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February 27, 2012 @ 7:33 am
Current rating: 4.00 Stars/2 Votes

NFL Combine Day 2 Impressions: Running Backs and Receivers

Written by Eric
Eric Dellaratta


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Which receivers and running backs helped themselves with their NFL Combine results Sunday? Check out PewterReport.com beat writer Eric Dellaratta's report on the best of Sunday in Indy.
Running Backs
Boise State’s Doug Martin continued to boost his draft stock on Sunday at the NFL Combine. The former Bronco stud started off his combine by bench-pressing 225 pounds 28 times, which was tied for the most by a running back this year. Martin (5-9, 223) showed some nice straight-line speed by turning in a very solid 40-yard dash time of 4.47. He is built low to the ground and has a very thick lower body. The Boise State product has had a great offseason and has moved his stock into the second round.

David Wilson from Virginia Tech also had a good workout in Indianapolis on Sunday. Wilson (5-10, 206) ran a solid 4.40 in the 40-yard dash. He later went on to the vertical jump where he recorded a 41-inch jump, which was the best jump of any of the running backs at the Combine. Wilson helped his draft stock on Sunday and all but solidified his status as a second round pick.

LaMichael James of Oregon turned in a 4.37 40-yard dash at the Combine on Sunday. James also recorded a broad jump of 10 feet, 3 inches, which was the second best among the running backs at the combine. The former Oregon Duck weighed in at 5-foot-8, 194 pounds and didn’t hurt or help his draft stock in Indianapolis. He projects to be a third or fourth round selection come April. 

A surprise performer in the running back group on Sunday was Utah State’s Robert Turbin, who ran a 4.44 in the 40-yard dash. He also tied Doug Martin with 28 reps in the bench press. Turbin is very well built and looks bigger than his 5-foot-10, 222 pound listing would indicate. At Utah State, Turbin was a powerful runner who did a great job of staying low and running in between the tackles. In addition to his physicality, Turbin is also a good receiver out of the backfield. Turbin could be a nice value selection on Day 3 of the NFL draft.

Wide Receivers
One of the most impressive performers of the receivers was Notre Dame’s Michael Floyd, who ran a 4.47 in the 40-yard dash. He displayed great burst in and out of his cuts in the position drills and looked the part of a number one NFL receiver. Floyd also recorded a 10’2 in the broad jump drill. Floyd has all the tools to be a great receiver in the NFL and that was on display in Indianapolis on Sunday. Depending on how Floyd interviews with teams, he should be selected sometime between picks 15 and 20 in the first round of the draft.

Oklahoma’s Justin Blackmon was a receiver that lots of people were excited to watch run. Blackmon decided not to participate in any of the tests including the 40-yard dash, but he did participate in the on-field drills. In the gauntlet drill, he looked very natural catching the football. He plucked the ball out of the air and away from his body. Blackmon dropped a few balls in the gauntlet, but overall was impressive in the on-field drills. His stock still remains as a top-10 pick.

The surprise performer in the wide receiver group was Georgia Tech’s Stephen Hill, who turned in a phenomenal performance on Sunday. Hill ran a blistering 4.36 in the 40-yard dash, which tied Stanford’s Chris Owusu for the fastest time this year by a receiver. The Yellow Jacket receiver also recorded an 11’1 in the broad jump. That jump was the third longest since 2006. Like most Georgia Tech receivers that have entered the NFL draft in recent years, Hill is a physically gifted receiver that will need to improve his route running and footwork for the NFL. His raw size/speed combination should allow him to be a second day selection.

Iowa’s Marvin McNutt had a good workout in Indianapolis. He ran a 4.54 in the 40-yard dash, which was slightly faster than most were expecting him to run. Mcnutt also ran good routes in some of the position drills and showed some nice concentration on some of the deeper passing patterns. The Iowa senior is a sleeper that could be a good value pick early in the third round.

Robert Griffin III’s favorite target Kendall Wright was slower than expected in the 40-yard dash where he ran a 4.61. Despite his slow 40-yard dash time, Wright performed well in the position drills and showed some impressive short-area quickness. Wright will have another chance to improve his 40 time at Baylor’s pro day. The Baylor senior looks like a late first round selection after a mixed Combine performance.

Last week in our combine preview, PewterReport.com mentioned Miami wide receiver Tommy Streeter as a player that is flying under the radar. The Hurricane standout ran a 4.40, which is a fantastic time for a receiver of his stature. Streeter is a tall receiver (6-foot-5, 219) that will be project receiver to start his NFL career. He’s not a great route-runner and will need some time and coaching to reach his maximum potential. He’s oozing with raw talent and his elite size/speed combination should get him drafted in the third round.
One of the most talked about receivers in the Tampa Bay area is Rutgers’ Mohamed Sanu. He played under new head coach Greg Schiano at Rutgers and was a big part of their success over the past few years. The Scarlet Knight turned in a disappointing 4.67 40-yard dash on Sunday. Most knew that Sanu wasn’t the fastest receiver out there, but the majority of draftniks thought he’d be in the high 4.5 range. Other than the 40-yard dash, Sanu had a decent outing on Sunday. He made a few nice catches in the position drills and ran some crisp routes. When you turn on the tape, Sanu is a feisty blocker that plays to the whistle. He looks like an early second round selection. 

