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9:47pmET = Wrapping up the RB talk, and my commentary for Day Two…
If you thought Jonathan Taylor was going to keep running #2-3-4 in draft rankings for mainstream, and you hoped it was going to mean he was going to be a #2-3-4-5 dynasty rookie draft pick option…I think that came to an end here. I think Taylor just bolted to the top of the class and will be taken by a team to be THE GUY…and thus he will be the #1 rookie taken in dynasty rookie drafts.
Also, Taylor is killing it in the passing drills as well.
D’Andre Swift will fall to a close 2nd in the rankings, but I think he might fade a bit in the actual NFL Draft.
J.K. Dobbins will fight for #2 with Swift.
Cam Akers has probably pulled into the #4 spot…Zack Moss and Clyde Edwards-Hellaire in the top 3-4…those days are likely over.
A.J. Dillon is going to make a move on the top five, potentially – a 4.53 40-time at his size but then a jaw dropping best in RB class 41.0” vertical is absolutely insane at his size. Besides Jon Taylor…Dillon probably had the best night sending people a buzz in Indy behind the scenes. Dillon’s Combine has left me speechless. I am stunned how good these measurables are for Dillon. They are otherworldly for his size.
This is the end of the commentary for tonight. No streaming commentary SAT-SUN. I will be watching it and taking notes, and doing a wrap up for Monday.
The first deeper scouting reports on non-QBs will be out next week as well. Likely starting with the top WRs – as my Lamb-Ruggs-Higgins, etc., grades are nothing like the mainstream. I need to check why. I’ve been a Chase Claypool and Michael Pittman guy, so we’ll see how they grade when we do the deeper dives.
Thanks for following along. Enjoy the rest of the Combine and the weekend!!
9:34pmET = Side note...talking to someone connected to Tampa Bay -- they feel that Arians truly is frustrated with Jameis Winston's turnovers and they are for sure actively looking to replace him with a veteran in free agency. Arians thinks he has a playoff team but cannot afford to have Jameis turning games over with his picks. Arians wants Rivers, but they feel like he's all but going to Indy. And Brady likely to the Pats or Titans, which leaves TB paying up for Ryan Tannehill or...biting the bullet with a Jameis franchise tag and rolling the dice for one more season.
Arians really wants to trade for Baker but his availability might not be there yet (but could be next year).
No interest in Teddy Bridgewater for Arians.
9:02pmET = Wow...Jonathan Taylor just came in at 4.39 40-time official. Extra WOW!
8:33pmET = Some bigger differences in runs 1 and 2 for a couple players, so I’m interested to see the official times because a couple surprising fast guys…mat not be as fast as believed after their 1st run.
It’s really been the Jonathan Taylor show with D’Andre Swift a step+ behind him…and really everyone else as an afterthought.
A.J. Dillon really helped himself.
Raymond Calais get himself on the map, which I am happy for.
Sewo Olonilua running in the 4.6s at 230+ pounds did OK.
Cam Akers held his own.
Zack Moss and Clyde Edwards-Hellaire did not help themselves at all.
8:08pmET = OK, the RBs all ran their first 40-time. Instant reactions…
Jonathan Taylor steals the show with the fastest time of 4.41 at 226 pounds. I’ve been consistent since summer of 2019 that he’s the best RB prospect in 2020, and would have been of 2019. I think I nailed it…no negative with his 40-time, not even close.
D’Andre Swift, I have not been a fan of…but he ran a 4.49. Better than I thought, but my issue with him is not straight speed, it’s east-west and instincts.
A.J. Dillon…240+ pounds, a 4.53 and I cannot get over how good his physique looked. A freak. Big win for him. I got down on him from 2019 to 2020. Looking forward to my deeper study now. Hopefully he can run a nice three-cone to go with.
Darryton Evans, the App State RB runs a 4.42…I’m a fan of his, but I didn’t think he’d go that fast.
Zack Moss will tumble…a 4.72 40-time takes him off my like list.
Lamical Perine ran a 4.65…I thought that might be coming. Totally overrated.
I never got the Benny LeMay hype, but his 4.8+ 40-time ends all that.
The most hyped guy going into this, by the TV people, Edwards-Hellaire…he got everyone quiet with a weak 4.61 40-time. Weak for his diminutive size. He’s also overrated.
7:51pmET = No J.K. Dobbins running.
A.J. Dillon is a ripped 247 pounds and just ran a 4.53 40-time...I need to re-look at him, I thought he might be too slow with no east-west, but the power/strength was obvious. That 40-time is a 'wow'. His body in the spandex is wow.
7:33pmET = I am ready to see if my hunch that D'Andre Swift is not good going east-west is going to come true. If he's smart, and if it is an issue, he'll skip the agility times...actually, he should skip all the times -- that would be my advice if I were his agent.
6:44pmET = Top things I’m interested in with the RBs…
-- Jonathan Taylor running a 4.55 or faster time. A 4.6+ is a bit of a killer.
-- I suspect J.K. Dobbins dropped to 209 to run in the 4.4s. if he runs high 4.5s or worse, at his size – not good.
-- Off the grid RBs to run the fastest 40 times for their position…
Maryland RB Javon Leake
Maryland RB Anthony McFarland
My choice/hunch = Louisiana RB Raymond Calais
Georgia RB Brian Herrien
-- Ole Miss RB Scottie Phillips killed it at the bench press (29 reps), and I know he’s a tough runner and it makes more sense now – but does he have the speed to go with to launch his prospect status.
