DavisWhile most concentrate on forty times and bench press results at the combine its the medicals and interviews which are that two most important categories this week. Medicals can break a prospect while the interview process is critical. Several well named prospects are about to find that out.

 

 

While I gushed over the performance of Carl Davis during the Senior Bowl, and justifiably so, sources tell me the defensive lineman will be asked hard questions at the combine surrounding his pedestrian production and the belief he occasionally took plays off. This should come as no surprise as I listed Davis as a Week Four Slider because of poor production. The answers scouts receive could determine whether or not Davis lands in the first round. Does a team overlook poor production in favor of dominant skills and potential? Or does inconsistent play raise red flags?

Talking about medicals, I’m told team doctors at the combine will closely inspect Bryce Petty’s back as there has been some concern surrounding previous issues.

Right now I’m told there’s a wide opinion on where Jay Ajayi ranks amongst ball carriers. Some teams grade the Boise State junior as the second or third rated running back on their board while others have him listed as low as the eight or ninth back. For the record Ajayi is our third rated running back.

Trae Waynes looks like a physical beast on the field and he’ll have a chance to prove as much come Sunday. I’m told Waynes has been running in the 4.3’s during training and could complete more than 20 reps on the bench press. The only cornerbacks to complete more than 20 reps last year included Jaylen Watkins (22) and Keith Reaser (22).

On paper this looks to be one of the best running back draft’s in a long time but will the ball carriers slip through the cracks come late April? A number of people tell me the rich crop of veteran backs available in free agency next month, many who won’t command high salaries, could result in a few of the 2nd/3rd/4th round backs sliding deeper into the draft than many suspect.

MarpetA week and a day earlier than usual, the 2015 NFL Combine kicks off in just four days with the offensive linemen taking to the turf at Lucas Oil Stadium. So what’s the latest word on the blockers as the football world descends upon Indianapolis? Here are five stories to keep an eye on.

 

 

 

 

Which offensive lineman will leave the Indianapolis with significantly improved draft grades? I’d gamble on D.J. Humphries of Florida. I presently grade Humphries as a 3rd rounder, earlier than most, but the feeling is he could move even higher with a good combine performance. Scouts believe Humphries is one of the most athletic tackles in this years class and holds as much upside as any of the top rated blockers. Playing the year at 280-pounds, he presently tips the scales at just over 300-pounds and is being tutored by former New York Giant offensive lineman William Roberts. Expect not only good testing marks from Humphries but a solid performance in position drills as his ability to effortlessly move about the field and change direction will surely impress.

Another junior offensive lineman I expect to leave the combine with a buzz is Utah junior Jeremiah Poutasi. The Utes starting left tackle the past two seasons after manning the right side as a freshman, most teams grade Poutasi at guard with some now referring to him as Mike Iupati Jr. I graded Poutase as an early third round pick and have been told scouts rate him much higher than those on the outside (media).

Many grade T.J. Clemmings as a mid-first round choice but it’s an opinion those affiliated with the league never shared. Sources told me the early first round grades placed on Clemmings were unwarranted and set up unreasonable expectations at the Senior Bowl. Most now believe Clemmings needs a strong combine performance and pro-day to stay in the first round. And though the short term picture may not be as rosy as some predict, league insiders all feel Clemmings best football lay ahead as he’s still learning to play on the offensive line. There’s also a belief Clemmings could start his pro-career at guard, something I’ve said all along, before being kicked outside to tackle.

Another top rated blocker who needs to turn in a good combine performance is Tyler Sambrailo. The Colorado State tackle struggled at times during the Senior Bowl and teams came away questioning his functional football strength. On the other hand his athleticism is not a concern (still remember watching as Sambrailo caught a touchdown pass last season). Sambrailo may not have the fastest forty time on Friday but check and see how his shuttle and 3-cone times stack up against the rest of the offensive linemen. There’s still a chance Sambrailo slides into the late part of round one. I previously posted on the Seattle Seahawks admiration for Sambrailo and now hear the Green Bay Packers are in the mix. The team could lose Bryan Bulaga via free agency in the coming weeks and the feeling is Sambrailo’s athleticism and ability to easily move around the field makes him a perfect fit for the Aaron Rodgers led Packers.

After his sensational performance at the Senior Bowl a lot of eyes will be on Ali Marpet in Indianapolis. The Hobart product has been working with former All Pro Bob Whitfield, who’s taken to the small school lineman. I’m told teams are struggling how to grade Marpet and at what position. Most teams have listed him at guard or center, with a few slotting Marpet at the right tackle spot. Almost no one has listed him as a left tackle as arm length is a concern (calling Jeff Backus!). Expect Marpet to put up solid not sensational numbers this week (5-second forty, 30-reps on the bench). I’m told Hobart will try and hold their pro-day on March 26th, the same day Syracuse is hosting NFL teams. The plan is for Marpet to workout early in the morning before scouts make the one hour drive to Syracuse, who has denied Marpet the opportunity to participate in their pro-day.

