The wide receivers, running backs, and quarterbacks took to the field for their on-field workouts in Indianapolis on Sunday. Which struggling quarterback helped his draft stock? Which running back almost broke the 40-yard dash record? PewterReport.com's Eric Dellaratta lets you in on all of the information in this article.
Kicking off day two of workouts at the annual NFL Scouting Combine, the quarterbacks, running backs, and receivers took to the field Sunday at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis. NFL coaches, scouts and pro player personnel watched all of the drills very closely in hopes of finding the next superstar at the skill positions. The quarterbacks were the first to work out, followed by the wide receivers and running backs. QUARTERBACKS
As expected, Virginia Tech’s Logan Thomas was one of the most athletic quarterbacks to attend the 2014 Scouting Combine. The senior posted the fastest 40-yard dash time of all the quarterbacks after running a 4.61. He also posted a 9-foot, 10-inch broad jump, which was the best among the group of quarterbacks. Thomas also recorded the highest vertical leap in the position group, after posting a measurement of 35.5 inches. Following an atrocious Senior Bowl showing in Mobile, Alabama last month, this was exactly the kind of performance Thomas needed to help out his draft stock. Even after his great showing Sunday, Thomas likely is only a day three prospect because of his extremely poor play in 2013.
Johnny Manziel ran a 4.68 in his best 40-yard dash run, which was only one hundredth of a second faster than Fresno State quarterback Derek Carr, who recorded a time of 4.69. Both quarterbacks chose not throw in any of the drills. Manziel is in the running for the Houston Texans’ first overall selection and looks like a lock for the top 10, while Carr’s draft stock is less clear, even after great showings at the Senior Bowl and the Combine. Right now, Carr looks like a fringe first-round prospect with great arm talent.
Louisville quarterback Teddy Bridgewater surprisingly chose to not compete in any of the workouts including the 40-yard dash. The junior signal caller has a great chance at being a top ten selection, but it would have been nice to see him compete against other passers like Central Florida quarterback Blake Bortles, who ran a 4.93 in the 40-yard dash and looked good throwing to the receivers in drills.
The fastest 40-yard dash ran by a receiver at the 2014 Scouting Combine was Oregon State’s Brandin Cooks. The 5-foot-10, 189-pound wideout headed into the combine as a second round prospect, but after posting a blazing official 40-yard dash time of 4.33 he might have bumped himself up into first round territory. He isn’t the biggest receiver, but he has excellent speed and quickness that shows up on tape. His excellent time will only reassure scouts and talent evaluators that the Beaver pass catcher will bring that speed to the NFL. Of the receivers in Indianapolis, Cooks also recorded the fastest 20-yard shuttle with a time of 3.81 and the fastest 60-yard shuttle at 10.72.
LSU wide receiver Odell Beckham is a tremendous athlete and it showed at the Scouting Combine on Sunday. The 5-foot-11, 198 pound pass-catcher ran a 4.43 40-yard dash, and was also a top performer in the 20 and 60-yard shuttle drills. The junior looked extremely fluid in the position drills and did nothing but help his draft stock on Sunday, perhaps locking him into a first round spot.
Texas A&M wide receiver Mike Evans turned in a wonderful Combine performance on Sunday, posting a great time of 4.53, an excellent time for a 6-5, 231 pound receiver. The redshirt sophomore also recorded a 37 inch vertical jump, which was higher than Florida State wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin, who jumped 32.5 inches. Drawing Vincent Jackson comparisons, Evans has locked himself in as a first-round pick, and the only question left is how high can he go?
Many expected Clemson wide receiver Sammy Watkins to blaze in the 40-yard dash drill, some expecting a time in the low 4.3’s, and the junior wide receiver managed to run a very good official time of 4.43. His unofficial times, as reported by NFL Network, came in at 4.34 and 4.37. Watkins is an explosive playmaker on tape, which is now backed up by a very good Combine performance. The 6-foot-1, 211 pound Clemson product could be an option for the Buccaneers with their seventh overall pick, but his chances of making it to Tampa Bay’s pick are growing less and less likely by the day. RUNNING BACKS
If football doesn’t work out for Kent State running back Dri Archer, he could have a solid career as a track athlete. The tiny playmaker (5-8, 173) turned in the fastest 40-yard dash time of anyone that has run so far at the Combine, recording an official time of 4.26. That time was just shy of Tennessee Titan's running back Chris Johnson's 2008 Combine record, where he blazed a 4.24. Archer also recorded a ridiculous number for a 5-foot-8 player in the vertical jump with a leap of 38 inches, which was tied for the fourth-highest among the running backs. He won’t offer much, if anything, as an inside runner, but Archer is an explosive player that looks like he can contribute on special teams and as an offensive weapon with an NFL team.
A player that could be moving up the boards faster than anyone is Georgia Southern running back Jerick McKinnon, who followed up a great week at the Senior Bowl with a tremendous workout in Indianapolis. Yesterday, McKinnon showed off his strength by putting up 32 bench press reps of 225 pounds, which was the most by any running back at the Combine. He then went on to run the second fastest 40-yard dash in the running back group with a time of 4.41. McKinnon also recorded the second highest vertical jump of the group with a measurement of 40.5 inches and the second longest broad jump, which came in at 11 feet even. On tape McKinnon isn’t a flashy runner, but he does a good job of grinding through defenders for yards and he takes what his blockers give him. He will likely be a day three draft selection because of lack of third-down experience as a blocker and pass-catcher.
Expectations for Baylor running back Lache Seastrunk were extremely high heading into his workout at the Combine on Sunday, and he went on to have a very good day at Lucas Oil Stadium. His 4.51 official 40-yard dash was slightly slower than most were expecting, but he made up for that with excellent performances in the other drills. Seastrunk’s 41.5 inch vertical jump and 11-foot, 2-inch broad jump were the each best in their respective categories among the running backs. The Baylor ball-carrier ability to contribute on third downs will be a question mark for NFL teams, but his running game will likely warrant a selection somewhere between rounds two and four when the draft kicks off in May.
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