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2015 NFL Scouting Combine: QB/RB/WR to Watch

Who are the offensive skill players to look out for?

Marcus Mariota. Future Tennessee Titan?
Marcus Mariota. Future Tennessee Titan?
Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

The 2015 NFL Scouting Combine is well underway with interviews, medicals, and orientations. The offensive skill players are second to go in the positional on field workouts, which occurs on Saturday. The remaining positions will come in the traditional staggered manner. So in that fashion, I'll be breaking them down in on field workout order.


1. Garrett Grayson 6'2 215 RS Senior Colorado State

- The 2015 version of Zach Mettenberger. Grayson has a live arm but needed an offensive "guru" to calm his game down some. Enter Jim McElwain and his pro style system. McElwain previously served under Nick Saban at Alabama as the OC until he took the CSU job. He's currently the HC for Florida. Grayson had a good week at the Senior Bowl, showing his improvement under McElwain wasn't a fluke. He needs a good day to cement himself as the third best QB on the board.

2. Sean Mannion 6'6 229 RS Senior Oregon State

- I see a lot of Mike Glennon in Mannion's game. Both aren't going to wow you physically and possess just average arm talent. Mannion struggled a bit in 2014 without top target Brandin Cooks being a Saint. The one thing he does have going for him is that he's tall and can see over the pocket. Needs to show up strong to solidify his top 5 QB ranking. Will throw in Indy

3. Bryce Petty 6'3 229 RS Senior Baylor

- Petty had a horrid Senior Bowl (as did all of the QBs not named Garrett Grayson) and needs a bounce back week in a big way. Needs to prove that he isn't just a product of Baylor's one read and go system. Also needs a good day in the medical room with his back problems. Combine throw status: Will Throw

*It has been confirmed in recent days that both Marcus Mariota and Jameis Winston will indeed throw in Indy*

Running Back

1. Duke Johnson 5'9 206 Junior Miami

- Johnson needs help in the medical portion as his injury history is quite extensive. He was the Hurricanes' entire offense during his tenure there. On the field, he's a dynamic athlete who is capable of being the workhorse but is much better off being in a RB by committee. Off the field is key with him.

2. David Cobb 5'11 229 Senior Minnesota

- Cobb stood out all three days on Senior Bowl practices, especially on the last day when he showed more speed and agility than expected. He's a very decisive runner and rarely takes a loss. Needs to build on the positive showing in Mobile.

3. David Johnson 6'0 224 RS Senior Northern Iowa

- Another back who had great Senior Bowl week. He won a lot of his one on one blocking drills there. He also proved as a capable receiver out of the backfield. Like Cobb, he needs to build on what he showed in Mobile.

4. Jeremy Langford 6'0 211 RS Senior Michigan State

- Langford needs a good day on the field to shed the stigma that he isn't another plodding MSU RB like the ones before him. He's a better athlete than most give him credit for. While I'm not too excited about the workload he received as a Spartan, I do like his skill set, especially his vision and patience. Underrated receiver.

5. Cameron Artis-Payne 5'10 212 Senior Auburn

- To borrow Titans' WR coach Shawn Jefferson's now infamous phrase, CAP needs to prove that he isn't JAG in Auburn's high flying system. Which he did in 2014 to a certain extent. Yet another back who had a good showing in Mobile.

Wide Receiver

All of them. Just kidding. Sort of.

1. Dorial Green-Beckham 6'5 225 RS Junior Oklahoma

- DGB was the top recruit in his class but never really lived up to his potential thanks to a litany of off field troubles, which ultimately led him to Oklahoma after being dismissed from hometown Missouri. He didn't play in 2014 due to transfer rules making him ineligible despite appeal by the Sooners. DGB is this year's Mike Williams (the USC version) but with significantly less production and many more red flags.

2. DeVante Parker 6'3 209 Senior Louisville

- Parker sat out the first half of the 2014 season with a leg injury but returned against Florida State for an impressive 200 yard performance in a close loss. It will be interesting to see if that leg injury has had any residual effect on his athleticism. He's easily one of the top receivers in the country when fully healthy. Produced even without QB Teddy Bridgewater.

3. Tony Lippett 6'3 192 RS Senior Michigan State

- He should dominate the gauntlet drill because he could be the best hands catcher in this year's class. Lippettlikely won't be the fastest guy there but he gets you the tough yards on a consistent basis. He probably needs to add a little more weight to his frame to make it through the season.

4. Tyler Lockett 5'10 181 Senior Kansas State

- The most underrated receiver in the country. He can do everything including returning kicks. A third generation Wildcat who needs to prove that he is quick enough for the next level.

5. Jaelen Strong 6'3 215 RS Junior Arizona State

- Last seen dominating Pac-12 defensive backs. Strong needs a good showing in the 40 and agility drills as he's not the best athlete. A long strider who needs a few steps to get going full speed. He will wow everyone with his ball skills. Usually wins most of the 50/50 balls and makes the really tough catches routine.

6. Darren Waller 6'5 241 Senior Georgia Tech

- The latest tall big body receiver with awesome blocking skills out of Georgia Tech's option offense. It would be DeAndre Smelter here but Smelter suffered a torn ACL against Georgia.

Additional notes

- I'm interested to see how FSU WR Rashad Greene fares in Indy. He's the all time leader in school history for receptions and yards (which is saying something considering all the talented receivers that have come through Tallahassee.)

- Also interested to see how a year off affected Notre Dame WR Davaris Daniels. He was suspended for the entirety of the 2014 season for academic misconduct.

- Can ECU WR Justin Hardy build on his impressive Senior Bowl performance while QB Shane Carden tries to rescue his rapidly sinking stock?

- USC RB Javorius "Buck" Allen could another interesting name to keep an eye on.