USA TODAY Sports
While Day 1 offered plenty of interesting scouting and media nuggets for fans to enjoy, Day 2 is where the names on offense do their work. Quarterbacks, running backs, and wide receivers will take the field this morning to show off their goods to NFL executives, coaches and scouts.
...And on Sunday, the Football Gods created Day 2 of the NFL Combine. Simply put, this is the day that most fans are going to tune into the Combine. Today's drills feature quarterbacks, running backs, and wide receivers, which is sure to spark the interest of fans of all NFL teams. The league has generally been considered an "offensive league," so surely, the point scorers will be the most engaging performers of the week. In case you are not hyped already, let's take a look at some interesting angles heading into today's drills:
- "There aren't any top flight QBs in this draft." Geno Smith, Mike Glennon, Ryan Nassib, Tyler Wilson and a few other guys would disagree with that statement. Now is their shot to prove most analysts, coaches and scouts wrong and make them go back and look at the tape. The Eagles have been linked to several QB prospects but guys to keep an eye on are Syracuse's Ryan Nassib, FSU's EJ Manuel and of course, West Virginia's Geno Smith. The trio of talented (?) prospects will have to show they can be accurate, throw down field and most likely, run the ball. That's why position drills, the shuttles, and the 40-yard dash are going to be important for evaluating their talent. Another guy who has been on the thoughts of Eagles fans due to his athletic prowess is Nick Foles' former back-up at Arizona, Matt Scott. It will be interesting to see if his passing ability matches his athleticism.
- "There won't be a running back taken in the first round and none are elite." The NFL game has lost it's affection for the running back position over the last few years. While three guys were taken in the first round last year, the number of runners taken high has dwindle over the decade. That is likely due to the glamour and productivity of the passing game with teams like the Packers, Patriots and Falcons putting up points left and right. Alabama's Eddie Lacy had an awesome performance in the BCS National Championship and looks to be the top guy, but Wisconsin's Montee Ball and North Carolina's Giovani Bernard could be nipping at his heels with strong numbers in their 3-Cone, shuttle and 40-yard dash drills. While the Eagles are not likely to add a running back early (or at all), it is good to gauge value of guys for potential trades down the line in the middle rounds of the draft.
- "Who is the true number one guy at wide receiver?" California's Keenan Allen, Tennessee's Cordarrelle Patterson, Clemson's DeAndre Hopkins and West Virigina's Tavon Austin are all competing to be the first wide receiver to be taken off the board. There are plenty of WR-needy teams in the middle and later first round, so making the Combine count is critical for these young men. What makes the battle even more interesting is that they are all different types of WR. Hopkins is a possession guy, Patterson is strong bodied number one WR that is great with the ball in the air, Austin is a tougher Desean Jackson and Allen is a rare speed-route runner with injury concerns. It will interesting to see if their times and measurements will change the perceptions of NFL decision-makers.