If there is any day to watch the Combine, it is Saturday. The meat and potatoes of fantasy football step onto the field. Quarterbacks looking to get a shot to be a 1st round pick, or a late-round developmental project worthy of getting an NFL shot. Wide receivers and tight ends are flying everywhere showing of speed, quickness, agility, and athleticism. I’m getting too excited thinking about it, Let’s Dive In!
Main Players to Watch
Jared Goff (QB) California
- One of the top QB prospects, I currently have him heading to the Cleveland Browns at #2 overall. He has the skill set to be a solid quarterback in the NFL. What is currently hurting him is his pro comparisons to Matt Ryan. Ryan just finished having a bad year and questions on whether he can take the Falcons to a Super Bowl are circling. This may scare some NFL GMs away due to him having a higher floor than most prospects, but possibly a lower ceiling. He needs to have a solid Combine to help keep the doubters at bay.
Carson Wentz (QB) North Dakota State
- The hype train is cruising down the tracks and finding it’s second gear. After more hype from some scouts and evaluators of him being possible compared to Cam Newton and Andrew Luck, his ceiling seems to be the highest out of this Draft class. How he performs on the field with his throws compared to Jared Goff and Paxton Lynch will either further his hype, or find a calming point.
Paxton Lynch (QB) Memphis
- Right now, he is in the discussion as a mid-1st round to late-1st round draft selection. He can really propel himself back up the boards with a solid Combine. If he looks sharper than Jared Goff and Carson Wentz, he can start up the discussion again as the top quarterback in this class for most scouts. He is looking to cement himself as a 1st-round quarterback during this combine.
Connor Cook (QB) Michigan State
- The Combine is crucial for Cook. He needs a solid buzz coming out here about his “leadership,” which is really dumb in my opinion. He is a quarterback that should be being discussed as a possible 1st-round quarterback and may elevate that status after this weekend. Interviews will be huge for him as most scouts and general managers know what he is capable of on the field, but need to know about his mental aspects and personality.
Laquon Treadwell (WR) Mississippi
- He is not running the 40, which is what most scouts wanted to see from him this weekend. It may hurt his stock for the next couple weeks until his pro day. He is the best wide receiver in this class due to his physicality and size, but needs to prove the agility aspect of the wide receiver game.
(More important Wide Receivers are below)
Hunter Henry (TE) Arkansas
- Viewed as the elite tight end in this class. Can he vault himself into the discussion of a 1st-round selection?
Who will be the surprise performers that will create some buzz?
Will Fuller (WR) Notre Dame and Corey Coleman (WR) Baylor – They will be fast, very fluid, and look the part as smaller but efficient NFL big-play receivers. They will probably start getting comparisons to the likes of Emmanuel Sanders, Brandin Cooks, and Doug Baldwin as very effective smaller NFL receivers.
Dak Prescott (QB) Mississippi State – His impressive physical attributes and the momentum of having a great Senior Bowl performance will create some buzz moving forward in the draft process. In all reality, he could be the 4th or 5th quarterback taken off the board within the first 2 rounds.
Thomas Duarte (TE) UCLA – He will look so smooth through his workout that some will question if he is better suited as a wide receiver. He will be looked upon as possibly the best receiving tight end behind Henry.
Who needs a good performance?
Jared Goff (QB) California – The expectations and doubts are high for Goff as he enters the Combine. Is he truly the top quarterback in the Draft? Carson Wentz’ hype is sky high and a poor performance at the combine will have Goff take over as the top quarterback.
Michael Thomas (WR) Ohio State – If he wasn’t in that specific offense at Ohio State and in more of a passing attack, he would be a more well known prospect. He could impress at the Combine with good numbers and a smooth demeanor to his drills showing that he has what it takes to be a #1 receiver in the NFL.
Who Needs to Avoid a Bad Performance?
Connor Cook (QB) Michigan State – The questions surrounding his personality are keeping his draft stock a mystery for most teams. They know what he is capable of, but he needs to show leadership skills. He needs to look like a guy that can lead a locker room and a team.
Laquon Treadwell (WR) Mississippi – Since he is not running the 40, which is creating doubts in scouts’ minds that he is not that fast, he needs to look great in other on-field drills and workouts. The key for him at the Combine is to look like an imposing physical receiver that can win with his overall physical attributes. He will need a solid workout and hopefully get in the range of 4.57 on his pro day like DeAndre Hopkins did when he was drafted to stay high in the 1st round discussion.