Previewing The Combine: Running Backs, Wide Receivers, & Tight Ends

Ballard is one our sleepers for the Combine

With the QB preview now up its time to move on to the offensive skill positions and talk a little bit about the RB’s, WR’s, and TE’s. The RB’s and WR’s will get measured on Friday the 24th but not workout till Sunday the 26th, while the TE’s will get measured on Thursday the 23rd and then workout on Saturday the 25th.

Here is a full list of the RB participants;
Edwin Baker-Michigan State*
Mike Ball-Nevada*
Vick Ballard-Mississippi State
Brandon Bolden-Ole Miss
Lennon Creer-Louisiana Tech
Terrance Ganaway-Baylor
Cyrus Gray-Texas A&M
Jonas Gray-Notre Dame**
Jewel Hampton-Southern Illinois*
Dan Herron-Ohio State
Ronnie Hillman-San Diego State*
LaMichael James-Oregon*
Doug Martin-Boise State
Davin Meggett-Maryland
Lamar Miller-Miami*
Alfred Morris-FAU
Isaiah Pead-Cincinnati
Bernard Pierce-Temple*
Chris Polk-Washington
Tauren Poole-Tennessee
Chris Rainey-Florida
Trent Richardson-Alabama*
Darrell Scott-South Florida*
Robert Turbin-Utah State*
Marc Tyler-USC
Foswhitt Whittaker-Texas
David Wilson-Virginia Tech*
* Early Entrant into 2012 NFL Draft
** Not working out due to injury

Here is our estimate at who will be the top workout warriors from the RB position:
40 Yard Dash-Chris Rainey 4.25
3 Cone Drill-David Wilson
Short Shuttle- LaMichael James
Bench Press- Vick Ballard 23

Only two positions in this entire event really have something at stake when it comes to the heralded 40 yard dash and this is one of those positions. In reality what matters more are the 10 yard splits so we can see who has the most burst out of their stance.

Let’s be clear for the get-go much like the QB class there is no doubt who here will run the fastest 40. UF RB Chris Rainey has publicly stated his goal to run a 4.1 40. We’re not sure if that’s even humanely possible but it will be fun to watch anyways.

Couple of bigger backs who have speed concerns could do a lot for their stock with running good 40’s. Most notably that would include Robert Turbin, Darrell Scott, Terance Ganaway, and Chris Polk.

It’s doubtful Notre Dame RB Jonas Gray will be able to run at the combine after suffering a season ending ACL tear this year. That’s unfortunate because of how well his senior season was going, he will offer some team a decent power running option late in the draft or as an undrafted free agent.

We look for the top backs to begin to separate themselves a little bit here, we think that the jumble behind Trent Richardson that includes Lamar Miller, David Wilson, Doug Martin, Bernard Pierce, and Chris Polk will begin to smooth out. We think the athleticism of Miller and Wilson could allow them to separate from the pack.

Jewel Hampton is the wildcard here, he transferred from Iowa to Southern Illinois last season and then ran for 1,121 yards and scored 17 TD’s. He was considered a top level prospect while at Iowa, which has been a program that has been hemorrhaging RB’s for the past few years. If he lays down a good time, look for him to be a high riser coming out of the combine.

Our sleeper pick for the combine is RB Vick Ballard out of Mississippi State he has more speed than he’s given credit for and it wouldn’t shock us to see him lay down a time in the low 4.5’s if not break into the 4.4’s. He should also shine during pass catching drills.

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Tags: 2012 NFL Draft, Buffalo Bills, NFL Combine

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