-- Guys I think could hurt themselves here…
Florida State RB Cam Akers
Florida RB Lamical Perine
-- The 40-time I want to see the most, besides Calais – 235+ pound RB Sewo Olonilua
5:55pmET = Things from group two on the OLs…
SC State LT Alex Taylor was my favorite OL from the Senior Bowl…and to see him here is ‘wow’ – you get the full glory of his 88”+ wingspan…I mean, literally, his arms go down with his fingertips near his knee caps. It’s surreal. 6’8”+. Ran well too. He’s working his way to 1st-round status, or a major steal after that.
Ball State OT Danny Pinter ran a 4.91 40-time, possible best among the OLs…and he was super smooth moving too.
Well, Pinter was fast until Iowa OT Tristan Wirfs rocked everyone with a 4.86 40-time with a 1.69 10-yard with tree trunk legs. He’s a top 10 prospect.
UConn OT Matt Peart has everyone’s attention – 6’7”, nearly 37” arm length and ran a 5.01.
The O-Line talent is amazing here. We might have 10-15 elite players in this NFL Draft…all guys who should go top five, but some will last til late in the 1st-round or beyond. We’ll see what the defensive guys have, but this might be the best draft, top to bottom, for talent, that I’ve ever seen to this point in the process.
5:39pmET = The rumors of the Lions possibly taking Mekhi Becton at #3 have begun in Indy.
5:36pmET = NFL Network discussing Tom Brady and free agency...I just heard -- ...Belichick, this guy usually has a plan in place. I wouldn't put it past him to have some sort of plan Brady or not.
Wow, I thought Belichick would have no plan for his quarterback spot. That Belichick guy is crafty...thanks for the head's up!
5:14pmET = Just watching the O-Line drills from group one but the two guys I really wanted to watch both got minor injuries and are done before this – Mekhi Becton and LSU OC Lloyd Cushenberry.
4:33pmET = OL group one winners…
Louisville’s Mekhi Becton will become somewhat of a legend with his size (364 pounds) and running not only a 5.11 40-time, but a 1.77 10-yard is sick. It’s a bigger ‘wow for me than Henry Ruggs or Chase Claypool from yesterday.
OT Boise State Ezra Cleveland made the proverbial money…two 4.94 40-times unofficially. Fastest guy so far, and probably will be the fastest. He was effortless (for an OL).
OT Auburn Jack Driscoll with a 1.75 10-yard looked real solid too.
Losers, if you will…
Trey Adams OT Washington was not helped here…he looked like he was running uphill with a piano on his back.
4:16pmET = OT Meckhi Becton running a 5.11 40-time at 364 pounds is simply stunning. He's in the argument for the best non-QB player in this draft potentially, not just because of this time...but the time is a real 'wow' -- he might be more important to football things than Chase Young. I'm not proclaiming that, but getting ready to run all the data...it wouldn't surprise me if our models claimed it.
3:48pmET = Getting ready for the O-Linemen.
I’ve hardly done any work on the O-Line, for time’s sake (so much more time spent on the motherload of WR prospects, and RBs) and that I love my computer models vetting that group out for me more so I can hone in to watch a select few for my scouting takes/assumptions. I know some OL prospects from watching them work at the Senior Bowl, but I’m ready to get my first serious looks at comparing and contrasting measurables here to put with my blocking grades/numbers in my system. The measurables are so key for the O-Linemen, so we’ll see who stands out today.
After the O-Line, we get the RBs at work…suddenly people are getting excited about this RB class, but I think it’s more people get excited at this time in general – all the new shiny toys and their possibilities!!! Some big name/ranked RBs are going to get made/confirmed here and some will take big hits to their status…we’ll find out who between 7pm-11pmET. I’ll get into RB things I’m looking for as we go today/tonight.
Notes from today/yesterday to share from the Combine…
-- Justin Herbert is the hottest name from yesterday…hotter than any WR or anyone right now. He was already being discussed as a possible top 5-10 pick beforehand and now everyone is falling in love.
The Herbert hype is real and now there is more talk behind the scenes on Herbert v. Tua…it’s not just people trying to drive the Tua price down.
When you see top 10 picking teams meeting with top QBs that you wouldn’t think they would/need…it’s to spark interest in trading down to a team wanting to move up for Herbert.
-- The Jordan Love hype, just like at the Senior Bowl, is dissipating. My sources say they feel the media lovefest for Love is more teams in the top 10 trying to bluff teams into moving in to take him. Teams are feeding leaks to the media on how much they love Love, when, really, the passion is not there – it’s shifting to Herbert. The hype might get Love taken in the top 10…because it only takes one sucker.
Teams are getting more excited/intrigued by Jalen Hurts than Love at this point…Love just doesn’t show the ‘it’ factor, despite what the media is saying – teams are lying/leaking to the media to get things spread around.
-- The Joe Burrow to Carolina talk is heating up… I’m not sure if I was the first to put this thought out there (a few weeks ago), but now people are really into it…at least speculating. I think it makes a ton of sense.
-- There’s not much WR talk, as everyone is pretty comfortable with what they thought coming in not changing because of yesterday. Two names on the move…
UP = Chase Claypool is now on fire, the ‘it’ WR everyone was convinced (but me) would be a TE. Many are re-scouting him now.
DOWN = Laviska Shenault is crumbling for various reasons. No way he’s going 1st-round now. He may not make the 2nd-round. Weak running times. Slacker look backing up a slacker off the field fears, plus his injury history – Shenault is going out the 1st-round and Claypool will be getting in there in a few weeks when the scaredy cat mock drafters of the world get a signal that Mel Kiper or whomever does it first, then they’ll all follow.