Predicting five risers from the NFL combine (offensive edition)

Dec 23, 2016; Fort Worth, TX, USA; Louisiana Tech Bulldogs wide receiver Carlos Henderson (1) catches a touchdown pass against Navy Midshipmen cornerback Tyris Wooten (17) in the second quarter at Amon G. Carter Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports
Dec 23, 2016; Fort Worth, TX, USA; Louisiana Tech Bulldogs wide receiver Carlos Henderson (1) catches a touchdown pass against Navy Midshipmen cornerback Tyris Wooten (17) in the second quarter at Amon G. Carter Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports /

The scouting combine is a make or break event for day two and day three prospects. The event gives prospects a chance to separate themselves as athletes and show their potential. Scouts will scour each player’s individual performance and a lot of prospects will make themselves some money because of it. But which players will gain the most value? Here are five names you could see jump in a big way.

Taywan Taylor – WR Western Kentucky

Taylor has already begun to get buzz thanks to a solid Senior Bowl week but the pass-catcher continues to leave some scouts with doubt on if his ability can translate to the next level.

The 6’1 195 lb. former Hilltopper will absolutely shine at the combine. The receiver has already made waves with his blinding speed and is expected to run around a 4.33 forty-yard-dash time, but Taylor will showcase more skills than just blinding speed.

Taylor’s broad jump and vertical are both equally impressive and will be a top three talent in each event. Taylor has average height but with all of his raw natural athleticism and with record-breaking performances at his time in Western Kentucky, Taylor will use the combine to push his way even further up the draft board.

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Taylor will show reliable hands and good route-running, along with insane athleticism. Expect Taylor to make some serious noise in the combine and boost his stock tremendously by testing extremely well in Indy.

Samaje Perine – RB Oklahoma

Perine came into this past season with lots of hype, but after another strong season, Perine ended up being overshadowed by the younger and much more controversial Joe Mixon at Oklahoma.

Perine was expected to be a top-round running back but has gotten lots of knocks on his linear speed and tendency to be a on-note runner. Perine still possesses some serious natural athletic ability.

At 5’10 and 235 lbs. Perine has great size and strength at the running back position. The junior running back will test extremely well in strength drills, but his stiffness is of concern.

What most won’t expect is to see Perine test well in terms of speed, but the big bruiser could easily run in the 4.48 – 4.54 range.

Despite being lost in the mix at Oklahoma, Perine put up three solid years of stats at OU.


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Perine will be valued as a change of pace back in the NFL and after an impressive combine could sneak back into round-two discussion.

Joshua Dobbs – QB Tennessee

Dobbs, like Taywan Taylor, helped his draft stock already with a solid performance at the Senior Bowl. But Dobbs stock will continue to rise at the combine.

This quarterback class is a polarizing class to say the least and with lots of teams needy at the position, character and intelligence will help separate some of these quarterbacks later in the draft.

Dobbs is going to impress organizations and scouts alike in the interview process maybe more than any other prospect in this class. The Tennessee QB has off the charts intelligence and has been very involved in the Tennessee community as his years as a Vol.

Dobbs accuracy will be a major concern but for the most part Dobbs kept a good ratio during his time at UT and will pose as an intriguing prospect to be molded.

On top of excelling off the field, Dobbs will make an interesting case as a prospect when testing at the combine. Obviously his mobility will play a major factor in his upside for NFL teams and at 6’3 210 lbs he will showcase that and more at the Combine.

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His strength and accuracy could be a concern, but with a good showing in speed and agility, Dobbs could multiply his buzz from the senior bowl and cement himself as an early day three and pick, think like late third to late 5th rounder.

Stanley “Boom” Williams – RB Kentucky

Stanley Williams has done a good job keeping a low profile in Kentucky. The running back came into college as one of the higher sought-after prospects in the country. even had him rated as the number one all purpose running back in the country.

Williams had to earn his time on the field at Kentucky but as the Wildcats gave him more time, his number went up, and in a big way.


(stats courtesy of

Williams playmaking ability lies mostly in his speed and agile lateral cuts. The 5’9 196 lb. running back has good vision and despite a little on the small side has plenty of weapons that will shine under the bright lights of the combine.

For one, Williams will most likely run around a 4.38 forty-yard dash time, and that kind of speed never goes unnoticed. It fooled the Steelers to take Dri Archer way way earlier than he deserved just a couple years ago. But unlike Archer Williams has plenty with good strength and power.

Williams has shown good pass-catching ability at his time at Kentucky as well. Williams will most likely be one of the premier backs in receiving drills at the combine and with the new air raid NFL, teams will be very interested to acquire running backs with that mixture of speed, vision and receiving ability.

Williams is a projected day three prospect, but with raw natural talent and blinding speed, an inevitable strong combine could push him up to late day two.

Carlos Henderson – WR Louisiana Tech

Henderson’s stock is already rising each and every day, but with a strong combine performance, Henderson could truly rocket himself into a top five receiver prospect in this draft.

Henderson like many others on this list has supreme speed and acceleration especially down the field. Despite being lauded mainly for his speed, Henderson shows toughness and crisp route running ability that will test very well at the combine.

At 5’11 191 lbs. Henderson was very productive at Louisiana Tech where he shined in what was for the most part a lackluster passing offense.

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(Stats courtesy of ESPN)

Fully expect Carlos Henderson to set himself apart in Indianapolis and cement himself as an at worst late second rounder when it’s all said and done.
Other names to watch for: Josh Reynolds WR Texas A&M, Taylor Moton OL Western Michigan, Jerod Evans QB Virginia Tech, Jehu Chesson WR Michigan, Joe Williams RB Utah