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QB, WR, TE prospects to watch on Day 2 of the NFL Combine

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We highlight and profile the 2018 NFL draft quarterbacks, wide receivers, and tight end prospects taking the field today for their on-field workouts at the NFL Combine on Day 2.

NCAA Football: CFP National Championship Game-Alabama vs Georgia Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Yesterday, the offensive lineman, running backs, place-kickers, and special teams prospects kicked off proceedings at the 2018 NFL Combine. Today, the attention will focus on three more offensive positions: Quarterbacks, Wide Receivers, and Tight Ends. Day 2 promises to be a very exciting and intriguing day in Indianapolis as many familiar and intriguing prospects will be taking part in the combine’s drills and workouts.

2018 NFL Combine Day 2

Location: Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis, IN
Time: 6 a.m. PT
TV: NFL Network
Online Streaming: NFL.com
Day 2: Quarterbacks, Wide Receivers, Tight Ends.

At this time, last season the San Francisco 49ers had a grand total of zero quarterbacks on their roster. This year, things are a little different with Jimmy Garoppolo signed as the team’s franchise quarterback and C.J. Beathard, a third round pick last year out of Iowa, backing him up. It is safe to assume that the 49ers will be nothing more than spectators with this year’s class.

Unlike quarterback, the wide receiver position still has some question marks. It is better than previous years with veterans Pierre Garcon, Marquise Goodwin, and rookie Trent Taylor playing in expanded roles for the team. While we didn’t get to enjoy the Jimmy G to Garcon connection we did see Goodwin and Taylor’s games rise with Garoppolo under center. I like this current group, but I don’t love them…and the need for a true number one receiver is still on the to-do list for head coach Kyle Shanahan and general manager John Lynch.

The Tight End position is another part of the roster that would benefit from depth and additional talent. George Kittle, another draft selection out of Iowa from last year came along towards the end of the season when Garoppolo took over. In addition to Kittle, the 49ers tight end’s included veterans Garrett Celek, Logan Paulson, and Kyle Nelson.

While there are so many intriguing prospects to get excited about, today at all three positions, I am going to highlight 5 prospects from each position group. If there are any prospects that are not highlighted in today’s article that you are excited about seeing in action, please share in the comments below!

Below are the following workouts and drills that many of these prospects will be participating in:

40-yard dash
Vertical Jump
Broad Jump
Shuttle Run
Bench Press
10 yard split
3 cone drill
20 yard shuttle
60 yard shuttle

Quarterbacks:

How the measurable drills translate for Quarterbacks:

Drill Target Explanation

40 yd dash 4.90 Speed over distance
10 yd split 1.70 Initial quickness
225 Bench n/a Upper body strength
Vertical Jump 30″ Explosiveness
Broad Jump 9’0″ Explosiveness
20 yd shuttle 4.30 Flexibility/burst/balance
60 yd shuttle n/a Endurance
3 cone drill 7.25 Agility/COD

Drills to watch for Quarterbacks:

Passing:

How the ball is coming out of the QB’s hands.

The Quarterbacks footwork

3-Step Drop, 5-Step Drop, 7-Step Drop,

Route Tree:

Short, Intermediate, Deep throwing abilities.

Velocity, Accuracy, Touch.

How fast is the Quarterback’s release? Release Point?

40-Yard Dash

Quarterback Prospects To Watch:

Josh Rosen, QB15 - UCLA

Height: 6’4” - Weight: 210 lbs. Age: 21
Projected 40 Time: 4.70
2017 Stats: 3,717 yards, 26 touchdowns (63% passes completed), 10 interceptions.

Rosen has the physical tools and frame desired for the position. One of my favorite things about Rosen on tape is his delivery. Of all the quarterbacks I have watched these last couple of seasons, Rosen’s release is the smoothest. He makes it look easy and simple. Yet it is quick, wicked, and effective. He plays in a pro-style system, under center, and constantly goes through his reads and progressions. On multiple occasions he utilizes play action. Rosen is a quick decision maker, who can change plays on a dime, and throw defenders off balance. Rosen never panics, and stays strong in the pocket more often than not. He is not afraid to take a hit when pressure is oncoming. Of all the quarterbacks on this list, Rosen is the best of the bunch. Durability has to be the biggest concern. Last season, Rosen suffered a season ending shoulder injury involving nerve damage. Another red flag is some character concerns. Rosen is not afraid to express his views and opinions on certain topics of interest. According to sources, this has rubbed teammates and others the wrong way. Leadership can be a question as well, though I believe he has done a much better job of that this season.

