Whom I’m watching at the combine.

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Going into the combine, Evans is still my pick at #4.

I want to get out a quick piece on some of the prospects who caught my eye over the past year and get it out BEFORE the combine.  Nothing scientific here, just going to review the list of combine invitees and if I’ve got an opinion, I’m throwing it out there.

I find this more fun to do before some of these players get wider notice, so now is the time.  To make it simpler, if I like a player more than “consensus opinion” he’ll get green boldface; less, red print.  Just a quick overview.  Do chime with your under the radar guys and why you like them and add your comments.

Section links:  QB, RB, WR, TE, OL, DL, LB, DB.

Sortable combine results:  QBs – WRs – OL – RBs – LBs– DL – DBs – TEs

          

Quarterbacks

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It’s good to be a college quarterback. Bortles, Manziel, McCarron also do alright for themselves in this respect.

  • Blake Bortles, Central Florida
    • The most “conventional NFL QB” in the draft and I mean it in a good way.
  • Tajh Boyd, Clemson
    • Late round steal potential.  Coming out of last year’s Chik-Fil-A Bowl he looked like a first rounder, top-10-er.  Really slid this year.
  • Teddy Bridgewater, Louisville
    • Don’t know.
    • TA:  “… most polished QB in the draft. Does most everything well. Highly efficient especially in the short and intermediate throws. The dude has been calling plays at the line for 2 years. He and Luck are the only ones I can remember consistently doing that in pro style offenses. Doesn’t get the hype bc his WRs stunk and had zero run game and he played in Strong’s boring offense. He’s my Browns pick.”
    • Lyon25:  “He may not be a sure lock as Luck was, but give me someone who thrived with little surrounding talent and already has experience making calls at the line.”
  • Derek Carr, Fresno State
  • David Fales, San Jose State
    • Never understood all the fuss.
  • Jimmy Garoppolo, Eastern Illinois
  • Jordan Lynch, Northern Illinois 
    • Not an NFL QB.
  • Johnny Manziel, Texas A&M
    • Don’t know.  A very good college player who won his Heisman with three NFL top-10s (Joeckel, Matthews, Evans) on his offense.
  • AJ McCarron, Alabama
    • Very disappointing play in biggest games; exposed as ‘system’ QB.  (Translation:  cost me money and Cheddar points in the Oklahoma game.  Dead to me.)
  • Zach Mettenberger, LSU
  • Stephen Morris, Miami (Fla.)
    • Interception machine.
  • Aaron Murray, Georgia
    • Winner.  
    • RGB: “He carried that injury-riddled offense this year…against top level defenses.”
    • TA:  “3rd round guy. Cousins type career is possible.”
  • Tom Savage, Pittsburgh
  • Connor Shaw, South Carolina
    • Endorsed by Acto, Woods
  • Logan Thomas, Virginia Tech
    • Not an NFL QB.  Would be awesome safety.
  • Keith Wenning, Ball State
    • Tight spirals in the wind.  Has not ‘shone’ in spotlight yet and so still underrated.  Do want.
  • Jeff Mathews (throwing QB), Cornell
  • Bryn Renner (throwing QB), North Carolina
  • Dustin Vaughan (throwing QB), West Texas A&M

Running backs

James Wilder Jr., Bashaud Breeland

  • Antonio Andrews, Western Kentucky
    • Whenever I saw WKU, there would be buzz about Andrews and his records and then meh.
  • Dri Archer, Kent State
    • Too bad he didn’t go to WVU and receive the breathless hype that last year’s ‘playmaker’ did.  Dre Archer >>> Tavon Austin and you don’t have to trade up to the top 10 to get him.
    • Zara: “could be a great weapon for shanahan.”  
    • TomRR88:  “reminds me of Eric Metcalf even though he is just a shade smaller. He is electric though when healthy and in the right system could cause all kinds of problems for opposing defenses (as long as we don’t see any Archer up the middle in the play book). No way could a linebacker match up with him.”
  • George Atkinson, Notre Dame
  • Kapri Bibbs, Colorado State
  • Alfred Blue, LSU
  • Ka’Deem Carey, Arizona
    • Victim of PAC-12 non-exposure.
  • J.C. Copeland (FB), LSU
  • Tim Cornett, UNLV
    • Whenever UNLV surprised last year, this guy Cornett was making plays.
  • Isaiah Crowell, Alabama State
    • TA:  Former Georgia Bulldog who got kicked out after a nice Freshman season. At Alabama St now. Could be a nice sleeper in the mid rounds and should do well at the combine.
  • Timothy Flanders, Sam Houston State
  • David Fluellen, Toledo
  • Devonta Freeman, Florida State
    • All the FSU back ran like beasts into their holes.
  • Tyler Gaffney, Stanford
  • Marion Grice, Arizona State
  • Ryan Hewitt (FB), Stanford
  • Jeremy Hill, LSU
  • Carlos Hyde, Ohio State
    • Let’s see if he shows up in shape.  Combine very important for Hyde.
  • Storm Johnson, Central Florida
    • Fix the fumble thing and he’s getting buzz like Hyde, Sankey, Mason; fumble thing is fixable.
    • Endorsed by Zara.
  • Henry Josey, Missouri
  • Tre Mason, Auburn
    • Liked him better when no one knew him, but still like how Mason runs.  Exploded into holes.  A prototype ‘new back.’  Secretly hope he runs a crap 40 so his stock will drop.
  • Jerick McKinnon, Georgia Southern
  • Trey Millard (FB), Oklahoma
  • Adam Muema, San Diego State
  • LaDarius Perkins, Mississippi State
  • Silas Redd, USC
  • Bishop Sankey, Washington
  • Lache Seastrunk, Baylor
    • Suspicious of all Baylor offensive prospects… Briles is an alchemist.
    • TA:  “… lightning speed and would be a nice 3rd rd guy. Has a little Chris Johnson in him although he’s probably not an every down back. More like a 12-15 carry per game guy but he’s a HR hitter.”
  • Charles Sims, West Virginia
    • Unimpressive in Senior Bowl.
  • Jerome Smith, Syracuse
  • Lorenzo Taliaferro, Coastal Carolina
  • De’Anthony Thomas, Oregon
    • No heart.  Quit in Stanford game. Embarrassment.  Do not want.
  • Terrance West, Towson
    • Towson was stacked, interested in anyone from that team.
  • James White, Wisconsin
  • James Wilder, Florida State
    • See Freeman above.
  • Andre Williams, Boston College
    • Hype machine ramped up way too fast for my liking.  Skeptical.  Will watch in combine.
  • Damien Williams, Oklahoma

Wide receivers

Sortable WR numbers.

