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The NFL Draft Combine started this past Sunday in its usual home of Indianapolis, Indiana. The combine will run through to next Monday. It’s an important chance for teams to get one last look at this year’s draft prospects.
It’s even more important for the players being tested. Every year, players drop and move up on teams drafted based on their performance at the combine.
This year will be no different and there will be plenty of players to watch out for to see whether or not they can make the most of their opportunity.
Naturally, one of the biggest focuses of everything NFL these days is the quarterbacks. There are a few top prospects this year that are expected to go into the first round.
The three biggest names are Joe Burrow out of Louisiana State, Tua Tagovailoa out of Alabama and Justin Herbert out of Oregon.
After his championship-win this past season, Joe Burrow quickly became the favorite to be the number one overall pick which belongs to the Cincinnati Bengals. However, some questions have arrived for the prospect.
For one, in measurements, he had the smallest hands of all the top QBs. Does this matter…well, maybe, they measure hands for a reason, but history tells us no. Secondly, rumor has it that Burrow doesn’t want to play in Cincinnati and will try pulling an ‘Eli Manning’ to get out. Lastly, he recently stated that he wouldn’t do any throwing at the combine, but it’s not really clear why he chose to do this.
The big concern for Tua is his hip. He injured his hip last season, and while it is said to be fully recovered, scouts want to be sure it’ll be ready to go for the NFL.
For Herbert, he seems to have many of the football skills, but many NFL teams are going to be questioning whether he has the off the field and leadership skills an NFL quarterback needs.
Two other QB’s to watch for will be Jordan Love out of Utah and Jacob Eason out of Washington. Eason is said to have the biggest arm in the draft but lacks NFL-like mechanics. Jordan Love is the wild-card. Some scouts see Love as Mahomes-esque, but coming from a non-premier program raises some questions for scouts.
Now, enough about quarterbacks. Let’s take a look at some of the other players to watch.
It might not be worth your time to watch edge rusher, Chase Young out of Ohio. Almost every single reputable mock draft out there has him going 2nd overall to the Redskins, and many scouts have Young as the best player in the draft.
On the other hand, pick number three for the Lions is largely up in the air. Detroit has publicly supported Matthew Stafford, but drafting quarterback might still be in play for the Lions. A stud defensive player is more likely, with guys such as Ohio State’s CB Jeffery Okudah, Alabama’s OT Jedrick Wills Jr. and Aburn’s DT Derrick Brown could be possible options for the Lions. All of those players are worth a watch because their results could move them way up and down in the draft order.
This is also a historically good draft for wide receivers. Many mock drafts predict over 10 receivers to go in just the first two rounds. The combine tends to be especially make-or-break for the skills positions like wide receivers and running backs, so measurements like the 40-yard dash and vertical jump are going to be huge for these top WR prospects.