March is here and with free agency beginning in just 10 days, the NFL offseason is starting to heat up. From Alex Smith getting traded to Kansas City to Joe Flacco’s new monster contract, these will no doubt be just a few of the many storylines around the league. scoutPRO expert Nelson Sousa was hard at work this past week watching the Combine and is back this week to offer up his thoughts on everything that went down in Indianapolis.
Although you may hear some compare him to RGIII, I see him as a smaller Cam Newton. He is a pocket passer, but a lot less accurate than RGIII. That is why I don’t agree with the comparison. He won’t step in and run an offense right away next season, and I just don’t think he will be a great QB, at least during his first couple years in the NFL.
If he goes to a team that runs a west coast offense, he could be fine. However, I just don’t think he will be all that special. Barkley’s stock has really fallen over the past two years, as many analysts were saying he would have been a top 10 pick had he declared after his junior year at USC.
Bray is flying under the radar, and may not make an impact in his rookie season. However, he has really good tools. He is one of the tallest (6’6” 232 lbs.) QB’s in the draft and has arguably the best arm of anyone. He does show some inconsistencies with his game, which is why I think it will take him a few years to make an impact.
Lacy’s stock rose to the rafters after his personal demolition of Notre Dame’s defense in the BCS National Championship game. Some are saying he is better than Trent Richardson, which is a bit ridiculous. He is getting a ton of hype right now, and it may or may not be warranted. I need some time to watch more film and will wait until his pro day to see what else he can do.
Like Lacy, I don’t see him being anything special at the next level. He played behind a massive offensive line at Wisconsin, which boasted an average weight of around 320 pounds per lineman. That played a big role in his production, so it’s hard to predict what will happen once he gets into an NFL backfield. I see him as a 2nd or 3rd round pick.
I believe Bernard will be a difference maker in his rookie season. He is an explosive RB who also catches well coming out of the backfield (had 47 receptions at UNC in 2012). He performed well at the Combine, finishing near the top in both the 20 and 60-yard shuttles. That shows his explosiveness, an attribute you definitely need to succeed as an NFL RB.
Unfortunately for him, he pulled his hamstring while running the 40 at the Combine. I still like this guy and will look to see what he can do at his pro day at Clemson.
This guy is worth all the hype and is a real deal difference maker. His elite speed and agility was on display in Indianapolis where he posted a blazing 4.34 forty time. The comparisons of a Wes Welker/Percy Harvin hybrid make sense. If a team like Atlanta or New England could draft him, he would be a great fit for their high-scoring passing attacks. More weapons for Matt Ryan and Tom Brady is not something opposing defenses want to hear.
Like Eddie Lacy, this guy is getting a lot of hype. He has drawn comparisons to Julio Jones, but I see him as more of a Stephen Hill type WR. He is a size and speed freak like Hill, which was on display at the Combine. He had strong performances in the 40, broad jump and vertical jump, but not so much during the position drills. Patterson messed up a number of times (e.g. not following directions) and looked quite confused at times. The Chiefs coach that was running the drills got frustrated with him, something you don’t want happening as a rookie. He is a huge work in progress and I don’t see him making an impact in his first year. With that being said, he will probably be the first WR off the board during the 2013 NFL draft.
He surprised everyone with his 40 time, matching Tavon Austin with a 4.34. I don’t see why he can’t be productive in the NFL and think he is worth the hype he is receiving after his surprising display of speed at the Combine.
The former Duke Blue Devil may not be a household name like Tavon Austin or Cordarrelle Patterson, but he is a guy who could make an impact as a later round pick. He is by no means a speed guy, but has many skills that a slot WR needs. He has good hands, run crisp routes and is simply a smart player. Mike Mayock was talking him up during the Combine, complementing him on his intangibles such as the ability to draw penalties. He won’t be taken in the early rounds, but he is the kind of player that you hear about during their rookie season.
If it weren’t for his college teammate Tavon Austin, you would probably hear about this guy more often. He has very good hands, which hauled in a whopping 25 TDs from Geno Smith in 2012. He is built similarly to Steve Smith, although he isn’t quite as fast (4.52 forty time).
Like Conner Vernon, this kid knows how to play the game. He is listed at 6’0”, 200 lbs. which doesn’t sound like anything special. However, he looks bigger on the field. Mike Mayock compared him to Reggie Wayne, which isn’t a bad guy to be compared to. He has no red flags or baggage attached to his name, and will get on the field right away with his football smarts.
This kid blew up the Combine. He excelled in basically every drill and clearly knows how to catch the ball. He didn’t look all that big to me, but that won’t be a problem for him. He can really stretch the field from the TE position. Since he didn’t do much blocking while at Notre Dame, that might be something he needs to improve upon as he transitions at the next level.
He looks like a player and will look to join his many former Stanford teammates as a high pick come April. Going into the Combine, all the talk at the TE position was concentrated on Ertz and Eifert. They did nothing to change my view on them and I think most analysts would agree with that.
He is flying under the radar, which surprises me. He basically matched Eifert’s numbers in every drill, while showing his upper body strength after posting the most bench reps at the TE position with 31. As a converted WR, he moves really well for his size and showed great athleticism making catches. With his ability to line up in the slot and a deep TE class, someone is going to get a great deal on this guy. He reminds me of Rob Gronkowski. Like Gronk, he isn’t going to be a first round pick, but don’t be surprised if he ends up being better than Eifert and Ertz.
Thanks for stopping by! Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter at @CSAscoutPRO and Nelson at @The_Franchise12!