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Yes, this catch.

  • Jared Abbrederis, Wisconsin
    • Can make huge money with a good 40 this weekend.
  • Davante Adams, Fresno State
    • Was only ‘fine’ in games I saw; not a huge difference maker.
  • Odell Beckham, LSU
  • Kelvin Benjamin, Florida State
    • Love the size, impossible to defend.
    • TA:  “… a beast. Only downside is he drops many balls but so did TO and Dez still does. He’s a monster.”
  • Chris Boyd, Vanderbilt
  • Philly Brown, Ohio State
  • John Brown, Pittsburg State
  • Martavis Bryant, Clemson
    • Am as interested as everyone on whether a 6-5 WR can crack a 4.3 40.
  • Isaiah Burse, Fresno State
  • Michael Campanaro, Wake Forest
    • Pain in the ass small possession receiver you want on your team.
  • Brandon Coleman, Rutgers
  • Kain Colter, Northwestern
  • Brandin Cooks, Oregon State
    • TA:  “I’m not a Brandin Cooks guy. Didn’t do anything that great that stood out to me.  I like so many of the other WRs I’d be disappointed if the Browns went that route.”
  • Damian Copeland, Louisville
  • Mike Davis, Texas
  • Bruce Ellington, South Carolina
  • Quincy Enunwa, Nebraska
  • Mike Evans, Texas A&M
    • Was Kanick initial choice for Browns at #4 and still holding that slot.  Slowing creeping up national boards.  Wait and see:  if you like 6-1 Watkins, you’ll love 6-5 Evans.  Difference maker.  Playmaker.  Winner.  Do want.
    • TA:  Evans with some Vincent Jackson in him.
  • Shaq Evans, UCLA
  • Bennie Fowler, Michigan State
  • Austin Franklin, New Mexico State
  • Jeremy Gallon, Michigan
    • RGB:  runs great routes, great hands, knows how to get open, decent speed.  Would be an excellent slot receiver. He’s not a speed burner like Travis Benjamin, but is a much better overall wide receiver. Could be the Brown’s version of Julian Edelman or Wes Welker.
  • Ryan Grant, Tulane
  • Matt Hazel, Coastal Carolina
  • Robert Herron, Wyoming
  • Cody Hoffman, BYU
  • Josh Huff, Oregon
  • Allen Hurns, Miami (Fla.)
  • Jeff Janis, Saginaw Valley State
  • TJ Jones, Notre Dame
  • Jarvis Landry, LSU
  • Cody Latimer, Indiana
  • Marqise Lee, USC
  • Marcus Lucas, Missouri
  • Jordan Matthews, Vanderbilt
    • Acto:  “better receiver [than Evans] and he may be available with a much lower pick.”  
    • Zara: “He is way underrated because of how he was used–vandy had qb issues and didn’t even try to get the ball downfield to him a lot of times. Could be like an alshon on the other side of Gordon.”
    • TA:  “[less alshon] more of a Reggie Wayne. Possession WR with not great speed but makes every catch. Excellent complement to a star WR. “
  • Donte Moncrief, Ole Miss
    • Kicked asses of MSU’s two second round draft picks (Slay and Banks) in 2012 Egg Bowl.  Can make big dollars with a good combine.
  • Kevin Norwood, Alabama
  • Walt Powell, Murray State
  • Tevin Reese, Baylor
  • Paul Richardson, Colorado
    • TA:  “… put up monsterous numbers in some games but he’s tough to evaluate bc of that horrific talent level around him. Very skinny but he was a top recruit so he has the pedigree.”
  • Allen Robinson, Penn State
  • Jalen Saunders, Oklahoma
  • Willie Snead, Ball State
    • Beneficiary of having Keith Wenning as QB (not vice versa).
  • Josh Stewart, Oklahoma State
  • Devin Street, Pittsburgh
  • L’Damian Washington, Missouri
  • Sammy Watkins, Clemson
  • Albert Wilson, Georgia State

Tight ends

colt

Possible bargain. Not a Browns priority though.

  • Jace Amaro, Texas Tech
  • Rob Blanchflower, Massachusetts
  • Trey Burton, Florida
  • Anthony Denham, Utah
  • Joe Don Duncan, Dixie State
    • Acto: “… love to see the Browns snag him with a late round pick. I really like the way he snatches the ball out of the air in traffic before he “hears footsteps” or looks upfield.”
  • Eric Ebron, North Carolina
    • TA:  “.. will be very very good.”
  • C.J. Fiedorowicz, Iowa
  • Crockett Gillmore, Colorado State
  • Xavier Grimble, USC
  • Nic Jacobs, McNeese State
  • Marcel Jensen, Fresno State
  • Reggie Jordan, Missouri Western State
  • A.C. Leonard, Tennessee State
  • Colt Lyerla, Oregon
    • We all make mistakes.  Has first round talent; would love him in later round.
  • Arthur Lynch, Georgia
  • Jake Murphy, Utah
  • Jordan Najvar, Baylor
  • Troy Niklas, Notre Dame
  • Jacob Pedersen, Wisconsin
  • Richard Rodgers, California
  • Austin Seferian-Jenkins, Washington
  • D.J. Tialavea, Utah State

Offensive linemen

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My favorite guard this year. Big ‘do want.’

