PASADENA, CA - SEPTEMBER 24: JJ Arcega-Whiteside #19 of the Stanford Cardinal makes a catch for a touchdown past Nate Meadors #22 of the UCLA Bruins to take a 15-13 lead during the fourth quarter at Rose Bowl on September 24, 2016 in Pasadena, California. Stanford Cardinal would win 22-13. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

2019 NFL Combine: I’ve Got My Eye On You

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!

The NFL Combine kicks off it’s on field drills Friday, March 1st at 8 a.m. and rolls through Monday, March 4th. 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, NFL Network and ESPN will cover the QB/WR workouts from 1:00 to 3:00pm on Saturday the 2nd.

 

Quarterback:

Kyler Murray, Oklahoma

Murray is by far the most polarizing prospect at the Quarterback position this year. His measurables will be scrutinized and the questions about him probably won’t be answered. Is he short? Yes. Does he have small hands? Yes. Is he a winner? Hell yeah! Just like I said about Baker Mayfield last year, I’m a heart guy, and I think Murray wants to play football and succeed. He may end up being a huge outlier, but I believe. He will be the hot topic all week.

Dwayne Haskins, Ohio State

The stats are huge and Haskins should be a lock for a top ten selection come draft day. I really want to see how Haskins handles himself out of the pocket at the combine. On tape he’s purely a pocket passer and there is nothing wrong with that but in today’s NFL getting the QB out of the pocket is becoming more important in offensive schemes. The athleticism eye test for me will be a big one.

Drew Lock, Missouri

He has the size, he has the arm strength, but does he have the accuracy? That is my biggest question with Drew Lock. His tape flashes some “wow” NFL caliber throws but also features some throws that make me wince. Lock did very well against non SEC opponents last year but had 14 Td’s and 7int’s versus the SEC. Will he wow in Indy and get himself into the top 15 pick conversation? Josh Allen did it so I don’t see why not.

Will Grier, West Virginia

Grier is my favorite Quarterback that isn’t slated to get picked in the first round of this draft. He’s gritty, he’s a leader and can make some BIG time throws. The knocks on Grier will be his arm strength and personality because of some of his previous off the field issues. He had an Ok Senior Bowl week and needs to really step it up at the combine. I’ll be following along to see how his interviews go and watching his velocity in drills.

Easton Stick, North Dakota State

Cool name alert! The successor to Carson Wentz at ND State, Stick is a dual threat style QB who is a proven winner at the FCS level. In today’s NFL there may be a place for him on a roster. Think of a poor man’s Lamar Jackson when you think of Stick. He should test really well athletically. I’ll be watching the throwing drills to see if he can really STICK his throws into tight windows etc. You see what I did there?

 

Running Back:

Elijah Holyfield, Georgia

I really like Holyfield and I think he has a punchers chance to show out at the combine. He was stuck behind Nick Chubb, Sony Michel and shared a backfield with Deandre Swift in 2018. When he received the opportunity he looked really good in the power run game. He wasn’t used much in the passing game so I’ll be watching how he performs in pass catching drills. I think he’ll be a great value come dynasty draft season.

Alexander Mattison, Boise State

Who? Oh, just a productive three year player who has a three down skill set. Sixty receptions in his career perked me up a little bit. He’s not the most athletic player at first glance but he just finds a way on every play. I’ll be watching his three cone and 40 yard dash times on Friday. Sleeper alert!

Alex Barnes, Kansas State

Who, part two! I’m here to give you some deep cuts people! Barnes enjoyed a successful career at Kansas State and showed that he had some pass catching chops in his junior year where he had twenty receptions. Much like Mattison, Barnes’s three cone and 40 yard dash times will be something I’m looking for. With both of these players the athleticism is something I need to see.

Miles Sanders, Penn State

Hey, it’s Saquon Barkley’s back up. I like Sanders a bit more than most. He doesn’t have a lot of wear on his tires and is a former all state recruit who had a ton of hype but was the forgotten man in the shadow of Saquon. He has a three down skill set which is more important than ever in today’s NFL and for fantasy success. I won’t be surprised if his stock sees the most gains post combine.

