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2016 NFL Scouting Combine: QB/RB/WR to Watch

Who are the offensive skill position players to keep an eye on in Indianapolis?

Braxton Miller and Jaylon Smith. Future teammates in Tennessee?
Braxton Miller and Jaylon Smith. Future teammates in Tennessee?
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports


1. Carson Wentz 6'5 232 North Dakota State

- The star QB of the offseason draft circuit is in Indy after a pretty solid week of practice in Mobile. Physical attributes were very good. He has very good arm talent. Proved to the cold weather teams that he can still spin it in adverse conditions given the nearly constant rainy weather during practice. Accuracy and touch were great as well. Not the best athlete but has great pocket awareness and can get out of a messy one if necessary. He's in the conversation for a top five pick with another good showing.

2. Christian Hackenberg 6'4 228 Penn State

- Hackenberg endured a tumultuous 2015 season behind a porous Penn State OL. He has regressed from being the five star future first round pick to maybe he'll get drafted in the late rounds. Still, the talent is there if someone can effectively coach the yips out of him from playing behind such an atrocious OL. Hack did the right thing by going pro, if only to save his stock and his sanity. Arm talent could be the best in the country. There are rumors of him being a mope like Jay Cutler as well. All of his negatives are an indictment of James Franklin and how he has run an once proud program into the ground.

3. Cardale Jones 6'5 250 Ohio State

- Jones was the darling of the 2014 Buckeyes national title run, which led to speculation that he could go pro. Things were a little more difficult for him in 2015. In short, he flashes some of the same things that Jake Locker possessed. A prodigious arm but can't corral it to throw short passes with touch. Inconsistently consistent is a theme in his game. Could be a third developmental QB for someone.

4. Jared Goff 6'4 215 Cal

- Goff possesses just enough arm strength to make all the big league throws. Intelligence and system versatility are also a plus. A traditional pocket passer developed in the Texas Tech style Air Raid offense (Sonny Dykes is a Mike Leach disciple). A negative is the system he’s currently in doesn’t bode well for his future given the lack of success from former Air Raid QBs. Is it pure talent or the high tempo spread system making him look good?

5. Paxton Lynch 6'6 230 Memphis

-  Lynch is probably the most physically gifted QB in the class. Arm talent is without question. The level of competition is a concern as Memphis doesn't play the strongest schedule. Helped lead a Tigers squad that was in contention for the AAC title most of the year until faltering late.

6. Brandon Doughty 6'2 216 Western Kentucky

-  The second most physically gifted QB in terms of arm talent in the class. Doughty put up monster numbers for the Hilltoppers in back to back years as he threw for over 9,000 yards and 97 touchdowns. However, the production is mostly based on the system he ran (an offshoot of the Petrino/Leach Air Raid hybrid).

7. Connor Cook 6'4 216 Michigan State

- Cook desperately needs a good showing after turning off a few folks by skipping out on the Senior Bowl. Cook isn't your average turn around and hand it off Spartans QB. Has an above average arm that can make most of the big league throws. Reads the field very well and take what is given to him in most cases. Cook has reined in his scattershot arm this year significantly.


1. Ezekiel Elliott 6'0 225 Ohio State

- Elliott has been the entire Buckeyes offense at times this year, rescuing OSU from defeat several times with monstrous performances. He has elite vision and instincts. Athleticism is very good. A potential red flag was brought up when he openly questioned the play calling after the defeat to Michigan State in front of the entire assembled media.

2. Kenneth Dixon 5'10 215 Louisiana Tech

- Dixon is second all time in career touchdowns next to Navy's Keenan Reynolds (who wasn't invited). He's one of the best running backs in college football but a more hyped prospect residing in Baton Rouge took away some of the spotlight. Dixon isn't the quickest guy in the world but his instincts and vision are elite. Patient runner that sets his blocks up very well. Had a good week in Mobile.

3. C.J. Prosise 6'1 220 Notre Dame

- Prosise transitioned to running back after spending his previous three years as a receiver. He put up a pretty good season given his switch. A capable receiver (obviously) out of the backfield. He's still learning the nuances of the position but flashed some good things.

4. Paul Perkins 5'10 210 UCLA

- Perkins is probably the nation's most underrated back in the country due to the hype of the backs above him. He's a explosive athlete with very capable hands out of the backfield. Character is excellent as well. Had to carry the Bruins offense at times with a freshman QB Josh Rosen suffering the typical freshman inconsistencies.