HackettRankings and ratings for 167 defensive backs.

Cornerbacks

Rnd

Name

School

Yr

1st

Trae Waynes

Michigan State

4Jr

1st

Ifo Ekpre-Olomu

Oregon

4Sr

1-2

Marcus Peters

Washington

4Jr

2nd

P.J. Williams

Florida State

3Jr

2nd

Kevin Johnson

Wake Forest

5Sr

2nd

Quinten Rollins

Miami-Oh

5Sr

3rd

Jacoby Glenn

Central Florida

3So

3rd

Alex Carter

Stanford

3Jr

3rd

Ronald Darby

Florida State

3Jr

3rd

D’Joun Smith

Florida Atlantic

4Sr

3rd

Senquez Golson

Mississippi

4Sr

3-4

Steven Nelson

Oregon State

4Sr

3-4

Jalen Collins

LSU

4Jr

4th

Kevin White

TCU

5Sr

4-5

Doran Grant

Ohio State

4Sr

5th

LaDarius Gunter

Miami-Fl

5Sr

5th

Charles Gaines

Louisville

4Jr

6th

Byron Jones

Connecticut

5Sr

6th

Deshazor Everett

Texas A&M

4Sr

6th

Nick Marshall

Auburn

4Sr

6th

Julian Wilson

Oklahoma

5Sr

6-7

Eric Rowe

Utah

4Sr

6-7

Donald Celiscar

Western Michigan

4Sr

6-7

Quandre Diggs

Texas

4Sr

6-7

Craig Mager

Texas State

5Sr

7th

Jacorey Shepherd

Kansas

4Sr

7th

Cam Thomas

Western Kentucky

5Sr

7th

Josh Shaw

USC

5Sr

7-FA

Bobby McCain

Memphis

4Sr

7-FA

Tye Smith

Towson

4Sr

FA

Troy Hill

Oregon

5Sr

FA

Justin Coleman

Tennessee

4Sr

FA

Imoan Claiborne

Northwestern State

5Sr

FA

Damian Swann

Georgia

4Sr

FA

Lorenzo Doss

Tulane

3Jr

FA

Ronnie Vinson

Tennessee State

5Sr

FA

Tim Scott

North Carolina

4Sr

FA

Bernard Blake

Colorado State

5Sr

FA

De’Ante Saunders

Tennessee State

4Sr

FA

C.J. Roberts

CSU-Pueblo

5Sr

FA

Justin Cox

Mississippi State

4Sr

FA

Stephen Godbolt III

Webber International

5Sr

FA

Cariel Brooks

Adams State

4Sr

FA

Garry Peter

Clemson

5Sr

FA

Deandre Jones

Wyoming

4Sr

FA

Tevin Mitchel

Arkansas

4Sr

FA

Wayne Lyons

Stanford

4Sr

FA

Axel Ofori

Maine

5Sr

FA

Jeremiah Johnson

Maryland

5Sr

FA

Randall Evans

Kansas State

5Sr

FA

Timothy Bennett

Indiana

4Sr

FA

Brandon Reddish

Syracuse

4Sr

FA

Gegory Henderson

Colorado

4Sr

FA

Cody Riggs

Notre Dame

5Sr

FA

Robertson Daniel

BYU

4Sr

FA

Stephan Dickens

CSU-Pueblo

5Sr

FA

Eric Patterson

BallState

4Sr

FA

Terell Floyd

Louisville

4Sr

FA

Raymon Taylor

Michigan

4Sr

FA

Jonathon Mincy

Auburn

5Sr

FA

Dexter McDonald

Kansas

5Sr

FA

Valdon Cooper

Georgia Southern

4Sr

FA

Norman Hayes

Harvard

4Sr

FA

Richard Leonard

Florida International

4Sr

FA

Isiah Wiley

Bellhaven?

