Two For Tuesday: Post Combine Winners and Losers

NEPD Staff Writer: Mike Gerken

Well, I could not let Jeff have all the fun, so I decided to go in a little different direction for Two For Tuesday. I am going to take a look back at the Combine and give you two winners and two losers at each position…okay, most positions.  Now, since you come to this site, you all obviously love the draft and probably have heard or read some of the names that crushed or tanked the Combine. I am going to try and give you all a fresh perspective on some others that either caught my attention and need to further evaluate or maybe their testing didn’t match up with their film score. Of course, I may have to mention some of the really good and bad performances as well. In any case, here are some notes from the underwear Olympics.


Quarterbacks-(Josh Allen and Baker Mayfield) I have been highly critical of Allen because his tape is so inconsistent and if I am being honest, down right ugly at times. At the Combine however, you could see why teams are intrigued by him. His arm is special and his size/athletic combination is really good. When he plays under control and has good footwork, he shows all the needed tools to be a special QB in the league. Mayfield won me over in other ways. I thought his workout was good and he threw the ball really well in the drills, but it was his interviews that really wowed me. He has a reputation and after listening to him speak, I just think he is a fierce competitor that will do anything to win. On the field, he needs to learn to harness it, but it is also what makes him great. You could see the other QB’s gravitate towards him during the drills and he has that natural leadership skill that cannot be taught.

Runningbacks-(Chase Edmonds and Bo Scarborough) There were a lot of options to pick from here as I thought the group as a whole tested pretty well. Edmonds had a very good day overall and fits the mold of a Patriots Runningback from a size and athletic testing standpoint. I have only seen a limited amount of reps on him, so he is a guy I definitely want to dig into more. On the other end of the spectrum from a size perspective is Scarborough. He has the prototypical bell cow size but he tested a lot better in the explosion and agility testing than I expected. The injury history still scares me and he seems like a forgotten name in this draft, but with his performance, he is definitely back on everyone’s radar.

Wide Receivers-(Allen Lazard and Dylan Cantrell) This is another group that exceeded my expectations and there were a lot of guys I would like to talk about, but I went with a homer pick and a guy I need to watch. I have talked a lot about Lazard on this website and even with my Cyclone colored glasses on I never would have guessed he would have tested as well he did. His 4.55 40 time might have been the biggest surprise to me in the entire Combine. I thought he looked great in the drills as well. As for Cantrell, talk about the forgotten man. I have watched and loved enough of his teammates tape (keke coutee) that you would think Cantrell would have caught my attention, but to be honest, he did not. After his workout, he is a guy I want to go watch and see if that athleticism translates

Tight Ends-(Mike Gesicki and Will Dissly) Some of you may have read my Combine preview before it decided to disappear, but I talked about both of these players and they did not disappoint. It was well known that Gesicki was going to test well, but I think his performance may have exceeded those already lofty expectations. He is not a blocker, but his size and athleticism will make him an offensive weapon in the NFL. As for Dissly, he is known for his blocking coming out of college, but he tested really well and may have one of the better all around games of this TE group.

Offensive Line- (Joe Noteboom and Kolton Miller) Well, if Miller was not on your board as a first round possibility before the Combine, he sure is now. His athletic performance was as good as I have seen from the Oline. He is one of those former TE’s turned Tackle that will struggle with power on tape, but he certainly fits what the Patriots look for in their Tackles. Noteboom is another guy I don’t know anything about, but his physical and athletic testing stood out to me and makes me want to go watch the film.

Defensive Line-( Dorance Armstrong and Kylie Fitts) Living in Kansas, I have seen my fair share of Kansas football and my eyes will never forgive me for it. Armstrong was the Jayhawks one beacon of light on a dismal team and he got lost in the shuffle this year because the rest of his team did him no favors. He measured in bigger than I expected and tested really well. His draft stock took a hit because he didn’t put up great numbers this season, but a performance like this will help. Kylie Fitts is a guy I have not watched yet, but I liked what I saw of him in the drills and his test scores are very good as well. I am excited to see if the tape matches up.

Linebackers-(Matt Thomas and Christian Sam) I kind of feel like this is becoming a running theme, but these are 2 guys I don’t have a good feel for yet from a tape perspective but certainly caught my attention during the Combine.

