INDIANAPOLIS – A few more observations from Indianapolis as NFL Scouting Combine week continues:
- If you were to select a quarterback on just how comfortable they appeared before the media on Thursday, Dak Prescott (Mississippi State) would be your man. He appeared to handle the stage better than Jared Goff (Cal) and Connor Cook (Michigan State), who both were on the defensive taking questions. I thought that Christian Hackenberg (Penn State) helped himself as well with his personality and demeanor.
- Loved the answer Ezekiel Elliott (Ohio State) gave to the media when asked what sets him apart from the other running backs in this draft: "My versatility. I'm a guy that can play three downs. You don't have to take me off the field. I value blocking more than anything. I obviously love to run the ball and I think I have great hands out of the backfield." Say what you want about the value of the running back in the draft – this kid is a difference maker and if I was running a draft I'd take him in the top five. Just a bit of a history lesson: in the 2012 NFL Draft, the Cowboys had a running back as the third overall player on their board so maybe we see Elliott in the same spot.
- A receiver that I like currently in the third round is Pharoh Cooper (South Carolina). On some of our early The Draft Show broadcasts we talked about who Cooper might be compared to in the NFL. Both Dane Brugler and I thought that his game would compare to Randall Cobb of the Packers. When asked who he idolized growing up, Cooper mentioned Percy Harvin then during his freshmen year in college he started watching Cobb a lot and liking his game. It's a very fair comparison between the two players in the way their games translate.
- Where I am working from at the Combine is right next to Podium A in the media work room. Over the past two days I have seen and heard plenty from the various general managers and head coaches from around the league on various topics. If there was one of these types that I enjoyed listening to the most it has to be Bruce Arians of the Arizona Cardinals. I love what Arians said on the trends with these college spread offenses. He said these offenses promote a lack of fundamentals especially with the linemen. Arians said NFL teams are having to go back and teach these linemen how to once again get in a three-point stance. It was something that teams never had to do before. In Arians' words, "The athletes are much, much better but the fundamentals are worse than they've ever been." It's a serious problem when you are trying to project where to select these players in the draft.[embeddedad0]
- Count me surprised that running back Derrick Henry (Alabama) was able to generate the bench press numbers he was able to get on Wednesday. Henry was able to throw up 22 reps at 225 pounds which was two more than what offensive tackle Taylor Decker (Ohio State) was able to complete. Henry is a big guy at 6-2, 247, but I would have thought he would have waited until his Pro Day at Alabama and he would have completed 3 to 5 less reps. Call this a nice start to his Combine.