Over the next few days I will be breaking down who Ravens fans should be watching at the Combine and what they should be watching for. Lets start with WRs. These are in no particular order.
Alshon Jeffery, South Carolina- depending on who you ask, Alshon Jeffery has a draft grade anywhere from top 10 overall to late second round. Some people see the next Mike Williams, others see the next Larry Fitzgerald. Jeffery is an interesting option for the Ravens in the first round if he is available. He offers true number 1 receiver potential and would allow the Ravens to use Boldin in the slot where he is best. His 40 time is the most important drill(maybe for any player at the combine) for his stock. If he runs a 4.4, he will be a top 20 pick. Anything-below 4.6 and he might fall out of the first round entirely. The other important thing for Jeffery is going to be weigh in. he has a history of being out of shape so showing up looking toned and with his weight in check will go a long way towards driving him up the boards, out of shape and the Ravens have a shot at him….if they want him.
Joe Adams, Arkansas- Adams is looked at by most as a poor mans Desaun Jackson(Eagles). He has a lot of explosiveness, is a very good kick and punt returner and is really really small framed. Weigh in will be important for him because many has speculated that he weighs less than 175 lbs, which would be a big deal and drop his stock significantly because he would be viewed as a return man only. His 40 time will be pretty important because his speed is his main weapon (a speed receiver with no speed isn’t much of a receiver). The bench press and long jump will probably be the most important drills for him, he has a lot of strength (more than Jackson by far) and it will be interesting to see how many reps he gets. Maybe the most important for him will be the 3 cone drill, his ability to change directions and maintain top speed is his biggest asset.
Juron Criner, Arizona- Criner doesn’t have much to prove that will hurt or help him. He just needs to come in and have a solid all around combine. As long as he finishes solid in every drill he will be a late second/third rounder. If he has a bad weekend he could fall into the fourth.
Brian Quick, Appalachian State- Quick is an interesting guy. He has only been a football player (exclusively) for about 2 years. Before then he was a basketball player first and foremost and a football player the rest of the time. He has an incredible frame (he stands 6’4” and about 220 lbs) and physically has the skills of a number 1 WR. But his speed is a big question mark so he will hope to run a time in the 4.4s and answer some of those questions. His gauntlet will also be pretty important because he is viewed by some as more of a body catcher than a hands catcher. I will be most interested, though, in just watching him during the WR drills, I want to see his closing speed when balls go over his head and I want to see his abilities on the sidelines and etc. he will be a very fun guy to watch and will sneak in to the second round with a good combine.
Reuben Randall, LSU- Randall is a solid all around WR who isn’t really spectacular in any one facet of his game; conversely he doesn’t have a single thing that he is bad at either. Randall will probably be around average in most drills but if he could manage to be among the leaders in several of them he could sneak into the end of the first round (maybe the 49ers). As of now he is a second round pick, with a bad combine he could fall to the Ravens in the second round and would be a pretty good value pick.
Dwight Jones, UNC- Dwight Jones is another guy who will have the most important part of his combine out of the way before he ever steps foot on the field for drills, for him it is all about the weigh in. seeing if he is in shape is important (as it is with every player) but mainly I’m interested in an official measurement of his height. There have been reports of him being anywhere from 6’0” to 6’3” I think he is closer to 6’0” but if he measures in on the tall side it could be a big boost to his stock.
Tommy Streeter, Miami- Streeter is an interesting guy. We don’t have much tape on him because he didn’t start for long at Miami. In fact the only reason he is in the draft at all is because he(like most Miami underclassmen) was desperate to get out of Miami before the results of the NCAA investigation come in. Streeter has potential to be a number 1 WR, or a pure special teams player because he has limited NFL potential, I will be closely watching everything he does during the combine because we have such a small amount of information about him. For him every drill is the most important one. Teams will also be extremely interested in his interviews as he was one of many players named specifically in the NCAA case.
Jeff Fuller, Texas A&M- Fuller was a complete bust at the senior bowl. He couldn’t beat coverages, he dropped passes, he looked like he took plays off and basically confirmed every question draftniks had about him. He needs to be a complete stud at the combine and he might be able to rebound his stock back into the third round where it started at(as it stands he is a 4th/5th rounder. His most important drill might be the gauntlet because he needs to disprove the idea that he has terrible hands.
Chris Givins, Wake Forest- Chris Givins is a bit of a wild card in the draft. A lot of people have him carrying a 5th/6th round grade but others have him much higher. For example, Matt Mayock(of NFL.com/NFL network) has Givens as his 5th rated WR in the draft. I currently have him as a 2nd/3rd rounder but its mostly because I haven’t seen much of him because he played for Wake Forest(who doesn’t get much national exposure), his tape is hard to come by. I want to see why this guy creates so much separation among draft experts so I will be closely watching most of his drills.
Don’t forget to come back tomorrow and read my Combine preview for the ILB/OLB prospects.
Tags: Alshon Jeffery Baltimore Ravens Brian Quick Chris Givens Draft Dwight Jones Jeff Fuller Joe Adams Juron Criner NFL NFL Combine NFL Draft Prospect Ravens Reuben Randall Tommy Streeter Wide Receiver WR WRs