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SCOUT'S HONOR: Harrington makes his move
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Updated Jun 2, 2014 1:46 PM ET
Oregon quarterback Joey Harrington was aggressive in making a move up the charts at the scouting combine over the weekend. Reviews have been mixed on Harrington throughout the year due to his inconsistency and he didn't get a chance to showcase himself at the Senior Bowl. This weekend, he proved the knee he injured in the East-West Shrine Game is sound and displayed solid tools. I really believe his upside potential is very good in the NFL and he could be a winner with his great attitude. Harrington is just one of those guys teams have to be impressed by.
Speed isn't the word at running back
Boston College's William Green and UCLA's DeShaun Foster didn't run that well, but it didn't put a damper on their stock. Both runners had good workouts and looked in solid shape. On the field, both weren't known as true speed backs, so don't believe any speculation on their stock dropping. Green could land in the 15-20 range in round one while Foster is a late first-rounder. Michigan State's T.J. Duckett didn't run, but looked in very good shape over the weekend. He'll be a potential mid-first rounder with a solid campus workout. I really believe scouts will be in for a surprise with Duckett. Iowa's Ladell Betts also helped himself with a respectable 4.58 time and continues to display good hands as a pass catcher. It should earn him a possible mid-round tag.
Receivers have field day on track
The wide receiver who helped himself the most was Florida State's Javon Walker with his 4.39 time. Walker was an ascending player on the field this season and has the tools to develop with good coaching and more repetitions. He only spent two seasons at the major college level. The big question was his speed and he answered that concern. Is it enough to make it back into contention for the late first round? Most teams would likely say no due to his inexperience beyond junior college. Utah's Cliff Russell and Virginia Tech's Andre Davis also ran sub-4.4 forties. But why make a big deal of that? From watching film over the past couple of seasons, there's no question both have very good downfield speed. And when looking on the field, there's no question both receivers have some question marks. Russell has been inconsistent with his hands and also hasn't proved to be very durable. Davis has shown the ability to be very explosive downfield, but looks a little stiff with his routes and ball skills in the intermediate areas. Florida's Reche Caldwell didn't run, but had a very solid workout. He looked polished during position drills while his vertical and broad jumps indicated he has some lower body explosiveness. On the field, he doesn't look like a blazer, but should be a steady pass catcher in the NFL. Louisville's Deion Branch surprised people with a 4.42 after being timed as a mid-4.5 runner in the past. But Branch is more quick than fast. Still, his time could boost his stock because he's a solid route runner with a good feel for getting open in the intermediate passing game. He catches the ball well and is willing to get dirty. Auburn's Tim Carter raised eyebrows with a 4.33 forty, which should solidify his stock in the first day. Carter is a good athlete who is still learning the finer points of being a wide receiver. He may never be a complete receiver, but shows the tools to develop into a solid downfield option.
Bentley finally gets respect
It took long enough for Ohio State center LeCharles Bentley to get respect. The sad thing is that it took a workout for that to happen because this guy was a terror on film at times. He ran a very good 5.18 forty while displaying good strength. On the field, he showed good pop throughout the year and flashes of quickness, although his footwork needs some polish, which gave people the impression that he lacks quickness. He has the most upside among centers, and is only held back by lacking the experience in the pivot that Texas A&M's Seth McKinney and Maryland's Melvin Fowler possess. Florida's Mike Pearson also surprised people with his numbers in the speed and strength department. It could be enough to move him back into the late first round. He just needs to become more consistent with his technique. On film, he had some very good performances, but also some erratic games that raised questions with scouts. Arizona State's Levi Jones also followed up his Senior Bowl performance with a solid combine performance to establish himself as a clear first rounder.
