With the NFL Scouting Combine now 12 days away, its time to evaluate the “NFL players of tomorrow.” Obviously, still very early in the process, but the combine helps separate the studs from duds. Often times it also gives underrated players an opportunity to shine.
We’re going to go position-by-position, beginning with the offensive side of the football. Each ranking is subject to change and will be regularly updated.
1) Andrew Luck, Stanford: At 6ft 4, 235 lbs, this guy has everything you want in a Quarterback. He was in Indianapolis for the Super Bowl, he’ll be there for the Combine, and is almost certain to be there for the next 10 years of his life.
2) Robert Griffin III, Baylor: Heisman Trophy Winner after a tremendous season. There’s questions over his size, as of now he’s listed at 6ft 2, 220. We’ll find out his true measurements at the combine. He’s a dynamic football player, and should be a great NFL QB.
3) Ryan Tannehill, Texas A&M: Tannehill suffered an injury during pre-draft workouts, causing him to miss the Senior Bowl. He most likely will not participate in workouts at the combine as well. However, at 6ft 4, he has the size and arm strength. Consistency is key. Only had 20 starts at QB.
4/5: Nick Foles, Kirk Cousins, Brandon Weeden, Brock Osweiler: NFL Combine to decide.
1) Trent Richardson, Bama: Complete stud is all I think about with Trent Richardson. Hard to bring down, solid hands out the backfield.
2) Lamar Miller, “The U”: Dynamic back. Great speed and agility. He’ll battle David Wilson with his 40 time. I think Lamar has the edge.
3) David Wilson, VTech: Another explosive back. Needs to work on not turning the football over.
4) Doug Martin, Boise State: Potential to be a 3 down back. Can block and return.
5) Isaiah Pead, Cincinnati: Pead is moving up draft boards after having a great Senior Bowl week. He can block out the backfield, return kicks, and is a good receiver.
1) Micheal Floyd, Notre Dame: At 6ft 3, this guy has all the makings to be the next dynamic force in pro football. He has excellent hands and concentration, underrated speed/burst, and can separate. I’m taking a risk putting him number 1, as he does have a few off the field issues he’ll have to address. However, I believe he has matured.
2) Justin Blackmon, OSU: Physical football player is what I use to describe Blackmon. He’s not a burner, but he uses his strength to his advantage. I’m most interested in seeing Blackmon in passing drills at the combine. Is he a body catcher? Big question I have.
3) Kendall Wright, Baylor: The success of Mike Wallace will make teams second think passing on Kendall Wright. He was Robert Griffin’s top target and virtually impossible to stop. Speed kills. Sometimes he loses concentration and drops catch-able balls, but overall a consistent playmaker.
4) Alshon Jeffery, SC: Alshon is a huge question mark to me. He’s a big guy, at 6ft 4. However, I would love to see him enter the combine weighing less than the 233 lbs he’s currently listed as. Sometimes I want to consider him underrated, due to the lack of QB production at SC… Other times I think he’s overrated due to his raw skill-set and inability to consistently separate. His 40 time will certainly play a huge factor in where he’s drafted.
(Tied for 5) Mohamed Sanu, Marvin McNutt, Juron Criner, Tommy Streeter, Stephen Hill, Chris Givins, Brain Quick and Joe Adams: These are all underrated guys I’m keeping an eye on. Adams, Quick, McNutt, and Criner all had success during Senior Bowl week. Combine should separate them.
1) Dwayne Allen, Clemson: All around Tight End. This position is becoming more and more valuable in the NFL, because if you can find a good one, it causes match-up problems. Allen will be that kind of player. He’s a great blocker and athlete.
2) Coby Fleener, Stanford: Fleener benefited from having Andrew Luck as his QB. However, at 6ft 6, he’s a big bodied guy that can cause match-up problems.
3) Ladarius Green, Louisiana-Lafayette: Needs to add more bulk, however, could cause match-up problems on the next level.
4) Philip Lutzenkirchen, Auburn: Underrated football player, in my opinion. He’s a great blocker, however in Auburn’s offense he wasn’t able to catch many passes.
5) Michael Egnew, Mizzou: Without Blaine Gabbert, Egnew fell off from his production years prior. I don’t know if he has the speed you want for the position, however is a quality football player.
1) Matt Kalil, USC: Gifted football player. Has everything you want in a left tackle. Needs to improve on consistent run blocking.
2) Riley Reiff, Iowa: Reiff may actually have more upside than Kalil. Not only is he a great pass blocker, but is also great run blocker.
3) Jonathan Martin, Stanford: Martin may be the best run blocker out of this group. Which makes me wonder if he has more value on the right side. Either way, he’s a talented football player.
4) Mike Adams, Ohio State: Looked very good at the senior bowl. There’s still some concerns on consistency.
5) Zebrie Sanders, Florida State: Consistency is key with Sanders. Played mostly RT before switching to the side after Andrew Dakota’s season ending injury.
1) David DeCastro, Stanford: Not much needs to be said about this guy. He’s a day 1 pro bowler.
2) Peter Konz, Wisconsin: Day 1 starter at Center in the NFL. He’s a dominant force.
3) Kevin Zeitler, Wisconsin: Athletic Guard. Plus he’s from Wisconsin. What’s not to love?
4) Cordy Glenn, Georgia: Not as good in the run game and consistency is key with Glenn.
5) Kelechi Osemele, Iowa State: Long armed, good punch. Could be also be a tackle in the NFL.