Draft Projection: Top 5 Pick

Sam Darnold, QB05 - USC

Height: 6’4” - Weight: 220 lbs. - Age: 20
Projected 40 Time: 4.73
2017 Stats: 4,123 yards passing, 26 touchdowns (63 % passes completed), 13 interceptions.

It was certainly an up and down year for the USC product. It is fair to conclude that Darnold won the Trojans plenty of games this season, including a PAC 12 Championship. However, the amount of turnovers committed by Darnold is going to be hard to forget. Darnold has the look and poise you would want in a first round passer. He checks off all the boxes scouts and evaluators seek at the position. Darnold isn’t afraid to step into the pocket to complete a pass or scramble outside the pocket to extend a play. Watching his tape, Darnold consistently did a good job of not locking his eyes on one receiver. Turnovers aside, Darnold might be the most fearless passer in this draft. Has a wonderful blend of ball velocity on various short, intermediate, and deep passes. A glaring weakness, at least for me is Darnold’s unique and unorthodox release. I am concerned because of his issues with interceptions. This could be a problem at the next level where defenses are far wiser and quicker. Needs to develop more consistency throwing more balanced. On tape, Darnold took too many unnecessary hits, and needs to give himself up more...His future team will appreciate that very much!

Draft Projection: Top 10 Pick

Baker Mayfield, QB14 - Oklahoma

Height: 6’0” - Weight: 216 lbs. - Age: 22
Projected 40 Time: 4.75
2017 Stats: 4,627 yards, 43 touchdowns, (71% passes completed) 6 interceptions.

The Heisman Trophy winner had quite the season in Oklahoma. He was clearly the best player in college football, and carried his team on multiple occasions this season. A true gunslinger, Mayfield doesn’t fear throwing passes at any distance. He has that winning attitude that any coach is going to want. Winning is the only option in Mayfield’s mind. One of my favorite quarterbacks who was able to scramble and extend plays with his feet. He can dodge defenders and avoid sacks. Extremely confident and accurate making passes on the move. Demonstrated the ability to progress through his reads while not starring down his receivers. Some will question his height and physical traits as Mayfield falls short in those categories. However, so does Russell Wilson and he seems to be doing just fine up in Seattle. While he can scramble, Mayfield is most likely not going to have dual-threat abilities, and will be limited with his legs. Lastly, and probably most important, are some character concerns where Mayfield raised eyebrows with his choices and actions on more than one occasion. Still though, he is looking like a day one lock.

Draft Projection: 1st Round

Josh Allen, QB02 - Wyoming

Height: 6’5” - Weight: 233 lbs. - Age: 21
Projected 40 Time: 4.74
2017 Stats: 1,812 yards, 16 touchdowns (56% completed passes), 6 interceptions.

Josh Allen might get the award for the most talked about quarterback in this year’s draft class. This is due to the fact that many scouts and evaluators have different opinions on Allen. First, of all the passers, Allen looks the part the most physically. His frame and build are on point with what evaluators and scouts seek. His arm strength and velocity are elite, and can make the deepest of passes. Plays in a pro style offense, and under center more often than not. Has quick feet and smooth movement, and can make passes both in the pocket and on the move when the pocket collapses. It is going to get hard to get passed the fact that Allen only completed fifty six percent of his passes. On tape, on multiple occasions, the timing with his passers and the connection with his receivers was off. Allen will need to develop better consistency to find success at the next level. The passing drills will be the most intriguing to watch for Allen. The tape tells the story, and to me Allen is not a first round talent, however this is still the NFL Draft...and Allen will get the benefit of the doubt.

Draft Projection: 1st Round

Kurt Benkert, QB04 - Virginia

Height: 6’4” - Weight: 215 lbs. - Age: 22
Projected 40 Time: 4.78
2017 Stats: 3,207 yards, 25 touchdowns (58% passes completed), 9 interceptions.

Alright, so this falls under the idea of a potential passer the 49ers might be interested in towards the very back end of the draft for developmental purposes. After careful consideration, I decided to go with Benkert out of Virginia. First, he checks off all the physical traits and has a decent frame and overall size for the position at the next level. Has a lively arm, and can move the ball down field quickly. A confident and accurate deep ball passer. On tape, he did a fine job of avoiding pressure and sacks from defenders. Extended plays with his feet on a constant basis. Strong leader, who kept Virginia in most games this season. Mature, and great character on and off the field. Had issues taking care of the football, and was prone to turnovers all season. While he can escape pressure, his completion percentage dropped when asked to throw on the go. On tape, he doesn’t always read the defense and will not anticipate blitzes when they are coming. Overall, he has talent, but is far from a finished product.

