March 6, 2017
Day two of the NFL Combine was the longest, as the quarterbacks, wide receivers and tight ends hit the field. The quarterbacks and wide receivers broke into two groups, so I’ll give my thoughts on group one and then group two.
Group one showed why this is a weak quarterback class. None of the quarterbacks were terrible, but they all had flaws. This group might be good if it gets a chance to develop and not start right away. It was surprising to see Trevor Knight out of the Texas A&M University was the fastest quarterback in group one with a 4.5-second 40-yard dash.
Many wide receivers in group one, on the other hand, ran fast times. There were several 4.42-second 40-yard dashes.
In that first group was former University of Mississippi wide receiver Quincy Adeboyejo, who ran it in 4.2 seconds. The former Rebel did nothing to hurt his draft stock, making good catches and running with great speed. If anything, Adeboyejo should have helped himself with his work at the Combine. All he has to do is replicate his performance at the Rebels’ Pro Day.
Group two featured what many believe are the top two quarterbacks in this draft, Deshaun Watson out of Clemson University and Mitchell Trubisky out of the University of North Carolina. Watson and Trubisky couldn’t beat the time that Knight ran in group one.
During the on-the-field drills, Watson, Trubisky and Texas Tech University’s Patrick Mahomes looked like the top three quarterback in this draft. None seemed to be first-round picks, but all three could end up being drafted quickly regardless. If teams draft them too high, it will be interesting to see how those players’ careers turn out.
The wide receivers in group two might have been faster overall than the receivers in group one. Two surprises in group two is that Speedy Noil out of Texas A&M and Mike Williams out of Clemson didn’t run the 40-yard dash.
Social media was abuzz when University of Washington wide receiver John Ross ran a 4.22-second 40-yard dash, though he got cramps and didn’t run his second dash or take part in the on-the-field drills. If Al Davis was still alive, the Raiders would likely have taken a chance on Ross.
Fred Ross out of Mississippi State University didn’t do anything to hurt himself, but he didn’t move up either. He ran a 4.51-second 40-yard dash, which wasn’t bad but was middle of the pack.
Overall, this looks like a deep class for wide receivers. There are going to be plenty of good receivers on all three days of the draft. There are plenty of positions in this draft with no clear top three to four players, but the position groups as a whole are deep.
The final group of the day was the tight ends. Most thought this would be a deep class for tight ends, and it didn’t disappoint. Most of the tight ends were big, fast and had good hands.
O.J. Howard out of the University of Alabama seemed to cement his spot as the number-one tight end. Howard ran a 4.51-second 40-yard dash at 250 pounds. He caught the ball well and has the body to be an in-line blocker.
Evan Engram of the University of Mississippi did nothing but help himself with his Combine performance, running a 4.42-second 40-yard dash and looking smooth catching the ball.
Engram might not have the size to be an in-line blocker at the next level but will be a match nightmare for teams. If anyone worked his way from day two of the draft into day one, it was the former Rebel.