The 2017 NFL Combine
kicks off lifts off (the bench press is first) on Tuesday and it’s sure to be the usual hype fest of overreacting to what players do in shorts. But it certainly has its uses. For many players, their tape speaks for itself. But for others, a good performance in Indianapolis can reduce doubt of a player’s ability to play a certain position, and a bad one can increase it. Mostly this is for corners who might be safeties, and pass rushers who could be moving to or from a 4-3 to 3-4 or vice versa, but there’s also medical concerns that need to be doubled checked. Additionally, the interviews can make or break players, but today we’ll just focus on the physical aspects.
Over the past few weeks, we’ve profiled players that might interest in the Eagles in the draft, some of whom could use a good combine.
CB Chidobe Awuzie, Colorado
Awuzie is one of those “quicker than fast” players who can help himself with a good 40 time.
DE/LB Terrell Basham, Ohio
Most likely a 4-3 DE, but could convince 3-4 teams he can play LB with a good day.
T/G Adam Bisnowaty, Pittsburgh
Bisnowaty has all the cliches you want for a guard, but probably lacks the athleticism you want for a tackle. He can show that he does with a good performance.
RB James Conner, Pittsburgh
Conner missed all of 2015 with an MCL tear and recovering from Hodgkin’s lymphoma. He came back and had a strong season, but teams are going to want another medical check on him.
DE Kieonta Davis, Tennessee-Chattanooga
Davis had a good week at the Senior Bowl, following it up with a solid Combine should boost this small school prospect.
CB Rasul Douglas, West Virginia
Douglas is another corner who has questionable speed, which he can answer with a good 40.
WR Amba Etta-Tawo, Syracuse
Etta-Tawo came out of nowhere to have a highly productive season after transferring from Maryland. A strong Combine can only help him given his short resume.
WR Zay Jones, East Carolina
Jones is the prototypical prospect who comes to the Combine with huge numbers at a non-powerhouse school and concerns about just how good of an athlete he is. A good performance should alleviate some of those concerns.
CB Damontae Kazee, San Diego State
Another CB who can solidify his draft status with a solid 40.
CB/S Desmond King, Iowa
King’s position in the NFL will be debated even after he’s drafted. Can he play corner in the NFL, or is he better off at safety? A good showing at the Combine could have teams leaning towards the former.
RB/WR Curtis Samuel, Ohio State
Is Samuel a WR or a RB in the NFL? We’ll see, but at the Combine he’ll be with the WRs, where he can give teams a little deeper look at his abilities as a route runner and pass catcher.
T/G Nico Siragusa, San Diego State
San Diego State ran the ball a ton, only five teams had more passing attempts per game than the Aztecs, so there isn’t much tape on Siragusa pass blocking. The Combine will give him a chance to show his level of athleticism, whatever it may be.
DE/LB Solomon Thomas
Probably the best of the “tweener” DE/LB edge rushers, a good day could help put him in play for 3-4 teams, a weak one could limit him to 4-3 teams.
DE/LB Tim Williams, Alabama
Like Thomas, how he performs in agility drills will impact how 3-4 teams see him.
DE Jordan Willis, Kansas State
Willis had a great week at the Senior Bowl after two strong years with the Wildcats, so he doesn’t need a good day at the Combine, but a good performance will really boost his stock in the media.