Draft Projection: 7th Round-UDFA

Wide Receivers

How the measurable drills translate for wide receivers:

Drill Target Explanation

40 yd dash 4.55 Speed over distance

10 yd split 1.60 Initial quickness

225 Bench 12 Upper body strength

Vertical Jump 36″ Explosiveness

Broad Jump 10’0″ Explosiveness

20 yd shuttle 4.15 Flexibility/burst/balance

60 yd shuttle 11.4 Endurance

3 cone drill 7.00 Agility/COD

Drills To Watch for Wide Receivers:

The 40 yard dash is perhaps the most important drill for a receiver in the eye’s of scouts and evaluators. The vertical jump is an effective way to measure a prospect’s ability to spring up for those “Jump-Balls” (50/50 balls). A Broad Jump measures explosiveness and physicality evaluators seek in receivers.

40 Yard Dash

Broad Jump

Vertical Jump

3 Cone Drill

60 yard shuttle

Wide Receivers to watch:

Calvin Ridley, WO31 - Alabama

Height: 6’1” - Weight: 190 lbs. - Age: 23
Projected 40 Time: 4.47
2017 Stats: 55 receptions, 967 yards, 4 touchdowns.

The most complete receiver in this year’s draft class. Don’t let his stats scare you. Alabama has and will always be a run-first offense. Add in that Jalen Hurts was not the most proficient passer, and that explains Ridley’s stats. Ridley is a dangerous receiver in open space, and will outrun and out work cornerbacks on any route. His ability to separate himself from corners and safeties is fun to watch. When he does see the ball in these situations he is always going to be a home run threat. Ridley consistently bailed out his passer, reeling in inaccurate throws thrown his direction. Has smooth feet, and runs cleanly through his hips. Has a great spring in his feet, and will jump up for passes and will get physical with corners in one-to-one matchups. Great speed for the position, and many times on tape, Ridley left defenders unbalanced and out of position. Reliable hands from as early as his freshman season. He isn’t the most physical receiver, with his thin frame. At times on tape, Ridley was caught up and tangled on the line of scrimmage and eliminated quickly from the play. While I like his abilities to gain yards after the catch, he often will be stopped after the first contact is made. Still, Ridley has produced as well as anyone could in a heavy run-first offense and should be the first receiver off the board.

Draft Projection: Top 15 Pick

Courtland Sutton, WO36 - SMU

Height: 6’4” - Weight: 216 lbs. - Age: 22
Projected 40 Time: 4.50
2017 Stats: 1,085 yards, 68 receptions, 12 touchdowns.

Sutton will be one of the most talked about wide receivers during the 2018 NFL Draft process. Sutton checks all the boxes, offering, speed, height, physicality, strong reliable hands, and the instincts that teams seek in a first round receiver. The SMU product is a big, reliable target, who can move the chains and become a redzone threat inside the twenty. Sutton has big-play ability, and can change the momentum of a game. Plays physical, tough football, and uses his body to push off oncoming contact, and often avoids getting tied up at the line of scrimmage. Sutton could be a matchup nightmare for defensive coordinators. His speed and jump off the line have been questionable at best. Sutton is never going to burn, or take the top off of a defense. His yards after catch is almost non existent, and it appears Sutton is going to be the mix of a redzone target and possession receiver. Needs to continue building his route tree and rely less on his physical traits. He got away with it in college and wont be able to do so as much in the NFL.

Draft Projection: 1st Round.

Christian Kirk, WO17 - Texas A&M

Height: 5’11” - Weight: 211 lbs. - Age: 21
Projected 40 Time: 4.54
2017 Stats: 71 receptions, 919 yards, 10 touchdowns.

One of the most dynamic and versatile receivers in this draft class. For his height, Kirk has a great build, with a blend of strength in his upper and lower body. Can make adjustments and cuts on a dime, and throws defenders off balance. Kirk is shifty in open space, and creates momentum after the reception. Strong and reliable hands as a pass catcher. Rarely did I see Kirk drop receptions on tape. It’s still a work in progress, but Kirk has developed and expanded his route tree throughout his collegiate career. Plays tough, plays competitive, and plays through the whistle. Kirk has dual-threat value as a reliable punt and kick returner on special teams. I like his speed but I don’t love it. At times, Kirk struggles to find that Burst and jump off the line on the initial snap. Doesn’t offer a big window appeal to the passer, and so Kirk relies on passes thrown on target for success.