  • Matt Armstrong (C), Grand Valley State
    • Endorsed by Acto.
  • Joel Bitonio (OT), Nevada
  • Russell Bodine (C), North Carolina
  • Conor Boffeli (G), Iowa
  • Justin Britt (OT), Missouri
  • Dakota Dozier (OT), Furman
  • Kadeem Edwards (G), Tennessee State
  • Matt Feiler (OT), Bloomsburg
  • Cameron Fleming (OT), Stanford
  • Zach Fulton (G), Tennessee
  • Ryan Groy (G), Wisconsin
  • Jon Halapio (G), Florida
  • Jonotthan Harrison (C), Florida
  • Seantrel Henderson (OT), Miami (Fla.)
    • I still remember this drama queen when he was choosing a school and the choosing another school and then transferring.  I think he was with USC, Minnesota, OSU before Miami.  Did not look good in Senior Bowl.  Do not want.
  • James Hurst (OT), North Carolina
  • Gabe Ikard (C), Oklahoma
  • Gabe Jackson (G), Mississippi State
    • Difference maker in every Missy State game I saw.  Priority get; would love for Browns in second round.
  • Ja’wuan James (OT), Tennessee
  • Wesley Johnson (OT), Vanderbilt
  • Cyrus Kouandjio (OT), Alabama
    • Play never matched hype.  Do not want.
  • Tyler Larsen (C), Utah State
  • Charles Leno (OT), Boise State
  • Taylor Lewan (OT), Michigan
  • Brandon Linder (G), Miami (Fla.)
  • Corey Linsley (C), Ohio State
  • Spencer Long (G), Nebraska
  • Luke Lucas (OT), Kansas State
  • Marcus Martin (C), USC
  • Zack Martin (OT), Notre Dame
  • Jake Matthews (OT), Texas A&M
    • Acto’s early lean for the Browns’ first pick.
  • Jack Mewhort (OT), Ohio State
  • Morgan Moses (OT), Virginia
  • Matt Paradis (C), Boise State
  • Matt Patchan (OT), Boston College
  • Antonio Richardson (OT), Tennessee
  • Cyril Richardson (G), Baylor
  • Weston Richburg (C), Colorado State
  • Greg Robinson (OT), Auburn
    • Ridiculous.  Owned everyone he faced.
  • Michael Schofield (OT), Michigan
  • Anthony Steen (G), Alabama
  • James Stone (C), Tennessee
  • Bryan Stork (C), Florida State
  • Xavier Su’a-Filo (G), UCLA
  • Travis Swanson (C), Arkansas
  • Brandon Thomas (OT), Clemson
  • Trai Turner (G), LSU
  • Billy Turner (OT), North Dakota State
  • John Urschel (G), Penn State
  • Chris Watt (G), Notre Dame
  • David Yankey (G), Stanford

Defensive linemen

Screen Shot 2014-02-20 at 7.32.58 PM

Clowney/Peppers comparisons.

  • Jay Bromley (DT), Syracuse
  • Ryan Carrethers (DT), Arkansas State
  • Will Clarke (DE), West Virginia
  • Jadeveon Clowney (DE), South Carolina
  • Scott Crichton (DE), Oregon State
  • Aaron Donald (DT), Pittsburgh
    • Was really awesome in Senior Bowl.  Not great numbers in Little Caesar’s Bowl vs. BGSU but I recall him being a presence.
  • Kony Ealy (DE), Missouri
    • Difference maker; looks like an NFL pass rusher.
  • Dominique Easley (DT), Florida
  • Kasim Edebali (DE), Boston College
  • Justin Ellis (DT), Louisiana Tech
  • IK Enemkpali (DE), Louisiana Tech
  • Ego Ferguson (DT), LSU
  • Dee Ford (DE), Auburn
    • I love all things Auburn.  But I didn’t think Dee Ford made a big impact in their games.  It was a good team defense.  Ford didn’t stand out (to me).
  • James Gayle (DE), Virginia Tech
  • Ra’Shede Hageman (DT), Minnesota
  • Taylor Hart (DE), Oregon
  • Kerry Hyder (DT), Texas Tech
  • Jackson Jeffcoat (DE), Texas
  • Timmy Jernigan (DT), Florida State
  • Anthony Johnson (DT), LSU
  • DaQuan Jones (DT), Penn State
  • Howard Jones (DE), Shephard
  • Zach Kerr (DT), Delaware
  • Demarcus Lawrence (DE), Boise State
  • Aaron Lynch (DE), South Florida
  • Eathyn Manumaleuna (DE), BYU
  • Cassius Marsh (DE), UCLA
  • Kareem Martin (DE), North Carolina
  • Josh Mauro (DE), Stanford
  • Daniel McCullers (DT), Tennessee
  • Tevin Mims (DE), South Florida
  • Zach Moore (DE), Concordia (Minn.)
  • Jonathan Newsome (DE), Ball State
  • Louis Nix III (DT), Notre Dame
  • Jeoffrey Pagan (DE), Alabama
  • Tenny Palepoi (DT), Utah
  • Mike Pennel (DT), Colorado State-Pueblo
  • Kelcy Quarles (DT), South Carolina
  • Kaleb Ramsey (DE), Boston College
  • Caraun Reid (DT), Princeton
  • Michael Sam (DE), Missouri
    • Invisible.  Just not that good.  Pass.
  • Chris Smith (DE), Arkansas
  • Marcus Smith (DE), Louisville
  • Shamar Stephen (DT), Connecticut
  • Ed Stinson (DE), Alabama
  • Will Sutton (DT), Arizona State
    • TA:  “.. intrigues me. Always flashed when I watched ASU. Very disruptive.”
  • Robert Thomas (DT), Arkansas
  • Khyri Thornton (DT), Southern Mississippi
  • Stephon Tuitt (DE), Notre Dame
  • George Uko (DE), USC
  • Brent Urban (DT), Virginia
  • Larry Webster (DE), Bloomsburg
  • Ethan Westbrooks (DE), West Texas A&M
  • Chris Whaley (DT), Texas
  • Kerry Wynn (DT), Richmond

Linebackers

barr

Did not see this from Barr in 2013.

