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Broaddus: Several Names Worth As Combine Workouts Begin
INDIANAPOLIS – Finally, at long last, we’re going to get to watch some workouts here at the NFL Combine.
This year’s offensive linemen and running backs are going to go through their drills here at Lucas Oil Stadium, as the whole NFL world watches.
As those workouts get underway, I wanted to preview a few guys I’m keeping an eye on. How they perform will help shape this year’s draft, as well as the Cowboys’ course of action. Read
- Penn State running back Saquon Barkley and Notre Dame guard Quenton Nelson take to the field as the coaches and scouts settle in this morning at Lucas Oil Stadium. Barkley and Nelson are the two top players on my board and it’s really not close. I expect both to put on a show today with the Browns, Giants, Jets, Buccaneers and Bears paying close attention.
- Keep an eye on Oregon offensive tackle Tyrell Crosby during these workouts. Crosby measured in at 6-4, 309 with 10 ¾ hands and 35 ¼ arms. Crosby is one of those prospects that played tackle in college but could project inside to guard. He’s a light-footed player that shows some body control and balance for the position. There is also some nice pop in his hands.
- In those down the line running backs, I have Miami’s Mark Walton over Tennessee’s John Kelly, but those tags are touching on my board. Both players are in that 5-9 range height-wise, but Kelly is 14 pounds heavier -- 202 to 216. Kelly is a better pass receiver out of the backfield while Walton is a better pass blocker. I will be interested to see in the workout how well Walton catches the ball. You almost have to put it right on him for him to have a chance to make the catch.
- I have to admit that I was surprised that Auburn guard Braden Smith was able to hammer out 35 reps on the bench press. I currently view Smith as a fourth-round prospect with his lack of playing strength as his biggest drawback. On his college tape he doesn’t play nearly that strong. On the flip side of that, Oklahoma’s Orlando Brown managed only 14 reps with his 35-inch arm length. Is that a red flag? Not really, because when you study Brown, you see the power. The issue for Brown is not his strength, it’s his feet -- they’re slow. My prediction for these drills is that Brown is not going to look athletic but don’t let that discourage you because the ability is there.
- Good for UTEP guard Will Hernandez. He weighed 340 pounds at the Senior Bowl, but he is now down to 327. Hernandez also threw up 37 reps on the bench, which wasn’t a surprised given how much power he shows on tape. I still have my doubts that the Cowboys would take him at 19, but if they drop back a few spots that would be more of a realistic possibility. With his weight loss, I would expect that we will see some improved movement.