5 Takeaways from the NFL Combine

ashawn-robinson-story.jpg


**1 – Passing the eyeball test

**NFL talent evaluators have seen just about all of these NFL prospects up close and personal, but here are five players we got the opportunity to see whose physical stature was impressive.

DT A'Shawn Robinson – Alabama – The guy looked like he was chiseled out of granite. When he stood at the lectern to address the media it appeared like he had an old Roman breastplate under his sweatshirt.

WR Corey Coleman – Baylor – Though he's just 5-11, Coleman has an NFL ready body and should be able to hold up against the more physical NFL cornerbacks.

OT Jason Spriggs – Indiana – The 6-6 pass protector has tree limbs for arms, but showed that didn't matter in the bench press with 31 reps to rank third among offensive linemen.

QB Carson Wentz – North Dakota State – Prototype size and uncommon athleticism to match. His size and measurables might be more attractive than Andrew Luck's were coming out.

S Jeremy Cash – Duke – The safety transferred from Ohio State after his freshman season and is one of the best physical specimens at the position, which is why most scouts see him as a box safety. But Cash has an athletic build that may offer more.

2 – Jaylon Smith could slideHeading into the Fiesta Bowl, Notre Dame LB Jaylon Smith was considered a lock to declare for the draft. Then his knee was ruined in a collision with Ohio State OT Taylor Decker. A torn ACL, a torn LCL and possible nerve damage in his left knee didn't stop him from declaring for the NFL draft, and seven weeks removed from reconstructive surgery Smith is walking.

But Smith said he is wearing an ankle foot orthosis to help his "nerve heal." There are reports that the linebacker has nerve damage in his knee and that he'll miss the 2016 season at least. If NFL team doctors agree with that prognosis, Smith despite his immense ability could slide out of the first round or further.

3 – Wentz and Goff were cream of the cropThe two quarterbacks went into the NFL Combine widely seen as the top two prospects at their position and both proved it on the field. Goff was the most consistent and accurate quarterback in his workout group during the throwing sessions. Wentz was even more impressive. He clearly had the best arm strength and proved he has a great deal of athleticism to match.

We don't know how Goff and Wentz fared in their formal team interviews, but from a physical standpoint Wentz is the lead dog.

4 – Robert Nkemdiche came clean, but questions lingerIt was the most compelling media interview of the NFL Combine. The Ole Miss defensive end explained all his off the field issues in his media session, which included an admission to being drunk the night he fell out of his hotel room window in Atlanta. The problem is reports indicated he was paranoid when police arrived, a common side effect of synthetic marijuana.

Nkemdiche was charged in the incident with drug possession, but said it was because there were other people in his hotel room.

"The hotel room was under my name and nobody wanted to take the fall so it had to go under my name," he said. "That's how it played out."

The defensive lineman also confirmed that teammate and projected top pick Laremy Tunsil was in the hotel room that night.

So while Nkemdiche was trying to be open about his missteps and provide answers he may have prompted more questions from NFL teams.

5 – Under the radarThere are plenty of prospects who don't grab the headlines, but they helped themselves at the NFL Combine. Western Kentucky QB Brandon Doughty demonstrated good over the top throwing mechanics and likely convinced some teams that he could be a late round developmental prospect. Alabama RB Kenyan Drake didn't see much playing time in college behind Heisman trophy winner Derrick Henry, but demonstrated a pretty impressive skill set in Indy. Cal WR Trevor Davis had an eye-opening workout and showed soft hands during the gauntlet and pass route drills. And Temple CB Tavon Young might be small, but has a skill set that could draw comparisons to Buffalo nickel corner Nickell Robey.

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.

Advertising