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

Dwight Jones will have his time to shine at the Combine

Here is a full list of the WR participants:
Joe Adams-Arkansas
Tim Benford-Tennesee Tech
Travis Benjamin-Miami
Justin Blackmon-Oklahoma State*
Jarrett Boykin-Virginia Tech
Lavon Brazill-Ohio
Ryan Broyles-Oklahoma
Greg Childs-Arkansas
Danny Coale-Virginia Tech
Josh Cooper-Oklahoma State
Juron Criner-Arizona
BJ Cunningham-Michigan State
Patrick Edwards-Houston
Michael Floyd-Notre Dame
Jeff Fuller-Texas A&M
Chris Givens-Wake Forest*
T.J. Graham-NC State
Darius Hanks-Alabama
Junior Hemingway-Michigan
Stephen Hill-Georgia Tech*
T.Y. Hilton-FIU**
Jerrell Jackson-Missouri
Dwight Jones-UNC
Marvin Jones-Cal
Jermaine Kearse-Washington
Keshawn Martin-Michigan State
Rishaw Matthews-Nevada
Marquis Maze-Alabama
Marvin McNutt-Iowa
Kashif Moore-UConn
Derek Moye-Penn State
Chris Owusu-Stanford
Eric Page-Toledo*
Devier Posey-Ohio State
Brian Quick-Appalachian State
Rueben Randle-LSU*
Gerrel Robinson-Arizona State
James Rodgers-Oregon State
Mohamed Sanu-Rutgers*
Tommy Streeter-Miami*
Nick Toon-Wisconsin
Jordan White-Western Michigan
Jarius Wright-Arkansas
Kendall Wright-Baylor
Devon Wylie-Fresno State
* 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 WR position:
40 Yard Dash-Kendall Wright 4.39
3 Cone Drill-Devon Wylie
Short Shuttle-Devon Wylie
Bench Press- Michael Floyd 27 reps
Vertical Jump-Reuben Randle 46”
Broad Jump-Kendall Wright 11’02”

No position will be more subject to change between now and April than the WR spot. For months it was assumed that Justin Blackmon was the unquestioned top WR in this draft but as it usually plays out during the dead period following the all-star games analysts began to pick at Blackmon’s game and find faults in order to force themselves to lower him on their rankings. We don’t know why this happens but we do know that it happens every year.

There are a number of guys who could emerge as the #1 or #2 WR depending on what rankings you are looking at and that list includes players like Michael Floyd, Alshon Jeffery, Reuben Randle, and Dwight Jones. All have questions about how much speed they have, how athletic are they really.

You’ll notice that we didn’t include Kendall Wright in the above and that’s because the combine can’t do much for him. We expect him to be amongst the elite in terms of athletic ability already so there isn’t much he can gain here.

Small schoolers Tim Benford and Brian Quick can really help themselves by running good 40 times. Benford showed off sneaky speed at the Shrine Game while Quick struggled to gain separation at the Senior Bowl consistently.

Two non-BCS guys I expect to have big weeks would be Devon Wylie and Jordan White. Wylie should dominate the agility and acceleration drills while White catches everything thrown at him. Both will need to show sharp route running but they could be two of the top slot options at WR coming out.

The Arkansas trio of Jarius Wright, Joe Adams, and Greg Childs need good times for different reasons. Wright is riding high right now after a strong all-star performance. He needs this wave to keep going and challenging Kendall Wright would be a good start. Joe Adams needs to get his stock kick started and laying down a good 4.4 40 will do that for him, while Greg Childs needs to show that he’s back from his injury fully and has his speed back that was missing all year.

Four tall WR’s who need to run faster than expected are Marvin McNutt, Derek Moye, Nick Toon, and Juron Criner. All four guys have great size and know how to use it but there are serious questions about their ability to separate. If any of them can break into the 4.5’s they will do a lot to help answer that question.

There are a couple of sleepers to watch in this group with Cal WR Marvin Jones, Rutgers WR Mohamed Sanu, and Miami WR Tommy Streeter. Jones was an animal in Mobile, showing off good speed, running good routes, and catching everything. Sanu is a well known gym rat who was a do everything player at Rutgers. Streeter is somewhat of a one year wonder who had great size and has reportedly run in the low 4.4’s before.

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Tags: 2012 NFL Draft, Buffalo Bills, NFL Combine

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