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.


Nick said...

I'm not the biggest JPP fan, but I don't think that a poor wonderlic score will hurt him either. The mental demands on D-linemen are the lowest of any position.

DSAhawker said...

If JPP blows up the combine, which we are all sure he will...what is the outlook that it can actually lead to productivity on the field?

What are the odds that he turns into Vernon Gholston who blew up the combine, got picked high by the Jets and has 30 frickin tackles in 2 years and 0 sacks???!!!???

JPP and Mays and those guys who bank mostly on athleticism alone kind of scare me.

Rob Staton said...

I'd say the main difference between Gholston and JPP is that Gholston was a work out warrior who maxed out his body in college. JPP is raw but has more natural athleticism that hasn't been fully utilised yet. That's quite a difference.

DSAhawker said...

Ahhh I see. That is definitely something that I like to hear. Thanks for the clarification/insight/whatever you want to call it.

I still haven't gotten a chance to check out JPP for myself.

Jon said...

JPP is still physically the size of a college basketball Forward which is the enticing thing to coaches he's still far from meeting his true potential. That also is what makes him a gamble because he's only been playing football since his Junior year of high school.
It's funny because you'd think with his lack of experience in the game(and it shows on missed tackles) that he'd stay and play his Senior year at USF but I think his family considerations override that.

I didn't even hop on to talk about JPP, I wanted to complain about Clausen and Bradford likely not throwing at the combine. That sucks.
Understandable with their injuries but it just makes it that much harder to get behind a possible pick of either of those guys. They're not looking much better than Mike Teel in my eyes.

Anonymous said...

Rob, excellent analysis! I read an interview with Sam Bradford this week and he said he is ahead of schedule, that Dr Andrews said he will fully recover with no more likelihood of reinjury than any other QB, and that he is now throwing 30 yard tosses, but won't throw for the scouts until his Pro Day. I have watched some more highlights of him, and when healthy, he is an incredible prospect. The most accurate arm I have seen at the college level, an electric pocket presence and reads defenses OK despite his spread offense. Sure hope he falls to #6!

Anonymous said...

When can we expect a new mock? I know you've been busy but I'd like to see what's changed since we've all had time to reflect on the senior bowl.

Also what do you think about the Hawks not taking a qb in the draft and rather getting a guy like Colt Brennan for cheap via trade? Did anyone scout him? I loved him at Hawaii, and I think Carrol take a serious look at him b/c he was the qb after Leinhart at Mater Dei. Could Colt flourish in the NFL after 2 years and injury concerns?

Ben said...


As far as I remember, neither Sanchez nor Stafford threw at the combine. Instead, they threw at their own pro days, where they could work with receivers they were familiar with in familiar settings.

Jon said...

Hey Ben,

Sanchez was actually awesome at the combine. He and Josh Freeman really improved there stock amongst the QB's last year. Stafford performed decently.

Rob Staton said...

Sanchez threw at the combine and did every drill. Stafford didn't throw at the combine but did everything else. Mind you - at that point Stafford was the consensus #1 pick for Detroit, he had little to gain throwing at the combine.

Annonymous - new mock will be coming this week.

It would surprise me if the Seahawks made a move for Colt Brennan. He hasn't got the physical tools you would expect from a NFL quarterback and he hasn't progressed in Washington. Unfortunately it appears he'll be remembered as a very good college QB only.


Is LeGarrette Blount coming to te combine? I'm not a big fan of his attitude, but I would think he could make a lot of headway with NFL teams if he has a good combine. He's a beast and if he can wonderlic and interview well, I think he could move up quite a bit. Thoughts?