5. Alex Collins 5'11 218 Arkansas

- Collins impressed me a lot this year. He was the workhorse back for the Hogs. Literally the only back on the roster at times due to Johnathan Williams suffering an injury in fall camp. Often faced 9 man boxes due to the Arkansas' heavy run tendencies and inconsistent QB play. He could have too much tread on the tires as I compare his load to Duke Johnson.

6. Devontae Booker 5'11 212 Utah

- He’s a bigger back in today’s world and knows how to use his strength to get up field in a hurry. Instincts are very good. Knows what he is as a back and doesn’t dance around looking for a hole. A good receiver out of the backfield. Booker could be the Pac-12's best back. Missed a significant portion of his bowl game so the Combine will be his audition.


1. Corey Coleman 5'10 190 Baylor

- He's a lightning fast jitterbug. Coleman had to wait his turn to be the man until this year behind some talented receivers. Excellent agility and has good hands. Route running is above average. Should dominate in Indy.

2. De'Runnya Wilson 6'4 215 Mississippi State

- Dak Prescott's favorite weapon. Wilson's game compares to DGB (though DGB outweighs him by a good 10-15 pounds). He suffered a scary neck injury late during the year but bounced back the next week to play so toughness isn't a question. The nation's most underrated receiver as he isn't in most discussions for best receiver and with instate rival Treadwell stealing the headlines.

3. Braxton Miller 6'1 204 Ohio State

- Miller was the best receiver in Mobile and it wasn't particularly close. He dominated one on ones to the point where it got silly. No DB could cover him. Miller has excellent body control, hands, and speed. Route running was astonishingly proficient given his lack of experience at the position. He can solidify a boost into the second round with another showing.

4. Josh Doctson 6'2 195 TCU

- He was having a great year being the leading receiver for the Horned Frogs until a broken wrist ended his 2015 prematurely. A big body WR with a similar frame to Justin Hunter. Ball skills and route running is a plus while frame is not. Hands are above average. Knows how to find the open zones on the field. Can go up and get it with the best of them.

5. Malcolm Mitchell 5'11 194 Georgia

- Mitchell had a good week of practice in Mobile, which he sorely needed after having an injury marred career. He showed an uncanny ability to locate the ball and high point the catch throughout his brief stay on the field. Route running is excellent. Willing to go over the middle without fear. The medical history is very frightening as he has multiple torn knee ligaments. Comps to another Georgia product in Harry Douglas.

6. Tyler Boyd 6'2 215 Pittsburgh

-  Boyd put up a solid season of 85 receptions for 873 yards despite being the only receiving threat for the Panthers at times, especially after losing RB James Connor for the season. Most talented receiver in school history, second only to Larry Fitzgerald.

7. Devon Cajuste 6'4 227 Stanford

- Cajuste was Stanford’s secret weapon on offense. He was Kevin Hogan’s security blanket most of the time and blew up in the bowl game (not that anyone noticed because of Christian McCaffery’s performance). A big body receiver with tight end athleticism. Hands are above average. Scouts have compared him to Devin Funchess of Carolina but he fits more to a Travis Kelce of Kansas City.

8. Michael Thomas 6'3 210 Ohio State

- Devin Smith who? Thomas was the best receiver for the Buckeyes this year after patiently waiting his turn. He stood out against Virginia Tech's CB Kendall Fuller (who some say that he's in the running for best corner). A vertical threat with solid hands. Martavis Bryant with much better route running coming out of college.

Bonus prospects to watch

1. Vernon Adams 5'11 200 QB Oregon

2. Trevone Boykin 5'11 211 QB TCU

- Can Boykin explain away his off field incident that led to his suspension for the bowl game? Teams will be very interested in what he says. Also, he needs to transition to WR or RB as QB likely won’t work out for him in the pros.

3. Kelvin Taylor 5'10 209 RB Florida

- Long time Jacksonville Jaguars and Gators great Fred Taylor’s son. Can he make a name for himself outside of dad’s looming shadow?

4. Leonte Carroo 5'11 217 WR Rutgers

- Had a promising start to the Senior Bowl derailed by a leg injury. Can he rebound in Indy?

5. Marquez North 6'4 224 WR Tennessee

- North had a solid freshman season but promptly disappeared after that, much to Vols fans’ dismay. Last seen moonlighting as a poor man’s Justin Hunter.

6. D.J. Foster 5'10 193 WR/RB Arizona State

- Pratt’s favorite receiver prospect had an up and down 2015 after moving to receiver to better his pro prospects. Called up to the Senior Bowl where he didn’t do a lot.

7. Duke Williams 6'4 224 WR Auburn

- This year’s Marquess Wilson aka the talented headcase that got booted off his college team but doesn’t have enough talent to get some team to draft him despite his troubles.