  • Jerry Attaochu (OLB), Georgia Tech
  • Anthony Barr (OLB), UCLA
    • What happened to my favorite gif?  Myles Jack was a bigger impact player for UCLA this year.  Barr seems over-valued.
  • Lamin Barrow (OLB), LSU
  • Chris Borland (ILB), Wisconsin
    • Old school linebacker.  Laurinaitis is doing good work for the Rams.
    • TA:  “.. lock solid as a 10-15 year MLB starter. I want for Browns.”
  • Carl Bradford (OLB), Arizona State
  • Jonathan Brown (ILB), Illinois
  • Preston Brown (ILB), Louisville
  • Max Bullough (ILB), Michigan State
  • Khairi Fortt (ILB), California
  • Jeremiah George (ILB), Iowa State
  • Anthony Hitchens (OLB), Iowa
  • Adrian Hubbard (OLB), Alabama
    • You must take the huge Bama athletic linebacker if he is there in round 5.
  • Andrew Jackson (ILB), Western Kentucky
  • Christian Jones (ILB), Florida State
  • Devon Kennard (OLB), USC
  • Chris Kirksey (OLB), Iowa
  • Boseko Lokombo (OLB), Oregon
  • Khalil Mack (OLB), Buffalo
  • James Morris (ILB), Iowa
  • C.J. Mosley (ILB), Alabama
    • I dunno man.  Expected more.  That Oklahoma game… that raised questions for me on Mosley.
    • TA:  “Not a single Bama first round defender under Saban has turned into a star or at least a pro bowler. It’s mind boggling.”
  • Trent Murphy (OLB), Stanford
  • Kevin Pierre-Louis (OLB), Boston College
  • Ronald Powell (OLB), Florida
  • Trevor Reilly (OLB), Utah
  • Ryan Shazier (OLB), Ohio State
    • He has that annoying ‘run into people and don’t wrap up’ tackling style.
    • Nick:  “[Shazier] always seemed to be around the ball in the games I watched, seemed to have good instincts.”
  • Prince Shembo (OLB), Notre Dame
  • Shayne Skov (ILB), Stanford
    • TA:  “”Will be tough.”
  • Yawin Smallwood (OLB), Connecticut
  • Telvin Smith (ILB), Florida State
  • Tyler Starr (OLB), South Dakota
  • Jordan Tripp (OLB), Montana
  • Uani Unga (ILB), BYU
  • Kyle Van Noy (OLB), BYU
  • Avery Williamson (ILB), Kentucky
  • Jordan Zumwalt (ILB), UCLA
    • Animal (in a good way).  Sells out every play.

Defensive backs

NCAA Football: Alabama at Texas A&M

Lock up these two in the first round and call it a good first day.

  • Mo Alexander (SS), Utah State
  • Ricardo Allen (CB), Purdue
  • Dion Bailey (SS), USC
  • Deion Belue (CB), Alabama
  • Bene Benwikere (CB), San Jose State
  • Nat Berhe (SS), San Diego State
  • Tre Boston (SS), North Carolina
  • Bashaud Breeland (CB), Clemson
  • Terrence Brooks (FS), Florida State
  • Deone Bucannon (SS), Washington State
  • Travis Carrie (CB), Ohio
  • Ha’Sean Clinton-Dix (FS), Alabama
    • A hitter.  Impact player.  Worthy of hype.  Very interested in his 40 and vertical and whether he measures a true 6’1″.
  • Ross Cockrell (CB), Duke
  • Aaron Colvin (CB), Oklahoma
  • Chris Davis (CB), Auburn
    • Much more than FG return guy.
  • Darqueze Dennard (CB), Michigan State
    • Starting to drop in some mocks I’ve seen.  That’s ok.  I watched him play.  Do want.  Would start immediately for Browns.
  • Pierre Desir (CB), Lindenwood
  • Ahmad Dixon (SS), Baylor
  • Brandon Dixon (CB), Northwest Missouri State
  • Jonathan Dowling (SS), Western Kentucky
    • Remember when he was a big get for Willie Taggart; transferred to WKU from Gainesville.  Was huge in SunBelt.  6-3 WKU safety.  You know he’s on the ‘do want’ list.
  • Antone Exum (CB), Virginia Tech
  • Kyle Fuller (CB), Virginia Tech
  • E.J. Gaines (CB), Missouri
  • Phillip Gaines (CB), Rice
  • Justin Gilbert (CB), Oklahoma State
    • Endorsed by our two Texans, Acto and Bode.
  • Demetri Goodson (CB), Baylor
  • Dre Hal (CB), Vanderbilt
  • Victor Hampton (CB), South Carolina
  • Marqueston Huff (FS), Wyoming
  • Bennett Jackson (CB), Notre Dame
  • Kendall James (CB), Maine
  • Stanley Jean-Baptiste (CB), Nebraska
    • Great at Senior Bowl.  6’3/220 cornerback who hits.  Watch him get drafted in second round.  Good combine and maybe he goes in first.
  • Dontae Johnson (CB), North Carolina State
  • LaMarcus Joyner (CB), Florida State
    • TA:  “Former HS star who almost went to OSU and had a great year imo at FSU.”
  • Kenny Ladler (FS), Vanderbilt
  • Nevin Lawson (CB), Utah State
  • Isaiah Lewis (SS), Michigan State
  • Craig Loston (SS), LSU
  • Dexter McDougle (CB), Maryland
  • Keith McGill (CB), Utah
  • Terrance Mitchell (CB), Oregon
  • Jabari Price (CB), North Carolina
  • Calvin Pryor (FS), Louisville
  • Loucheiz Purifoy (CB), Florida
  • Keith Reaser (CB), Florida Atlantic
  • Ed Reynolds (FS), Stanford
  • Rashaad Reynolds (CB), Oregon State
  • Marcus Roberson (CB), Florida
  • Bradley Roby (CB), Ohio State
  • Daniel Sorensen (FS), BYU
  • Dez Southward (FS), Wisconsin
  • Vinnie Sunseri (SS), Alabama
  • Jemea Thomas (CB), Georgia Tech
  • Brock Vereen (FS), Minnesota
  • Jason Verrett (CB), TCU
    • Acto:  “[Verrett] good CB choice for the Browns.”
  • Jimmie Ward (SS), Northern Illinois
  • Todd Washington (CB), Southeastern Louisiana
  • Jaylen Watkins (CB), Florida
  • Lavelle Westbrooks (CB), Georgia Southern

Specialists

  • Chris Boswell (K), Rice
  • Steven Clark (P), Auburn
  • Anthony Fera (K), Texas
  • Zach Hocker (K), Arkansas
  • Tom Hornsey (P), Memphis
  • Richie Leone (P), Houston
  • Cody Mandell (P), Alabama
  • Pat O’Donnell (P), Miami (Fla.)
  • Cairo Santos (K), Tulane
  • Marcus Heit (LS), Kansas State

          

Ugh, significant grammar error when I published:  my title should be WHOM, not WHO, in this case.  Link walks you through the test, provides a mnemonic.  (Who/Whom am I watching?  I’m watching HIM (not he), thus WHOM is correct.)  Fixed now.  Sorry.

