COMBINE RISERS AND FALLERS
This year several small schoolers helped themselves with very few posting bad numbers.
Here is a look at those who helped and hurt themselves at the Combine.
CB Cortez Allen, The Citadel- Allen
has elite size at 6012, 197 pounds and ran a very well posting 4.4s in
the 40-yard dash and elite numbers in the short shuttle (4.01), broad
jump (10’9), and 3-cone (6.76). He also did well in the bench with 18
reps and had a solid 35 ˝ inch vertical. We project him to free safety
in the NFL and believe he will contribute as a gunner and play edge
containment on kickoff early on. His senior tape wasn’t the best but it
would not be surprising to see someone take him in the late rounds
C Brandon Fusco, Slippery Rock-
Looking at his size (6’4, 306) he would fit more at guard if he bulked
up so it will be interesting to see where he ends up. His workout was
very good with a strong 26 reps, solid 28 ˝ inch vertical, and a
terrific 9’0 broad jump, 7.29 3-cone, and 4.43 short shuttle. His
3-cone, short shuttle, and broad jump are elite for the position.
Fusco’s results are very good overall and should push him up the board.
It would not be shocking to see someone taking him in the late 4th round now.
WR Edmond Gates, Abilene Christian- We
have been told he was a third round projection since September and we
believe this workout confirmed the grades on tape with outstanding
results in the 40-yard dash (4.31-4.37), broad jump (10’11), vertical
(40 inches), and a solid 16 reps at 5116, 192 pounds.
OG/C Daniel Kilgore, Appalachian
State- The average guard is usually around 6’4 315-320 in the NFL so we
believe Kilgore will be a center since he matches up much closer to the
average (6’3, 302) being that he is 6032, 308 pounds. While his 23 reps
are not up there with the top centers his 32 1/2 inch vertical is very
good for one and his 8’9 broad jump is quite explosive also. He also
came in much faster than the averages in the 3-cone with a 7.59 and
short shuttle with a 4.68. This workout has solidified that he will not
only get drafted but could push him into the 5th round.
FS Mark LeGree, Appalachian State-
LeGree certainly helped himself to debunk the rumors he is stiff or too
slow and confirmed what we have been thinking for the last three years.
We fell in love with him during his sophomore year and knew he had a
chance to be a player. Three All-America seasons later and a solid
Combine workout and he has proven he is a player to watch at the next
level. LeGree measured in at 5114, 210 pounds and ran in the 4.49-4.59
range on hand helds in the 40-yard dash. He also posted elite times in
the 3-cone (6.90) and short shuttle (4.09) as the averages are in the
7.05 and 4.24 range. His jumps weren’t great at 31 inches and a 9’8
broad jump but he was strong in the bench with 21 reps and likely tested
through the roof in the wonderlic compared to other safeties. He was a
borderline draft pick heading into the combine by many but if this
didn't solidify a 5th-6th round grade we don’t know what will.
TE Schuylar Oordt, Northern Iowa-
Oordt has the size at 6056, 261 pounds and ran well (mid 4.6s) on hand
helds. He also had a very good 36-inch vertical, 9’11 broad jump, and
posted elite times in the 3-cone (6.83) and short shuttle (4.25). It
would be shocking if he was not taken in the late rounds with these
DT Martin Parker, Richmond- Parker lit
up the combine in the speed, quickness, and initial burst drills. His
size is slightly below average at 6021, 303 pounds but he is very
athletic showing speed (4.95-5.03 40) and great times in the 3-cone
(7.56), short shuttle (4.57), and a solid 29-inch vertical. On tape you
can tell he needs to get stronger and work on lower body power which
showed in the bench (just 22 reps), and average broad jump (8’8). We
believe this Combine solidified and confirmed what we saw on tape but
showed he has elite quickness and speed making him a solid mid round
developmental prospect who could have fallen out of the draft if not for
the good all around times.
QB Josh Portis, California PA- Because
of his arm strength we won’t say he needs to change positions but if he
wants to he can certainly play receiver with his workout results. At
6027, 211 pounds he would make a good sized receiver and he ran very
posting a 4.59 40-yard dash on some hand helds. His other numbers are
elite for quarterbacks and well above average across the board for
receivers with a 40-inch vertical, 10’6 broad jump, 6.84 3-cone, and
4.12 short shuttle. This could very easily get him drafted but either
way we see him as a developmental quarterback you put on the practice
squad or a total project at receiver. Either way he has upside and will
either be a good one down the road or will end up in the CFL where he
could potentially be a star. This workout likely puts him on many
teams’ draft boards and gives him a chance to be given a stronger look
in training camp.
