NFL Combine Risers and Fallers: Offense
WR Tavon Austin, WVU-
-Austin blew up the Combine with some fantastic workouts, while looking quite smooth running routes as well. This should have answered any remaining questions about whether or no Austin is a first rounder. Now the question will be if he will still be there for some teams picking at the end of the first round who were probably targeting him.
WR Ryan Swope, Texas A&M-
-Swope came in with a highly productive reputation, but he wasn’t expected to show well in workout drills. Instead he had one of the best all-around combine’s, tying with Austin with the best 40 time among receivers. Swope did have a couple drops/double catches in positional work, but overall created a lot of buzz which could now firmly put him as a 2nd day prospect.
WR Justin Hunter, Tennessee-
-Hunter was a prospect that was sliding some after a bit of a disappointing senior year. He wasn’t expected to put up the workout numbers he did, in fact many thought his college teammate Patterson would have the better showing. Hunter proved his doubters wrong and showed that he’s a physical specimen. He should hear his name called in the 2nd round and probably moved up a few slots in the deep WR position.
WR Josh Boyce, TCU-
-Boyce was a surprise early entrant to the NFL Draft this season, as he’s had three good years, but had never dominated at the collegiate level. After his remarkable combine, it is clear that he knew what he was doing. He tested well in just about every category and looked solid in the positional drills. He may be making a case to now go in the 3rd round.
RB Christine Michael, Texas A&M-
-Michael had a rough career at Texas A&M filled with injuries and some off the field issues. Teams didn’t know what to make of him, but after a strong showing at the Combine, he has definitely earned himself consideration in the 4th round as someone with the potential to start early in his career.
RB Knile Davis, Arkansas-
-Davis had a huge 2010 season, but after missing 2011 due to an ankle injury and a disappointing 2012 his draft status was murky at best. after running a sub 4.4 40 at 227 lbs, and having one of the better bench press numbers Davis put himself back on the NFL radar. I wouldn’t expect him to go too, high, but a good Combine could allow him to go in the 5th round.
RB Rex Burkhead, Nebraska-
-Burkhead is another back who has dealt with some injuries and a disappointing 2012 season, but he made up for it with a nice Combine. Though many will point to his 4.7+ 40 time, he dominated the remaining drills, and looked good in the positional work. He’s a great fit for a zone blocking scheme, and will be a really nice late round pick-up.
QB Geno Smith, WVU-
-Geno Smith was one of the top performers in every drill he did, while also looking pretty good throwing the football. With no Matt Barkley to compare him with and none of the other QB’s seemingly ready to challenge him, he helped cement his number 1 QB status with this Combine.
QB E.J. Manuel, FSU-
-Manuel really looked good in all the drills and threw the football pretty well. I don’t think he’s any threat to Geno Smith, but this Combine should help push him into the discussion for the 3rd or 4th QB spot. He should be particularly attractive to teams looking to begin incorporating the read-option into their playbook.
OL Eric Fisher, CMU-
-Fisher is going to make a run at the top tackle spot after a big Combine and Senior Bowl week. Luke Joeckel may hold him off, but Fisher could still end up with a pick in the top 5, and should be top 10 at the worst.
OL Jonathan Cooper, UNC-
-Like Fisher, Cooper made a case to jump the top guard on most team’s draft boards. Cooper showed up really well, and definitely looks to be a better fit for zone blocking schemes (over Warmack).
OL Terron Armstead, Arkansas Pine-Bluff-
-Armstead is a smaller school guy who had a big Combine, which in conjunction with his strong East-West Shine Game week could have him moving up into the 3rd round range.
OL Lane Johnson, Oklahoma-
-Johnson doesn’t have a ton of offensive line experience, but he showcased well throughout the day at the Combine. He probably won’t challenge for the top two tackle spots, but he should be locked in as the third tackle.
OL David Quessenberry, San Jose State-
-Quessenberry looked great throughout the day in both positional and workout drills. He didn’t have much buzz during the season, but after a strong Senior Bowl showing and this, he is in the discussion of a top 100 prospect, and should go no later than the 4th round.
TE Vance McDonald, Rice-
-McDonald for his size had a tremendous Combine and looked pretty good catching the ball as well. He continues to move up TE boards, and will make a lot of teams go back and rewatch their tape of him these past few seasons.
TE Tyler Eifert, Notre Dame-
-Eifert locked up his status as the top TE in this draft with a big Combine day. He dominated just about every drill and is now a lock to be drafted in the first round.
QB Ryan Nassib, Syracuse-
-Nassib is a guy who has a good bit to like on tape, but he really needed to test well in the Combine. His speed/quickness numbers were among the worst in every drill, which is not what you want to see from a quarterback who likes to move in the pocket some. He also didn’t wow throwing the football leading to some more concerns.
RB Ray Graham, Pitt-
-Graham plays a lot faster than his 4.8 40 time, but that time will scare off quite a few teams, even with the recent success of Pitt running backs. He just didn’t have a good all-around day and it firmly places him as a day 3 (likely late day 3) prospect.
WR Cobi Hamilton, Arkansas-
-Hamilton really didn’t test well in any drill which is a real body blow for this draft stock given just how deep of a class that this is. He is falling and is probably looking more like a 6th round pick.
OL Oday Aboushi, UVA-
-During the season there was a lot to like about Aboushi, but since then a poor Senior Bowl and Combine will likely knock him firmly out of the top 100, and may keep him from going in the top 4 rounds. He will likely need to kick inside to guard at the next level, and really has a lot of question marks surrounding him heading into the final two months before the draft.
OL Menelik Watson, FSU-
-Watson is a bit of a one year wonder so he needed a strong Combine to help his stock. Unfortunately he showed that he’s not only raw, but he’s also athletically behind the curve. That makes him a much bigger risk than you want to take in the top 3 rounds. He could still find a way to go that high, but this Combine really hurt him.