The NFL offseason seems to last longer than any other sport, but it is packed with plenty of activity. All of the offseason activity centers around the NFL combine and the draft. The combine is now underway, with exams, tests, interviews, and all sorts of prodding and poking of future NFL players. After just a few days of drills, we are starting to see some movement on the draft boards. Here’s a quick update on who’s stock is going up before the draft:
Running Back – Knile Davis (Arkansas). Knile dominated the running back group at the combine. He ran the second fastest 40 yard dash, but he’s no little speedster. This running back has NFL size at 6 feet tall and a whopping 227 pounds (picture Adrian Peterson’s size with close to Chris Johnson’s speed). Injuries cut his collegiate career short, but he’s got to be awfully intriguing to a team that is looking for a running back.
Quarterback – Geno Smith (West Virginia). Geno pretty much crushed the other quarterbacks in the combine. His speed and athleticism have NFL executives optimistic that he will develop into the next RG3 or Russell Wilson. No one questions his passing ability, but the jury is still out on whether or not he can run an NFL offense. We’ll find out in the upcoming seasons, as Geno Smith is probably the first QB off the board, and almost certain to be drafted in the first round.
Wide receiver – While Cordarrelle Patterson (Tennessee) is widely recognized as the best receiver in the draft, Marquise Goodwin (Texas) is quickly becoming a household name. His football skills are legit, but it’s not just his football ability that has people buzzing. In the 2012 Summer Olympics, Marquise represented the track team in the long jump. He qualified for the finals, leading many to realize what a rare athlete he is. He ran a 4.27 40 yard dash, which puts him in rare air as the fastest of the combine, and one of the fastest 40 times ever recorded. In addition, he’s got great hands, and runs excellent routes. Now, a receiver who only caught 26 passes last year with Texas has vaulted up the board, and it is only a question of how high he will be drafted in the first round.
Linemen – The draft may be light with stud running backs and quarterbacks, but it is definitely heavy in linemen. The discussion starts and ends with Luke Joeckel (Texas A&M). Luke is widely projected to be the top overall pick in the draft. A dominating tackle who rates up there with Jake Long, Ryan Clady and other top NFL tackles. The combine is a great venue for small team players like Terron Armstead (Arkansas-Pine Bluff) to showcase their skills. While it is rare for linemen to run sub 5 second 40 yard dash times, Terron set a big man record at 4.71! He was in the top tier of all linemen for the measurables and probably just earned himself a few extra million dollars on his rookie contract.
Whichever team you root for, make sure to follow the draft April 25-27. Check in with us for new player jerseys, NFL draft hats, and other gear to update your collection.