The combine is done and over with for 2014. It was a week that helped some prospects, while it hurt others. While game film, pro days, team interviews, and individual workouts are all very important, the combine is still a big factor in the evaluation of players. On the offensive side of the ball, some players stood out, while others fell short of how they were expected to perform.
QB A.J. McCarron, Alabama: McCarron had a solid day throwing, showing good accuracy and arm strength. McCarron also had above average footwork and his release was quick. McCarron could come off the board in round three or later.
QB Logan Thomas, Virginia Tech: If the 49ers liked Colin Kaepernicks combine results, there must have been some of Thomas performance that they should also find intriguing. Thomas stands 6'5", weighs 248 pounds, and guess what his forty time was? 4.61. Big and fast is something the 49ers should look for on their search for another backup quarterback. But can Thomas throw? Yes. He does have accuracy concerns at times, but also delivers some very accurate and strong armed throws.
RB Dri Archer, Kent St: When you run a 4.26, you automatically get put in the winners column. This league loves speed and there's no doubt Archer boosted his stock and made a lot of coaches that didn't know his name remember his name now.
WR Odell Beckham Jr., LSU: Beckham's forty of 4.43 started off the day on the plus column, and it only got better from there for him. In the gauntlet drill, Beckham showed that he's a fluid route runner with good hands even when he's running at a high speed. His stock rose after the performance, as it was just a peg below that of Sammy Watkins.
WR Brandin Cooks, Oregon State: Cooks had the best forty time, clocking in at 4.33. In the drills portion, he looked very similar to Beckham in terms of route running and speed. Some of the routes he ran had me thinking that he could be a nightmare for opposing defenses if he continues to up his game. Enough potential is there to suggest Cooks can have success in the NFL as a gadget player, at the very least.
WR Tevin Reese, Baylor: Reese stood out to me the entire day. He had the best broad jump at 132 inches and vertical jump at 41 inches. He also has good legs, with a 4.46 forty. I was impressed with his route running and ball skills in drills and believe his stock is rising after the performance. Don't be surprised if Reese leap frogs some more well name receivers, he's better than his current draft grade may indicate.
WR Sammy Watkins, Clemson: Watkins was the number one receiver heading into the combine but his performance was memorable and impressive. It solidified his chances of being drafted in the top ten. I expect Watkins to go in the top 7 picks. While this draft is deep at receiver, Watkins is the only receiver I see as a sure-fire number one receiver in the NFL.
WR Donte Moncrief, Ole Miss: After further review, Moncrief is a freak. The 6'2" 221 lb receiver ran a 4.40 forty, to go along with a 39.5 inch vertical and 132 inch broad jump, all impressive numbers. Moncrief also did well in drills and has a chance at being a starting receiver as a rookie for a team that needs help at the position.
OT Greg Robinson, Auburn: Robinson could be a freak of nature. At 6'5" and 332 lbs, Robinson ran a 4.92 forty. His long arms (35") should serve him well in the NFL, as he has a lot of power to go along with 'em. He put up 32 reps at the bench press, which is a very good number for a guy with those long arms.
Other Winners: WR Mike Evans (Texas A&M) , WR Jordan Matthews (Vanderbilt), and QB Jimmy Garoppolo (Easterin Illinois).
WR Jalen Saunders, Oklahoma: Saunders performance fell flat. He dropped too many passes in drills and his route running left a lot to be desired. He had a speedy forty time of 4.44, but that was about the only thing he excelled at.
WR Jarvis Landry, LSU: Landry had a bad forty, 4.77, the slowest time for a receiver. That time could have some teams shying away from him, as this class is loaded in talent at the position with other good and faster options. Though he's included in the losers, Landry is not a loser in my eyes when May comes around. He is a talented receiver who is a little faster than his forty may indicate. Landry has also been known to have reliable hands and is of the Anquan Boldin mold when it comes to catching balls when you're covered.
QB Tajh Boyd, Clemson: Boyd had a great opportunity to boost his stock but came up way short of doing that. Many inaccurate throws were scattered all across the field by Boyd, he clearly was outmatched by his competition.
WR Kevin Norwood, Alabama: High hopes I had for Norwood coming into the day, but his film at the company doesn't lie. Norwood didn't run routes very well and dropped a lot of catchable passes.
Johnny Manziel and Teddy Bridgewater, Texas A&M and Louisville: C'mon guys. You really could have thrown. If you think you're the best it should be no problem throwing a football around for a little while. Isn't that what competition is all about? Throwing at the combine sounds fun. I wish I had the opportunity to turn down throwing at the combine, but if I had the choice, I'd be throwing that football.