2015 NFL Combine: QB / RB Recap

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Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

The most popular day of the combine is over and the offensive players have finished all of their measurements, drills, and interviews. I’ll be going through each position breaking down which players helped and which hurt their draft stock at this year’s combine. Below is a recap of how the quarterbacks and running backs did in Indy over the weekend.

Draft Stock Rising:

QB Jameis Winston, Florida St (6’4 | 231 | 4.97): There is no way to know how Winston’s team interviews went, but the rumors are that he did well. He certainly aced his time at the podium, his X/O session with Steve Mariucci, and his time with the combine hosts at the end of the day. Winston came off as a likeable guy and was one of the most vocal players during the drills which teams like to see. Of course it could be an act, but if so it was a good one. On the field, Winston showed his usual touch, accuracy, and anticipation as well as more than enough arm strength. Unless some negatives come out about Winston’s interviews or he has another off-field incident, Jameis should be the #1 pick in the draft.

QB Marcus Mariota, Oregon (6’4 | 222 | 4.52): On the field Mariota did everything well with a blistering 40-time and a strong accurate arm, but he’s just not a talkative guy. It’s not a negative, but it was magnified next to a gregarious character like Winstron. Teams want their QBs to be leaders and despite multiple teammates extolling Mariota’s leadership virtues, his lack of personality isn’t helping his stock any. It’s a very minor gripe as everything Mariota did on the field helped his cause and he’s a lock for at least the #2 QB with still a chance to go #1 overall.

RB Ameer Abdullah, Nebraska (5’9 | 205 | 4.60): While his 4.6 40-time was slower than expected, Abdullah was great in the rest of the drills. His Sparq score was the best among all RBs due to his ridiculous vertical leap of 42.5″ and broad jump of 10’10” which were both the best scores at his position. From the old-fashioned eye test, Abdullah was the most fluid back on the field in the drills. He cut effortlessly without losing speed or turning his shoulders, and just looked quicker than everyone else. Abdullah is solidly my #3 back and should be a 2nd round pick.

Glenn Andrews-USA TODAY Sports

RB David Johnson, Northern Iowa (6’1 | 224 | 4.50): This guy’s stock just keeps rising. After a standout performance at the Senior Bowl, Johnson had the 3rd best 40-time and 2nd best 10-yard split despite being one of the bigger backs in the group. He also looked fluid in the drills, showed off his excellent hands, and his running style reminds me of Matt Forte. In the last two months Johnson has gone from a late day 3 pick to a guy with a shot at going early on day 2. He’s passed high profile RBs like T.J. Yeldon and Mike Davis on my running back big board.

RB Jeremy Langford, Michigan St (6’0 | 208 | 4.42): I’ve watched MSU as much as any other team in the last two seasons and I never would have bet on Langford for the best 40-time. His 4.42 was a shocker but he did it twice, so it was no fluke. Langford is a solid back and running a tenth of a second faster than expected will boost his stock from the late to middle rounds. He’s a good all around back who is a solid blocker, can catch the ball, run between the tackles, and apparently has enough speed to bounce runs outside.

RB Karlos Williams, Florida St (6’1 | 230 | 4.48): After a disappointing season, Williams needed a boost today and he got it with the 2nd fastest 40-time of all the RBs despite only 4 backs being heavier than Williams 230 pounds. He looked quick and fluid in the drills as well. Williams’ size/speed ratio is going to be near the top of the backs in his class which will improve his draft stock a round or two.