The NFL Combine has begun and we were able to see the RB`s and OL on the field and do drills Thursday and Friday. Even with just one full drill day in the books we have already seen some winners and losers. While some players showed up like we thought they would such as; Christian McCaffrey, others made waves both good and bad through different events.
Its worth mentioning again the draft started over 30 years ago and some of the events are outdated or are not a great use of information. Some coaches also do specific drills looking for specific things in the position drills which can play to the strengths of shifty backs and hurt power backs.
The running back class this year has some wild depth the likes of which we have not seen in a very long time. If the league was more of a throw back to what it was in the 1970s, we could see 5-6 in the first round. However, that is not the case, it is a pass first league so running backs are now knocked for not having the ability to catch out of the backfield. Even with the depth and ability of this class only 3 backs may go in the first round. It will be some combination of Leonard Fournette, Dalvin Cook, Christian McCaffrey and Alvin Kamara.
The offensive line class is just the opposite. There is not a ton of top-end talent or depth. Personally I think there will be some guys in the second and third round who will end up being starters or better than we project them out to be. There are a few highlight guys Cam Robinson OT, Garett Bolles OT (think he ends up a OG), Ryan Ramczyk OT and Forrest Lamp OG. Even with them there are more questions than answers as all four of them can end up OT/OG. Cam Robinson is by far the most over-analyzed of the group and has slowly been slipping down the draft boards because of it. I think all four will end up in the first round and we could even see one of the two top centers as well in Pocic and Eflien.
Now time to get to the winners and losers of day one. We will start with the losers as that's why many of you are here in the first place to see if you can go back and tell your friends you were right.
D`Onta Foreman RB, Texas- He had a stress fracture in his foot and did not compete in anything at the combine. He did manage to meet with a few teams one of which was the Patriots. You may not think that's a loss, but it is a huge blow to his stock. This kind of injury may also keep him out of his pro-days and he needed to come in and quiet concerns about speed, lateral ability, hip motion and hands. He was unable to do that and might be unable to do any of it before the draft. His stock was already starting to fall as people saw him more like a Jamal Lewis type back which the NFL is going away from. This injury could cost him 2-3 rounds. His original grade from me was a top-50 player gone in the mid-2nd he might now slide to the 4th.
Joe Mixon RB, Oklahoma- This is an easy one no surprise here. He was not invited and was not able to talk to teams and clear up his issues and show them he has grown up and was not able to compete.
Cam Robinson OT, Alabama- He did not finish as strong as anyone wanted to see him do in any of the events. This was not a good showing for him at all. He was out played by several guys who we thought would not even crack the 3rd round. There was many question marks in important drills for him like the 3-cone, shuttle and bench press. He did not show where we thought he would while his competition in Bolles, and Lamp blew up the combine. This could cause him to slide to the late-20s.
Christian McCaffrey RB, Stanford- He showed on the field just what we saw on the tape. He ran a 4.48 40-yard dash many thought he would not run sub-4.55 he boosted his stock big time in the drills. Most of the drills were about lateral quickness and pass catching these are two of his most prolific abilities. It was also rumored that he spoke to the Patriots as well. His amazing combine could set him up for an even more amazing pro-day if he can improve even slightly any of his numbers. If he can have back to back amazing showings we could see him go from the 3-4th back to taken to maybe the 2nd back taken as guys who can do it all have been more utilized recently. McCafffrey can play RB, Slot WR, KR and PR.
Garett Bolles OT, Utah- This kid is a big mauler and he killed in his agility drills and had a massive broad jump. Bolles stock has been going up and down since about November and he quieted many critics with his performance. He currently profiles as a great pulling guard and will be great in front of just about every running back in the NFL. I don't think he will stay his OT at the next level, but his great showing today and good interviews did great things for his stock. I would not be surprised of his combine alone got him solidified as a 1st round pick.
Forrest Lamp OG, WKU- His stock has been one of the fastest rising stocks over the last three months and he showed why with his numbers. He ran a 5.0 40-yard and 34 reps on the bench press. This is another big mauler type of OL and I think would be just like Bolles a great pulling guard. I think now Lamp is the most polished OL in this draft and will be the best OL out of this draft period. His combine showed what he could do as many wondered if his school and weak conference just helped him to look good as most of the time he was the best player on the field. With his great speed and lateral quickness and strong upper-body Lamp I think just threw his name in for a top-15 pick. He should be the first offensive linemen off the board and if he can improve his speed numbers he could maybe even get into the top-10 seeing as how some teams will be hard up for an OG.