NEPD Staff Writer: Mike Gerken
The other day I gave you a few names I was interested in seeing at the Combine from the offensive positions. Today, I go to the other side of the ball and give you some names that I want to watch on the defensive side of the ball. Now, as you can imagine, these are not the only guys I will be watching. In fact, I know there will be other guys who peak my interest at every position as the testing is happening. The names listed below have either peaked my interest or raised some questions while I have been scouting them and I think this week should help to answer some of them, or create more, who knows.
Dalvin Tomlinson: I haven’t found “my guy” yet from the DT class, but I am intrigued by Tomlinson. I want to see what his explosion numbers look like (10 yard split, broad jump, and vertical.) If he tests well in that area, my opinion of him will change.
Davon Godchaux: For Godchaux, I am interested in all his numbers really. I think the LSU program tends to hold back their Defensive Lineman because of scheme and responsibilities. It looks like Godchaux could be more of an athlete than he is given credit for, I just want to confirm my suspicions.
Malik McDowell: The good tape of McDowell would put him high in the first round for me. The bad tape, that looks him look more like a Day 2 guy. I know he is going to test well, but I am hoping to hear if he addresses the off field issues and the motor issues on the tape.
Taco Charlton: Charlton is a guy I like for the Patriots if he happens to make it to them, but I am interested to see how he tests from an explosion standpoint.
Derek Rivers and Tarell Basham: The tape I have on these two is limited, but from what I have seen they are intriguing. I want to see how they test athletically as well as in the drills.
Jordan Willis: Tape is good, but I worry about explosion and bend with him. I will be very intrigued to see how he does in these two areas.
Al-Quadin Muhammed: Remember him? 2 years ago he looked like a potential first round pass rusher, but then got kicked off Miami because of illegal benefits. I am interested to see if he has stayed in shape and can rectify his reputation.
Fadol Brown and Joe Mathis: I have a good idea of what Mathis will do, but I want to see how Brown does compared to him since I think there games are similar. If Brown can test similarly to Mathis, it gives me a change to get a similar player later in the draft.
Tanoh Passagnoh: A freakish athlete for sure, but I want to see how he does in the strength and agility drills.
Kendall Beckwith: Beckwith is a guy who isn’t just under the radar, he seems off it. His name just doesn’t generate any buzz anymore. I want to see how he tests to see if he can regenerate some of the draft chatter that surrounded his name before the season started.
Conner Harris: Small school kid that does everything you want both on and off the field. The problem; he is listed at 5’11.” At that size, I am going to need to see some athletic traits that make me say “wow” if I am going to draft him anywhere before late Day 3.
Hassan Reddick: He showed at the Senior Bowl that making the transition to LB should be fairly smooth, but I still want to watch him in the drills to feel comfortable giving him a late first round grade.
Devonte Fields: Remember him? Fields was once a highly touted prospect, now he is an afterthought. He is another guy I want to watch and see if he can bring back some of the buzz he once had.
Ben Boulware: I know Boulware will not test great this week, but I am hoping that he does better than expected, because I think he is just a solid football player. If he can outperform his projections, he has a chance to be taken somewhere on Day 3.
Gareon Conley: My big concern with Conley is his change of direction, so testing well in the agility drills would go along ways for me.
Kevin King and Rasul Douglas: Like most of you, I get very intrigued by big corners, and these guys are huge. What I need them to show me though is how well they move in the drills and how they test from an agility standpoint.
Desmond King: I want to think King can still play Corner, but he is going to have to show he has the speed and change of direction skills to stay there in the NFL.
Quincy Wilson: I might be on an island by myself here, but I am not as high on Wilson as others. He needs to prove it to me athletically that he can stay at Corner because I think like Desmond King, he may need to make a move to Safety.
I have done very little work on the safety class, so I go into the Combine with no expectations. I am looking forward to watching them and seeing who catches my eye. I am intrigued by Obi Melinfonwu because of his size and I like what I saw from Eddie Jackson this season before he got hurt. I love Budda Baker’s game, but I am interested to see what he comes in at size wise.
Again, let me know who you are going to keep a close eye on. I look forward to recapping the Combine with you all next week.