Draft Projection: 2nd-3rd Round

James Washington, WO39 - Oklahoma

Height: 6’0” - Weight: 205 lbs. - Age: 21
Projected 40 Time: 4.48
2017 Stats: 74 receptions, 1, 549 yards, 13 touchdowns.

The Fred Biletnikoff Award winner had four fantastic seasons for the Cowboys recording 4,346 yards and 38 touchdowns. It is clear watching his tape that Washington has a strong connection and chemistry with quarterback and teammate Mason Rudolph. Washington is known for his blazing speed, and his ability to run deep routes, stretching the field, and taking the top off of a defense. Builds speed and gets faster as the play extends. Constantly caught defenders off guard and out of position. On tape, Washington worked at various spots on the field, including the slot. My concern with Washington is that I don’t believe he has a well-defined route tree as other receivers in this league. His size is also a concern, but so was Odell Beckham Jr. when he came out of LSU. It looks like he turned out just fine with the Giants. Washington is also not the most physical receiver and at times was outworked on jump balls thrown his direction. The talent is there though, and while he isn’t a redzone threat, Washington can be lethal in the right offensive system at the next level.

Draft Projection: 2nd-3rd Round

Anthony Miller, WO23 - Memphis

Height: 5’11” - Weight: 190 lbs. - Age: 23
Projected 40 Time: 4.51
2017 Stats: 92 receptions, 1462 yards, 18 touchdowns.

One of the most exciting receivers in this class. Doesn’t get the love and attention like James Washington and Calvin Ridley due to playing in the AAC, but his play speaks for itself. He plays his best out of the slot, but many believe he can be a weapon that can be utilized all over the field. Has a strong route tree, and can make plays on the short, intermediate, and deep routes. Good speed, who can burst off the line. Miller is ultra competitive, and worked his way to the top of the depth chart after first joining the team as a walk on. On tape, he just has that mentality of wanting to outwork everyone else on the field. A good route tree, but still a work in progress. His height will leave some concerned. There is also concern with Miller’s hands, and he was prone to dropping passes throughout his collegiate career. Overall, between the drops and lost fumbles (5 in his career) Miller will need to do a much better job taking care of the football at the next level.

Draft Projection: 3rd Round

Tight Ends:

Drill Target Explanation

40 yd dash 4.85 Speed over distance
10 yd split 1.70 Initial quickness
225 Bench 22 Upper body strength
Vertical Jump 32″ Explosiveness
Broad Jump 9’6″ Explosiveness
20 yd shuttle 4.20 Flexibility/burst/balance
60 yd shuttle 11.8 Endurance
3 cone drill 7.30 Agility/COD

Drills To Watch for Tight Ends:

The tight end’s speed is essential in today’s pass-first league, so like with receivers, the 40-yard dash will be one of the more important drills for tight ends. Again, like with receivers, measuring a tight ends vertical abilities and explosiveness will be quite telling in what can potentially translate to game day capabilities, and that’s why the vertical jump and and broad jump are key drills for this position group.

40 Yard Dash
Broad Jump
Vertical Jump

Tight Ends To Watch:

Hayden Hurst, TE10 - South Carolina

Height: 6’5” Weight: 250 lbs. - Age: 25
Projected 40 Time: 4.63
2017 Stats: 44 receptions, 559 yards, 2 touchdowns.

Hurst might just be the most complete and NFL ready tight end this draft class has to offer. He isn’t going to have an electrifying highlight reel, however his overall package as a tight end is exactly what scouts look for at the position. On tape, Hurst lines up all along the line of scrimmage and runs his routes at all three levels on the field. Strong and reliable hands. Has the speed to create separation on his routes, especially up the seem in the middle of the field. Not afraid to contest catches up in the middle in traffic. A clean and reliable blocker who was effective in the run and pass game. Clean footwork as both a runner and a blocker. Age is going to be a factor (25 years old). Sometimes gets caught along the line, and route gets broken up by a linebacker that takes Hurst out of the play. Still, there is a lot to like about Hurst. In a draft class that doesn’t offer many clean and reliable blockers, Hurst is the best of the bunch. He is a fringe day one, more -than-likely day two selection.

