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2016 NFL Combine workouts: Time, live stream, offensive linemen prospects to watch

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Niners Nation's Greg Valerio highlights the 2016 NFL draft-eligible offensive line prospects taking the field today for their on-field workouts at the NFL Combine.

With the 2015 NFL season firmly in our back seat, we begin to look forward through the early stages of draft season. We start with a sneak peak at the NFL Combine for the rest of this weekend through Monday. Although 332 draft-eligible prospects were invited to the NFL Combine, Friday is the day we see on-field workouts for running backs and offensive linemen. Since they are two distinct groups, we'll have two articles looking at prospects. We start with the offensive linemen.

How to watch

2016 NFL Combine
Location: Indianapolis, IN | Lucas Oil Stadium
Time: 6:00 AM - 1:00 PM PT
Channel: NFL Network
Live StreamNFL Now

There are four critical areas the 49ers and all other NFL teams deem important during the NFL Combine process, which are medical evaluations, one-on-one interviews, verified measurements, and agility tests and drills. For viewing NFL fans, it is the on-field drills and agility tests the NFL Combine highlights, particularly with five on-field measurable drills performed by all prospects choosing to participate. These five drills consists of:

40-yard dash
The marquee event of the combine is all about speed and explosion with the timed 40-yard interval measuring vertical speed over distance and acceleration from a static start. Prospects are also timed at 10 and 20 yard intervals (10-yard split and 20-yard split), where the 10-yard split measures initial quickness and burst, and the 20-yard split measures sustained quickness and burst.

Vertical Jump
The vertical jump is all about lower-body explosion, power, and leaping ability.

Broad Jump
The broad jump is all about lower-body explosion and lower-body strength testing explosion and balance.

3 Cone Drill
The 3 cone drill is all about the prospect's athletic ability to change direction at a high speed. The drill measures agility, flexibility, and change of direction skills (COD).

Shuttle Run
The short shuttle or 20-yard short shuttle (5-10-5) is all about testing a prospect's lateral quickness, agility, burst, flexibility, balance, and explosion in short areas.

*Bench Press
Although the bench press (225 pounds) is not part of the five on-field measurable drills performed today (bench press performed the day before), it is a crucial part of measurables testing upper-body strength (not functional strength) and endurance; moreover, it gives insight for NFL clubs on how often the prospect frequented his college weight room for the last 3-5 years.

How the measurable drills translate for offensive lineman:
When looking at the offensive lineman perform their drills today, keep in mind of some minimum measurable targets offensive lineman should be expected to target as a minimum result. For the most part, prospects exceeding these minimal targets tend to find success in the NFL.

Offensive Tackle
40-yard dash - Minimum Target: 5.30
10-yard split - Minimum Target: 1.80
Vertical jump - Minimum Target: 30"
Broad jump - Minimum Target: 8'6"
3 cone drill - Minimum Target: 7.85
20-yard shuttle - Minimum Target: 4.65
Bench press - Minimum Target: 24

Offensive Guard/Center
40-yard dash - Minimum Target: 5.30
10-yard split - Minimum Target: 1.85
Vertical jump - Minimum Target: 30"
Broad jump - Minimum Target: 8'6"
3 cone drill - Minimum Target: 7.85
20-yard shuttle - Minimum Target: 4.55
Bench press - Minimum Target: 26

As for the drills themselves in relation to predicting future success, there is not an exact science on which drill equates to NFL success; however, specific drills for each position tend to garnish more importance than other drills. For the offensive line position, the tackle position in particular, measurable drills aiding future success are: broad jump, 3 cone drill, and the vertical jump. For the guard and center positions, measurable drills aiding future success are: 20-yard shuttle, 3 cone drill, broad jump, and the vertical jump.

Tackle prospects to watch:

OL42 *Ronnie Stanley, No. 78, 6060 - 312 lbs., 35 5/8" arms, 10 5/8" hands - Notre Dame

One word in describing the junior, Ronnie Stanley, Technician! Stanley showcases a tremendous combination of size, athleticism, length, quickness, speed, and strength. Using his long arms, lateral quickness, balance, solid technique, and a quick first step, Stanley easily mirrors defenders in pass protection with an impressive smoothness to his game, and shows physicality in the run game with solid change of direction skills and improving functional strength. He also shows durability starting every game the past three seasons. Stanley is a dominate intelligent force at left tackle and arguably the best tackle in college football. He also shows the versatility to play both tackle positions. 49ers met with Ronnie Stanley Tuesday evening at the NFL Combine.

Finding weaknesses in Stanley's game is really just nitpicking. Occasionally, he will miss on some blocking angles in the run game, and there are bouts when his pad-level is too high giving up leverage, although his quickness and long arms do help him recover. He will need to increase his strength to take on the rigors of the NFL. In 2013 and 2014, Stanley allowed only one sack against some fearsome competition, and in 2015, Stanley allowed 3 sacks, 4 hits, 3 hurries, and 10 penalties with a pass block success rate of 97.3%. The 10 penalties will also need to be rectified at the next level.

Draft Projection: 1st

OL14 Taylor Decker, No. 68, 6070 - 310 lbs., 33 3/4" arms, 10" hands, 20 bench - Ohio State

Taylor Decker is a former high school basketball player showcasing an amazing combination of size, length, strength, sneaky athleticism, agility, and physicality. With his solid fundamentals, strong hands, and a fierce punch, Decker impresses with superb toughness in the run game driving defenders away, and an impressive kick-slide maintaining balance and anchoring nicely in pass protection. Shows versatility to play both tackle positions, and durability playing in all of Ohio State's games the past four seasons. In 2015, Decker allowed 2 sacks, 3 hits, 6 hurries, and 3 penalties with a pass block success rate of 96.3%.

