It’s the day before the first full day of workouts at the 2015 NFL combine. So what’s the skinny as the offensive linemen and tight ends prepare to take the field at Lucas Oil Stadium? Here’s the latest I’m hearing with some additional notes on the free agent corners as well as Jadeveon Clowney.
I’ve spoken with a number of people since the Senior Bowl who have openly said there is serious concern over Jadeveon Clowney’s future. A variety of opinions have come from numerous sources, including those close to the Texans. I’ve heard everything from don’t expect much from Clowney in 2015 to the belief he may struggle to ever regain full health from the microfracture surgery. The reasoning for the latter is Clowney underwent the procedure at an early age.
The other big story brewing during the opening days of the combine centers around free agent cornerbacks. The belief is available corners will be overpaid in free agency as the demand at the position will far outstrip the supply. Sources tell me a number of teams (New Orleans Saints, Chicago Bears) may look to sign a pair of corners in free agency, the need is so great. They also point to the New England Patriots as a team who won the Super Bowl with the help of two free agent corners, Darrell Revis and Brandon Browner.
On Monday I pointed to D.J. Humphries as the offensive lineman who’ll leave the combine with biggest bump in his draft stock. I’ve been told Humphries has more than 20 team interviews scheduled in Indianapolis. Not to far behind is Jeremiah Poutasi with 17.
I’m not overly keen on the tight end class but watch Jean Sifrin from UMass. He was a surprise junior entry but his game film reeks of upside potential. I’m told there’s a chance Sifrin runs in the 4.5’s, which would likely be the fastest time of the non move/H-back tight ends (aka, the Wes Saxton types).
Another junior tight end likely to impress with his athletic numbers is Tyler Kroft of Rutgers. Still suffering the remnants of a high ankle sprain which he incurred during the season, Kroft is not 100% but could still break into the 4.6’s in the forty. Known primarily as a pass catcher, it must be pointed out Kroft’s blocking improved as the season progressed in 2015.
Jesse James of Penn State is the third underclassmen tight end to watch tomorrow. James measured 6-7/262lbs and could get into the low 4.7’s during his forty and over 35-inches on the vertical jump. I’m told James has also run good shuttle times in training.
Nick O’Leary of Florida State plans to participate in the complete combine workout if his hamstring holds up. You may remember O’Leary hurt his hamstring during pre-game warm-ups at the Rose Bowl six weeks ago which forced him to take a different approach to combine training.
I’m not hearing good things about Randall Telfer of USC. Dating back to the NFLPA game I was told the tight end is out of shape and does not seem serious about the pre-draft process.