The 2014 NFL Scouting Combine is over. Can you even believe that? I feel like we just covered the 2013 Combine.
Either way, this year is a deep, deep crop of players that I’m excited to learn more about the closer we get to this prospect. I think saying there are 300 or more draftable players wouldn’t be a stretch. This is just a deep draft filled with young kids who are maybe not yet ready for the NFL spotlight, but it’s loaded with potential.
Here are 10 things you need to remember from this year’s scouting combine:
1. Georgia Southern RB Jerick McKinnon is a Stud
McKinnon is this year’s Combine workout warrior, but he’s also a gamer. The former Georgia Southern star led his team to a huge win over Florida this past season, one that you might remember included very few pass attempts, and he can do it all. He played three backfield positions for Ga. Southern this past year, and had two-straight 1,000 yard campaigns.
Played QB in college technically, but his future in the NFL is at the RB spot and he wowed scouts with his numbers. At 5’9″ 209 pounds, he posted a 4.41 in the 40 yard dash, a 40.5-inch vertical jump, 32 bench press reps, and an 11-foot broad jump.
This guy is productive, an athletic freak, and one of the hottest names from the Combine.
2. If Jadeveon Clowney Wants to be, He’s the Best Player in this Draft
Clowney is a physical freak, and at about 6’5′ 265 pounds he ran a 4.53 in the 40. Explosive doesn’t begin to describe this player. If he works hard and dedicates himself, he’s going to be the best defensive player in the NFL before too long. It’s crazy to think he could be playing WITH J.J. Watt. That should scare the rest of the league, especially if he picks up on Watt’s work habits.
3. Blake Bortles May Have Stolen the Top Pick
UCF quarterback Blake Bortles has been compared to Ben Roethlisberger, and that kind of toughness and clutch ability has generated number one overall pick hype. The Houston Texans reportedly are deciding between he and Johnny Manziel, but Bortles was apparently one of the most impressive players teams had during the interview process. If he doesn’t go to Houston, he won’t last long after that.
4. Adam Muema Says He’s a Seahawk
The former San Diego State running back forfeit his opportunity to put his talents on display at the Scouting Combine because he says that God told him he’s going to the Seahawks. He put up multiple 1,000 yard seasons for the Aztecs, and has a decent resume’ to go along with agility and quickness, but it seems odd that he would leave the Combine this way.
There are a lot of Christian believers playing for Seattle, as there are for most teams, so we’ll see how they and other teams respond to this action.
5. Jimmy Garoppolo a 1st Round Pick?
ESPN’s Bill Polian seems to think so. He said that the former Eastern Illinois star QB is a first rounder, and there is certainly enough demand this year but you would think it would have to be a team at the bottom of round one. I still think that Jimmy will go somewhere in the second round, but he’s been getting some first round buzz for a while now.
6. Aaron Donald’s Athletic Ability
Though Donald doesn’t possess the ideal frame for a defensive tackle, every other measurable was off the charts. At 6’1″ 285 pounds, Donald posted a 4.68 in the 40 yard dash and 35 bench press reps. Obviously what he lacks in elite size he more than makes up for with his explosive athletic ability and strength. This is a guy who might not make it out of the top 16 picks at this point.
7. Alabama Injury News
Take it for what you will, but Tony Pauline reported that two significant Alabama players and projected first round picks have serious medical red flags. Cyrus Kouandjio reportedly has an arthritic knee from a failed surgery in his time with the Tide. Star linebacker C.J. Mosley reportedly also has a health concern that has teams wondering if he can make it through a rookie contract.
These are serious situations and could push both players out of round one, if true.
8. Ka’Deem Carey May Fall…Hard
Carey didn’t show great speed at the Combine, solidifying what many had seen on tape. His lack of deep speed could prove to be detrimental to his draft stock.
9. Wide Receivers are Plentiful
This wide receiver group is nuts. There are guys that could start in the NFL that will get drafted in the fourth round this year. And when I say start I mean immediately. This is such an impressive position group and I can’t even begin to dive into all the names of players I like here.
Athletically, this is as impressive a position group as I’ve ever seen.
10. Greg Robinson is a Beast
At 6’5″ 332 pounds, Greg Robinson proved to be arguably the most athletic big man at the Combine. His quickness and power will propel him to a likely guaranteed top five selection, possibly not falling any further than 2nd overall to the Rams. He has risen to the top OT spot on many boards.