Monday, 8 February 2010
Early combine preview
By Rob Staton
The Scouting combine is just over two weeks away, so it's time to look at some of the prospects who can really help/hurt their stock in Indianapolis. We'll look at more prospects as we get closer to the event, but he's some of the bigger name first round picks who stand to receive a lot of attention from scouts, coaches and personnel.
Dez Bryant (WR, Oklahoma State)
Having missed most of the 2009 season through suspension, teams will first and foremost want to see what kind of shape Bryant's in. It'll be to his massive credit if he shows up with a level of sharpness and it could confirm his place as a top ten pick. If he's treated the last few months as an extended vacation then the opposite could happen. Interviews will uncover whether the suspension was a misfortune or a sign of real immaturity.
Sam Bradford (QB, Oklahoma)
The last time we heard from Bradford was his announcement that he'd take surgery and declare for the draft. Very little has been reported since. At this stage, I'd be surprised if he threw at the combine. He might save that for his pro-day. Nevertheless, teams will be interested to see just how much he actually takes part and what shape he's in physically. He needed to add some weight to that frame in his time off.
Jimmy Clausen (QB, Notre Dame)
We already know Clausen won't throw at the combine because of surgery to his foot. However, you'd still expect him to turn up in Indianapolis - and the stuff he is able to do could be more important anyway. First of all - just how tall is he? Is he at the registered height of around 6'2" (I think he is) or is he a bit shorter as sometimes appears on tape? Secondly - some people have voiced concerns about his personality. Interviews will be so important in proving this is a driving competitive nature and not an over-arrogant ego at work.
Jason Pierre-Paul (DE, USF)
Make absolutely no mistake - JPP is a physical freak. How many times has a prospect shown up at an event like this and stolen the show? He could run a lightning fast time, flash that amazing athleticism and suddenly be a top ten pick on everyone's mock drafts - not just mine. Alternatively, there have been some concerns about his intelligence and dedication to the game. Interviews and the wonderlic will be crucial for the talented, yet raw Pierre-Paul.
Bruce Campbell (OT, Maryland)
The first thing you think of when considering Campbell are those injuries. He absolutely has to prove he's 100% at the combine. Secondly, one coach described him as the offensive line version of Vernon Davis. Essentially - off the charts physically. An explosive performance will impress everyone, but he must know his best chance of going in the top ten is to catch the eye of Al Davis. We know how the Raiders draft by now and Campbell may have the kind of qualities they look for at a position of real need in Oakland.
C.J. Spiller (RB, Clemson)
It's not a great year for running backs, but Spiller is clearly the most intriguing amongst the 2010 class. We know he has speed, the question is - just how quick is he? If he can run a time similar to Darren McFadden a couple of years ago, he could end up being a top ten pick. It's a bit transparent, but team's love guys who run fast forty yard dash times. As soon as you put Spiller in the 'elite' bracket in terms of quickness - his stock rises. It's his challenge to run that eye opening time which he might be capable of.
Posted by Rob Staton