Notes from the 2020 Combine Measurables…
Before the actual timings and drills we have the height-weight-hand-arm sizes. I have a few notes after taking a look at these QB-RB-WR-TE measurements…just some initial reactions I had, and a few other thoughts from Wednesday’s proceedings sprinkled in…
-- Tua Tagovailoa coming in at 6’0”-even is another knock against Tua. I know he’s a very good QB talent, but everything else is very un-NFL-like…things that should scare the NFL -- but because they were bought in on Tua years ago and because he went to Alabama, nothing ever seems to hit his draft stock.
People were hysterical about Kyler Murray and Baker Mayfield’s size, but not a peep about Tua. Why? Because everyone is pre-bought in on Tua, so like political news coverage…the writer’s political leanings dictate the coverage or lack of coverage of negatives about ‘their guy/gal’. It’s no different in the NFL. Tua is being given the royal treatment in the media and has been for years. It took 60 TDs in a college season and a national title and a Tua hip injury for NFL people to rank Burrow over Tua, but in their hearts they like Tua better and if you ask why – the reasons are ridiculous (compared to Burrow, and others) and the surreal gloss over of the issues on Tua are laughable as well.
-- Jake Fromm with 8.87” hands are another blow to his dying draft stock.
-- Random note…
Charlie Casserly, on NFL Network, said he polled 27 personnel people on Burrow or healthy/never had a hip injury Tua. The results were 23-3-1 to Burrow. This surprised Casserly.
I think it is a sign of something I felt months ago – Tua is more of a football media and ‘Alabama’ phenomena. Not that Tua isn’t good but there are a lot of unspoken concerns aside from his injuries – weaker arm, small height, not Russell Wilson thick, slow runner, played with an all-star cast WR group. You can’t question him out loud or you’re a fool.
Subsequently, what happened at the Senior Bowl early is happening at the Combine – the unstudied national football analysts who do little real scouting are all falling in love with Jordan Love. They are even going so far as to mention Love with Patrick Mahomes in the same breath. Analysts never change…they love ‘big arm’ over everything.
When I watched Mahomes coming into the draft, I thought – utterly brilliant playmaker who takes way too many risks and could be a turnover issue early on and fight uptight coaches about his playing style. I never watched Jordan Love and thought ‘brilliant playmaker’…more just ‘wow, look at those tools…why is he such a bland QB with those tools?’ Mahomes wowed you with his throws TO players. Love wows you with his throwing ability. It doesn’t matter if they look similar throwing the ball occasionally – one of them was surreal making plays with that arm, the other just looks good throwing.
Love was a god after day one of the Senior Bowl practices, shorts and pads drills, but when the play got more 11-on-11, Love faded off and everyone walked away chirping about Justin Herbert. Well, early Combine feedback…it’s Jordan Love love again, to start. The Combine is built to feature him, so his stock is going higher after this even – throwing in shorts and a t-shirt, and the scout’s reading so much into it, is the biggest single death knell of NFL scouts/GMs/coaches.
-- I was disappointed with Cincy TE Josiah Deguara’s measurables…he came in under the crucial (for a TE) 6’3” mark at 6’2.3”. That’s going to hurt his draft stock. You wouldn’t think it matters…it does to the NFL. It puts Deguara in more of a Jordan Reed role/outlook, and no one has been a ‘Jordan Reed type’ TE in the NFL…since…Jordan Reed WITH Sean McVay.
I liked what I saw on Deguara’s tape, as a receiver…but was hoping he’d come in bigger than 6’3” to maybe get a three-down NFL role/drafting…but not as likely now.
-- On the other hand, I was surprised to see Stanford TE Colby Parkinson top a 6’7” (0672) and 250+ pound measurement. With (if) a top three speed/agility among the TE group, Parkinson is going to be in the discussion for most intriguing/top TE prospect in this draft.
-- Thaddeus Moss took a draft stock hit by coming in at 6’1-7/8”. He doesn’t have the size or movement of a top TE, to me. This measurement hurts his case with the NFL even further. His name will get him drafted…and whatever team drafts Burrow – they will likely draft Moss too.
-- I was surprised to see Laviska Shenault come in at only 6’0 5/8”…I thought around 6’2” made sense. It makes him more of an A.J. Brown or Deebo Samuel type WR…not an outside #1 dominator WR, in theory.
-- I was surprised to see Virginia WR Joe Reed come in at 224 pounds. He was listed 215 in college. If Reed is 224 and runs in the 4.5s or better – he has a body profile like Shenault and is pretty gifted in his own right. I think Reed is one of the deep sleepers of this WR class. BUT if the 224 is bad weight and he’s a 4.6+ runner…down the rankings he will tumble.
-- If I don’t hear another word about how fast Henry Ruggs supposedly is, I would consider it pure joy. Did we not learn our lesson from John Ross?
Ruggs might be a 4.2+ runner but so what? There will be other guys running in that range and they will get 5% of the attention. No one is talking about Ruggs the receiver talent, but Ruggs so ‘scary’ because of his speed. Are teams afraid of John Ross? Can’t you just send any speedster downfield to take the top off of some coverage?
But, HEY! Ruggs went to Alabama…so he’s more special than anyone else…except for the other Alabama WRs.
-- J.K. Dobbins came in an inch shorter and five pounds lighter than his listed weight this season…not a great profile if he sticks at that weight but he probably dropped some pounds to run faster at the Combine, and then he’ll bulk back up. It was a little surprising to see, though…he plays bigger than he is (here).
-- …as opposed to Jonathan Taylor, who came in at the near-perfect size – 5’10/226.
-- Speaking of size, my man TCA RB Sewo Olonilua came in at 6’2 5/8” and 232 pounds…about 8 pounds less than what was projected. He’s down in weight to run fast times – if he can get into the 4.5s, he’s going to move up the draft boards for most/all. He’s the kind of specimen that can really ‘win’ at a Combine event.
-- A surprise to me…Maryland RB Javon Leake coming in at 6’0”/215…I thought he was a bit too skinny on tape. He added about 10 pounds for this event. If he keeps his speed at that size…he’ll ‘win’ at the Combine as well.
-- The slide of Memphis RB/WR Antonio Gibson continues…8.6” hands is not helping his case as a sleeper runner-receiver.