Devin Singletary, Florida Atlantic

If Lesean McCoy and John Kelly had a baby it would be named Devin Singletary. He has the wiggle of McCoy and the run angry traits of John Kelly. He’s also proficient in the passing game like both players. This kid has a knack for the endzone despite being undersized. I would like to see him weigh in close to 210lbs as he needs to bulk up to handle himself at the NFL level in my opinion.

Benny Snell, Kentucky

Is he going to be a Jordan Howard type of back at the next level? That’s my fear with Snell as he lacks long speed and his hands are questionable at best. His tape is really good and he’s a fun watch but I fear that if he doesn’t test well athletically he will be a late round roster filler in the NFL that will have to overcome great odds to be fantasy relevant.

 

Wide Receiver:

D.K. Metcalf, Ole Miss

Metcalf is the player that has the potential to blow up the combine this week. He’s a freak. Can he run a full route tree though? That’s what I’m going to be watching for. Clean breaks and release along with fluid hips and non body catches will help me paint the picture on Metcalf. I just hope he’s not another Kevin White *ducks*

J.J. Arcega Whiteside, Stanford

I LOVE me some Whiteside. Great size, breakout age, college production and redzone ball skills remind me a lot of Juju Smith Schuster when he was at USC. I think he may test similarly as well. He won’t wow you with his combine numbers but he should nail the drills. He’s a screaming value in early rookie draft ADP.

Hakeem Butler, Iowa State

I am skeptical about Butlers ability to succeed at the next level. The tape is encouraging but Butler has to overcome some pretty huge odds for a receiver six foot six or taller in the NFL. The list is full of busts. I’ve heard the comparison to Plaxico Burress and I think that would be his ceiling.

Nyqwan Murray, Florida State

Here’s a prospect virtually nobody is talking about. Go Noles! Ok, so I’m a little biased but I really like “Noonie” Murray’s game. He could be a starting slot receiver in the NFL. He has a little Antonio Brown in his game. Clean routes, good footwork and sure hands mixed in with some big play ability. In a deep wide receiver class, Murray is being overlooked which makes him all that more intriguing as a value come draft day. I’ll be watching his 40 time as well as his short shuttle time on Saturday.

Andy Isabella, Umass

There are rumors that Isabella might run the fastest 40 yard  dash at the position with a possible time in the high 4.3 second range. I’ll be intrigued if he does achieve that for sure. I want to see his route running and footwork personally.

Deebo Samuel, South Carolina

Nobody’s stock rose higher post senior bowl than Tyshun “Deebo” Samuel. His medicals will be something to watch as he battled injuries throughout his career at SC. I’ll be interested to see how he can separate himself from this deep group of pass catchers. What will he do better than some of the others at the position? That’s what I want to see.

 

Tight End:

Noah Fant, Iowa

Everybody has been drooling about Fant’s teammate T.J. Hockenson, and rightfully so as the kid should be a stud but people seem to be forgetting how awesome Fant is. Look for Fant to destroy the athleticism drills and get people buzzing about him again.

Irv Smith Jr., Alabama

His game reminds me of Delanie Walker a little bit as he has plays stockier at the position for his size. He should test pretty well and I’ll be interested in his bench press reps and his 40 yard dash time. He’s my TE3 in this class.

Isaac Nauta, Georgia

Nauta doesn’t have a strong collegiate resume so the combine will be very important for him. Think George Kittle from the 2017 class. Light on stats but heavy on athleticism. He should put his name on dynasty drafters maps, especially in tight end premium formats.

Jace Sternberger, Texas A&M

Can he be more than a seam route running field stretcher? That is the question. If he tests well get ready for the “guy named Jace from Texas A&M” Jace Amaro comparisons. I’ll be watching his route running and overall fluidity on the field.

 

Thanks for reading and make sure to come back next week as I add my notes from each prospects combine performance! 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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