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2017 Scouting Combine: QB/RB/WR To Watch

Will there be a winner of an entire island (courtesy of Adidas) in this group?

Could there be two future Tennessee Titans in this picture?
Could there be two future Tennessee Titans in this picture?
John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports


1. Deshaun Watson 6'2 215 Junior Clemson

- Heisman Trophy finalist again this year after coming on strong during the second half of the season. Athleticism is very good. Has regressed some in 2016. Watson has above average football IQ and can process reads very quickly. Occasionally he turns into Jay Cutler 2.0 in terms of ridiculous turnovers. Arm talent is good but not great. Has enough arm to make every throw but it's a process getting there. Toughness is unquestioned as he has played on a torn ACL in the past. Terrorized Alabama's feared defense during last year's national title game and will look to do the same this year. Will throw in Indy. Medical could be key due to knee history.

2. Mitch Trubisky 6'3 220 RS Junior North Carolina

- Trubisky has the Mark Sanchez one year wonder thing going for him this year. Served as Marquise Williams' understudy last year, playing in spot duty. Football IQ is above average. Rarely panics when pocket gets messy and delivers the ball with a consistent motion. Has a rocket arm that can make all the throws. Not the most fleet of foot but can run to live another day. Scheme is a worrisome thing as UNC runs a spread option offense under Larry Fedora. Will throw in Indy. Possible top ten pick.

3. DeShone Kizer 6'4 230 RS Sophomore Notre Dame

-  He has all the physical tools in the world but what separates him from all the others is the mental aspect of the game and intangibles. Knows when to bring the fastball and have touch on his passes. Very adaptable to any scheme and should take to hard coaching (Brian Kelly is notorious for being a hardline dictator). Underrated athleticism. Doesn't look to run at the first sign of trouble, looks to extend the play. Arm strength is not an issue as he's shown in several bad weather games that he can place the ball wherever he wants to despite the elements. The most fundamentally sound QB in the draft this year.

4. Patrick Mahomes II 6'3 219 Junior Texas Tech

- Physically he looks the part of an NFL QB but the mental aspects of the game need some work i.e. field reading, pocket awareness, etc. The Red Raider program isn't exactly friendly to the idea that the QBs can successfully transition to a more conservative gameplan in the pros. Mahomes has been going as high as the top 15 in some mocks despite major system fit issues. Has big league talent to make it.


1. Dalvin Cook 5'11 206 Junior Florida State

-   Cook possesses elite speed and agility. Demolished the FSU career rushing record that was held for almost 20 years by the great Warrick Dunn in just 3 years. First back in ACC history to surpass 4,000 rushing yards. The best running back prospect that had the most consistent 2016 campaign. I have him ranked over Fournette due to his receiving ability.

2. D'Onta Foreman 6'1 249 Junior Texas

- The former Longhorn big bruiser had some folks thinking back to Ricky Williams or even Earl Campbell. It will be interesting to see how he fares during the drills given his size. Had a great 2016 season, rushing for over 2000 yards.

3. Donnel Pumphrey 5'8 180 Senior San Diego State

- Pumphrey is an electric athlete that has been utilized all over the offense by the Aztecs but he is a running back by trade. Also can return kicks with his great athleticism. Obviously his true measurements will be interesting to watch as the draft process unfolds. The all time leading rusher in NCAA history. I wouldn't hesitate to take him in the fifth round to fit the "exotic" part of the exotic smashmouth thing. He can be utilized as a Darren Sproles type that can run around everywhere.

4. Alvin Kamara 5'10 194 Junior

- Kamara is one of the best running backs in the country. A speed merchant that has shown the ability to run inside the tackles. Athleticism is among the best in the class. A big play generator. Carried the bulk of the Volunteers offense once Jalen Hurd made his ghastly and utterly disgraceful exit from the team midseason. Excellent receiver out of the backfield.

5. James Conner 6'2 235 Junior

- Conner's toughness and character won't be questioned even if his on field fits might be. Beat cancer and a horrible knee injury in the same year no less to return to previous form where he was competing with Dalvin Cook for the best RB in the ACC title. Rushed for over 1000 yards in 2016. Could be an interesting fit as a third back type on a roster somewhere.


1. Cooper Kupp 6'2 198 Eastern Washington

- Kupp was arguably the best player on either side at the Senior Bowl. He had a dominant showing. Excellent route runner and has a bag of tricks to fool the defender like a veteran. Expected to continue his show in Indy. The tape don't lie. He made even the best D-1 defensive backs look like middle school kids trying football for the first time. The 40 will be essential for him.