Defensive Backs-(Jaire Alexander and Quenton Meeks) We have discussed Alexander quite a bit on here and he was on my short list for the Patriots at pick 31, but I think that dream is all but dead now after his performance. Medicals will be the big question, but he is a top 20 talent when he is healthy and he showed in Indy that he is. Meeks may have moved into Alexander’s position on the short list for 31 with his performance. His tape is really solid, but he exceeded my expectation both in his measurements and his testing numbers.



Quarterbacks-(Sam Darnold and Lamar Jackson) I hate putting Jackson in here, but he just didn’t throw the ball well in the drills. He looked tentative and struggled with his footwork/base. His throws to the outside were not good and he showed that he is a long term project. I still like him in that role, but if a team takes him and tries to play him early, he and that team will struggle. As for Darnold, I get why he didn’t throw, but when you saw him on camera looking like the kid hoping someone will pick him to play, it just looked bad. Not everyone threw great, but they threw. By him not throwing, it just looked like he was hiding something.

Runningbacks-(Akrum Wadley and Mark Walton) I have never been real high on Wadley, but I thought he would test better than he did. I was high on Walton and actually enjoyed his tape quite a bit, but his testing numbers do not mirror that of his tape. I need to go back and see where the disconnect is there.

Wide Receivers-(Auden Tate and Marcell Ateman) Tate is another guy we have discussed on here and as expected, he ran slow. Same goes for Ateman. I thought some of the other guys with similar builds performed above expectations and these two either performed as expected or a little below and that is why they are on here.

Tight Ends- (no one) Honestly, this group did not have anyone who stood out negatively for me. I wish we would have seen Chris Herndon and Dallas Goedert work out, but I thought this group performed as expected

Offensive Line- ( Orlando Brown and Billy Price) It is not really fair to put Price in this category, but the reality is he could potentially be one of the biggest losers in the draft because of the injury. Brown on the other hand just had an epically bad workout. He looked like he didn’t want to be there and when he wasn’t performing poorly in the drill, he was being yelled at by coaches for not being in the right place.

Defensive Line-(Maurice Hurst) I am cheating here, but I thought this group was really good. Hurst gets put on here because his future as a football player is in jeopardy. Lets all hope that is not the case.

Linebackers-(Josey Jewell and Chris Worley) Two Big 10 Linebackers make this list. Both did not test well from an athletic standpoint. Jewell wins more with instincts than athleticism, but I would have thought he would do better than he did. As for Worley, he was productive for Ohio State, but does his poor testing tell us that it was a product of all the talent around him? I have to go back to the tape and see.

Defensive Backs-(Tarvarius McFadden and Rashaan Gaulden) Going into the Combine, I knew that Gaulden would not run the 40 well, that was just not his game, but I did think he would perform better in the other tests and it just didn’t happen. I still like the tape, but maybe there was a reason I had him ranked higher than most other places. As for McFadden, his size is intriguing, but he looked stiff in the testing and in the drills and I am not sure where he wins at the next level.












28 Responses to “Two For Tuesday: Post Combine Winners and Losers”

  1. brandon Maxham says:

    mock draft #3

    1st : Kolton Miller OT

    2nd : Quenton Meeks CB

    2nd : Duke Ejiofor DE

    3rd : Chase Edmonds RB

    4th : Logan Woodside QB

    6th : Troy Apke S

  2. kevin z says:

    IF no trades happen

    1. Dorance Armstrong LB-DE Smooth as silk sideline to sideline tackler as a LB
    2. Tim Settle DL may drop here with weight Problems BB knock him in shape
    2. Grissly TE good overall can catch plus block
    3. Alex Cappa OL
    4. Daurice Fountain WR over 6 ft good Route runner
    6 – Philip Lindsay good fumble rate jack rabbit type hyper can play ST

    Can grab a good RB as a UDFA as well since it deep. CB S can be found as a UDFA from this class too.. Can get a blocking TE as a UDFA as well once waive TE Allen.

  3. kevin z says:

    2nd – Quenton Meeks CB -S Smart has good bloodline father played Pro Stanford connection
    2nd – Fred Warner LB-Hyrbid BYU connection with van noy and Langi
    2nd – Shepard DT lil raw but plays Hard all the time so assuming will Improve quickly
    3d – Jewell LB Iowa connection better football player than in shorts
    4th – Woodside QB developmental QB for Pats to groom
    4th – Brandon Parker OT
    5th – Ito Smith RB like a d lewis type figure picked where lewis was in the 5th rd
    6th – S Harding physical type that will knock u out just for fun

  4. Russell says:

    I have 3-4 Mocks depending on a number of things, but like this one best;
    BB trades 1st to Detroit for 2nd , 4th, 5th. Detroit drafts DE Davenport at #20, and use patriots 1st #31 to take, RB Guice.