Deception high along defensive line
Mississippi State's Dorsett Davis is a perfect reason why people shouldn't waste their time talking about the numbers at the combine. Davis did over 30 reps on the bench press, which indicates his natural strength. But the film shows different. From my viewing, Davis looked very lazy on the field and didn't exactly overpower many college offensive linemen. He showed he can plug gaps when he wants to, but he can do a lot more than that if he plays harder. Brigham Young's Ryan Denney is also another guy who posted great numbers over the weekend. Sure, Denney has some upfield potential due to his workout skills and frame, but don't expect this guy just to walk onto a field and dominate. I liked his frame, intelligence, and flashes of adequate upfield quickness at times throughout the season, but he needs a lot of work becoming more instinctive at the point of attack and must work on his lateral movements. He could develop in a few years, but he easily could become a bust. It's also a shame to see that Tennessee's Will Overstreet had to run sub-4.7 times to open eyes. Overstreet lacks ideal size and has had some minor injuries, but this guy is a true football player who showed good tools on the field. He is quick to locate the ball and has a non-stop motor, but he also showed good feet and closing speed on the field this past season despite being slowed by injuries.
Harris solidifies his stance at linebacker
Northwestern Napoleon Harris often gets overshadowed when people talk about the top prospects, but that shouldn't happen anymore. At 250 pounds, he's able to run in the mid-4.5s and displays good strength. He also came across well in interviews. Although he played defensive end as a senior, it was clear to see he had the feet, quickness, and strength to make a good linebacker in the NFL.
Guys who raised some red flags over the weekend
Antonio Bryant, Pittsburgh, wide receiver His times were in the high 4.5s and low 4.6s on most stopwatches, proving that's he's more of a glider than a sprinter. And he turned off teams during the interview process. Surely, following Koren Robinson's antics last spring and his erratic rookie season, Bryant's stock is definitely dropping.
Mike Williams, Texas, offensive tackle Showed up weighing nearly 380 pounds and tests showed some knee damage. It's still questionable whether it will drop his stock because there's still a lot of teams in love with his upside. But they can have Williams. While he possesses excellent upside due to his size and made some strides as a senior, he's still too sloppy for my taste. And he sure didn't help himself with his ignorant response following the test results on his knee. John Henderson, Tennessee, defensive tackle Drew unfair criticism for playing through a badly sprained ankle as a senior, but some tests also revealed some concerns over his back. While it's not any immediate concern, it's something that could eventually shorten his career unless he begins playing with more leverage to relieve some of the stress he puts on his back. Dennis Johnson, Kentucky, defensive end Showed very poor strength and didn't wow anyone during workouts. Should this be surprising? To people projecting him in the first round, it sure is. It's clear they didn't watch his film closely. On tape, I saw a player who was linear in the upper body and got pushed around the field on a frequent basis. His overall skills also looked raw for the most part during the season. The name Dennis Johnson is a pedigree from the recruiting wars, but his play certainly didn't match up to that status on the field. He needs a lot of strength work and pro coaching. Keyuo Craver, Nebraska, cornerback Ran in the high 4.5s and looked sluggish in drills, which officially moves his stock out of the late first round for now. He does some nice things on the field at times due to his smarts, but the matchup ability of Nebraska cornerbacks continues to remain a problem because they don't see as many repetitions in pass coverage downfield as other prospects.
Michael Lewis, Colorado, strong safety There were people talking about him as a potential first-round pick a few months ago because his play against the pass improved. But his workout numbers weren't first-round caliber. He ran in the high 4.6s and didn't look very explosive in drills. While he'll be a solid NFL player, he didn't make a case for being a first-round pick with his combine performance. Overall, the combine is used as one of many measuring tools to grade a prospect over the course of the scouting process, but too many people drool over these performances. Take them for what they are worth. They are controlled workouts, which doesn't nearly replicate the environment of game day in the NFL.
Brian DeLucia is a respected college and pro personnel consultant around the NFL. Formerly a consultant with Rivals.com and Pro Football Digest.com, Brian enjoys his second season with FOXSports.com providing commentary around the NFL and NFL Draft. If you would like to send a draft question along to DeLucia, please use the forum to the left.
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