Who To Watch For At The NFL Scouting Combine: Offense

Who will emerge from the Combine as the biggest winner?

Who will emerge from the Combine as the biggest winner?

NEPD Staff Writer: Mike Gerken

You know you are a draft nerd when you get really excited for Combine Week. If you were to explain to someone who doesn’t follow the draft what the Combine entails, they would almost certainly think you are crazy. I mean, it is kind of funny that we watch with baited breath if some Linebacker or Running Back is going to run under a certain 40 time. We will spend 8 to 12 hours watching guys in spandex run, jump, throw, catch, and block tackling dummies for 4 straight days to to catch a little nugget of new information on each of these prospects. For the diehard draft fan, those hours are time well spent. Today, I thought I would give you a list of one or two guys at each offensive position that I am particularly interested in watching.


Alek Torgersen: As I have stated before, this is a QB class that does very little for me. With that in mind, I am looking for a late round/FA type that will fit into the Patriots scheme and has some traits that can be developed. That is where Torgersen comes in. I think he has a strong arm, quick release, and good footwork and mechanics that can be developed further. What I am looking to see is if he can throw with a little more anticipation and accuracy when he has much better talent to throw to.

Running Backs:

Kareem Hunt: I know, I know. I have talked enough about him. I am interested though in his weight and his 40 time. I have heard he has been hand timed at 4.39, which if true, could vault him even higher on everyone’s board. I would like to see his weight up around 215 though, which would be closer to his playing weight in college.

DeVeon Smith: I am luke warm on Smith right now and will be interested to see his numbers from a speed/explosion standpoint. I want him to force me to go back and watch more tape.

Joe Mixon: I know the Patriots will never draft him, but I think he is going to dominate this combine and I am very interested to see how high he goes after he tests so well.

Wide Receiver:

Carlos Henderson, Chad Hansen, Chris Godwin: This is one group where the numbers are very important to me, so I tend to wait on WR until after the Combine. The names I listed are guys who have caught my attention just watching live or scouting other players. I think they each could fit a specific role on the Patriots, but this list will grow after this week. 3-cone is a very important drill to keep an eye on when scouting for guys who fit what the Patriots are looking for.

Tight End:

Adam Shaheen: I did a scouting report on him, but I am very interested to see what his actual size is. I am also looking forward to seeing his 40 time.

Eric Saubert: Another small school guy with good size and hands. I want to see if he looks like he belongs with the bigger school guys. I want to see how he looks physically and how he does in the blocking drills.

Evan Ingram, Bucky Hodges, Gerald Everett: The Patriots never really filled the Aaron Hernandez role after his departure and maybe one of these guys would fill that position. These guys are really only TE’s in name, so I want to see which one of these test out the best across the board. I am particularly interested in Ingram and his weight.

David Njoku: Just from an entertainment perspective, I cannot wait to see what this guy does athletically. A good week at the Combine could catapult him to TE#1.

Offensive Line:

Ethan Pocic: I really want to see how he moves because at 6’6″, I just don’t think he can stay at Center. If he can show good enough footwork and athleticism, I would be intrigued to see him get a shot at another position along the line.

Zach Banner: Another huge human being that, with a good week of testing, could see a bump in his value. I want to watch his footwork to see if he can stay out at Tackle or if he is going to have to move inside.

Dion Dawkins: In a down class for Tackles teams might try and get creative. I will be interested in seeing what Dawkins weighs in at and his arm length. On the field, I need to see good footwork and quickness. If he can do those things, he could be an interesting option at Tackle.

Dorian Johnson: From watching his tape, Johnson should test well. I just want him to confirm what the tape shows.

Ryan Ramczyk: When looking for a Nate Solder replacement, Ramczyk was the guy who came closest for me. Now, will he test similarly to Solder, that is the question.

Julie’n Davenport: Looks the part of a Patriots Tackle, just want to see him in the drills.


Now, I am sure there are others that you all are very interested in watching at the Combine this week, so let me know who you are looking forward to paying close attention to and why. No matter what, there will be guys not on this that we will be talking about at this time next week, but if you are limited to how much you can watch, this should be a nice guide to get you started.
















