PITTSBURGH, PA - NOVEMBER 1: James Conner #24 of the Pittsburgh Panthers runs with the ball against the Duke Blue Devils during the game at Heinz Field on November 1, 2014 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Duke defeated Pittsburgh 51-48 in double overtime. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)

2017 NFL Combine: I’ve Got My Eye On You

The NFL Combine kicks off it’s on field drills Friday, March 3rd at 8 a.m. and rolls through Monday, March  6th. Here is the current workout itinerary by position;

Friday: Running Backs, Offensive Lineman and Special Teamers

Saturday: Quarterbacks, Wide Receivers and Tight Ends

Sunday: Linebackers and Defensive Lineman

Monday: Defensive Backs

These workouts can be seen on www.nfl.com and the NFL Network.

Dynasty season is upon us and there will be no hotter commodity than rookie picks after the NFL Draft in April. The combine is a huge part of the process and can make or break any prospect. Here are the players that I am looking forward to watching so that I can help form my evaluation of them. Who will rise? Who will fall? Tune in and find out!

Quarterback:

Pat Mahomes, Texas Tech

Mahomes is truly the wildcard among Quarterback prospects this year. The arm strength is well documented but how he tests in other drills could really boost his stock much like it did with Carson Wentz last year. I think he solidifies himself as a first round pick, how high is the question?

Deshone Kizer, Notre Dame

The former Notre Dame Quarterback measured in as the tallest prospect of the consensus top 4 in 2017 at 6’4″. I’ll be keeping an eye on his 40 yard dash time and his accuracy in the passing drills. Accuracy is something he struggled with in 2016 but was that due to constant pressure and lack of playmakers?

Running Back:

Samaje Perine, Oklahoma

The raging bull is one of my favorite prospects in this loaded running back class. He has the size at 233 pounds, I think he will show he has the speed and there is zero doubt in my mind he has the power. This man is shredded. If Perine tests well in the three cone and short shuttle he will elevate his stock significantly and will lock up his status as a top ten rookie draft dynasty selection.

Jamaal Williams, BYU

The son of a collegiate sprinter, Williams has a three down back skill set ready for the NFL. He measured in at 6’0″, 215 lbs with 10 inch hands at the combine and really needs to nail the agility drills to get his name buzzing again in this deep class of backs. I love Williams’ toughness and aggression, his legs never stop churning. His tape reminds me a little bit of Ladanian Tomlinson.

Jeremy McNichols, Boise State

Some have called McNichols the best pass catching back in this draft and while I don’t agree, he does excel in that area. I’ll be watching McNichols closely because I think he might get pigeon holed as a third down back by some scouts.  He may get drafted as such but if opportunity shows itself he may make a bigger impact in year one than anyone thinks. 314 carries for 1709 yards and 23 Td’s in his Junior year tells me he can handle the load and then some.

James Conner, Pittsburgh

I’ve saved my favorite for last. Conner is a true between the tackles bell cow type of runner. Defensive players do not like to tackle him and he never shies away from contact. I expect him to excel in all of the on field drills and wow coaches in the interview process. I cannot wait to watch him at the combine. He may be a “sleeper” now but that is about to change.

Wide Receiver:

Carlos Henderson, Louisiana Tech

Henderson is probably the most hyped prospect going into the combine over the last two weeks. Matt Harmon, of reception perception fame, has decreed Henderson as his favorite WR of this class based on his data. The Harmon bump is real and we have already seen it impact early dynasty mock drafts.  Henderson has drawn Jarvis Landry comps by some and I can see why. He’s shifty, aggressive and has quick feet. Henderson has a great opportunity to vault himself into the top five of this class.

Malachi Dupre. LSU

Victim of poor Quarterback play or sub par ability? Dupre is one of the most interesting wide receiver prospects because of these questions. I have only watched Dupre’s 2016 bowl game and in a limited sample size, I really liked what I saw. He’s a long strider that uses his body well in positioning himself to make the catch. He’s not a burner but with his height he could find himself being a red zone weapon at the next level.

Ryan Switzer, North Carolina

Switzer is going to be a great slot receiver at the next level. He should dominate the three cone drill and the short shuttle. He is as shifty as they come and draws obvious comparisons to Julian Edelman. He isn’t going to score a lot of touchdowns but should be a PPR darling if he lands with a team that gives him a shot to start.

Zay Jones, Eastern Carolina

I absolutely loved what I saw from Jones at the Senior Bowl and hope that he can continue to rise during the process. Great hands and route running ability really set Jones apart from the majority of the other wide receiver prospects. He’s also from an NFL family and from what I hear he is going to do very well in the interview process. He has a chance to get himself into the back end of the first round if he wows in his 40 yard dash.  He reminded me a bit of Allen Robinson when I watched him. He isn’t as big as Robinson but his ability to high point and out leap defenders felt familiar. The big question is going to be if he can add some weight and if he is tall enough to play outside in the NFL.

Tight End:

Jordan Leggett, Clemson

This Tight End class is the deepest in recent memory and Jordan Leggett has really flown under the radar up to this point. Leggett has an all around game and excels in running precise routes and having great hands. His combination of size and speed should have him ranked higher but he isn’t as sexy of a prospect as David Njoku or O.J. Howard. I would love to see him wind up with the Patriots in the middle rounds of the draft. That fit would boost his dynasty value ten fold.

Adam Shaheen, Ashland

Stop me if you’ve heard this before, a converted basketball player is going to be an NFL Tight End. It’s a tale as old as time. I love players from small schools as they are so easy to root for. Shaheen possesses the size and strength of your prototypical TE prospect but has some work to do in the blocking game. I’ll be watching his workouts closely at the combine. He could be the name that comes out of nowhere and becomes a household name when the combine is all said and done.

 

Thanks for reading and head over to the Trophy Time podcast tab and download or listen to our latest episode where we cover even more NFL prospects.

 

 

 

 

 

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Find me on Twitter @DaFantasyFather

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