5Sr

FA

Jamerson Love

Mississippi State

5Sr

FA

Nick Waisome

Florida State

4Sr

FA

Curtis Riley

Fresno State

5Sr

FA

Deonte Flowers

Montana State

4Sr

FA

Adrian James

UTEP

5Sr

FA

Corey Trim

La-Lafayette

4Sr

FA

Detric Allen

East Carolina

5Sr

FA

Jimmy Jean

Alabama-Birmingham

4Sr

FA

Al-Hajj Shabazz

West Chester

5Sr

FA

Travis Manning

Northwest Missouri

6Sr

FA

Ian Williams

Fordham

5Sr

FA

Tyree Hollins

Grambling

4Sr

FA

Charles Garrett

Nevada

5Sr

FA

Anthony Robey

Temple

5Sr

FA

Jordan Johnson

BYU

5Sr

FA

Saqwan Edwards

New Mexico

5Sr

FA

Drequan Hoskey

Virginia

5Sr

Safety

Rnd

Name

School

Yr

1st

Landon Collins

Alabama

4Sr

2nd

Chris Hackett

TCU

4Jr

3rd

Cody Prewitt

Mississippi

4Sr

3-4

Derron Smith

Fresno State

5Sr

4th

Kurtis Drummond

Michigan State

5Sr

4th

Durell Eskridge

Syracuse

4Jr

4th

Jaquiski Tartt

Samford

5Sr

4-5

Anthony Harris

Virginia

4Sr

5th

James Sample

Louisville

3Jr

5th

Anthony Jefferson

UCLA

5Sr

6th

Jordan Richards

Stanford

4Sr

6th

Ibraheim Campbell

Northwestern

5Sr

6th

Gerod Holliman

Louisville

3So

6th

Kyshoen Jarrett

Virginia Tech

4Sr

6-7

Jermaine Whitehead

Auburn

4Sr

6-7

Ronald Martin

LSU

4Sr

7th

Braylon Webb

Missouri

5Sr

7th

Clayton Geathers

Central Florida

5Sr

7th

Isaiah Johnson

Georgia Tech

5Sr

7-FA

Adrian Amos

Penn State

4Sr

7-FA

Detrick Bonner

Virginia Tech

5Sr

FA

Dean Marlowe

James Madison

5Sr

FA

Damarious Randall

Arizona State

5Sr

FA

Tevin McDonald

Eastern Washington

5Sr

FA

Mykkele Thompson

Texas

4Sr

FA

Nick Perry

Alabama

5Sr

FA

Dechane Durante

Northern Illinois

5Sr

FA

Ryan Murphy

Oregon State

5Sr

FA

Damian Parms

Florida Atlantic

4Sr

FA

Sam Carter

TCU

5Sr

FA

Tra’Mayne Bondurant

Arizona

4Sr

FA

Howard Matthews

Texas A&M

4Sr

FA

Fritz Etienne

Memphis

5Sr

FA

Corey Cooper

Nebraska

5Sr

FA

Colten Heagle

North Dakota State

5Sr

FA

Erick Dargan

Oregon

5Sr

FA

Floyd Raven

Texas A&M

4Sr

FA

Michael Lowe

California

5Sr

FA

Gordon Hill

Sacred Heart

4Sr

FA

Jarrick Williams

Alabama

5Sr

FA

Brison Williams

South Carolina

4Sr

FA

Ty-Meer Brown

Boston College

5Sr

FA

Daniel Fitzpatrick

Tennessee State

4Sr

FA

Matthias Farley

Notre Dame

5Sr

FA

Demarco Nelson

Tulsa

5Sr

FA

Julien David

Howard

5Sr

FA

Earnest Thomas

Illinois

5Sr

FA

Lorenzo Waters

Rutgers

5Sr

FA

Brandon Cheaton

Missouri State

4Sr

FA

Robenson Therezie

Auburn

4Sr

FA

Sharrod Golightly

South Carolina

5Sr

FA

Emmanuel Johnson

Southern Mississippi

4Sr

FA

Craig Bills

BYU

4Sr

FA

Jeremy Ioane

Boise State

5Sr

FA

Cedric Thompson

Minnesota

4Sr

FA

Avery Sebastian

California

4Sr

FA

Caleb Schaffitzel

Missouri State

4Sr

FA

Adam Redden

Buffalo

4Sr

FA

Jacob Hagen

Liberty

5Sr

FA

John Lowdermilk

Iowa

4Sr

FA

Alan Turner

Arkansas

5Sr

FA

Keenan Lambert

Norfolk State

5Sr

FA

Ashely Lowery

Kentucky

4Sr

FA

Quentin Hayes

Oklahoma

5Sr

FA

Mark Murphy

Indiana

4Sr

FA

Austin Collinsworth

Notre Dame

5Sr

FA

Tyrequek Zimmerman

Oregon State

4Sr

FA

Justin Halley

Florida International

5Sr

FA

Justin Currie

Western Michigan

4Sr

FA

Peniel Jean

Wisconsin

5Sr

FA

Joe Sarnese

Villanova

4Sr

FA

Robert Smith

Clemson

4Sr

FA

Ace Clark

Western Carolina

5Sr

FA

Demarkus Perkins

Florida International

5Sr

FA

Landon Feichter

Purdue

4Sr

FA

Harold Jones-Quartey

Findlay

4Sr

FA

Johnathan Shuler

Austin Peay

4Sr

FA

Matt Hermanson

Montana

4Sr

FA

Jared Tevis

Arizona

4Sr

FA

Lyndell Johnson

Tarleton

4Sr

FA

Tevin Carter

Utah

4Sr

FA

Taylor Richards

Purdue

4Sr

FA

A.J. Hendy

Maryland

4Sr

FA

Chris Calloway

Ball State

4Sr

FA

Sterling Young

Arkansas State

5Sr

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