NFL Combine Results: Major stock fluctuations in the running backs and wide receivers groups

US PRESSWIRE

The Combine has come and gone and it is time to break down how players did. We started with the quarterbacks yesterday and now let's take a look at the running back's and wide receivers.

Running Backs:

The top two running backs in the draft class coming into the combine were Giovani Bernard of North Carolina and Eddie Lacy of Alabama. Lacy, unfortunately, injured his hamstring before the combine and did not work out. He will attempt to work out at Alabama's pro day. Bernard, on the other hand, worked out and was impressive. He showed above average speed, running a 4.53 in the 40-yard dash with an impressive 1.53 10 yard split. He also put up 225 pounds 19 times, an impressive number for a running back.

Ultimately he didn't do much to hurt or help his stock and did what was expected of him. His draft range is anywhere from 20 to 50 depending on who you ask.

The next tier of running backs is where a lot of movement occurred. Runners like Montee Ball, Kenjon Barner, Le'Veon Bell, Andre Ellington, Johnathan Franklin, Mike Gillislee, Ray Graham, Jawan Jamison, Marcus Lattimore, Stepfan Taylor, and Joseph Randle.

Le'Veon Bell was probably the biggest winner of the group, dropping over 15 pounds from his college playing weight to weigh in at 230 pounds. He then ran an impressive 4.52 in the 40 and probably solidified himself as a second round pick. Two backs that hurt themselves were Rutgers Jawan Jamison and Wisconsin's Montee Ball.

Ball ran a poor 40, clocking in at 4.66 and did not impress in the drills as well. He looks like a fourth or fifth round pick who might be able to get a niche as a short yardage back.

Bernard, on the other hand, worked out and was impressive. He showed above average speed, running a 4.53 in the 40-yard dash with an impressive 1.53 10 yard split. He also put up 225 pounds 19 times, an impressive number for a running back.

Jamison had the smallest hands of any back at the combine and then followed that up by measuring at just 5-foot-7. He also ran a pitiful 4.68 with a dreadful 1.66 10 yard split. He made a questionable decision to declare after his sophomore year and it looks like it might have been a bad choice.

Lattimore helped his stock despite not working out because he looked good according to the doctors and he had huge hands. Stepfan Taylor also really hurt his stock after running an embarrassing 4.76 40 and having small hands. He won't go in the top four rounds at this point. Ray Graham also hurt his stock, running a terrible 4.8 40 and he also did not look very good in the drills.

After the top two tiers of running backs, the third tier is made up of players like Rex Burkhead, Knile Davis, D.J. Harper, Michael Ford, Mike James, Montell Harris, Stefphon Jefferson, Onterio McCalebb, Christine Michael, Theo Riddick, Robbie Rouse, Spencer Ware, Kerwynn Williams, George Winn, and Cierre Wood.

A running back who definitely improved their stock big time is Arkansas' Knile Davis. At one time considered a first round prospect, Davis showed why, running a blistering 4.37 40 and running an incredible 1.49 10 yard split. He also repped the bench press 31 times and showed that he might just be fully healthy now. A team will likely look to take a chance on him in the third round.

The backs who didn't do much to improve or hurt their stock were: Burkhead, Ford, Harris, James, Jefferson, Riddick, Winn, and Wood.Another running back who helped his stock is Auburn's Onterio McCalebb. McCalebb ran an impressive 4.34 and an absurd 1.45 10 yard split. He weighed in at just 168 pounds but he did solidify himself as a draftable prospect. Christine Michael of Texas A&M was another prospect who impressed, running a 4.41 40 and having the highest vertical of any running back. He, however, missed two team interviews because he overslept which will likely have a major negative effect on his draft position.

Wide Receivers:

The wide receivers stole the show at the combine, posting blistering 40 times and showing great athleticism. The top tier of receivers coming into the Combine were: Keenan Allen, Cordarrelle Patterson, Tavon Austin, DeAndre Hopkins, Justin Hunter, and Terrance Williams. Both Allen and Hopkins did as expected and neither should see a major boost or decline in their stock. However, the two Tennessee receivers (Patterson and Hunter) stole the show. Hunter went first, measuring 6-foot-4, 196 pounds and running a 4.41 40. He had an impressive 39.5 inch vertical as well. His stock is now likely at worst a top 40 pick and he could even rise up to the first round.

Patterson basically solidified himself as the top receiver in the draft after running a 4.37 40 at 6-foot-2, 216 pounds. He will likely go off the board in the top 15 picks. Tavon Austin was the star of the show, running an unofficial 4.25 in the 40 and a blistering 1.45 10 yard split. At just 5-foot-9, he likely won't be a top 20 pick, but he could easily go off the board in the 21 to 32 range. Terrance Williams impressed in the drills and ran a good 40 at 4.46 at 6-foot-2, 208 pounds but some people are very concerned about his small hands. He should go in round two.

The next tier of wide receivers was perhaps the group that impressed the most. Names in this group include guys like Stedman Bailey, Josh Boyce, Marcus Davis, Marquise Goodwin, Corey Fuller, Cobi Hamilton, Aaron Mellette, Quinton Patton, Denard Robinson, Da'Rick Rogers, Kenny Stills, Ryan Swope, Conner Vernon, and Markus Wheaton. The men who didn't hurt or help their stock were Stedman Bailey, Conner Vernon, Markus Wheaton, Quinton Patton, Aaron Mellette, Da'Rick Rogers, and Denard Robinson.

Patterson basically solidified himself as the top receiver in the draft after running a 4.37 40 at 6-foot-2, 216 pounds. He will likely go off the board in the top 15 picks.

Marquise Goodwin did the most to help his stock after running an insane unofficial 40 of 4.25 and the fastest 10 yard split of any receiver at 1.43. He showed his track abilities and was decent in the drills and should go off the board in round three or four. Cobi Hamilton, on the other hand, hurt his stock even though he ran a decent 4.47. The reason his stock will fall is because his hands are small and his 10 yard split was slow. Look for him to go in round 3 or 4 instead of round two as was first thought. Ryan Swope and Kenny Stills both helped their stocks, running 4.34 and 4.38 respectively. Neither of them were expected to run anywhere near those times so they could see their stocks rise from the fourt to five range and into the three range.

The last tier of receivers, which includes guys like Mark Harrison, Brandon Kaufman, Tavarres King, Alec Lemon, T.J. Moe, Ace Sanders, Rodney Smith, Ryan Spadola, and Kenbrell Thompkins had some impressive performances as well. The biggest performance out of this group was from Rutgers Mark Harrison. After weighing in at 6-foot-3, 231 pounds most people expected a 40 in the 4.5 to 4.6 range but instead he ran a 4.47 with a 38.5 inch vertical. He showed he has the leaping ability and speed to take the top off a defense and he could go in round four or five as a result. Ryan Spadola of Lehigh was the biggest shock of the combine, coming in as a relative unknown. At 6-foot-1 he has good size and he ran in impressive 4.41 in the 40. He also looked great in drills and as a result, he could go as high as round four but he will likely be off the board no later than round five or six.


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