Who are the next five prospects behind the best RB available? Pro scout Eric Galko shares the names…
Top 10 Combine Impact Performances
Eric Galko, Optimum Scouting LLC
Skill position testing for the Combine has come and gone, and we've gotten a chance to see sub 4.4 forty times, 40+ inch vertical jumps, and some impressive 3-cone and short shuttle drills from some of the best athletes in the draft.
Not all the timed numbers will have a major impact, but here are ten (not ranked) performances that may cause scouts to go back and review the film and see if these numbers are worth altering a grade or not.
1. David Wilson, RB, Virginia Tech
Probably the most impressive performance all around at the Combine, Wilson was expected to dominate most of the drills at the event based on his explosiveness and dynamic athleticism on film. A 4.40 forty time began an his showing, later adding the top vertical jump (41 inches) and broad jump (11 feet) for the position. While the forty obviously shows his deep speed, it's the vertical and broad jump that show just how explosive he is with balance and power, something that will excite NFL teams.
2. Robert Turbin, RB, Utah State
The walking "gun show", Robert Turbin actually did more than just intimidate scouts with his arms. For a 222 pound back who did 28 bench reps (tied for most), his 4.44 forty time seemed to show his ability to be a bigger play running back than initially thought. But it was his lackluster 20 yard shuttle, meant to show stop-start ability as well as explosion through lateral cuts, was the 4th worst among the position, only ahead of likely NFL zone blocking runners, limiting him there as well at the next level.
3. Doug Martin, RB, Boise State
As expected, Doug Martin showcased his completeness as a running back. His 4.47 forty time was solid, and because he's able to get to his top speed quickly, and his 10 yard split time should be impressive as well. His bench reps (28) tied Turbin for the most at the position, and his solid short shuttle (4.16) and top running back 3-cone drill (6.79) shows his ability to be an every-situation running back and every system fit player as well.
4. Chris Rainey, RB, Florida
While he expected himself to post an outstanding forty time that just didn't happen ("only" a 4.37), he made up for it by posting the top 3-cone drill (6.50), short shuttle (3.93), and long shuttle (11.06). His completeness in his fluidity, explosiveness, and change of direction abilities makes him one of the most exciting situational, running back-receiver hybrids in the draft.
5. Stephen Hill, WR, Georgia Tech
As expected, Stephen Hill began his "climb" up draft boards with some very impressive numbers on Sunday. HIs 4.36 forty time showcased his straight line speed, and his 11'01 broad and 39.5 vertical jump showed the explosion and balance as well. But the most telling number and likely the most that should have an impact on his stock (a reason why I won't be moving him much at all) was his worst-of-the-receiver 20 yard shuttle, a 4.48. He was the only skill position prospect at the Combine to have a higher 40 yard straight-line time than a 20 yard shuttle time. The meaning? He's straight-line fast and explosive only, and without lateral balance and quickness, it's hard to succeed in the NFL at receiver.
6. Marvin Jones, WR, California
Since jumping on teams radars at the Senior Bowl, Marvin Jones had another draft board altering performance in Indy. He posted the highest bench press for receivers (22 reps), which doesn't show a whole lot besides a dedication to the weight room and some raw strength. And while his vertical (33 inches) and broad jump (9'04) show a lack of explosion, it's his decisiveness and lack of wasted motion as a receiver that really open up his routes. Plus, he showed his change of direction and agility with solid 3-cone (6.81) and short shuttle (4.11) times.
7. Kashif Moore, WR, UConn
Playing in a run-based system in college with few decent quarterbacks to get him the ball, Moore may have been forgotten about by scouts coming into the Combine. But after his 43.5 inch vertical, 4.42 forty time, surprisingly impressive 19 bench reps, and fluid 4.05 shuttle time, scouts, including myself, will have to go back and filter through the poor offensive film from UConn these past two years to sort out if the fantastic athletic showing by Moore is more than just a workout surprise.
8. Dwight Jones, WR, North Carolina
Jones has an undeniable skill set and has all the tools and potential to be a future number one receiver in the NFL and maybe even a top five at the position if he continues to improve. The problem is, he doesn't seem to consistently give great effort. He reportedly looked lazy in drills and was repeatedly asked to stop making the same mistakes. He posted the worst broad jump of the receivers, had a mediocre 4.55 forty time, and overall didn't seem to want to stand out in any area. It's going to be tough to continue to support him as a top five receiver in this class.
9. Joe Adams, WR, Arkansas
Adams was supposed to really impress at the Combine after a consistent effort and complete-game showing at the Senior Bowl. But only a 4.55 in the forty is going to worry some scouts, as being a deep slot receiver without that fantastic "timed" speed could worry. While it's a concern, it's pretty apparent on film that Adams is fast, and likely will run a sub 4.45 at his Pro Day. However, it was his 7.09 3-cone drill that really concerned me, as it's his cutting ability and explosion through those cuts that I really like as I project him to the slot receiver spot.
10. Andrew Luck, Stanford and Kellen Moore, Boise State
While the quarterback actual timed workouts don't mean much at all, I thought the complete opposite ends of the spectrum Andrew Luck and Kellen Moore fell on was an interesting juxtaposition. Andrew Luck, often being compared to the super athletic Robert Griffin, was top five in every drill he participated in, including a 36 inch vertical and a 10'04 inch broad jump. In comparison, Kellen Moore has Nick Foles (in the forty) and Ryan Lindley (in the 3-cone drill) from being at the bottom of each and every Combine drill. He obviously isn't a great athlete, but for all positions, including quarterback, it's hard to be THAT limited as an athlete and still make it in the NFL.
Eric Galko is a contributing NFL scout for Patriots Insider at Scout.com.
Eric Galko is the Owner, Director of Scouting of Optimum Scouting and lead editor for OptimumScouting.com. He has been scouting college football for eight years, and for pro teams and other sports professionals for the last four years. Eric is also a member of the FWAA.
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