I watched every minute of NFL Network’s Scouting Combine coverage. Unfortunately, it wasn’t as entertaining as I usually find it. I think that has to do with the dark cloud of labor negotiations hanging over everything NFL related right now. Even though we are mere hours away from an ominous deadline, I don’t want to focus on that. Still high on NFL Network anchor Rich Eisen setting a new personal best in the 40-yard dash, I want to talk about players performances at the Combine.
Let’s start by quickly mentioning the players I said I was going to watch closely from the start. Center Stefen Wisniewski was at the Combine. He didn’t standout and other than hearing that he would like to play for the Oakland Raiders (which is a strike against him) I heard nothing else. This concerns me because if you have first round pick value there should be a bit of buzz around you. I was also curious that he ran none of the position drills hiking the ball like a player trying to be a center in the NFL should. At this point I’m looking for a new 1st round pick for my post Combine mock draft.
I was hoping wide receiver Vincent Brown would be faster than I thought he was at the Combine. Putting up a 4.71 40-yard dash time he showed that he wasn’t. I still like his hands and would like him as a Kansas City Chief, but only to add depth to the Chiefs receiving corps. If he’s available in later rounds I would pick him up in a heartbeat.
Defensive tackle Phil Taylor was the third player that I was looking at in the Combine. Unlike the other players, I was more listening than looking. I wanted to find out what Phil Taylor said and what scouts said about him. What I know is that I didn’t hear bad things like I did with other players. And I know that he specifically mentioned that his weight can be a problem for him. That admission helped him because he didn’t try and give a non-answer. Instead, he took it straight on and gave an honest answer. And honesty will score you points in interviews. Could Taylor be the new first round pick for the Chiefs in my mock?
Two players from the Day One group at the Combine that intrigued me were Center/Guard Rodney Hudson and Tight End DJ Williams. The easiest to explain is Hudson. He’s a player that showed good feet that I was previously a bit down on because he was a bit light weight wise. He brought his weight up to 299 lbs. and still had the good feet that I had seen at the Senior Bowl. I like what I see and he is certainly on my board and I am eyeing him for the Chiefs’ 2nd round pick.
Williams is a bit more complex because if I were to draft him he would not play tight end. The Chiefs have a pretty good crew of tight ends and don’t need any additions. I do like the idea of having Williams as a pass catching full back. He’s got great hands and that is something I like in my full backs since they are a safety valve in many situations. I wouldn’t be looking to spend a high pick on Williams but I would certainly consider him if there in the 2nd half of the draft.
From the Day 2 group, I have been high on wide receiver Torrey Smith for awhile now and the Combine certainly didn’t dissuade my liking of him. A high character guy who fits the kind of wide receiver the Chiefs are looking for, Smith is still a bit raw and probably won’t be there when the Chiefs pick in the second round.
Running back Jamie Harper looks like he would be a good complement at 5’11” 233 lbs. to Jamaal Charles. Harper is a little rough around the edges and has never been the feature back, but considering that he would work in conjunction with Charles I don’t see that as a problem. He’s not going to blow anybody away with his speed, but that’s Charles job.
I really liked quarterback Greg McElroy coming out of the Senior Bowl and even though he didn’t throw at the Combine he still improved his stock. The Combine’s intelligence test is called the Wonderlic and McElroy scored 48 out of 50 correct. That score merely confirms the fact that McElroy is a very smart player. With the Chiefs quite possibly looking for a solid backup QB, they should certainly take a look at McElroy in later rounds. One of his best characteristics is his decision-making skills. And that, for me, is the most important skill for a backup QB.
These are a few of the players who stood out to me in the first two days of Combine workouts. There were others and there were plenty that stood out in the last two days. I’ll talk about the Day 3 and Day 4 standouts some other day. Who are some players that caught your eye at the Combine? Who gained some buzz in Indianapolis? Let me know in the comments section.