2. Chris Godwin 6'1 205 Junior Penn State

- Last seen at the Rose Bowl ripping apart USC's secondary. A polished route runner with great ball skills. Godwin is a go to big body in the red zone type that has deceptive speed. Penn State's best weapon.

3. Zay Jones 6'1 202 Senior Eastern Carolina

-  Zay Jones had a pretty dominant showing in Mobile, making a ton of money for himself in the process with capping it off with an outstanding game. Athleticism is a plus. Excellent route runner. Hands are a plus. He had a ridiculous college career catching 409 (all time leader in that category) passes for over 4300 yards, including a mind blowing 168 reception senior season.

4. Taywan Taylor 5'11 198 Senior Western Kentucky

- He's a quick twitch explosive athlete that is ideal for the slot position. Broke a ton of records at WKU. Had a pretty solid outing in Mobile. Could fly up the boards with a decent showing in Indy as high as the third round. Dominated Alabama's talented secondary in the 2016 opener even if his team didn't do so well.

5. Josh Reynolds 6'4 190 WR Texas A&M

- The main target for the high octane Aggies offense. He put on a show in the Alamo Bowl loss to Kansas State. A deep threat with above average route running ability. Frame could stand to add weight, however. A speed demon that can blow the top off of any defense. 40 should be fun. Decent at the Senior Bowl.

6. Gabe Marks 6'0 187 WR Washington State

- The Cougars' career leader in just about every receiving category. Underrated athleticism. Proficient route runner who simply knows how to get open nearly all the time. Ideal slot receiver due to frame and speed.

7. Kermit Whitfield 5'8 178 ATH Florida State

- Florida State's career return yards record holder. Whitfield had a breakout 2015 campaign as a receiver with nearly 750 yards but was primarily deployed as a dynamic return man. Being a kick returner will be his calling card as he makes his way into the NFL. Led the Noles to a national championship in 2013 with a kickoff return touchdown late in the proceedings. The state champion in the 100 and 200 meter race as a high school senior.

8. Mike Williams 6'3 225 RS Junior Clemson

- Martavis Bryant who? Sammy Watkins who? Williams is that good. A big play machine. Has great athleticism and can burn defenders that are caught unawares looking for something else in his game. A much better route runner than he is given credit for. Footwork is excellent. Goes up and gets the ball at the high point with little regard for his own safety or the defender. Knows how to box out the defender on the short routes nearly every time. Has shown no ill effects of the terrible neck injury suffered last year but still a thing to watch for as with all head/neck injuries.

9. John Ross 5'11 190 RS Junior Washington

- Possibly the most explosive athlete in the country. An dynamic playmaker with the ball in his hands. Agility is a major plus. Can blow the top off of any defense. Above average route runner. Honed his skills against the best secondary this side of Alabama. Speed merchant. A more athletic Kendall Wright without the tripping hazards. Medical history is a major concern as he has had TWO knee ligament tears in his career.

10. Isaiah Ford 6'1 190 Junior Virginia Tech

- Ford has been one of the nation's most underrated receivers this year as new HC Justin Fuente unleashed a high power offensive attack in Blacksburg. He has been a consistent weapon for the Hokies during his career despite the general lack of offensive prowess displayed by VT during the latter stages of Frank Beamer's coaching regime (0-0 ties were celebrated like Super Bowl victories by Beamer, just a joke there, Bonzos). A tall, lanky receiver type that needs to add some more weight to hold up against NFL DBs. An excellent route runner that possesses a veteran savvy about little tricks to fool opposing defenders. Footwork is above average. Plus athleticism.

11. DeDe Westbrook 5'11 175 Senior Oklahoma

- Westbrook has blown up during his senior season under the second year stewardship of OC Lincoln Riley. While he likely can't match John Ross in terms of overall athleticism (not a lot of folks can) but he is plenty athletic himself. Speed and agility is a major plus to his game. Route running technician. Knows how and when to use his elite speed to set up the DB for route depth. Heisman Trophy finalist. Don't know why he was invited to the Combine with his allegations of domestic violence. Will need to explain those situations to teams during the interview process.

Bonus prospects to watch

1. Davis Webb QB Cal

2. JuJu Smith-Schuster WR USC

3. Greg Ward, Jr ATH Houston

4. Kareem Hunt RB Toledo

5. Samaje Perine RB Oklahoma

6. Christian McCaffery RB Stanford

7. Leonard Fournette RB LSU

8. Corey Clement RB Wisconsin