That being said… watching wall-to-wall Combine and the incessant use of non-word “athleticism” makes one wonder why to bother with correct English in the first place.

 

  • actovegin1armstrong

    jk,
    Did you watch? ESPN 17 or 18 had combine stuff on at least 39 hours a day. I know that the kid from Kent ran a fast 40, were there any workout wonders with which the world is now watching and salivating over a possible draft choice?

    • oh i watched. ive got a recap almost done. still have LBs, DBs, and TEs. hope to have a discuss up and open before noon.

  • actovegin1armstrong

    Oh the magic of the interwebnetline…. Kahlil Mack looks amazing, I would be very happy if the Browns took him with the 4th pick. It is a passing league. Can you ever have too many guys to disrupt the pass? (Wait, or Jake Matthews to protect the Framabmalized Quarterback) OK, now Alex Mack’s brother Kahlil with the 4th pick and Justin Gilbert or Jordan Matthews with the 26th.

  • FTCMikeD

    Not sure if you saw this article, http://www.nytimes.com/2014/02/22/sports/football/speed-coach-prepares-nfl-prospects-for-combine.html, but it looks like like camp worked for Mike Evans. From walterfootball, “Evans’ 40 time came in at 4.53 with a 10-yard split of 1.57.”

  • actovegin1armstrong

    jk,
    I have been watching stuff on the wonderful interweb/online.
    You are certainly correct, Greg Robinson is a terrific athlete. His run blocking is beyond reproach and better than anyone in this draft, I would not be unhappy if the Browns took him with that fourth pick. However, Jake Matthews has better hand technique in pass blocking. I would pick him as the 4th pick for that reason.
    What do you think?

    • I’m baking a ‘Risers/Fallers’ post and I’m sorry to say I see Jake Matthews falling. In his case, it’s not a ding on him; it’s a case where two others are killing it. At one point Matthews was the clear top OT, now Robinson seems #1 and Lewan was really awesome at the combine and his stock, at the least, is approaching Matthews.

      In terms of consensus building, I’m now right with you on “Clowney: Pass.” It was partly the combine and partly remembering how Taylor Lewan managed Clowney in the Outback.

      I love drafting o-line as much as (or more than) anyone, but I can’t see Brownies going o-line at #4. Good news I see is that Gabe Jackson was almost the slowest 40; maybe he slides to 3rd round for us?

      • actovegin1armstrong

        Watching more stuff…. Lewan and Ealy look terrific. Dix lacks the all important football speed. Which is actually top end/closing speed.
        I would be hard pressed to ever draft a collegiate safety. Most good safeties are former CB that are great cover guys, but a half step too slow for the NFL. Since the league is leaning toward “pass to run” and “pass just to make fans happy”, I would think twice about having a slow safety.

        • dix hits and covers and responds with ball in air and makes plays. i’m secretly thrilled at his ‘joe haden speed’ and hope he falls. would love him in 2nd rd… but i dont think garoppolo lasts until 3rd and he’s shaping up as my QB pref.

          btw, justin gilbert’s 33+” arms have me in his corner but no way he lasts until #26.

  • actovegin1armstrong

    Where is Kyle Van Noy in all of the pre-draft milieu?
    Could the Browns get him with a late round pick? I have him as late first, early second round talent.

    • His combine was middle-of-the-pack.

      How’s this sound: 1a. Evans/TAMU; 1b. Clinton-Dix/Bama; 2. Garoppolo/EIU; 3a. G.Jackson/MSST; 3b. Archer/Kent.

      That’s where I’m at early on.

      • actovegin1armstrong

        That looks like a terrific draft. I do however question Evans. I really like the guy, but is he 4th pick worthy? Also, the ghost of Al Davis is going to move up and take Archer with the 1st pick in the draft. But, I would like to see him move to WR and put Greg Little at RB. Little is not a WR.

        • it is admittedly a hopeful to have jackson and archer available in the 3rd.
          archer’s 20 bench reps blow me away.

          • actovegin1armstrong

            Short arms.

  • mgbode

    My QB list:

    Teddy Bridgewater – the guy I want at #4 and think that the current talk of Houston taking someone else is just smoke. I am trying not to buy into it and be all disappointed when he goes #1 overall like he should.

    Blake Bortles / Johnny Football – the separation between the two will be on what we won’t know. How hard they are willing to work, how much commitment they give right away to being an elite QB. Both guys thrive in moving the pocket and eluding rushers. Bortles is better at stepping into the rush and making the throw, Johnny better at creating space and making plays downfield later. I think both can be very good in the right system with some tweaks. I think both have some work to do. Johnny on his decision-making, Bortles on his overall footwork.

    ———-that’s it for 1st round QBs——————

    Other guys I like in later rounds:

    Aaron Murray – doesn’t seem to have as high of an upside, but always got the job done and did it without excuses. great team player by all accounts. Coming off an ACL injury will further depress his draft position, but we have Hoyer (oh, his injury too, drat). Worthy of a gamble in the mid-rounds.

