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2016 NFL Combine: Day 1 Highlights


The NFL switched it up a little bit for the 2016 NFL Combine. Normally, the 2 positions on the field 1st are offensive linemen and tight ends, but this year its offensive linemen and running backs, which makes more sense. An o-line and the RB positions must work hand and hand to be successful. I’ll be going over the offensive linemen and the running backs that look like they could be going in the 1st round and going over some of the guys that impressed for both positions.

Offensive Linemen

Rays

Laremy Tunsil – Ole Miss – Even though Tunsil did not do the bench press or the 40, he proved why he is projected as not only the 1st offensive lineman, but also the #1 overall pick in the draft. Tunsil will be the LT next year for some lucky team and with the quick feet and the smoothness he showed today, he did nothing to disappoint any scout watching him.

Ronnie Staley – Notre Dame – With the ability to play both left and right tackle, Staley maybe the most versatile tackle in the draft. He is projected as a top 10 pick and did right around what was expected. His numbers were not spectacular, but it’s hard to judge OL off numbers. Staley showed well in the change of direction tests and was extremely good in the mirror test.

Taylor Decker – Ohio State – In the mirror drill, Decker was arguably the smoothest one out there. Because of his shorter arms, it appears he is ticketed towards RT, but there is nothing wrong with that. Taylor is 1 of the 4 offensive linemen that is expected to go in the 1st round with Decker fighting with the next player I’m going to speak about, for the 3rd offensive linemen taken.

Jack Conklin – Michigan State – The best numbers of all the offensive linemen mentioned was Conklin. He had a 5.0 forty time with 25 bench press reps. Conklin appears to be more of a mauler which is perfect for the RT positions, which is usually the better run blocker of the 2 tackles. He has a mean streak that you love to see. He reminds me of Dave Stewart, former Tennessee Titan.

Helped Their Stock:

Jason Spriggs – Indiana – Of all the OL at the combine, Springgs had the best numbers of all. He had the fastest forty time of 4.94 to go with 31 bench press reps. He may have gotten himself into the 2nd round.

Running Backs

Rays2

Ezekiel Elliot – Ohio State – Ezekiel is expected to be the 1st running back off the board. He can go as early as to the Giants at #11, but no matter who he goes to, he will provide 3 down ability to whoever drafts him. Elliott ran an impressive 4.47 forty at 225 pounds. He did nothing to hurt his draft status and solidified himself as arguably the only RB that should be taken in the 1st round.

Derrick Henry – Alabama – Despite coming in about 7-10 pounds more than he expected, Derrick Henry put on a show of shows for the scouts today. At a massive 247 pounds, Henry put up a ridiculous 4.54 forty to go with 22 bench press reps, a crazy 37 inch vertical jump and a 10 foot 10 inch broad jump. If Henry can keep his weight in line, he could be a top 10 RB in the league, as a rookie, on the right team.

Helped Their Stock:

Keith Marshall – Georgia – Everyone’s eyes really opened with Marshall, at 219 pounds, ran a 4.31 forty. Add the 25 bench press reps and Marshall may have found a way to sneak into the back end of the draft.

It was a great was to open the field drill in Indianapolis. Tomorrow we move on to what is normally the most watched day of the combine, the Quarterback and Wide Receivers. Tight Ends are normally with the offensive linemen, but they will be joining the QBs and WRs tomorrow, which makes sense. With all 3 of the top QBs throwing, it will definitely be a day to watch and a day where you could see the next big future hookup connection in the NFL.


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Robert D. Cobb
Founder, Publisher and CEO of INSCMagazine. Works have appeared and featured in places such as Forbes, Huffington Post, ESPN and NBC Sports to name a few. Follow me on Twitter at @RobCobb_INSC, email me at [email protected]