Combine recap: Tebow makes mistake
At least I assume you're here to read a combine recap because you're a draftnik, not because you're looking to do a book report.
I'll try to keep this fantasy-related and stick to potential standouts we might consider drafting in our leagues next year.
- Ndamukong Suh, Gerald McCoy solidify themselves as top picks: And while I'm convinced they'll go 1-2 in the draft, it's still debatable which order they'll be chosen, much like the Chris Johnson vs. Adrian Peterson debate for No. 1 overall in next year's fantasy drafts. We'll dissect their IDP potential later.
- Eric Berry's standout performance: Why am I leading off a fantasy article raving about defensive guys? It's not to appease the IDP geeks, if that's what you're thinking. I'll get into that later. Berry was able to post a strong 4.47 40-yard-dash, a 43-inch vertical jump and 19 reps on the 225-pound bench press. He also showed off some nice athleticism, and you've probably seen highlights on how hard he hits. From a Browns fan's perspective, I was hoping he'd fall to Cleveland's No. 7 spot. I seriously doubt that's likely now.
- Golden Tate's speed: Tate's currently expected to go sometime early in the second round of the draft. He had a nice 4.36 40-time, but dropped a few passes in the drills, even though his timing with the quarterbacks wasn't really an issue. He may have helped himself more than he hurt himself and could jump into the first round with a strong pro day.
- Ryan Mathews breaks out: I kept telling you about this guy all offseason long since you didn't watch him at Fresno State (unless you're a hard-core college football fan). Mathews ran a speedy 4.45 40 and added 19 bench press reps. He almost reminds me of a Marion Barber type who cuts quickly and is difficult to bring down since he rushes with a low center of gravity. Keep your eye on him.
- Jarrett Brown rebounds: Brown's almost like a smoother, more athletic and infinitely less banged-up version of Jason Campbell. Some pundits thought he might be taken sometime after the fourth round, but the combine helped him improve his stock a great deal. The quarterback prospect from West Virginia ran a 4.53 40 and showed nice poise and command during the drills. He seems to know which chances are appropriate to take and doesn't panic if he's on the run from an angry mod of defensive players.
- Offensive skill positions ... all of them: Let's just put it this way - neither the best wide receiver or the best tight end on the board played at all last year in college, there might not be a running back taken in the top 10 and there isn't one single quarterback we can label as a franchise guy in sight. Wide receiver Dez Bryant didn't even participate at the combine because of an injury, and tight end Jermaine Gresham posted a slow 4.73 40 time. Gresham's 20 bench press reps weren't enough to offset that. If anything, this is going to be a year where a later-round pick comes out of nowhere and tears it up. It's not like there's a Larry Fitzgerald or Antonio Gates type talent waiting to blow up your fantasy league. This is going to be a big year for defense in the draft, not the offense.
- Stay in school: If you read my QB preview a few weeks back, I'm now even more confused as to why Jevan Snead declared for the draft a year early. He posted the worst 40-time (5.01) of any quarterback and was erratic in the passing drills. Remember, this is a guy who threw 20 touchdowns and 20 picks last season. I have a hard time believing he won't be buried on someone's depth chart for however long (short?) his NFL career lasts.
- Dexter McCluster's 40 time: Don't tell me you haven't seen this kid play. Like I mentioned in my RB preview piece, he's shown blazing speed so often that I was looking forward to his 40-time in full man crush mode. I felt like I was looking at a 401k balance sheet that crashed when I saw the results: 4.58. Really, Dexter? Four-point-five-eight?!? Just watch the highlights of one of the many long touchdown runs he amassed during his time at Ole Miss, and you'll see why I was fully expecting him to get very close to the 4.24 time Chris Johnson posted two years ago. I guess McCluster has more game speed than raw track speed.
- Tim Tebow not throwing: Why, Tim? The one thing people have knocked you for during your entire career is your inability to play in a conventional offense because you can't throw the ball. That's why the one (and only one) thing every scout wanted to see at the combine was how well you can throw. Tebow had a truly weird throwing motion in college - it almost looked like he'd bring the ball down to his chin to scratch an itch there before letting it fly. He said he's been working on new delivery mechanics and will display them at his pro day, but it's a little late for that. Heaven help him if he has a bad day.
- Dan LeFevour also not throwing: At least with LeFevour, we have plenty of film we can use to see how well he handles himself in the pocket and how accurate a passer he really is. Maybe some GMs will be a little more at ease since the MAC conference has produced a handful of successful NFL quarterbacks. But coming from a mid-major program, he needs every chance he can get to show GMs and scouts he can play with the big boys. He and Tebow are banking too heavily on a big pro day.