WR Cecil Shorts, Mount Union- Shorts
measured in at 5116, 205 pounds and while he is not a great jumper (36
inch vertical, 9’10 broad jump), he ran in the average in the 40-yard
dash (4.50-4.59) and posted very good times in the 3-cone (6.50) and
short shuttle (4.07). Both of those last two times are well above
average. It would be hard to see him going higher than the 5th round but this workout should certainly guarantee him a spot in the late rounds, at the very least.
CB Buster Skrine, Chattanooga- We will
first caution our readers when we say this because he did get burned
for three touchdowns and had five pass interference calls in two games
(Elon and Auburn) showing he does not have the skills against pass heavy
teams. He isn’t elite enough to start but despite being 5094, 186
pounds someone is going to over draft him after his fantastic workout.
He is quick, physical, and explosive but needs to work on man cover
skills, making him a likely a cover two nickel corner who must earn his
keep on special teams. With that said he clocked as low as a 4.37-40
yard dash from the watches we saw and posted outstanding times in the
short shuttle (3.90) and 3-cone (6.44) and then was explosive in jumps
with a 37-inch vertical and 10’2 broad jump. His 20 reps were solid as
well and should only improve as he gains more weight. Because of this
workout he likely lands in the 4th or 5th round in
our opinion but is a priority free agent or borderline draft pick in
terms of value. His core value is on special teams right now making him
a guy we would take later in the draft and plug in as a gunner, return
CB Justin Rogers, Richmond- Yes he ran
pretty well (4.4s) on hand helds at 5103, 183 but he was expected too.
His other drills were well below average for the most part only
managing 14 reps, a 33-inch vertical, a poor time in the 3-cone (7.21),
and below average 9’6 broad jump. Rogers was in the 5th to 6th
round range heading in but we now believe he is a borderline draft pick
and might not even get drafted, despite the media hype. We see him as a
7th-PFA projection right now.
ILB/OLB D.J. Smith, Appalachian State-
His workouts showed us what we thought on tape. He’s a tweener who was
great in college but lacks the change of direction skills, strength,
and ideal size despite having average NFL straight line speed. Smith
only measured in at 5105, 239 pounds (two inches shorter than the
average ILB) but clocked in the 4.71-4.78 range on most hand helds. His
other drills were below average or poor across the board only managing
21 reps, a 31-inch vertical, 8’8 broad jump, and 4.45 short shuttle.
All of those times were below average while his 7.35 3-cone is about .20
slower than the average NFL ILB or OLB. He likely solidified a free
agent grade and will have to make a roster on special teams tucked away
on a practice squad or possibly on active roster as a player that is
probably inactive for most of the year, unless injuries occur.
JEKYLL AND HIDE (CONCERNS)
WR Ricardo Lockette, Fort Valley
State- If you look at the workout alone Lockette hit a home run coming
in at 6021, 211 pounds and ran in the mid 4.3 range in the 40-yard
dash. He then had a very good workout posting a 10’7 broad jump and
4.19 short shuttle. His vertical was solid at 35 ˝ inches but his
3-cone time was a concern falling well below the average 6.9 with a
Either way his workout was solid
making you believe this kid dominated the D2 ranks like Edmond Gates did
with this athletic ability. Well like we said you would think he
dominated. Looking back at the numbers and the tape we are baffled how
he did no produce. His best value comes in the kickoff return game
where he only managed 24.1 yards per return and was just third on the
team in receiving with 23 catches for 262 yards and one touchdown.
Their leader was tight end Tony Davis who ran in the 4.9s at their
junior pro day recently and clearly outperformed Lockette.
We also have off field concerns as he
showed that he focused on his 40-yard dash time and didn’t worry about
just being fast on the field when talking to the folks at ESPN First
Take. He also told everyone at the press conference he would lead all
receivers in the bench press and would be the fastest man at Indy but
was not that close to the fastest and he didn’t even bench. He also
told scouts his poor quarterback play was why he did not do well during
the season but failed to record a catch with better quarterbacks at the
HBCU Game and had multiple drops in the NFLPA Game. While he is very
athletic we believe he is an outstanding track guy who just isn’t a
football player right now. We are also concerned about the fact he
failed a drug test in 2009 and missed the season. The explanation we
have received there doesn’t add up either. We will see though… To sum
it up he is rising on the boards of NFL teams but his lack of
production with his athletic ability causes concern and makes us feel he
is a track/workout shorts athlete but just not a football player right
now. If being a great athlete in workout shorts makes you a guy to
develop every time then we want Usain Bolt on our team because he has
better speed numbers than anyone out there.
All of the projected guards will need
to bulk up to be average among NFL guards while they all were solid in
drills none of them really stood out.
Did not put Pat Devlin in risers but
he had a solid workout. Just didn’t look like a riser compared to Portis
but don’t be fooled, he has good numbers among his position.