The NFL Scouting Combine kicks off officially on Friday when players begin taking the field for their workouts in front of all 32 NFL teams along with showcasing their abilities across the United States live on NFL Network. PewterReport.com takes a look at some of the players for Bucs fans to keep their eyes on.
OFFENSIVE PLAYERS TO WATCH
OREGON QB MARCUS MARIOTA
2014 Heisman Trophy winner Marcus Mariota is well-known for his athleticism, which will be put to the ultimate test at the NFL Scouting Combine this weekend. Oregon’s offense asked Mariota to use his speed and quickness in their read-option offense and he became one of the most successful college quarterbacks of all time. The 40-yard dash should be one of Mariota’s best drills, as the quarterback is expected to run in the 4.5 range. What’s also interesting about Mariota is the fact that he has decided to throw at the Combine, something that most top quarterbacks choose not to do. It will be a great opportunity for the Buccaneers to see Mariota throw up close.
FLORIDA STATE QB JAMEIS WINSTON
Along with Mariota, Jameis Winston has also opted to throw at the Combine, a move that isn’t common for top quarterback prospects. The most important part of the week for Winston will be in the interview room, where the Buccaneers are certain to make good use of the time they have to meet with the Heisman Trophy winner and discuss football and non-football related topics. With that being said, Winston is quite an impressive athlete himself. He should run the 40-yard dash in the 4.7 or 4.8 range and has showcased his athletic ability on tape quite often. It will also be great to see Mariota and Winston duke it out head-to-head on Saturday, as they both will be throwing.
MIAMI WR PHILLIP DORSETT
Miami’s Phillip Dorsett was one of the fastest players in college football in 2014 and the Miami product is poised to bring down the house with a blazing 40-yard dash time. At the Senior Bowl, Dorsett said that he is shooting for a 40 time under 4.3. The former Hurricane isn’t just a deep threat as a receiver. He is a smooth route-runner to go along with soft hands. His performance at the Senior Bowl pushed him up draft boards and with a great Combine he could hear his name called in the second round. 2014 draft pick Robert Herron struggled to get on the field during his rookie season, leaving the Buccaneers without a strong option at the slot receiver position. If the Buccaneers want to fill that void via the draft, Dorsett could be an option if he slips to the third round.
NORTHERN IOWA RB DAVID JOHNSON
Johnson is a rocked up, versatile running back that had a great week at the Senior Bowl in Alabama, and is also a player that could shine at the Combine. At 6-1, 224 pounds, the Northern Iowa product has great size, and he also is rumored to have low 4.5 speed in the 40-yard dash. Johnson’s best attribute is his receiving ability, so he should shine during on-field drills at the Combine. The Buccaneers could look Johnson’s way on day three of the draft if they are looking for a versatile power back with three down potential.
ARIZONA STATE G JAMIL DOUGLAS
Douglas is a talented guard that figures to go on day three of the draft because of his lack of size and length (6-4, 300), but the Arizona State product has fantastic athleticism that could shine this week in Indianapolis. He should fare well in drills that test short area quickness and burst, as he shines in both qualities on tape. He also should be a top performer at the bench press workout. Douglas had a good week of practices at the Senior Bowl and looks like a fourth or fifth-round pick when the draft rolls around in April.
WILLIAM & MARY WR TRE MCBRIDE
McBride broke out at the East-West Shrine Game in St. Petersburg in January and he’s expected to test very well this week in Indianapolis. On tape, McBride shows phenomenal ability to make contested catches and is a solid route-runner as well. The William & Mary product should put up good numbers in the vertical jump and the 40-yard dash. McBride was one of the top receivers at the Shrine Game and with a great Combine performance he could make his way into the day two conversation
MASSACHUSETTS TE JEAN SIFRIN
PewterReport.com draft analyst Eric Dellaratta wrote about Massachusetts tight end Jean Sifrin’s size and speed in depth a few weeks ago, and now his athleticism will be put to the ultimate test at the NFL Combine. It’s been rumored that Sifrin runs the 40-yard dash in the mid-4.5 range, which is absolutely incredible for a tight end of his stature. If the junior tests well, his stock could get a nice boost.
GEORIGA TECH WR DARREN WALLER
At 6-foot-7, 243 pounds, Georgia Tech wide receiver Darren Waller is a massive target in the passing game that can win with sheer size and strength. This weekend’s NFL Scouting Combine could be huge for the senior receiver, as he is rumored to run a 4.53 in the 40-yard dash. Those kind of numbers could move Waller way up draft boards. Like most Georgia Tech receivers that have entered the NFL, Waller will be a work in progress as far as running routes, but his combination of size and speed could be to great for NFL teams to pass on.
PENN STATE TE JESSE JAMES
Penn State tight end Jesse James is listed at 6-foot-7, 254 pounds, which are fantastic numbers for a tight end, but the former Nittany Lion has a frame to add more weight so he could show up to the combine around 260 pounds. What’s interesting about James is that he flashed impressive straight-line speed on tape, which may translate to the 40-yard dash in Indianapolis. Where James struggles is short-area movements and releasing off of the line of scrimmage, but a fast 40 time would look good on the television screen and in the notebooks of scouts. James’ well-rounded game could warrant a day two draft grade from NFL teams.
Mariota and Dorsett please !
Winston, Dorsett, and Johnson please!
Looking forward to watching the Combine. Who will be this year’s Mike Mamula?
Well here is that I would like to put two names into my view that Tampa needs to draft.I watch the offensive linemen today and I was very Impree with these two linemen. One from HOLBAOUT Collejje and Tomilson from Duke University. GO BUCS
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