As the 2017 NFL Combine keeps flying by, more and more information keeps pouring in over these different NFL prospects. Yesterday, though short on drills, there yielded a lot of intriguing measurements, rumors and interviews.
- The Eagles reportedly met with Dalvin Cook yesterday for an interview. The Florida State running back is one of the best players in this class and his athletic ability to change a game on a single touch will be highly coveted around the league. Cook can run outside or inside the tackles and is a fantastic receiver. There were concerns about his shoulders, but he has reportedly gotten a green light around the league for his health. If the interview went well and he lights up the combine today (he will), he should be a serious target for the Eagles in the first round.
- Jon Allen reportedly has had two shoulder surgeries in relation to arthritis in both shoulders. While a lot of NFL insiders have downplayed the severity of this condition, it is notable for a player many consider to be a potential top three pick. Here's hoping this condition is not damning to Allen's career and hampers his bright future.
- Samaje Perine threw up 30 reps of 225 on the bench press yesterday. The 233 pound running back is one of the more powerful runners in this class and he is built like cinderblock, so this is not surprising, just impressive. Meanwhile, Christian McCaffrey was only able to get 10 reps. It is not a huge concern considering that nobody thinks of McCaffrey as a power back and also there correlation between benching and running back success is hard to find. However, it is cool to see guys dominate the drill.
- Forrest Lamp and Isaac Asiata dominated the bench press test. The two offensive linemen put up 34 and 35 reps respectively. Both have a reputation as being strong, mean players on the field, so it is no surprise that showed up in the weight room.
- There are a lot of large, well built receivers in this class. This should be music to the ears of most Eagles fans. 23 wide receivers in this class measured over 6'2" and several more weighed at least 215 pounds. One of the biggest winners of measurement day was Jalen Robinette. I have been a big fan of Robinette for some time now and him coming in at 6'3", 220 pounds with nearly 11 inch hands is a massive boost to how NFL teams may view the gifted wide out.
Today, while receivers, tight ends and quarterbacks bench while offensive linemen and running backs will be doing athletic testing and front seven players will be getting measurements done. Here are some predictions for today:
- There is a sub 4.35 second 40 yard dash today: While I do not think there are a lot of backs who can threaten this time, Dalvin Cook and Tarik Cohen are two of the fastest players in this draft. While everyone knows Dalvin Cook, less people know of the 5'6", 176 pound lightning bolt Tarik Cohen out of NC-A&T. The small school back rushed for over a thousand yards in all four years of starting and scored 56 touchdowns on the ground. He is incredibly explosive and it would not surprise me for him to have the best forty of all the running backs.
- Leonard Fournette has himself a day: While it is not a shocking prediction, it would be more surprising for Fournette not to have a good combine than if he did. While I don't expect good numbers in the agility drills, look for amazing broad jump, vertical jump, forty yard dash time and especially a fast ten yard dash. Fournette is going to show off the power and speed today that made him the back he is.
- Samaje Perine surprises: I have long stanned for Perine as being one of the best backs in this class. He has measured well to this point, but he will surprise people today with his athletic ability. At 233 pounds, expect impressive drills across the board for the back, especially in the jumps.
- Christian McCaffrey quiets his doubters: It is seriously amazing to me how quickly Christian McCaffrey is being written off as a true NFL running back. McCaffrey put up over 3600 yards rushing in his last two years in arguably the most pro style running offense in college football. He is a bit smaller, but he has proved his ability to run between the tackles at an incredibly high level. After measuring a bit under par, the concerns grew louder. However, Christian McCaffrey should have a nice day in drills that assuage the fears of many who doubt he can't translate to anything more than a role player.
- Among the offensive linemen, I would not be surprised to see Cam Robinson or Forrest Lamp to come out of today as the best athletes in the group. Robinson has been a freak since his freshman year and Lamp reportedly is a weight room marvel, so impressive numbers from the both of them would not be surprising. After all, they are the two best tackles in this class.