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Scout's Eye: RB Workouts, Surprise Performances & An Impressive Tight End

INDIANAPOLIS – After another long day at the Indiana Convention Center, here are a few of my top notes from the proceedings.

We finally got to see some on-field workouts today, after a four-day wait. The running backs and offensive linemen were put through their paces, while wide receivers and tight ends met with the media over the course of the afternoon.

Here are my top six impressions from the drills, as well as Friday's interviews:

  • Count me as one of those scouts that wasn't concerned about LSU RB Leonard Fournette only jumping 28.5 inches on his vertical jump. There is plenty of tape where you can see him show explosiveness in the way he plays. His time of 4.51 in the 40-yard dash at somewhere between 235-240 pounds is actually all you really needed to see.
  • Alabama OT Cam Robinson is a much better athlete than I was willing to give him credit for. At 6-6, 322 pounds I was expecting these drills to be tough for him -- but that wasn't the case at all. He was completely comfortable with what they asked him to do when it came to movement in space. There was no tightness or stiffness in the way he executed the drills. His 1.78 10-yard split was fifth-best of all the offensive linemen that worked in the morning drills.
  • On Thursday's night The Draft Show Poll we asked if fans would be happy or disappointed if Stanford RB Christian McCaffrey was the Cowboys' first-round selection at No. 28. An overwhelming 72 percent responded that they would disappointed if in fact he was selected. I wonder, after watching him work out with the running backs, if they would now change their minds. I can't remember a time where a player under these conditions had the type of day that he did. His skill set was on full display for all those in attendance. I had questions about him going in the first round, but there is no doubt he will.
  • I had to smile when I heard Michigan TE Jake Butt give a scouting report on Jason Witten. "Dependable, traditional tight end that will block. Savvy, knows how to get open." If things don't work out for Butt as a player he surely has a future in the scouting world. I wonder if being a traditional tight end means you're old. On a side note it appears that Butt is ahead of schedule on his rehab of his injured knee, which means he will likely be selected more sooner than later.
  • Really interesting tip by former NFL Scout Daniel Jeremiah, now working for The NFL Network, on Florida OT David Sharpe. I have him as a fourth-round prospect currently on my board, but I had no idea about his condition of being legally blind in his right eye. There were snaps where he was clearly late getting himself in position to block, which now makes sense. In 1992, during my first draft, there was an offensive tackle named Bob Whitfield that the Falcons took in the first round that was also blind in his right eye. Whitfield played with his condition until he retired after the 2006 season.
  • It never fails when I come to the Combine and a player works out – and then I have to go check out his tape. TCU OT Aviante Collins now falls in that category. His 4.81 40-yard dash and 34 bench press reps at 225 were impressive to say the least. It appeared that he got a little nicked up during the drills and was unable to complete the entire workout, which was disappointing. If he had a chance to finish he would have likely been the top testing offensive lineman for the Combine.
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