    2nd – DL Harrison Phillips
    2nd – OT Joseph Noteboom
    2nd – DL Tyquan Lewis
    3d – QB Luke Falk
    4th – CB Dee Delany
    4th – LB Miach Kiser
    5th – S Quin Blanding
    6th – S Troy Apke

  5. Russell says:

    I have watched Joe Noteboom OT for 3-4 months, his tape is better, IMO than Kolton Miller. Miller is a great prospect as well, but Notebooms Senior bowl work-outs were strong. Miller likely goes mid-1stt round, while Noteboom is mid-late second.

    • Stephen J says:

      I just went back and rewatched the Senior Bowl practices OL vs DL South just to make sure that I wasn’t confusing Joe Noteboom with someone else or I was remembering incorrectly. Here is what I saw from the video that was out there.
      Day 2
      Play 1 Lines up against Davenport as Right Tackle. Initially holds off Davenport to the outside but gets bullrushed pushed back into the QB.

      Play 2 Lines up against Marquis Haynes as Left Tackle. Gets pushed back into the QB

      Play 3 Lines up against Marquis Haynes as Right Tackle. Stuffs Marquis Haynes.

      Day 3
      Play 1 Lines up against Marquis Haynes as Left Tackle. Gets pushed back recovers just enough to barely hold on.
      Play 2 Lines up against Davenport as Right Tackle. Gets blown off the line and pushed back into the QB.

      Davenport beat only 2 tackles all week during the Senior one being Brian O’Neil and the other Joe Noteboom.

      Then in the game when he was playing LT he was bull rushed by Tyquan Lewis and pushed back into Kyle Lauletta.

      I don’t know how you consider that a strong week but to me that is a mediocre week at best.

      As far as the combine goes the one thing that the Pats really love and look for in their OL men is that Broad Jump over 9 feet. Mainly because it measures your explosiveness off the ball. Joe Noteboom measured in at 8’6″. A half a foot short of what the Pats look for. That lack of explosiveness off the ball was evident when watching the Senior Bowl clips.
      Outside of that though Noteboom had a nice combine.
      He isn’t no 2nd rounder though more like a 6th rounder.

    • Mike Gerken says:

      Miller’s tape is not very good in my opinion, but his measurables and his athletic testing are going to get him drafted earlier than he probably should.

  6. Claude Edouard says:

    Chicago put the franchise tag on Kyle Fuller so I’m skeptical Patriots would want to give up draft picks for him considering all their different needs. I see Patriots trading down in order to get more picks and use one of those picks on a QB.

    • John says:

      Wasn’t aware he got tagged. Little surprising actually.

      I don’t want a QB. Lauletta is not worth a second round pick. None stood out at the Combine, really, either.

      • Mike Gerken says:

        That transition tag the Bears put on him was upsetting as he was the on FA I wanted the Patriots to push hard for. Injuries really stunted his growth, but last year he played much closer to what he showed at VT and I was hoping to get him as he was ascending back up to his top form.
        I loved his college tape and thought he was a great fit for the Patriots, but that dream to must die.

        • John says:

          Sad, for sure.

          I just don’t see them drafting a corner, for whatever reason. They brought in Gilmore to shore up one side for a few years. With strong SAF help, and a variety of options, I feel like the FA route (bargain-ish) is the most likely scenario.

          I just think they will value taking someone high to groom to replace Chung, and off-ball LB, and a DL that can play outside/inside in a couple of different fronts. Brown is great at what he does, but a complimentary piece to hime would be nice.

  7. John says:

    Based on who they’ve looked at, here’s the mock I have right now:

    1.) Justin Reid SAF
    2.) Lorenzo Carter OLB/EDGE/LB
    2.) Da’Shawn Hand DL
    3.) Mark Andrews TE
    4.) Richie James WR


    Muhammad Wilkerson DL/DE
    Kyle Fuller CB
    Branden Oliver RB

  8. steve earle says:

    Okay the fog has cleared, I can see clearly now and will give my new mock a go. First I have decided to make a couple trades, nothing outlandish but judge for yourselves.
    First I will trade our 1#31 to Cleveland for their 2#35 and 4#123.
    Second I will trade the 2#35 to Detriot for their 2#53 and 5#153
    And now I will draft:

