NFL Combine: Day One Winners & Losers
Day one of the 2016 NFL Combine is in the books.
Day one consisted of the on the field workouts for the offensive lineman & running backs. Who helped themselves & who may be seeing a dip in their draft stock?
- Derrick Henry RB Alabama
First things first, Henry ran a much faster 40 than I had anticipated (4.54). Previously I have stated that the 40 yard dash is overrated for running backs since vision is my important, but this is a HUGE thing for Henry. He doesn’t keep that speed in & out of his cuts but he won’t be asked to do anything crazy we all know what kind of back Henry is and will be in the NFL. Also showed good hands in the catching drills, good day for Henry.
- Tyler Ervin RB San Jose St.
This is the kid I am labeling my BIG winner of the running back group. He’s a smaller back at 5 foot 9 & 192 lbs but there is a need for backs like Ervin in the NFL. What impressed me the most was not just his speed, 4.41 40 yard dash, but how smooth he was running the routes he was asked to and how natural of a pass catcher he is, best hands in the class. Ervin stood out in every drill and I would be very surprised if he fell outside the 4th round after this performance, especially when you factor what he can do in the return game.
- Isaac Seumalo OL Oregon St.
Seumalo is my big winner on the offensive line, and for a multitude of reasons. In college he played just about everywhere on the line, but best projects as a guard at the next level. Seumalo was very smooth in every drill, especially the phone booth drill, and even help his own in the kick slide drill. The hips stayed low & the feel looked smooth, not much as else to say, but if your team is looking for a guard in the middle round he may be the guy.
- Joe Thuney OL NC State
You could almost copy and paste everything I just said about Isaac Seumalo and just place it all down here with Thuney. The only thing I would say about Thuney is that he did not look AS smooth as Seumalo but he wasn’t far off either. Both have played almost everywhere but will be guards in the NFL & both are very quick inside a phone booth. I like this guys also for a middle round team looking to bolster the interior of their offensive line.
- Ezekiel Elliott’s Hands
I’m going to go ahead and get this one out of the way so no one overreacts about what I’m saying. To clarify: Zeke is still my #1 overall back! Now with that said, he did not impress me catching the football. The first ball thrown his way hit him directly in the face, he double caught another ball, & two out of his three catches were caught with his chest. So maybe he isn’t the natural pass catcher that we all anticipated and in today’s NFL that could very well hurt his stock.
- Kelvin Taylor RB Florida
Kelvin Taylor was ranked as a 5th or 6th rounder in my opinion coming into the combine and today I think he could have very well taken himself completely off of some draft boards. He has by far the worst hands of any running back on the field today & everyone else did relatively well catching the football. Factor the ball catching problems with the fact that he ran a 4.60 flat, if I were a GM it would be a hard pass all day on Kelvin Taylor.
- Jaylon Smith LB Notre Dame
Smith wasn’t even on the field today & will not participate in the on field drills at the combine but when we look back on this weekend he could very well be the biggest loser of anyone in Indy. During the pre-combine medical examinations with teams it appears that the information we all received at the Senior Bowl was indeed untrue. Most teams now believe that Jaylon Smith will at LEAST miss all of 2016 & potentially some of 2017. If true, that could see Smith fall further than anyone could have projected.
- Vadal Alexander OL LSU
Some guys like Ronnie Stanley, Laremy Tunsil, & others looked really smooth during the on field drills, but Vadal Alexander was the complete opposite. He ran slow, he moved slow, & his cleats looked like they were filled with cement. Now on the other hand the tape isn’t bad on Vadal but LSU did not throw the ball all that much & at the next level his kick slide drill does not look to project well to his life as a left tackle. No doubt the LSU product will be seeing his stock drop after day one.