    Connor Shaw – I really would like to know why he is rated so low on most draft boards. I liked him before but the Capital One Bowl really showcased his skills. He was throwing lasers all over the field and doing everything possible to show he is a NFL QB. He also has very good mobility. He definitely has negatives and injury history too. But, the way he drug himself on the field to beat Mizzou, continued to hobble and win against Miss.St./Florida and then just took over when healthy against Clemson and Wisconsin. I’m not sure what more he could have done. I have him rated as a 2nd round guy, but he’s a 5th-7th on most boards. I will be very happy to get him in the middle rounds.

    James Franklin – why doesn’t he even get mentions on most boards? I mean, Gilbert made him look silly at times in the bowl game, but he does that to most QBs. On the season, Franklin was a very good QB who made a bunch of plays and has a good arm and mobility. He is definitely a project guy (I wouldn’t draft him before round6), but he’s a guy worth developing. Keep an eye on him to see if he “rises” leading up to the draft as people remember that Mizzou had a good football team and they looked their best when Franklin was running their offense.

    Other guys who are interesting, but I’m not as eager:

    Garoppolo – honestly, no idea on him but have read some interesting things.

    Fales/Price – I don’t think they have the arm, but they make the reads and get it to the correct spot. Could eventually be a Hoyer type if they build up arm strength.

    Guys I wouldn’t draft where slotted:

    D.Carr – he’s not a 1st round QB in my eyes. any rush and his mechanics disappear. in shorts & tee he’s amazing and could be on my flag football team anytime.

    McCarron – I just don’t see it. Decent backup potential, but that’s it.

    Boyd – hurts me to list him, but he just didn’t advance from what he was the year before. I loved how he was progressing and thought this was the year that Clemson opened things up for him. But, he was making too many football dumb plays and the Tigers had to revert to “throw the ball to Sammy short and let him make plays” offense. That’s a very good offense, but doesn’t speak well of Taj.

    Morris – please don’t draft him. please.

    Mettenberger – I just don’t like football dumb players and Cam apparently really shrunk the playbook and still had to keep close tabs on what he was doing. Pair that with his injury and it’s tough to see a low middle round pick for him. Add in his off-field stuff and let’s just look elsewhere.

    Brett Smith – he has poor footwork, bad throwing motion, played against weak competition and there are better athletes out there. I don’t get the clamor over him.

    Logan Thomas – I like him as a late-round gamble, just not at QB.

  • actovegin1armstrong

    Justin Gilbert would be a great player to pick up too, but I am worried that he may go top 10. I like him better than Verrett, but he will probably be long gone by the Browns’ 2nd, 1st round pick.

    • mgbode

      I love Justin Gilbert as well. He is my favorite CB in this draft (basically even with Dennard). I’m not sure he goes top10, but that is more due to team needs and how the talent shakes out in this particular draft. I have him rated very high and was hoping he’d be there at 26 and have major doubts others are seeing the same with him (as he’s rising fast).

  • GRRustlers

    Some random thoughts on some of the positions:

    Quarterbacks: All of the stuff that I saw from Bridgewater this year does not mesh with what I saw the previous year. Did the surrounding talent leaving hurt him that much? I can’t shake that he is still the clear cut leader of the top 3 even though Bortles is an unknown who has flame out written all over him and I just have no clue on Manziel.

    The mid round QB starts and ends with Murray. I would take him even if the Browns already took a QB at 4. A winner with good size who just seems like he has 10 year vet written all over him.

    Late round I am all about Wenning. That performance in Akron in the middle of a hurricane was amazing.

    Running Backs: Consider me intrigued my Marion Grice. I watch a lot of PAC12 football and there is just something about him. He looks the part.

    Other that that for the love of god do not take a RB in any of the first 3 rounds. Just wait.

    Wide Receivers: I am obviously fascinated by Paul Richardson. The numbers that he put up with the talent around him are amazing. You will be hard pressed to find anyone with better hands in the draft. He catches everything with his hands, has good speed, and if he gains 10-15 pounds will be a huge steal for someone. If this kid ends up in Indy or New Orleans he becomes a star.

    SIde note on Richardson: The 3 wideouts for the Junipero Serra HS in CA were Richardson, Marqise Lee and Robert Woods. How is this possible? And who was the lucky bastard who got to play QB there? I looked it up a while ago and I don’t remember the kids name but he basically got a free education off those guys so god bless him.

    LB: Going to have to disagree with you on Anthony Barr. I saw the west coast version of Clowney. A guy who was bored and trying to avoid injury. He was an SOB in the game vs Colorado with multiple personal fouls and it looks like Colorado woke him up in that game by pissing him off. Just think he was waiting for the NFL.

    Other than that I want big ass corners and for this Cleveland team to just find a big nasty guard on offense.

  • CLEVTA

    Also, I like Matthews as well but calling him Alshon Jeffrey I dont know. Totally totally different guys. He’s not nearly as big as Alshon and doesn’t make the same lob type endzone catches. I like to comp Matthews to more of a Reggie Wayne. Possession WR with not great speed but makes every catch. Excellent complement to a star WR.
    I’m not a Brandin Cooks guy. Didn’t do anything that great that stood out to me. I like so many of the other WRs I’d be disappointed if the Browns went that route.

  • CLEVTA

    Hey can I join in? My two cents fwiw:
    Totally agree on all Evans positives. I remember making this comp during the Bama game this year:

    Thought the same thing. RT @ClevTA: Evans with some Vincent Jackson in him— Jeff Borzello (@jeffborzello) September 14, 2013

    Likes:

    – Isiah Crowell- Former Georgia Bulldog who got kicked out after a nice Freshman season. At Alabama St now. Could be a nice sleeper in the mid rounds and should do well at the combine.
    – Teddy- most polished QB in the draft. Does most everything well. Highly efficient especially in the short and intermediate throws. The dude has been calling plays at the line for 2 years. He and Luck are the only ones I can remember consistently doing that in pro style offenses. Doesn’t get the hype bc his WRs stunk and had zero run game and he played in Strong’s boring offense. He’s my Browns pick.
    – I like Murray as a 3rd round guy. Cousins type career is possible
    – Im surprised at Kanick’s anti-Baylor sentiment. Every WR drafted from that offense lately has performed (Flash, Williams, Wright). Seastrunk has lightning speed and would be a nice 3rd rd guy. Has a little Chris Johnson in him although he’s probably not an every down back. More like a 12-15 carry per game guy but he’s a HR hitter.
    – Love K Benjamin, he a beast. Only downside is he drops many balls but so did TO and Dez still does. He’s a monster.

