Thoughts from Day 1 of the Combine: OL and TE
OL La’el Collins, LSU:
-Collins had arguably one of the best day’s at the Combine and is checking “all the boxes” as they like to say. He’s got size, power, and decent footwork. He should battle (and probably will end up winning) to be the first offensive lineman taken in the draft. While the Combine definitely helps his case for playing tackle, he’s not in the same “elite” category like the Jake Long’s or Trent Williams’ types, which is why his draft range is a lot wider.
OL Brandon Scherff, Iowa:
-Brandon Scherff’s combine was cut short and he didn’t get to complete all the on the field drills, but he still helped himself at the combine. His weigh-in was in a good range and the over concern of him having too short of an arm length to play outside was disproved. Also, his 40 time and 10 yard split were very good and a big positive for him. He will battle Collins to be the top OL off the board, but again has a large range for his stock.
OL Ereck Flowers, Miami:
-Flowers came into the combine showing impressive size, had a great bench and ran a really nice 10 yard split (which is the key for OL). Unfortunately Flowers struggled big time in the on the field drills, particularly with his kick slide. Speed rushers are going to give him some issues and while it wasn’t exploited much in college, you can expect NFL teams to find a way to expose that weakness if he doesn’t improve. That will definitely give some teams pause for his projection at the next level.
OL Ali Marpet, Hobart:
-Perhaps the biggest OL “winner” was small school kid Ali Marpet. Marpet played LT in college, but projects better to guard or center. Marpet looked great in both the workout and field drills and really showed that he can be a guy who makes the transition from a small school to the NFL. After a strong Combine he is in the mix for a top 100 spot, and could quickly become a starter at the next level.
OL Cameron Erving, FSU:
-From a size/workout stand point Erving looks like a LT prospect, but he probably projects best staying inside at center. There he has a chance to dominate, and he looked well in the short area drills to reinforce that point. Different teams will probably see different things, but Erving should be a top 40 player and an early starter at the next level.
OL Jake Fisher, Oregon:
-With so much uncertainty at the OL position this is a year we could see some big time “risers”. Fisher is a guy who some people love, and after a strong Combine more people are likely getting on that “bandwagon”. Fisher did very well in all the drills and looks to be one of the few guys who could maybe be a LT at the next level. While the range is a bit wider on Fisher don’t be shocked to hear his name called in the first round when it is all said and done.
TE Maxx Williams, Minnesota:
-Maxx Williams didn’t have the 40 time that people were hoping for, but he still finished top 5 of his position and did well throughout the day. He might not have elite TE speed, but it is by no means a “negative” for him. Williams showed really well in the catching drills, and that is of course what matters most. He still is the top TE in a very weak class. He may not get selected in the first round, but should go in the top 40 picks.
TE Clive Walford, Miami:
-Walford came into the Combine as the number 2 TE and not much has changed there. He did well in the drills and has really nice size. I expected maybe a little better speed/quickness from him, but no real concerns here. He may get pushed to the 2nd round, but looks like a solid 3rd round receiver.
TE Nick O’Leary, FSU:
-Nick O’Leary is not going to wow you with his size, speed or physicality, but I did find it interesting he ran the drills without gloves and showed great hands/catching ability. Teams will take notice of that and call it a positive in light of some of the other negatives.