24 Responses to “Who To Watch For At The NFL Scouting Combine: Offense”

  1. Ryan says:

    Other must-see WRs: Kenny Golladay, KD Cannon, Amba Etta-Tawo, Jamari Staples, Noel Thomas, Robert Davis. Measurables are going to have a huge effect on when these guys go in the draft; in particular, I’ve heard good things about Noel Thomas.

  2. macspak says:

    I thought Mixon was excluded from the combine?

    • Mike Gerken says:

      you are right, he will not be there. Now I remember why I put that star by his name in my notes.
      I am intrigued to see how he tests at his pro day compared to the rest of the RB class

      • steve earle says:

        Question: Sometimes we see a prospect who doesn’t run his expected time at the combine later run again at a pro day at this school and do much better. Why, and does that mean any times Mixon may run will be a fair comparrison to guys at the combine? Just wondering, what do you think?

        • Mike Gerken says:

          It isn’t apples to apples that is for sure. That is why it is nice having this many prospects test at the same place at the same time and why I think Mixon should be there. If anything, it gets Mixon off the hook from having to face the media and all 32 teams to explain his side of things and to see how he performs under that type of pressure.

          Now, I talked to a former Corner about his combine experience in which he didn’t test well as he expected. He said while he was told about the long days and the mental aspect of the Combine, he was not prepared for the vigorous schedule and mental side of things. He also said by the time the actual drills came around, he was so exhausted mentally and physically that his routine went out the window. He took responsibility for not being as prepared as he should have and he did perform much better at his pro day.

        • steve earle says:

          @ Mike, Thank’s I kind of thought the answer was going to be something like that and you confirmed what I suspected. Good point about Mixon being off the hook too.

  3. Stephen J says:

    Let me introduce you to Mr Tarik Cohen

    Enjoy his highlight reel

    • Turbo says:

      Oh man, i totally forgot this guy. Sproles is one of my favorite player and he’s like a Sproles 2.0. I wouldn’t mind at all if we pick him in one of the later rounds, but that’s probably not going to happen.

    • steve earle says:

      Another small electric RB. Wow add to Phumphrey so how many of these guys are out there?

  4. EdgeX says:

    Mike surprised you didn’t add Michael Roberts the TE out of Toledo. You’ve watched a lot of Toledo tape – did he stand out at all or are we just getting our hopes up?

    • Mike Gerken says:

      Tight End was an area I could have put a lot more names down, but I was trying to keep the list short so I wouldn’t overwhelm people. I really like Roberts and am very interested to see how he tests athletically.

      • EdgeX says:

        Overwhelm people? Of all things…anyone reading this site I don’t think you have to worry about “too much info”!

        • Mike Gerken says:

          So true. In my mind, I was thinking keep the list small so you guys remember the names rather than inundate you with 15 guys at each position and muddy the water too much.

  5. rob says:

    Interested in Keevan Lucas WR Tulsa, Javarious Leamon T, Montae Nicholson S. Think Lucas could be an Edelman type. Any thoughts on Baylor QB Seth Russell maybe as an undrafted or late rounder?

    • Mike Gerken says:

      I have seen more athletic guys with stronger arms struggle coming out of that Baylor type system and have little success, so Russell does not do much for me even as a developmental guy. If I take a QB late, I need to know that while he may have physical limitations, he is a scheme fit or vice versa. That way the team is not trying to overcome two hurdles.

    • Ryan says:

      I’m really interested to see Lucas as well. I like him a lot as a late-round flier to improve the slot position long-term.

  6. Russell says:

    OK watch; OT Will Holden, bench,& shuttle; TE Scott Orndoff ( not a fast prospect) 3- cone drill& Bench. OC Pat Elflein, bench,& shuttle.

    Your right about Ethan Pocic could be OT.

    • Mike Gerken says:

      Yeah, from that Oline group, I really will be interested to see his on field drills to see if he has the footwork to do so, but I agree, I could see him getting a shot at OT

    • steve earle says:

      Everyone likes Pocic including me though I passed on him in my mock in favor of Def but if Bill likes him due to his flexability I wouldn’t complain. A quality guy who could likely play every line position would be a great addition.

  7. steve earle says:

    Okay Mike I have a couple names for you, Jordan Willis OLB Kan.St. and Jon Toth OC Kentucky. I have both these guys on my Mock 3b and 5th. Like to confirm they belong there.

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