6) A DT who doesn’t get the publicity like the top 4-5 guys do, but may have helped himself out more than any others with his Senior Bowl and combine performances is UConn’s Kendall Reyes. Reyes is someone who has been overlooked but proved he should be in the mix for the late first round.
There are differing opinions on where Reyes should play in the NFL, some teams see him as a nose tackle, some teams like him as a 3 technique and some even see him as a 3-4 DE. Reyes is a little over 6’4″ and weighed in at 299 pounds. He was able to post a sub 4.8 forty yard dash time and was also a top finisher in the bench press and many of the agility drills. Those numbers prove he is one of the superior athletes at the position in this years draft.
Reyes is someone who I can see playing a little bit like BJ Raji in the pros. A DL who is moved around, creates penetration and blows up plays. Reyes’ best quality is his quickness, he fires off the ball and gets into the backfield. With his speed and strength he will be able to provide some interior pass rush. I also really like the way he was able to split double teams at UConn making him a fit for the nose tackle position.
7) I have long been a Courtney Upshaw fan. I love the way he plays the game and the leadership he showed at Alabama. Upshaw is one player who I think may have hurt himself a little bit by working out at the combine. Upshaw elected not to run the 40, but did take part in position drills. I thought Upshaw looked stiff and unnatural during drills, especially while standing up. At over 270 pounds it makes me think that Upshaw may have a tough time adjusting to OLB at the next level.
I love the way Upshaw was able to play down hill and set the edge at Alabama, but with the NFL so pass oriented, Upshaw may have trouble covering faster and quicker players. This is just my opinion but it looks like Upshaw is a strong side DE and a player who can occasionally stand up and rush the passer.
8) One player who stood out at the combine was University of Central Florida’ Josh Robinson. Robinson ran the fastest unofficial 40 at 4.29 and tore up most of the agility drills including the 3 Cone drill.
With the Patriots looking for corner backs, Robinson is someone who could be on their radar. Robinson already has a connection to the Patriots as his lead recruiter at UCF is current Patriot assistant coach George Godsey. With Godsey knowing Robinson so well, having both recruited and coached him, he should be able to give Coach Belichick everything he needs to know regarding his ability to fit in with the Patriots.
9) Every draft has a wild card player who decides how the rest of the draft will fall. This year’s player is Texas A&M QB Ryan Tannehill. Right now it’s really tough to figure out where and how high Tannehill will go. With Luck and Griffin off the board within the first couple of picks, any team after that could be in play for Tannehill.
Tannehill is someone who has a tremendous ceiling, but will need time to develop. He has only played QB for a year and a half after making the switch from WR. Despite that I think at this point he is a much better prospect than both Blaine Gabbert and Christian Ponder who both went in the top twelve last year. That doesn’t mean that Tannehill goes before that, however Gil Brandt basically guaranteed Tannehill will go in the top ten. I take Brandt’s word for it and think Tannehill goes somewhere in the 5-10 range.
Once Tannehill is off the board, I feel like the rest of the draft will slot together. I could also see Tannehill being a player a QB needy team like Seattle, Kansas City, etc. targets in trade up discussions.
10) It’s tough to have a worse combine than Arizona State ILB Vontaze Burfict. Burfict is someone who needed to have a big combine to re-energize his stock, so one would think he would come to the combine in great shape. Instead Burfict performed like he has not been training for this event at all. His two 40 times were between 4.9 and 5.10 and the rest of his agility numbers were putrid.
Not only did Burfict not perform well he looked disinterested while doing it. After his second 40, Burfict went over put his ipod and his headphones on and isolated himself from the group working out. I have also been told by WEEI’s Chris Price, that no one came off worse in interviews than Burfict. He seemed disinterested and entitled in those as well.
Burfict was always the biggest, strongest and fastest player growing up, which resulted in him being one of the most recruited players out of high school. It seems like Burfict thought that mindset could get him by in college and it did to a certain extent, however trying to make it to the NFL on reputation alone won’t fly. Burfict is borderline untouchable at this point. Not only does he have work ethic and off the field concerns, he now has shown he doesn’t have the athleticism either. Burfict entered the combine as a possible second round pick and now there is no way he goes before day three.