Last modified on Monday, 27 February 2012 08:35

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  • avatar

    If Claiborne is on the board then he is a no brainer in the 1st. Then I go Zach Brown in the 2nd if hes available bc his speed would be nice. Then I take LeMichael James in the 3rd. Somehow the Bucs need to end up with Vontaze Burfict who luckily for them has a falling draft stock. With disciplined coaching he can be the nasty tough MLB we need. If Claiborne is gone then I trade back and take Kirkpatrick who i like for his ability to make tackles and splash plays
  • avatar

    D'Qwell Jackson's off the market....shame. we really needed a great veteran presence in the center of our young and undisciplined defense. We need ONE great FA signing for several reasons (Ticket Sales but most importantly to add some TALENT and EXPLOSION to our team). We also need to add some veteran FAs in order to help transition the culture of the Bucs back to our 'old-school' and 'hard-nosed and nasty' style of play. I think that we NEED to sign ONE of these FAs in order to complement a (hopefully) solid draft. 1) WR Desean Jackson (play-action needs a SPEED threat, like Galloway) 2) CB Cortland Finnegan (Good corner but more importantly brings NASTY demeaner. 3) HB Arian Foster (explosive back in contrast to Blount, also catch in backfield 4) WR Vincent Jackson (A downfield threat who knows how to get open) 5) ANY good linebacker with a nasty demeaner (if there is one in FA)
  • avatar

    miller from miami is the 2th best rb in the draft hands down.
  • avatar

    I don't like Schiano picking former players he coached. We need speed, we have enough Williams and Benns, and Brisco's. We need 4.40 that can stretch the field. This is the NFL not College. And I don't think Manningham is an upgrade just because he was on the Giants and caught one good ball in the Super bowl. Freeman has a cannon and we need speed (and protection)Go Bucs
  • avatar

    would go claiborne, lewis from oklahoma as a backer, hill as a receiver, turbin at rb
  • avatar

  • avatar

    Good read on why NOT to take Trent Richardson at #5: http://msn.foxsports.com/nfl/story/Running-backs-not-high-priority-NFL-Scouting-Combine-Trent-Richardson-022612
  • avatar

    Oklahoma STATE's Justin Blackmon!!!! Holy crap, is it that hard!!??? Every year I have to correct you on our players. It's an insult to call us Oklahoma, PLEASE try harder. Sorry, off my soapbox.
  • avatar

    I'm with Scubog on this. For me the most important event at Indy is the player interviews with the teams and of course that's one thing no team is going to share.
  • avatar

    I come from the Warren Sapp school of player evaluation, "Look at the Tape." I try to pay little attention to the results of the Indy Olympics. It's too easy to get caught up in the numbers; but those 40 times, vertical jumps, and reps at 225 don't always equate to good "football player." True, a player has to have some degree of physical attributes; but there have been a lot of fast guys whose quickest time was their exit from the league. Our own WR Danny Peebles comes to mind.
  • avatar

    Mayock was completely shocked at Hill performance..on one deep pass he laid out to make the catch on turf in shorts...instead of leaving it fly over his head as others did...says alot about that kid...speed and long legs and arms...we would do well getting him in the 2nd round.
  • avatar

    I think both Hill and Streeter are interesting picks from the 3rd round or later, Last year Streeter's potential looked off the charts. He is definitely hard to defend on the sideline out passes. Not that impressed with Sanu.
  • avatar

    2nd or 3rd round pick of RBs: LaMicahel James or David Wilson or Miller from Miiami would be great. IF they wait and grab Chris Rainey later, I would be happy with that also, as long as they get one of those 4. They are all looking like very good, speedy, complementary backs to Blount. - - - - - - - - I also am getting really impressed with Zach Brown LB from UNC. If he is a 2nd rounder, then he makes sense for them, as long as they get a MLB in free agency.
  • avatar

    FLBoy84 - I totally agree with you. Best value is Claiborn in the first and Martin in the 2nd. That would be a very nice start to our 2012 draft.
  • avatar

    Liked the fact that Martin had one of the best 3-cone times as well. He's be a great compliment to Blount, just not sure where the team would grab him. If he keeps impressing, it'd probably have to be at the top of the 2nd.
  • avatar

    With Byner's development of Johnson for the Titans and the fact that the Bucs' need speed, I'm surprised I'm not hearing LaMichael James' name a lot more in Buc fan circles. The injury only speaks to his toughness. A dislocated elbow is not a dislocated shoulder. Shoulder is a ball & socket joint-pops back in. An elbow is a hinge joint--requires rehab and is quite painful. Playing football with that injury on your ball carrying arm is significant. Maybe Richardson's name is overshadowing James--I can see why, but I just don't believe Dom pulls that trigger at #5.
  • avatar

    And we have Eric's homer evaluation of Sanu as an early second round pick...does the NFL.com's description of Sanu's weaknesses sound like a early second round? (btw...players taken in the early second generally are picked to go in the first by most draft gurus) "Sanu is virtually non-existent in the deep passing game. He is slow off the line of scrimmage and doesn’t have the speed to get behind NFL corners. He can get lazy in and out of his breaks downfield, and he almost loses interest in competing once the route gets deeper than 7 to 10 yards. He is not an explosive athlete with the ball in his hands and simply gets what he can after the catch." Does not sound like a top pick to me. That is just what we need, another slow WR that cannot gaub separation, but at least he is 6'2" and he can block. Sound familiar? I would argue that in the first round and second round, even the Buccaneers try to take "good" players. Of course, they will probably pick this guy in the third round (they make sure they take a bust in the third round), and he will be a slower and shorter version of Michael Clayton.
  • avatar

    I think even if Kendall Wright runs in the 4.4 range at his pro day, he still does not get picked in the first round. Think back and ask you yourself how many short recievers have been taken in the first round in the last few drafts. Even short WR's with really good 40's don't get taken that early. Now consider Wright's slow time of 4.61, he could drop out of the second round too.
  • avatar

    I really like Turbin...I hope somehow the Bucs can land him. Would be a great powerful addition to the Bucs backfield. Speed strength desire...what more could you ask for?
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