Yesterday at the combine, the skill positions on the offensive side of the ball took the field. I was on hand and had a chance to do some scouting of my own on the prospects. While the quarterbacks underwhelmed as a whole, the receivers impressed me. The class is deep at the position and I was intrigued by quite a few prospects. Here are some players who caught my eye
Sammy Watkins, Clemson: Watkins separated himself from the rest of the competition yesterday, proving he's ready to be a number one receiver in the NFL. Everything Watkins did looked effortless and smooth, running great routes, showing good acceleration and steady hands. His forty time was good at 4.43 as well. Watkins will be a top ten pick.
Mike Evans, Texas A&M: Evans flashed good enough speed to end concerns about his ability to create separation. He has been working on his route running the past two months, it it showed. His routes looked better than some of what you will see of him on game tape. He looks like he's becoming to be a consistent route runner.
Jordan Matthews, Vanderbilt: Matthews came in moved up on boards in round two. He showed good footwork on routes and had no trouble getting to overthrown balls. His 4.46 forty time was a really good one for a 6-3 200 plus pound prospect.
Kelvin Benjamin, Florida State: Benjamin didn't have the best forty at 4.61, but was still solid in drills. His routes looked good at times, and I like his acceleration. Matthews and Evans had better days.
Odell Beckham Jr, LSU: Beckham started boosting his stock right away after running a 4.43 forty. This is not a surprising time, but better than expected. He looked the most fluid in the gauntlet drill aside from Watkins. I like his straight-line speed, he could be a bit of a burner. Beckham may be drafted in round one.
Brandin Cooks, Oregon State: Cooks posted the best forty for a receiver with a time of 4.33. Cooks also did well in drills, tracking the ball well. He's a bit undersized but is tough and has good hands. How he is used in the NFL will be determined by how he is used. If a team gets creative with Cook, he could become a Percy Harvin type receiver in the NFL.
Blake Bortles, UCF: Looked good but decided to play it safe with many of his throws. He didn't do much to move ahead of Teddy Bridgewater and Johnny Manziel on anyone's draft board. He did deliver a few beauties on deep routes. The comparisons to Ben Roethlisberger and Bortles are warranted as I feel Bortles has a similar skill set to Big Ben.
A.J. McCarron, Alabama: McCarron's day was on par with that of Bortles. He delivered a lot of quality passes all over the field. He delivers the ball with confidence, without hesitation and should be able to adjust to NFL action. He should be locked in as a round three or four choice. I view him as a quality backup at the very least, with starter upside.
Jimmy Garoppolo, Eastern Illinois: Garoppolo's rise ascended a little more after yesterday's performance. He showed his arm strength, peppering balls with zip. He may not have a cannon, but did deliver as fast of throws as anyone there. I thought Garoppolo would deliver a faster forty than 4.97, but that won't his stock. He may have entered himself into the round two discussion for a quarterback-needy team.
Logan Thomas, Virginia Tech: The Hokies quarterback showed athleticism, running a 4.61. When it was time to throw in drills, he displayed a strong arm and good footwork. When he missed on a throw, it was because he threw too deep, he will have to work on his accuracy but I see potential.
Connor Shaw, South Carolina: Shaw is another running quarterback, posting a 4.66 forty. Shaw was quite inaccurate towards the beginning of the session, but picked it up towards the end. His performance was okay, he didn't stand out at all, as Thomas did.
Stephen Morris, Miami (FL): Morris looked like the combine was even too big of a stage for him. He never has looked like a player that throws the ball with confidence, hesitant on nearly every throw. Morris is far too inaccurate for the 49ers to consider, and in his case, I don't think that will be fixed by any coach.
Tajh Boyd, Clemson: Boyd was his usual inaccurate self, displaying a decent arm but inconsistent. He didn't help his draft stock much and see him as a sixth round choice or later.