As with all offensive lineman that have a knack for blocking out the sun, high pad level is a concern, especially when the battle of the trenches is won with leverage. Moreover, Decker is not the quickest guy off the snap, but once established he is solid displaying sound lateral movement and underrated athleticism. Decker will need to polish up on all aspects of his game for the next level, but pad level will be his primary concern. Decker is a warrior on the field, high-character athlete with tremendous poise, amazing work ethic, a weight room grinder, and bestows fantastic leadership qualities.

Draft Projection: 1st

OL41 Jason Spriggs, No. 78, 6060 - 301 lbs., 34 1/8" arms, 10 1/8" hands, 31 bench - Indiana

The athletically gifted Jason Spriggs is a former tight end known as an "athletic pass-blocking savant", allowing just 13 pressures during the 2015 campaign giving up just 2 sacks in 475 called pass attempts; moreover, he finished with 79 knockdowns in a team-high 1,074 snaps. Spriggs displays an excellent combination of size, length, speed, lateral agility, balance, quick feet, body control, and athleticism. He is not a mauler, but displays the toughness finishing blocks with his agility and quickness. Shows impressive athletic ability with quick feet, sliding laterally smoothly adjusting to movement with excellent reaction time and quickness.

Spriggs struggles with leverage, does not possess the ideal upper-body strength for the rigors of the NFL, and has an inconsistent game; nevertheless, with Spriggs elite athleticism, he is a perfect fit for a zone-heavy scheme.

Draft Projection: 2nd

Guard prospects to watch:

OL52 Cody Whitehair, No. 55, 6040 - 301 lbs., 32 3/8" arms, 10 1/8" hands, 23 bench - Kansas State

Cody Whitehair is a strong thick-built offensive lineman with tremendous power, intelligence, agility, and toughness. The very well coached Whitehair shows excellent awareness and instincts for the position, the versatility to play all over the offensive line, and the sound technique to be a force in the run and pass game. Whitehair displays excellent football instincts, great athletic ability with solid foot agility, and showcases the ability to anchor the pocket providing a protective base allowing the QB to step up in the pocket. Whitehair shows good bend and maintains solid leverage, quickness and heavy hands at the point of attack, a nice wide base, and a nasty mauler mentality that finishes his blocks.

Whitehair has a tendency to be a bit grabby, so eliminating those potential drive killers is paramount moving on to the next level. Nevertheless, Whitehair display numerous desirable skills that will make him a coveted guard prospect at the next level, arguably the best guard prospect in the draft.

Draft Projection: 2nd

OL01 Vadal Alexander, No. 74, 6050 - 326 lbs., 35 1/4" arms, 10 1/2" hands, 25 bench - LSU

Vadal Alexander showcases an excellent combination of size, strength, very long arms, and instincts. A true mauler and road grader, Alexander is very powerful athlete that plays with a nastiness. He is an exceptional run blocker, quickly engages opponents and mauls his way driving defenders with explosion and power. Shows good technique, anchors well, nice lateral movement and decent footwork in pass protection, and has a heavy and powerful punch that jolts defenders. Shows versatility in playing guard and tackle and is durable.

Alexander lacks the quickness and balance to handle edge rushers with speed and is likely projected as a guard at the next level. Moreover, he has room for improvement with his footwork and technique/hands, as well as the need to improve his tendency to be a waste-bender lunging at defenders. Alexander will thrive in a run-heavy offense; however, if he stays committed to his conditioning and continues to lose the weight improving his footwork and quickness, then his opportunity in diversifying his skill-set will likely make him highly coveted offensive lineman.

Draft Projection: 2nd

Center prospects to watch:

OL26 Ryan Kelly, No. 70, 6040 - 311 lbs., 33 5/8" arms, 9 5/8" hands, 26 bench - Alabama

Ryan Kelly has a terrific combination of size, strength, toughness, football instincts, and athleticism. An intelligent anchor on the offensive line, Kelly thrives in run-blocking utilizing sound leverage, excellent foot agility moving laterally after the snap, active hands, tremendous strength to drive defenders sealing them away from the action and opening holes finishing blocks displaying good movement reaching the second level. Kelly showcases solid quickness, athletic ability, efficient technique, anchors the pocket extremely well setting a quality base for the quarterback to climb, and nice balance when anchoring in pass protection. Tremendous leadership skills and a savvy reliable player (34 career starts), Kelly is efficient giving up no sacks this year, zero holding calls, and only one penalty received throughout the season. He's also a great fit in a zone-blocking scheme.

Projection: 2nd

OL29 Nick Martin, No. 72, 6040 - 299 lbs., 32 1/2" arms, 9 3/4" hands, 28 bench - Notre Dame

Nick Martin is the younger brother of outstanding Dallas Cowboy's All-Pro guard Zack Martin. Nick is explosive at the point of attack, blocks with leverage, a road grader in the run game with a great punch at the point of attack and solid leg push driving defenders. Martin anchors well in pass protection and showcases impressive athleticism, smarts, patience, toughness, explosive punch, and quick feet in space. He has the versatility to play guard, but his natural position is at center. In 2015, Martin allowed 1 sack, 3 hits, and 3 hurries with a pass block success rate of 98.1%.

Draft Projection: 2nd

* = indicates junior status