IDP Corner: 2017 Pre-Combine
IT IS COMBINE SEASON!!!!!!
The fog of the NFL postseason hangover is starting to clear and it is time to start thinking about the future. The combine on-field workouts will start up on Friday, but defenders cannot display their skills until Sunday. The players who are highlighted below are big on my radar, for various reasons, some are bigger names and could be off the NFL draft board quick, while others could end up being only fringe interests after the combine.
Jayon Brown: Linebacker, UCLA
An undersized LB who can play well in coverage, something many teams are starting realize they need out of some of their linebackers. Brown won’t break into the league being a downhill blitzer, but he will find a home. His performance this week could potentially rocket him from a back-up to a starter come the beginning of the season. Going into the combine, I’d be targeting Brown in the late 3rd round or the 4th round of a dynasty rookie draft.
Zach Cunningham: Linebacker, Vanderbilt
He should end up going by the middle of the 2nd round in the NFL draft, but depending on how he does this week, the late 1st round could be possible. Cunningham can play the full width of the field, put up great numbers, and is likely the most athletic LB in this class. Pre-combine in a dynasty rookie draft, based on needs, Cunningham is one of the few IDP rookies I would consider a 1st round talent.
Jalen “Teez” Tabor: Defensive Back, Florida
Skills and performance line up beautifully with Tabor, what is worth watching with him is how teams rate him in the interviews. He has the physical prowess to be drafted well in the NFL draft. In a dynasty rookie pre-combine draft his talent supports a 2nd round pick, but personally I won’t risk drafting him at all pre-combine. The combine should shed light on if teams think he can handle the stress of the NFL. If teams get on board, then drafting him based off of his talents could make you look like a genius.
Cordrea Tankersley: Defensive Back, Clemson
One of the most senior players attending the combine this year, Tankersley should put up numbers that will justify him being drafted in the first couple of rounds in the NFL draft, but with age comes maturity and we could see him and Tabor pass each other come draft day because of the level of certainty that he will be a good locker room and off the field presence. Pre-combine target for 3rd round pick in a dynasty rookie draft.
Myles Garrett: Defensive Lineman, Texas A&M
The bell of the ball going into the combine, Garrett is currently expected to be the #1 overall pick. He would be a great fit with the defense in Cleveland, if they decide to hold on to the first pick. Why should you watch him? There is a literal ton of defensive linemen who are first round talent in this draft, if Garrett’s combine isn’t as stellar as we all expect it to be, it could shake up how the first round plays out. In a pre-combine dynasty rookie draft Garrett is 3rd round talent (late 1st if you start DL positions).
Derek Barnett: Defensive Lineman, Tennessee
Skills wise, Barnett is likely amaze no one this week. We all should be paying attention to him because, statistically over the past 3 years only Myles Garrett has put up similar numbers. Where Barnett gets drafted will not likely cause many ripples on many teams draft boards, but if he can land with a team that knows how to use him, he could be a great steal. Barnett may not be draftable in a pre-combine dynasty rookie draft in a league that doesn’t have starting DL spots, late 2nd for leagues that do have DL starters.
The real test for all of these players will be when the real draft occurs and if they end up in a place that is a good fit for their skills, until then, be on the lookout for post-combine articles, and further pre-season analysis.