Draft Projection: 1st Round-2nd Round

Mark Andrews, TE02 - Oklahoma

Height: 6’5 - Weight: 253 lbs. - Age: 21
Projected 40 Time: 4.75
2017 Stats: 62 receptions, 958 yards, 8 touchdowns

Recipient of the John Mackey Award for the nations best tight end. Andrews was a force in one of the most lethal offenses in the country last season. Andrews has strong, reliable hands, and was one of Baker Mayfield’s most trusted targets this season. Andrews offers big-window target appeal for any passer, especially in the red zone. Andrews has the size and speed to create separation, and produce yards after the catch. He is lethal down the middle of the field, and creates a physical presence and mismatch with many defenders. Catches passes with ease in heavy traffic. Has the physical traits and athleticism scouts and evaluators seek at the position. A glaring weakness in Andrews’ game is his ability to be a blocker. Many times on tape his form as a blocker was poor. Either that, or he simply was not utilized as a blocker, and his presence in the run game will need improvement at the next level. Andrews also has Type 1 diabetes. The 49ers need a red zone target, and added depth at the tight end position. Andrews would be a nice addition for those reasons, however he is not the complete package you hope to get in a tight end.

Draft Projection: 1st-2nd Round

Troy Fumagalli, TE06 - Wisconsin

Height: 6’6” - Weight: 248 lbs. - Age: 22
Projected 40 Time: 4.65
2017 Stats: 46 receptions, 547 yards, 4 touchdowns.

Rankings are going to be all over the place for Fumagalli. Some will agree he belongs in the top five, and some will not. His tape is one of the best I have studied at the tight end position this year. Mostly works up the middle as a pass catcher and was lethal on the intermediate routes. Can read a defense and run his routes without giving himself up early to defenders. Was a reliable blocker for Wisconsin who ran the ball heavily. Tracks the ball as well as any tight end I have studied the last couple of seasons. Strong hands, who reels in passes, even missing his index finger on his left hand. The concerns begin with that missing finger. Not surprisingly, it has left some scouts concerned. I am concerned about his frame and how he will hold up at the next level. Durability will have to be monitored. At times he will allow defenders to take away his route and even the ball altogether (See Denzel Ward vs Troy Fumagalli - Big 10 Title Game). Overall though, Fumagalli offers a wonderful combination as a pass catcher and blocker, and will bring his best effort to the field each and every time.

Draft Projection: 2nd-3rd Round

Dallas Goedert, TE08 - South Dakota State

Height: 6’4” - Weight: 260 lbs. - Age: 22
Projected 40 Time: 4.71
2017 Stats: 72 receptions, 1,111 yards, 7 touchdowns.

Goedert is slowly but surely rising up my rankings. The more tape I watch on Goedert, the more positives I am finding in his game and his abilities as a tight end at the next level. Goedert was utilized heavily as a receiver this season, and demonstrated his ability to create separation. He has demonstrated the ability to make catches at all three levels on the field. On tape, he is constantly out-boxing defenders and plays with a physical presence fighting for jump balls. He has improved in his abilities as a blocker, yet there is still room for him to grow in this department. Due to where he played (Missouri Valley Conference) some will question his ability to raise his game against much stiffer and elite competition. Needs to continue building his route tree and not lead defenders on him too quickly when the plays breaks.

Mike Gesicki, TE07 - Penn State

Height: 6’6” - Weight: 252 lbs. - Age: 22
Projected 40 Time: 4.65
2017 Stats: 57 receptions, 563 yards, 9 touchdowns

One of the fastest tight ends in this draft class. The Penn State product was a constant mismatch all season long for defenders and opponents. Has a blend of size and speed that offers him the opportunity to make catches in the short, intermediate, and deep routes. One of those rare tight ends who can change up his motion and speed to knock linebackers and other defenders off balance in pass coverages. Has a great spring in his legs and rises up for jump balls. On tape, Gesicki is confident with his movement and his abilities as a pass catcher. As reliable of a pass catcher as you will find. On tape, I couldn’t remember him ever dropping a pass! He physically has the looks of a receiver instead of a tight end. His blocking leaves something to be desired, and he will need to trust his hands more in the run game. He makes me nervous as a blocker, but gets me excited as a receiver.

Draft Projection: 3rd -4th Round

Who are YOU excited to see in action on Day 2 at the 2018 NFL Combine? Please share in the comments below!