Scout's Notebook: Who Impressed At OL & RB?

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INDIANAPOLIS – Finally, some actual results to talk about.

We've been at the NFL Scouting Combine since Tuesday morning, but Friday marked the first time that these prospects started to go through the drills that have become so famous over the years.

Friday's schedule saw the offensive linemen and running backs working out at Lucas Oil Stadium, while the quarterbacks spoke to the media across the street at the Indiana Convention Center.

Here are some notes from the workouts, as we got our first good look at these Combine prospects:

  • This is going to be an interesting battle up to the draft for who is the first offensive tackle off the board. I was impressed with both Jonah Williams from Alabama and Jawaan Taylor from Florida. I felt like neither gave an inch to the other when it came to the workout. What I like about both Williams and Taylor is that they're natural left tackles playing in a left-handed stance. When it came time for them to shift to the right side they looked just as comfortable switching to their right hand and getting out of the stance. Neither guy struggled at all with that.
  • Impressive day for Garrett Bradbury from North Carolina State. Coming into the Combine, Bradbury was my top-ranked center and he did nothing to disappoint. He showed outstanding body control and balance. There wasn't an ounce of labor in his workout. Every drill was natural with a confidence to it. If clubs were thinking about him in the second round, that idea is now out the window. If you want him, you're going to have to grab him a round earlier than that.
  • It was borderline for me whether Washington State's Andre Dillard was a first-round tackle, but after his workout, he put himself in the mix with the other top tackles in this draft. On film he's a smooth guy that rarely plays off his feet. There is an ease of movement to his game and that showed in the workout. He extremely light on his feet with a great deal of quickness. If he has an issue, he is a little tight when it comes to opening his hips to turn.
  • I have to admit I wasn't as high on Chris Lindstrom from Boston College. I didn't see the athletic ability in his film that he displayed in this workout. For a guard, I wanted to see better movement and he was able to do that. I was impressed with how he was able to stay low on his pulls, but his turn was just a little tight – although it was better than what was on his film.
  • I first noticed Erik McCoy from Texas A&M at the Senior Bowl, and I have to say he once again caught my eye with his work during the drills. In an impressive group of centers, McCoy should be given some serious consideration. His lateral slide and ability to kick wide were impressive. He was one of the few blockers that, when the rusher tried to attack his shoulder, he was able to cut him off before he got there.
  • In the running back group, the best example of "work out vs. tape" is Devin Singletary from Florida Atlantic. Singletary didn't run as well as he wanted at 4.66 and 4.69, but don't let that disappoint you if you're a fan of the player. I promise Singletary will run much faster at his Pro Day, because there will be a scout there like me who will time him at 38 yards instead of 40. This kid is a really good player and guys have survived poor Combine times to do just fine in the league. To his credit, he managed to fight through the remainder of the workout and did just fine.
  • On my board I have Texas A&M's Trayveon Williams, Memphis' Darrell Henderson and Iowa State's David Montgomery all bunched together in the third round. After the workout I feel like not much has changed there. I might have these guys a round too low, but for right now I am going to keep them there. I did like the workouts that Williams and Montgomery put together, along with the 40 time of Henderson. I would be happy with any of these guys as a backup to Ezekiel Elliott.
  • Two guys that I have to study when I get back to the Star are: Justice Hill from Oklahoma State and Miles Sanders from Penn State. Dane Brugler was trying to show me both of those guys before the Combine and I just ran out of time. I thought it was a complete day for both players. They were able to put together outstanding workouts -- not only with the 40-yard dash but catching the ball. I was super impressed with the way that both were able to adjust to the ball, especially when it was thrown down the field.
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