INDIANAPOLIS – A few final notes from this year's NFL Combine, as we get ready to head back to Texas.
- I found it a little odd when watching the running backs going through their workouts on Saturday that the best time in the 40-yard dash was only 4.42, turned in by Jeremy Langford of Michigan State -- who is the last guy that I would have bet on to lead this group. Studying tape before the Combine, I would have guessed that someone like Ameer Abdullah, Melvin Gordon or Duke Johnson would have had the best time. I have a feeling that when we get to these school Pro Days that we will see better times from these players which will be more in line to how they play on tape.
- There was no surprise in how well that Phillip Dorsett of Miami ran with the wide receivers. On tape he plays like a player that can go at 4.33, which in all my years of coming to the Combine is rare. There is a long list of players that run sub-4.3's, but then you study their film and they play like they are 4.6. Dorsett is not that way at all. His timed speed is right in line with what we see when he played at Miami. There are some scouts that believe he needs to be more consistent with his overall play, but I thought he did a really nice job of catching the ball during the workout. Because of his speed I do believe there are plenty of options for him scheme-wise despite his height of 5-9. Player reminds me of a guy like Santana Moss that has played a number of years in this league.
- I am looking forward to sitting down at my desk when I get back home and studying the day of Baylor quarterback Bryce Petty. From what I was able to see from the coverage by the NFL Network, it appeared that Petty had a nice day throwing the ball. I understand that all eyes were focused on the two top quarterbacks in the draft, but there is a side of me that believes -- and this is just from watching Baylor in some games when studying other players -- Petty has a real chance to be a successful quarterback in this league. I found myself taking a page out of Kurt Warner's quarterback scouting tips and that was to focus on Petty's lower body. His footwork was tidy and he appeared to play in balance. His weight transfer was solid. I thought he threw the ball on time and with accuracy. It didn't appear that he was making these receivers have to work too much for the ball and there was plenty of power behind it. I am also looking forward to also hearing how he did in the mental side of the interviews, which is also an important part of the evaluation.
- Georgia wide receiver Chris Conley had one of the all-time great workouts, numbers-wise, in Combine history. The buzz of a 45-inch vertical jump, followed by 11-foot-7-inch broad jump puts him in rare company. Before the Combine, Conley was evaluated as having 7th-round to free agent type of talent. You have heard me say this hundreds of times and it holds true in this case -- the film does not lie. Sure, Conley turned in a workout for the ages, but the tape tells the real story and that is he is what he is. What this workout did for Conley is that on that third day of the draft, when teams are looking for a player with physical traits to draft, his workout will separate him from the others in consideration and before his workout on Saturday afternoon, he might not have had that opportunity.
- I was told by a couple of different scout buddies of mine to keep an eye on Kenny Bell of Nebraska if you are looking for a player to potentially replace unrestricted free agent Dwayne Harris. The word on Bell is that he is an outstanding special teams player and blocker, which is an area that the Cowboys could use if Harris does indeed leave for a better opportunity. Bell is taller than Harris and faster speed-wise after clocking a 4.42 on Saturday. Bell also had an impressive 41-inch vertical jump and caught the ball well in drills. Keep an eye on him as we get further along in this process.