The second day of on the field drills brought us much more excitement and showing of athleticism  This is marked as a day where prospects can raise or lower their stocks depending on 40 times and agility in position drills. Like I said yesterday, the 40 time might not be the end all be all, but it is an important piece to the puzzle. A solid time will send scouts back to the tape to study a player and see just what they may be missing. The same can be said for a player who does not fare well in the drills.

There was a lot to be said about the three groups that worked out on Day 2 and below are some notes and observations on each.

Quarterbacks

Quarterback Tyler Bray

Quarterback Tyler Bray

– Tyler Bray of Tennessee came in to this process with a lot of question marks about his character and athleticism. From all reports, Bray interviewed extremely well and actually tested well in drills. He isn’t the fastest guy in the group with a 5.05 40 time, but he is plenty quick and agile for the pocket passer he is. The one question that Bray did not have coming in was the arm talent. Bray has the strongest arm in the draft and displays good touch on deep balls. He threw extremely well during the drills and it will be interesting to see how much he raises his stock in this process being that there is a weak talent pool at quarterback in my mind.

– Speaking of the talent pool, Geno Smith of West Virginia did nothing in particular to raise or lower his stock. Being that he was widely considered the #1 prospect in the group, that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Smith has a beautiful deep ball and can make all the throws you ask of him. Where he struggled was with accuracy on the day. Couple that with decision making lapses and it is an issue you see on film occasionally. One reason I am not overly worried is that throwing in the drills here in Indy is not always going to be a good view of the QB’s accuracy, as wide receivers run vastly different routes from rep to rep. Smith needs to capitalize on his pro day to stay in the top 10 consideration, or teams will start looking to trades and free agents to fill quarterback concerns.

– I don’t have a crystal ball, but I don’t see any way that Marqueis Gray of Minnesota or Collin Klein of Kansas State can play quarterback at the NFL level. I hate to say it, but I believe it.  Both have issues throwing accurately and with strength. Both players are athletic as can be and could add value if they switch positions. Gray is open to doing what it takes to make an NFL team in 2013, while Klein seems to be interested only in making it one way and that is at quarterback.

Superlatives

Fastest 40 yard dash- Geno Smith, West Virginia- 4.59 seconds

Slowest 40 yard dash- Landry Jones, Oklahoma- 5.11 seconds

Highest Vertical Jump- E.J. Manuel, Florida State- 34 inches

Lowest Vertical Jump- Mike Glennon, NC State- 26.5 inches

Running Backs

– I don’t think any running backs really stood out as first round talents, at least not one that had the film resume to back up numbers in the Combine. There were some great times in the drills as we saw with Auburn’s Onterrio McCalebb running a 4.34 40 yard dash. However, McCalebb weighs less than most wide receivers and will struggle against punishment of NFL defenders. Eddie Lacy of Alabama did not work out and I think if he tests well at his pro day he will have the best chance of being a 1st round pick. But this is a class that is tremendously talented with 2nd to 5th round depth, just not an elite talent that is a lock for the first round.

Running Back Knile Davis

Running Back Knile Davis

– One name who tore up the drills and will send a lot of scouts back to the film was Arkansas’ Knile Davis. Davis has the size and speed of an every down running back, measuring in at 6′ 227 lbs. What stood out the most during the session was that Davis ran a 4.37 40 yard dash and had great bench press numbers with 31 reps. Add that to his drill work on the field and his athletic numbers and you have first round measurable. However, Davis has major durability issues, missing a good portion of the 2012 season and parts of other seasons in his career. The beauty of what Davis did is that he sent the scouts and GM’s back to their cities and in search of more film study on his career. With more and more starting running backs coming after round 2 in the draft, Davis might have helped himself add value in round 3-4 range instead of the late round grades he carried into the day.

