This week NFL prospects will perform at the NFL combine attempting to separate themselves from the pack through a series of tests and drills. Every NFL Head Coach, scout, and executive will be in Indy to look at the future stars of the NFL.
Which Quarterback will separate themselves during the combine?
As many as six quarterbacks could be taken in this year’s NFL draft (no particular order): Josh Rosen, Sam Darnold, Baker Mayfield, Lamar Jackson, Josh Allen, and Mason Rudolph. Rosen and Darnold are projected to go number 1 and number 2 to the Browns and Giants. Mayfield, Allen and Rudolph could go as high as number five to Denver or be a second-round selection. Jackson is the wild card of all the quarterbacks as the Heisman winner improved his completion pct. To over 60% and quarterback rating nearly four points. Jackson demonstrated electric running ability throughout his college career finishing 25 yards shy of 4,000 yards. At 6’3 211 pounds Jackson is a slenderly built athlete in the mold of RG3, and much of the questions that arose with RG3 are the same with Jackson. Can Jackson be a good enough passer in the NFL, and will Jackson physically hold up in the NFL?
Who is this year’s workout warrior bust?
Every year a draft prospect shoots up the draft board because of an exceptional workout and flames out in the NFL. Darrius Heyward-Bey, Matt Jones, Barkevious Mingo, and of course Jamarcus Russell come to mind. Nearly all of the listed above had decent college careers but were enhanced by outstanding combine results. It comes down to that scene in “Moneyball” where the scout is telling Billy Bean that player x is a good hitter then Beane asks “If he is a good hitter, why doesn’t he hit better?” This year’s version is LSU product: Arden Key. As a sophomore Key produced 12 sacks in a loaded defense that included eight NFL draft picks. Four of those selections were secondary personal that enabled Key to obtain coverage sacks. The following year Key’s production slipped to only four sacks. With one of the best defensive coordinators in college football calling the shots in Dave Aranda how did Key’s production considerably drop off? Key will undoubtedly test well at the combine and see his draft stock skyrocket
Whose stock will drop due to the combine?
A players stock can fall due to a poor workout a poor interview or a poor performance on the Wonderlic test. Ruben Foster was famously kicked out from the combine last year for getting into a fight with a hospital worker. Pre-combine Foster was a top ten selection; after the combine, Foster was the 31st pick in the 2017 draft. Pro football focus rated Foster with an overall grade of 90.7 (first among rookie linebackers). Baker Mayfield had a tremendous collegiate career while at the University of Oklahoma that cultivated with him winning the Heisman trophy last season. His talent is undeniable, but I’m not sold on him being able to play at the next level. Typically spread offense Quarterbacks take longer to develop in the NFL (if at all). Drew Brees, Case Keenum are examples of success stories but they did take a few years to develop before grasping the NFL. The jury is still out on spread quarterbacks Andy Dalton and Marcus Mariota on wither they are franchise quarterbacks (In Dalton’s best years they had AJ Green, Marvin Jones, Mohamed Sanu, Tyler Eifert, Giovani Bernard, Rex Burkhead, and Jeremy Hill. That is a ton of offensive talent). Mayfield’s physical traits at the combine won’t blow you away either. For Mayfield to be drafted by the Broncos at #5