This is one of the deepest groups of wide receivers the draft has had in a long time. With the likelihood of losing Emmanuel Sanders to free agency the Kevin Colbert and company must have watched intensely as the drills went on. Sunday saw some intriguing performances that will have an affect on draft status.
No quarterback really wowed in their throwing drills but there were a few that had a good outing.
A.J. McCarron, QB Alabama
McCarron didn't flash with arm strength as it looked slightly below average. However his footwork and ball placement was probably the best at the combine. It was a nice job by McCarron who showed scouts he has the throwing potential to compete for a spot on an NFL roster.
Keith Wenning, QB Ball State
Wenning lacks the athleticism to be anything but a pocket passer and he has below average arm strength as well. However he had two of the beast throws of the day on the out drill. They both had good zip and were put in perfect position...beautiful. Ball placement was a staple of his tape and Wenning may have earn himself the right to be drafted with his throws today.
Mike Evans, WR Texas A&M
Mike Evans impressed from the moment he was measured coming in at 6-foot-5, 231 pounds with ridiculous 35 1/8 in arm length ( longest of any WR in the draft). In the measured workouts Evans showed his basketball background posting a 37 inch vertical leap. He ran slightly faster than expected in the 40-yard dash with a 4.53 (with an even better 1.57 10-yard split). On the field, like on his tape, he caught everything that was thrown at him. His run through the gauntlet look effortless but it was his route running that he needed to answer. In his route he showed better than expected acceleration out of his breaks but he still struggled. He also had some footwork issues. Overall Evans look really good. He looked athletic enough that when he learns to use his body to aide his separation he will make some QB very happy. Ridiculous catch radius.
Kelvin Benjamin, WR Florida State
Benjamin impressed entering Indy measuring 6-foot-5, 240 pounds with an arm length an eighth of an inch short of 35 inches. However in the measured drills he under performed. He had a very poor 32.5 inch vertical leap, and ran an average 4.61 40-yard dash. On the field he seriously lacked explosiveness out of his breaks,and struggled to locate and cleanly catch the football. His unspectacular performance on the day solidified his project draft status instead of helping him. If I am Benjamin I am calling up former Seminole Anquan Boldin and asking him to team me how to use my body to get separation at the point because Benjamin won't be running away from anyone in the NFL.
Brandon Cooks, WR Oregon State
Brooks ran a 4.33 40-yard dash, (fastest of any WR), had the best 20 yard shuttle, the best 60 yard shuffle and finished in the top ten in the three cone drill. That was important for the 5-foot-10, 189 pound Cooks. On the field he ran the best routes of the day showing exceptional explosive ability in and out of his breaks. He caught the ball well thanks to his good size hands. Cooks is a rare blend of football player and athlete. He shredded the PAC-12 in and He should flourish in the NFL in the slot. He also has the top end speed to make some plays outside the numbers. An impressive day for the Oregon State receiver whose film already had him as a late first round pick.
Jarvis Landry, WR LSU
It was a very bad and very short day for Jarvis Landry. He posted two horrible measurements with a 4.77 in the 40-yard dash and a 28.5 in vertical leap. After his 40-yard dash Landry injured his calf preventing his performance in the on field drills. Landry film showed a polished route runner and a football player and he likely could have diminished the negative impact had he been able to run routes.
Andre Williams, RB Boston College
Andre Williams was impressive in the running back drills. He had good balance in his cuts, runs with a low center of gravity and looks well coordinated. At 5-foot-11, 230 pounds he ran a 4.56 in the 40-yard dash. He also had an explosive 38 inch vertical leap and a 10-foot 9-inch broad jump. Everything he did says NFL RB. Unfortunately it wasn't all good. In the backfield receiving drills he ran good routes but hand to double catch the football on his arrow route and flat out dropped an easy catch on his corner route. It became less of a question why he had zero receptions in 2013.
Kadeem Carey, RB Arizona
I got to see Carey tear up the PAC-12 for the last two years and was not prepared for the 4.7 he put up in the 40-yard dash. Carey did look better on the field but his lack of athleticism in every measured exercise will have scouts hurrying to go back and watch his tape. It might simply be he is a better football player than athlete. Completing for the top RB spot this hurt Carey's draft stock.
Dri Archer, RB Kent State
I think Archer might be better served as a slot receiver in the NFL at 5-foot-8 and 173 pounds. He looked explosive while running great route in the running back drills. He showcased an impressive 38 inch vertical leap. What will have fans, scouts and the media clamoring though is his 40-yard dash. Archer ran a 4.26 40-yard dash coming within two one-hundredths of a second from tying Chris Johnson record of 4.24. A year ago, when healthy, Archer was a play-maker for Kent State. I don't think he has the durability to remain at running back but there will be a place to give Archer some touches when a NFL drafts him.