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2015 NFL Combine Stock Watch: Marcus Mariota, Trae Waynes show off their athleticism

Who made us go back to the tape?

Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

The 2015 NFL Combine is over and done with. While some assumptions were proven correct (weak safety class, incredibly athletic pass rushers), others got a bit murkier (TCU's prospects running unbelievable slow speeds, running backs moving slower than expected).

The Combine, as usual, was a mixture of ups-and-downs. Running a slow time or owning the drills shouldn't move players that much, as the entire process makes you go back to the tape and reevaluate the players with the extra information. Some players proved worthy of the praise they were given, while others will have us going back to re-watch them because of their positive or negative results.

Below are some standouts and guys who need to be re-evaluated from the 2015 NFL Combine:


Marcus Mariota, QB, Oregon: The Oregon Duck continued to prove he is the most athletic quarterback to enter the NFL since Robert Griffin III in 2012. He finished as a top performer in every drill that he took part in, with the highlight coming on a 4.52 forty-yard dash.

Jameis Winston, QB, FSU: Winston was easily the best passer in Indianapolis. He made bucket throws to wide receivers he met just seconds beforehand and unlike most, I thought he came off well in his Combine press conference. People were salty about his forty time, but that doesn't matter when you're a proficient pocket passer who is likely to play for the Buccaneers.

Trae Waynes, CB, Michigan State: Whoa! I knew Waynes was athletic, but 4.31 on the forty? I didn't see that coming at all. I thought he'd be in the 4.4-4.5 range heading into the Combine. For folks that have questions about his ability to play in space, this should ease their pain.

Vic Beasley, DE/OLB, Clemson: Beasley was known for being an athletic freak prior to the Combine but he was just on fire on Sunday. He topped the charts for all pass rusher tests and ran faster than several wide receivers at the forty-yard dash. He is an incredible specimen who needs to improve in run defense but gaining 20 pounds prior to the Combine and benching 35 reps will help him sneak into the Top 10.

David Johnson, RB, Northern Iowa: Huge fan, but I wasn't blinded on Saturday. Johnson continues to prove that he is belongs. He ran a top five speed for running backs with a 4.5 hustle and did very well in drills. He's the best receiving back in this class in my opinion.

Ali Marpet, OL, Hobart & William Smith: He was the only offensive lineman to run under five second at the forty yard dash and continues to raise his stock. This dude can move and I could see the Eagles falling in love with him.

Byron Jones, CB, Connecticut: When you break a world record for the broad jump at the NFL Combine, you deserve love from everyone. When you're 6-foot-1 and 199 pounds and do it, you're going to get love from Eagles writers. Jones didn't run the forty due to injury but he crushed every other drill. He's likely a mid-Day 2 prospect at this point.

Go Back to the Tape

Ladarius Gunter, CB, Miami: Gunter is legitimately one of my favorite players in this draft and was our first profile on BGN this draft season. That said, I am pretty sure he will not be looked at as a cornerback moving forward. That hurts his value as the ability to play both cornerback and safety made him standout. I still think he can be a dynamic starting safety during his career, but being 4.69 runner won't help him get looks at covering receivers frequently. He should bounce back a little at his Pro Day.

Paul Dawson, ILB, TCU: Ugh, another one of my favorites doesn't do well at the speed portion of the program. I agree with Dawson that he plays much faster than he ran (4.93), but only being 6-foot and 235 pounds, he needed to show that he has a dynamic trait other than being a solid tackler. His workout was concerning.

Vince Mayle, WR, Washington St: Mayle isn't very fast on tape but his 4.67 forty time won't help matters. At 6-foot-2 and 224 pounds, scouts will have to determine if he is just a redzone threat entering the league.

Devin Funchess, WR/TE, Michigan: Funchess is big at 6-foot-4 and 233 pounds, but he really showed that he probably more of a tight end than a wide receiver at the next level. Sporting similar measurables to Zach Ertz, he could still definitely be a weapon but may prove to be less valuable than previously assumed by couch scouts. He ran a 4.7 forty-time and only benched 17 reps.

Kenny Hilliard, RB, LSU: At 6-foot and 226 pounds, Hilliard is a big back. Still I expected him to run around 4.6 or early-4.7. He unfortunately showed they he may only be a short yardage back at the next level with a 4.83 run. I would have like to have seen more burst out of his jumps as well.

Ezell Ruffin, WR, San Diego St: When you're a 6-foot, 218-pound receiver from San Diego State, I expect you at least to go in the early 4.6's. Ruffin finished with a 4.68 time which slower than I expected. He really needs a good Pro Day run.

Chris Hackett, S, TCU: BGN's not-so-secret love affair with Hackett may have ended with a 4.86 forty-yard dash. Truth be told, I was shocked by the time, because he plays way faster on tape. Perhaps, like Dawson, he's has faster in-game speed.

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