    – I love so many of the WRs this year it’s scary. Paul Richardson put up monsterous numbers in some games but he’s tough to evaluate bc of that horrific talent level around him. Very skinny but he was a top recruit so he has the pedigree.
    – at TE I think Ebron will be very very good.

    – Im not an OL guy so I’ll leave it to the experts
    – At DL Will Sutton intrigues me. Always flashed when I watched ASU. Very disruptive
    – At LB Borland is lock solid as a 10-15 year MLB starter. I want for Browns. I want no part of any Bama defender in the first round so no thanks on Mosley. Not a single Bama first round defender under Saban has turned into a star or at least a pro bowler. It’s mind boggling. Skov is another LB I think will be tough
    – Lamarcus Joyner at Safety. Former HS star who almost went to OSU and had a great year imo at FSU

    • Lyon25

      Can’t agree more on Teddy. He may not be a sure lock as Luck was, but give me someone who thrived with little surrounding talent and already has experience making calls at the line.

      • not taking a strong position on bridgewater but concerning his surrounding talent: his o-line weighed in at 350-321-312-282-319. that’s a big line and ive wondered if that provided an unnatural advantage.

        • Lyon25

          Very good point. Of all the QB in the draft, he impressed me the most. However, I’m not completely sold on anyone as the must take pick at #4.

        • mgbode

          this is a great point to consider. i would counter that he did well when pressured as well, but that confidence could have come because he knew most times his OL would deliver.

    • great stuff thank you.

      re my baylor comment, it was partly tongue in cheek, but i view kendall wright case study in over-hyped system offense stat inflation leading to first round ratings that dont square with measurables. ie, he was a short slow WR (5-10/4.61-40) who projected looked as a possession receiver in the NFL and is playing like one. but the baylor offense got him first round money.

  • Dri Archer reminds me of Eric Metcalf even though he is just a shade smaller. He is electric though when healthy and in the right system could cause all kinds of problems for opposing defenses (as long as we don’t see any Archer up the middle in the play book). No way could a linebacker match up with him.

    Concern is how he will hold up at NFL level. As Travis Benjamin showed, no matter how fast you are you will eventually get caught.

    Browns missed boat last year when they failed to add Kent State’s Brian Winters, Archer may be their best option to get a Golden Flash on the roster.

  • zarathustra

    Holy smokes do I agree with most of this.
    qb: tajh is undervalued at this point and one name I didn’t see on your list is Keith Price. Way underrated.

    Rb: I like archer a lot and think he could be a great weapon for shanahan, but not sure he is better than tavon. My favorite backs are storm, mason, and sankey. I feel confident that one of them will be considered the best back from the draft when it is all said and done.

    WR: crazy deep. I agree with acto on Mathews. He is way underrated because of how he was used–vandy had qb issues and didn’t even try to get the ball downfield to him a lot of times. Could be like an alshon on the other side of Gordon…in concert with former hoyer scout team comrade Edelman in the slot and now we are finally getting somewhere with this offense.

    • price didnt get a combine invite which i agree is strange.
      agreed on storm johnson.
      agreed on WRs. when juxtaposed against WR UFAs, you gotta get your WRs out of the draft this year. matthews’ weigh in size is very impressive. (i would LOVE LOVE LOVE a 6-3 slot guy.)

      • Petefranklin

        Get the WRs this year while the getting is good. Even Heckart got three Dlinemen out of one draft loaded with Dlinemen: Taylor, Hughes, and Winn

        • Derek

          Taylor and Sheard were drafted in 11. Hughes and Winn in 12

          • Petefranklin

            My bad, but 2 starting WRs in this draft is not a reach.

  • actovegin1armstrong

    I also like Matt Armstrong at center. Even though his last name has been sullied by the evil sociopath, this kid could be a great UDFA pick up.

  • actovegin1armstrong

    I only saw him play once, but I would like to add Joe Don Duncan. I would love to see the Browns snag him with a late round pick. I really like the way he snatches the ball out of the air in traffic before he “hears footsteps” or looks upfield.

  • maxfnmloans

    So Teddy B has baby T-Rex hands (9 1/8″) and Manziel is under 6′, but has so much hand he’s comin’ out of his gloves (9 7/8″). I know, “hand size?!?!” but I think it makes a big difference, especially in cold weather for things like getting a grip on the ball, maintaining a grip on the ball while evading pressure, and the all important backhanded throws.

    I’m still “meh” an Johnny Footbaw. Being under 6′ was a slight negative, having humongous meathooks was about an equal sized positive.

    Overall, this is great stuff, Kanick. I now have my weekend reading schedule. Thanks!

    • manziel just 9-7/8?
      he’s no nick foles. (10-5/8, biggest hands at 2012 combine.)

      • maxfnmloans

        yeah, I don’t have any proof that I said it, but I like Foles better than Weeden in that draft

        • mgbode

          Here’s where I thought QBs should go in that draft:

          Andrew Luck – (Would trade #4 and #22)
          Robert Griffin III – (Would trade #22 and #37 to draft ~10), (Would draft at #4)
          Ryan Tannehill – (Would draft in 3rd round)
          Brock Osweiler – (Would draft in 5th round)
          Nick Foles – (Would draft in 3rd round)
          Brandon Weedon – (Would draft in 4th round)

          No, I didn’t even bother to mention Russell Wilson as he was getting too many Seneca Wallace comparisons and I got turned off. Obviously, a mistake there, but that’s what happened.

    • i’m leaning ‘pass’ on manziel and if a QB must be taken at #4, let it be bortles.

  • Nick

    Shazier always seemed to be around the ball in the games I watched, seemed to have good instincts (unlike Roby, how much $ has he lost in the last year), so I like him, even if his tackling is suspect right now.

