2012 NFL Combine: Offensive Preview

Robert Griffin 2012 NFL Draft

How will Griffin's world class hurdling translate to the 40 time? We'll find out in Indianapolis. (Photo: ICON SMI)

NEPD Editor: Doug Kyed

It feels like it’s getting closer, right? With the NFL Combine upon us, the 2012 NFL Draft is a mere 66 days away.

Okay, so it’s not that close, but at least we have the Combine to keep us busy for the next week or so.

I know every year there’s word about how over-hyped the Combine is, but I love it. If anything it gives you a different look at all of the players we’ve been studying all year and more. If nothing else, it’s just fun to see how fast everyone is, how high they can jump and how many times they can rep 225 pounds.

There’s certain players at every position I’ll be keeping an eye out for, and we’ve got all the numbers the players will be wearing so you know who to watch.

QUARTERBACK

BJ Coleman, TENNESSEE-CHATT, QB01
Aaron Corp, RICHMOND, QB02
Kirk Cousins, MICHIGAN ST, QB03
Austin Davis, SOUTHERN MISSISSIPPI, QB04
Nick Foles, ARIZONA, QB05 (Scouting Report)
*Robert Griffin III, BAYLOR, QB06 (Scouting Report)
Chandler Harnish, NORTHERN ILLINOIS, QB07
Jacory Harris, MIAMI-FL, QB08
Jordan Jefferson, LOUISIANA ST, QB09
Case Keenum, HOUSTON, QB10
Ryan Lindley, SAN DIEGO ST, QB11
*Andrew Luck, STANFORD, QB12 (Scouting Report)
Kellen Moore, BOISE ST, QB13
*Brock Osweiler, ARIZONA ST, QB14
Ryan Tannehill, TEXAS A&M, QB15 (Scouting Report)
*Darron Thomas, OREGON, QB16
Brandon Weeden, OKLAHOMA ST, QB17 (Scouting Report)
Russell Wilson, WISCONSIN, QB18
Patrick Witt, YALE, QB19

It will be interesting to see who decides to throw in Indianapolis. It’s already been reported that the Colts want Andrew Luck to wait for his pro day to and that Ryan Tannehill will sit out QB drills and workouts due to a foot injury.

If Griffin and Weeden throw as expected, they could each potentially increase their stock. I’m not saying that Griffin will ever vault over Luck, but it could encourage a team, or more teams to trade up for Griffin.

Griffin was a world class hurdler in high school, so I’m excited to see how he fares in the 40 time. I’ve seen projections in the 4.5 range, but I think he could surprise some people with a time in the 4.3s or 4.4s.

A couple guys with a  lower profile could certainly help themselves as well, BJ Coleman impressed at the Shrine Game and it will be interesting to see him right next to some of the higher profile QB prospects during QB drills.

Chandler Harnish and Darron Thomas both might have to impress with their speed if they want to be taken higher than expected. I’d like to see Thomas show improved mechanics as well. It was a shock to see him enter the draft early, and he’s definitely going to need to prove himself.

Brock Osweiler is another player I’m interested in seeing after working at a training facility. He had almost a ¾ release at Arizona State that I’d like to see him get rid of. He’ll need to flash some improved accuracy as well. Osweiler is one guy I wouldn’t be surprised to see elect not to throw.

A player like Kellen Moore might actually impress at the combine. He had a terrible showing at the Senior Bowl, but without pads, he could churn out a decent 40 time, and I would expect his arm to look accurate, but not powerful.

RUNNING BACK

*Edwin Bake, MICHIGAN ST, RB01
*Mike Ball, NEVADA, RB02
Vick Ballard, MISSISSIPPI ST, RB03
Brandon Bolden, MISSISSIPPI, RB04
Lennon Creer, LOUISIANA TECH, RB05
Jeff Demps, JEFF, FLORIDA, RB06
Rhett Ellison, SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA, RB07
Bradie Ewing, WISCONSIN, RB08
Terrance Ganaway, BAYLOR, RB09
Cyrus Gray, TEXAS A&M, RB10
Jonas Gray, NOTRE DAME, RB11
Jewel Hampton, SOUTHERN ILLINOIS, RB12
Dan Herron, OHIO ST, RB13
Ronnie Hillman, SAN DIEGO ST, RB14
LaMichael James, OREGON, RB15 (Scouting Report)
Doug Martin, BOISE ST, RB16 (Scouting Report)
Davin Meggett, MARYLAND, RB17
*Lamar Miller, MIAMI-FL, RB18 (Scouting Report)
Alfred Morris, FLORIDA ATLANTIC,RB19
Isaiah Pead, CINCINNATI,RB20
*Bernard Pierce, TEMPLE,RB21 (Scouting Report)
Chris Polk, WASHINGTON, RB22 (Scouting Report)
Tauren Poole, TENNESSEE, RB23
Chris Rainey, FLORIDA, RB24
*Trent Richardson, ALABAMA, RB25 (Scouting Report)
*Darrell Scott, SOUTH FLORIDA, RB26
Robert Turbin, UTAH ST, RB27
Marc Tyler, SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA, RB28
Fozzy Whitaker, TEXAS, RB29
*David Wilson, VIRGINIA TECH, RB30

2012 has a pretty deep running back class with a lot of 2nd round talent bunched together. Straight line speed isn’t the most important thing for running backs, but I’m excited to see some of these guys’ 10 yard splits. At running back, it’s all about initial burst getting through holes.

I’ve seen guys like Lamar Miller, Chris Polk, Doug Martin, David Wilson and Bernard Pierce all grouped in that 2nd round area, and I’m not sure how many teams will be willing to take a running back in the first or second round. Those players will have to show burst, speed, quick steps and agility to continue to move up draft boards.

Players like LaMichael James, Chris Rainey, Fozzy Whitaker and Isaiah Pead will really be looked at with a microscope at the combine as they’re all smaller, speedier backs. Their speed could make or break them this week.

The combine is never great for bigger backs like Lennon Creer and Terrance Ganway. I doubt either will impress in the 40, but they’ll need to show a good burst and nice agility to move up draft boards.

Click on page 2 for the wide receivers and tight ends.

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Tags: 2012 NFL Combine, 40 time, Alshon Jeffery, Chris Rainey, Justin Blackmon, NFL Draft, Robert Griffin

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