– Two players that have had great post seasons before the combine at the Senior Bowl, added to their momentum with solid days on Sunday. Jonathan Franklin of UCLA and Mike James of Miami both had solid days not just in testing but in the running back drills. James is the bigger and stronger back at 220 lbs but still has very good speed and athleticism.  James ran a 4.53 in his 40 and that is a solid time for a player with his vision and agility. He isn’t a home run hitter, but is an every down back in the NFL. He catches the ball well and has great fluid movement skills as a runner. Franklin is another back who can catch the ball and tote the rock in a variety of ways. While he is not as big as James, weighing only 195 lbs., he is a little faster and more athletic than James. With so much value in this year’s draft class in the later rounds, Franklin could be a steal. He adds a lot of value to the running game.

-You looking for the next Alfred Morris of the Washington Redskins, a late round steal who came out of nowhere? Look no further than Vanderbilt’s Zac Stacy. Stacy is a strong legged, short field burst type of runner. He will thrive in a zone scheme where he can use his tremendous vision to find the holes and penetrate defenses. Stacy doesn’t have the long speed, as he ran a 4.55 40 yard dash, but he is strong and quick footed with exceptional work ethic and leadership qualities. I think he could be a steal anywhere after the 5th round.

Superlatives

Fastest 40 yard dash-Onterrio McCalebb, Auburn- 4.34 seconds

Slowest 40 yard dash- Zach Boren, Ohio State- 5.00 seconds

Most Bench Reps- Tommy Bohanon, Wake Forest- 36 reps

Least Bench Reps- 4 way tie at 15 reps

Highest Vertical Jump- Christine Michael, Texas A&M- 43.0 inches

Lowest Vertical jump- Juwan Jamison, Rutgers- 29 inches

Fastest Pro Agility- Christine Michael, Texas A&M- 4.02 seconds

Slowest Pro Agility- Mike James, Miami- 4.62 seconds

Wide Receivers

Wide Receiver Ryan Swope

Wide Receiver Ryan Swope

– As expected from this group, there was some speed on display during the 40 yard dash and drill periods. Perhaps the biggest eye opener of the day, speed wise, was Texas A&M’s Ryan Swope with a 4.34 in the 40 yard dash. Swope is a 6′ 206 pound burner who adds great quickness to his game. However, he did struggle with drops on the day. His 40 time tied with Tavon Austin of West Virginia, who continues to rise up draft boards and into the 1st round conversation. Austin is not only fast but extremely quick, added to the fact that he was very productive throughout his career. The fastest time on the day was a 4.27 by Texas’ Marquise Goodwin and it was expected, as he is an Olympic athlete in track and field. His biggest questions going forward will be can his speed translate to the football field, as he only caught 27 balls his senior year. Either way, his speed and return skills will warrant a long hard look starting in the middle rounds.

– In my mind, the most impressive physical specimen of the day was Tennessee Cordarrelle Patterson who measured in at 6’3 205 lbs. and was unbelievably athletic in all of his drills. He checked off all his boxes with the scouts, as he ran a great 40 time in 4.42 seconds and had great on the field drills. Couple those numbers with great jumping ability and unbelievable ball skills in the return game, and Patterson is a lock for the first round, possibly even for the San Diego Chargers at pick 11.

– Speaking of physical specimens, Rutgers Mark Harrison fits the bill of the big, tall, and athletic receiver that can stretch the field and beat press coverage. All of Harrison’s test numbers were very high with a 4.46 40 yard dash, 17 reps, and a 38.5 inch vertical. I will admit I have to do more film study on Harrison, but all the scouts and GM’s will be doing the same, as his good movement skills and great athleticism is worth looking into more as we get closer to draft day.

Superlatives

Fastest 40 yard dash-Marquise Goodwin, Texas- 4.27 seconds

Slowest 40 yard dash- T.J. Moe, Missouri- 4.74 seconds

Most Bench Reps- T.J. Moe, Missouri- 26 reps

Least Bench Reps- Darius Johnson, SMU- 6 reps

Highest Vertical Jump- 3 tied at 39.5 inches

Lowest Vertical jump- Cobi Hamilton, Arkansas- 29.5 inches

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