted, he had Carr and that up tempo style offense which gave him a lot of opportunities. He’s not too fast (didn’t watch combine), but he can pull a ball out of the air like the best of them. He was a recipient of a lot of bubble screens, too. So, that must be considered when looking at his stats.

  • cencalsteeler

    I’d put Britt in the same category as Sanders, so your not really gaining anything. I mentioned Jones because he’s an upgrade over Sanders, IMO. He returns kicks and I picture him as a similar transaction that the Niners did with Boldin. A vet that could help you in the playoffs.

  • Brendon Glad

    Jeff Janis intrigued me. But I missed his catching drills. I’m going to assume they probably went well. He has lots of experience catching balls. Size, short speed, long speed, average sized hands and production. Sounds like a guy to keep an eye on.

  • blackandgoldBullion

    Yup. that’s what I’ve been saying. Go with the odds — Steelers like to draft WR in the 3rd round or later. With a deep WR draft, there’s certainly no evidence that they will go earlier. Look for guys that satisfy that criteria.

    I was getting excited about Bryant because I originally saw him as a talented guy that could easily bulk up a bit. Could he be okay? Yup! Could he end up being almost as good as the 1st rounders? He has just as good a chance as any. Plus that original mock picked him in the 4th, so I figured 3 or 4. Now, with the way he’s blowing up at the combine, he may end up being 2nd round, and the Steelers will no longer pick him

    Back to the drawing board locking for 3rd or 4th round WR’s.

  • shawn

    not as many as we all think .. there are about 10 guys that match those requirements and i would only target about 4 to 5 of them that i think are quality guys

  • shawn

    what about Marcus Lucas or cody Hoffman late rounds .. both look interesting to me .. not top tier but definitely an upgrade to what we have and fill the bill for RZ

  • shawn

    i think we get better value at 2 & 3 for CB & Safety … and still get the TE early ??

  • shawn

    I think he’s the real deal … like him a lot just kinda not the big guy we need .. if we didnt already have wheaton id be all for it !

  • shawn

    he’s got decent speed not blazing but definitely not just possession … i saw plenty of deeper passes with him and looks like a stud .. will turn into a Solid WR in the NFL

  • LayDownTheHammer

    Few thoughts:

    1) QB – glad to know people are finally realizing that AJ is more pro-ready than some of the overrated tall guys with big arms and nothing more (Logan, Morris, etc.). I don’t see why he cannot become a legit #2 QB in this league for a team. I have not seen much tape on Garoppolo but I would not be surprised if he became a decent (but not top tier) QB in the NFL. It’s obvious to compare him to another famous QB from his alma mater, but without seeing his tape I’ll keep my mouth shut.

    2) WR – Here comes the Combine hype train. People, if every 6’2″+ and 220+ lb WR that runs a <4.5 actually panned out in the NFL, there would be no room on rosters for Wes Welkers and Antonio Browns. Need I say more?
    – Sad to hear about L'Damian Washington but I hope he is drafted because he has a lot of willpower with his life's story.

    3) RB – Interesting to see where Isaiah Crowell will go. Very talented but very troubled. For those football junkies like me, you may remember his unique commitment style to UGA, but he only lasted 1 season there before going to NoAla. Same deal with DAT, who I personally thought would have run faster than he did. Over the lase 3-4 years, the short-but-fast/quick slotWR/RBs are becoming more and more. Dri Archer, DAT, Chris Rainey, Dexter McCluster to name a few. They pan out only if put in the right system (and they don't do stupid crap like Rainey).

  • shawn

    those guys are all lacking … not sure i would take a shot at any of them .. if we dont get em early id rather drop to the late rounds or UDFA and gamble on Cody Hoffman or Marcus Lucas