    Grossi wrote a nice column the other day comparing Newsome’s first draft to Farmer’s upcoming draft. The similarities are eerie. Obviously, Ray is going to grab us two HOFers with #4 and #26!!

    • classic. year after browns move: ogden and lewis.
      best first round ever?
      i cant think of a better one.

  • actovegin1armstrong

    Stan Jean-Baptiste, may be a great NFL player, but he looks like he shall be moved to Safety and it is far easier to get a good safety than a CB. Jason Verrett (CB), TCU is a good CB choice for the Browns.

    • verrett’s 5-10/176.
      can’t do it.
      can’t get even shorter/smaller in the secondary.
      the madness must end with this draft.

  • actovegin1armstrong

    I like Mike Evans, he is a good pick, he may have some respectable top end speed too, but Jordan Matthews is a better receiver and he may be available with a much lower pick.

    • i’m actually not sure whether evans has great top speed. but he does get separation and snatched balls with hands and body control on sidelines/endlines. i remain at a loss on why watkins is the darling over evans but suspect the manziel hype caused some overlooking of evans.

      • mgbode

        Ok, I’ll put this here since I view the WRs in this class as “the big 3” and then a very good 2nd tier.

        Big3 = Watkins, Lee, Evans (in that order for me, but understand other orders from others).

        Watkins uses his hands to catch better than any WR in recent memory. Yes, better/equal than Hakeem Nicks IMO who had amazing hands as well. You just seem him envelop the ball with those mitts. Beautiful. Then, he pairs it with ridiculous acceleration. He doesn’t have the greatest top-end speed, but his 0-full-bore is extremely good.

        Lee might end up being too skinny and the guy that has all the other tools but gets limited from that end (USC did not have him go over the middle much). He has the best game-speed of these 3 guys and really good hands as well. He does really good double-moves and adjusts to deep balls really well too. He is the Mike Wallace of this class of WRs.

        Evans could easily go top5 if a team values his attributes. He has great body control and uses the defender’s position well to make plays on the ball. He is obviously the biggest of these guys (and unlike Benjamin doesn’t have a problem with dropsies). The question that remains is if he ends up being more Andre Johnson or Anquan Boldin. Both are good, but healthy-Andre likely the best WR in this class. Boldin is a good but not great guy especially.

        The issue is that those 3 will be gone by 26. So, we need to identify who we want from the next set. Here’s my list on them:

        J.Matthews – the guy is a tall WR with good routes, good hands and enough speed. I don’t get the issue some have with him?

        O.Beckham – love this kid. he’s intense and plays with a chip on his shoulder. he seems to thrive on those middle slants and is a threat to break a big play ever time he gets the ball.

        A.Robinson – might have legit speed concerns. He is basically the same guy as Matthews but a touch slower (at least looks it on film). He’s the last guy on my possible 1st round list (would like to get him in 2nd if possible).

        Wouldn’t draft where they are slotted: Adams, Benjamin, Landry

        Other WRs that I like after the 1st:

        **Moncrief
        **Abbrederis – though I worry that he’ll end up going high 2nd and I’d like him after that pick.
        **Richardson – a little worried as he’s as skinny as they come and a little raw, but he carried the Buffs offense at times (tough to do from WR spot).
        **Ellington
        **Dri Archer – the Dexter McCluster role
        **Hoffman
        **Hazel – only because I watched the Shrine Game and he looked great. No other game tape on him, so others please chime in.
        **Gallon – I’ll take a guy that knows how to be a playmaker in the 6th/7th round, sure.

        Huff – intrigued but no firm grasp given that Oregon used him in a strange role in their offense. He didn’t exactly just go deep but he didn’t exactly run routes either. wondering what others think on him.

    • impressed with matthews’ weigh in: 6-3/212; 10-3/8 hands.
      evans came in at 6-4+/231; 9-5/8.
      (kelvin benjamin is a beast: 6-5/240/10-1/4.)

      … looking for wingspan-armlength,, not sure if they measure that for WRs which is strange since they do it for linemen…

      • actovegin1armstrong

        I do not care about wingspan, or hand size. I have the smallest hands I have ever seen on a grown man, but I know how to catch and I do it rather well. Braylon Edwards could have had hands as big as “foam finger” hands, but he dropped the ball too much. I really prefer to forget the “measurables” and just watch them play. I am not a combine fan either. 40 times are useless as well. watching separation speed is more important. I will give you the fact that it appears that Evans has more separation speed than Matthews, but that shall perhaps be rendered null and void by the faster defenders in the NFL. Matthews will work more to find an opening.

        • mgbode

          I agree with both of you. Big hands help if you use them properly. So, if they both use their hands correctly, then the guy with the bigger hands has the advantage. Have to pair everything at the combine with film study (as I know you both also support).

  • RGB

    My late round under the radar guy…
    Jeremy Gallon…runs great routes, great hands, knows how to get open, decent speed.
    Would be an excellent slot receiver. He’s not a speed burner like Travis Benjamin, but is a much better overall wide receiver.

    • maxfnmloans

      Gallon could be every bit as good as Wes Welker. (Caveat that applies to all drafted players- “in the right system”)

    • i believe i’m going to log data like this so we can consult back and see who knew what he was talking about. which reminds me:

      HEY DAN WHALEN –> WHO YOU LIKE FOR QB THIS YEAR?

      • RGB

        Add Aaron Murray to my list.
        He carried that injury-riddled offense this year…against top level defenses.

        • he definitely did more with less.

          • RGB

            And he can play under center.
            A vanishing skill in modern college Qbs.

        • Petefranklin

          Wasn’t he a sure fire first rounder before the season? I’m all in for a value pick at QB. You wouldn’t have to change the offense from what Hoyer runs either. Murray also had to make reads of the closest thing to NFL defenses in CFB, the SEC defenses featuring Saban and Spurrier who both tasted the NFL.WR Cooks,and Oline Matthews, and Murray would be awesomeness! And with a sprinkle of Xavier Grimble and slot WR X? we could actually contend for the division.

      • actovegin1armstrong

        Is this the same Dan Whalen who threw for 15,000 yards in one half of a game in High School and played at Case? Is he playing with the Patriots now?

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