    2#43 SF) Kyle Laulette QB Richmond ( yea I know, said I wasn’t going to draft a QB)
    2#53 Det) Josh Sweat DE Fla St. ( We all read Mikes report on this guy, nuf said)
    2#63 ours) Brandon Parker OT N C A&T ( Also well known on this site)
    3#95 ours) Harrison Phillips DT Stan. ( Sorry Russell but)
    4#123 Cle) Marqus Haynes OLB Miss ( great rush, good speed and upside)
    4 comp 136) Dane Curikshank CB/S Arz (Good height, speed, edge opp Gilmore in future)
    5#153 Det) Tegray Scales ILB Indy. Ex speed, good tackler, can cover)
    6#205 ours) Tie Flowers SS Okls St. (Compete for ST slot)
    I think I covered most of the bases just no room for RB, TE or WR in compared value slots.

    • Russell says:

      IMO , I don’t think Harrison Phillips makes it past mid-2nd round. Also not sure Cleveland would trade #35 for #31 (& a 4th) to move up when they draft #33 ??
      I do like Detroit trading but , again IMO I think they want #31 to take a RB ahead of N.Y. at #34 (Guice or Jones) after using there 1st, #20 for DE Davenport.
      No Ejiofor ??

      • steve earle says:

        I know you are very high on Phillips but you are nearly alone in that as best I can tell. And maybe Bill wouldn’t take Laulette that high but I don’t expect Bill to take Phillips where you have him, plus I’m not Bill and I just might depending on who else might be around at that spot. No, no Ejiofor because I have been targeting him at the #43 and don’t think he lasts down to #53 so took my next best DE prospect. If I thought Laulette would safely be available at #53 I would have taken Eijofor at #43. Now as for the trades if guys here can go on some computer game generated mocks then I can make up trades that are just as reasonable. You your self invented a trade with Detriot netting us their 2nd, 4th,and fifth while I offered a 2#35 for their 2#53 and a 5th. How is that less reasonable? Face it none of any of our mocks have a chance to come close to what will happen unless by pure accident.

        • Russell says:

          I said I liked your Detroit trade, not so sure about your Cleveland trade. We all like some prospects better than others, and I have missed getting any Patriots draft picks right 3 out of the last 4 yrs. But my record on Patriot player trades, that I called right are 2 out of 3.
          The draft is hard because people see prospects differently, but fun to guess-t-mate with Mocks. I enjoy your thoughts.

    • Russell says:

      IMO, I have a had time seeing BB drafting a QB like Lauletta that high, QB Rudolph maybe, but to sit on the bench as a 3d string , when there are other, team, D-needs?
      Again IMO , I think Patriots take a QB at 96 or later, Falk, Lauletta, White, Barrett, Ferguson, Linehan, etc.

      • steve earle says:

        I would also say that Laulette is the only QB I would even consider after the first rd projected ones in which I include Rudolph.

  9. Stephen J says:

    Here is a Dylan Cantrell thread

    Keep in mind this is not a complete picture more of a highlight reel but gives you and idea

  10. Stephen J says:

    Sean Spencer a writer for the Draft Academy posted this

    Based on Belichick’s history and traits he values at the position, these are the safeties at the Combine who fit the #Patriots mold.

    1. Derwin James
    2. Godwin Igwebuike
    3. Josh Kalu
    4. Dane Cruikshank
    5. Troy Apke
    6. Tre Flowers
    7. Justin Reid

  11. Stephen J says:

    Also like your Dylan Cantrell Will Dissly Kolton Miller Kylie Fitts choices

  12. lenny says:

    Who was a bigger winner than Shaquem Griffin, who arrived as an inspirational story and left having impressed teams as being an elite athlete?

  13. Stephen J says:

    One Lb who continues to show up and had a good combine

    Memphis Genard Avery

    He finished the year with 52 Solo(Career 168) 80 Total Tackles(Career 230) 22.0(Career 44.5) TFL 8.5 sacks(Career 21.5)

    The big question that most will bring up is his size at 6′ 0 4/8″ 248 lbs

    Well Tedy Bruschi was 6′ 0 5/8″ and 250 lbs at his combine and ran a 4.68 with a 42″ Vert

  14. kevin z says:

    Honestly hate seeing Armstrong Miller meeks Edmonds moving up def wanted them.
    Kinda good see Walton RB slide like him as well

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