Sunday NFL Combine Update QBs and WRs

I moved on from the O-Line drills, I may come back to them at a later date but I’m so behind on the combine evaluations today I decided to move into the QBs and WRs. I’m deliberately leaving out the RBs because the Bears are relatively set at RB with good youth in place. If they go anywhere with available RBs it will likely be a veteran presence to help Forte’s continued growth. This is still a Bears blog though at times you might mistake it for a combine blog. I’ll get more into specific Bears team stuff and free agency scouting once the combine is over.

I’m debating even covering the QBs but since there seems to be such a Chicago media infatuation with Mark Sanchez I’m being forced to come out and defend my position as to why I am AGAINST Mark Sanchez. I’ll cover Sanchez and I’ll take a couple glances at some of the other QB talent out there just because there will always be that crowd of Bears fans and media types who say the Bears should draft one QB a year until they finally get it right. I will try to keep as clean and as non-biased look at Sanchez as I possibly can. But since I am against him pretty much from what I’ve seen on him in games it may be a bit hard to not be impartial. I do hope some of you who read this blog will at least respect the fact that I am being honest about my dislike for him.

Receivers I plan to cover in obvious detail since the Bears need about three good receivers right now. Although they’re not likely to draft three WRs in this draft. I’m going to pay keen attention to both Jeremy Maclin’s and Percy Harvin’s 40-yard dash times and also as to how consistent Maclin is. Maclin to me I wonder if he gets more respect than he deserves simply based on his ability in the return game. The Bears don’t need another return man they need a true #1 option and I may debate with some fellow Bears fans about the true talent of the WRs available. To me personally it already looks like a weak crop with only Crabtree being the only true #1 WR option out there. Harvin etc, no one else really has caught my eye as I browse the list of potential prospects. I’m pretty worried about who the Bears may end up with as a WR.

As I scroll the tape I come to realize they didn’t show the WRs 40-yard dash times live. It’s already happened and they have the results posted across the top of the screen. Unfortunately this means I’m going to cheat a little bit and go to the NFL website and post the top 40-yard dash times from there.

The top 40-yard dash runners were as follows

Heyward-Bey, Darrius 4.30
Wallace, Mike 4.33
Knox, Johnny 4.34
Butler, Deon 4.38
Thomas, Mike 4.40
Underwood, Tiquan 4.41
Harvin, Percy 4.41
Byrd, Demetrius 4.42
Murphy, Louis 4.43
McKinley, Kenny 4.44

While these are exciting numbers the most important aspect of the WR position is route adjustment and how well they run their routes. Everyone in the NFL is fast it’s who can make separation who has good body control and leaping ability. You have to be able to adjust to the ball in the air, all sorts of important fundamentals required to be a WR.

The worry among Bears media outlets right now is that there won’t be a quality WR available at 18, and then suddenly there won’t be a quality OT available at 18, or there won’t be a good safety available at 18. Funny out of all the talk from the sports talk radio jocks and the so-called Bears beat writers none of them realize that only 17 players can be selected ahead of where the Bear pick.

Right now according to reports from various Chicago media outlets Matt Stafford, Mark Sanchez, Jason Smith, Eugene Monroe, Michael Oher, Andre Smith, Aaron Curry, Beanie Wells, Darrius Heyward-Bey, Michael Crabtree, Jeremy Maclin, Rey Mauluga, Malcom Jenkins, BJ Raji, Vontae Davis, will all be off the board by the time the Bears pick. Now that doesn’t include a single DE prospect that has been mentioned as a first round possibility. Leaving the Bears with their pick of a potential elite DE prospect if the first round develops as the panicked media types predict it will.

What does this mean? One way or another the Bears are going to end up with a damn good prospect whether it’s a safety, WR, or OT is yet to be determined. But the good news is the Bears have a big need at those three positions so the likelihood is one from those three will fall to the Bears at 18.

An intriguing WR prospect is Kenny Britt from Rutgers who is getting a ton of respect from the guys on the NFL network. Britt measures 6-3 215-pounds and ran a 4.48. He then followed that up with an impressive 37 inch vertical which measures out as one of the top vertical jumps of the WR prospects at the combine.

Brian Robiskie who does every thing well measures out well, was productive at Ohio State ran a 4.51 40. He is an intriguing prospect as well at 6-3 209. Robiskie’s father is a long time WR coach in the NFL so you know this kid knows the game well. Plus he’s an Ohio State guy and they tend to make pretty good pros coming out of Columbus.

It’s even possible that if the perfect storm happens and the Chicago media predictions come true the Bears could trade out of the first round and pick up another earlier second round pick and pick up a Brian Robiskie. A lot of fans will note that Jerry Angelo drafts better in the later rounds than he has in the first round. Given the value of a first rounder and the value always available rounds two and three there is always that option.

An intriguing prospect that I’ve been a big fan of this college football season is Hakeem Nicks of North Carolina. He’s 6-1 212-pounds good hands good body control good route running and he just got some solid props from Indianapolis GM Bill Polian. Perhaps you’re hesitant to take my world to mean anything when it comes to these evaluations I’m pulling off the TV. Well Bill Polian agrees with me so there. The verbatim quote from Polian on Nicks is as follows:

Hakeem Nicks is a very very good player, he’s got a great feel for routes, he’s got very very good hands, he’s got exceptional run after the catch, and he’s a very strong guy. And I think he’s going to have a very fine career in the National Football League

Yeah I know here I am a guy trying to take credit for something I hadn’t mentioned any previous posts nor is there any evidence I said I like him before Bill Polian did. You don’t have to believe me, but I hope that Jerry Angelo at least sees what Polian sees (someone who knows a thing or two about WRs) and isn’t afraid to pull the trigger like I would do if I had the chance with Nicks. Maybe not at 18 but I wouldn’t be afraid to trade down a little ways in the first round ahead of the Colts and get Nicks before Polian does late in the first as a replacement for Marvin Harrison.

Another prospect that is flying under the radar that just popped up on my radar running his 40-yard dash is Indiana WR Andrew Means who ran a 4.44 on his first 40-yard dash time and then a 4.46 at 6-1 212-pounds. He caught 102 balls for the Hoosiers..HELLO but only two for touchdowns which doesn’t bother me as much as it might some others. Mike Mayock mentioned that it worries him that he only caught two for touchdowns. But previously they mentioned how Wes Welker is such a good pro and didn’t have all the measurables. Welker a couple years ago for the Patriots caught a ton of balls, but struggled to get into the end zone. There are plenty of other prospects who are productive when catching the football but may not get into the end zone. Means seems to be a great WR prospect anytime you catch 102 balls in college. Yet another kid you might want to look at especially given the type of offense the BEars run. The offense doesn’t need to be full of big plays, just full of guys who are productive and with Means’ speed in the 4.4 range and his size and strength he is a guy who excites me.

Moving into the QBs and WRs together as the QBs are beginning to throw now:

The first thing that stood out to me was Pat Hill on his first throw was on target, but more importantly to me was his release. His release was fast, he dropped back and snapped the ball out of there very quickly. There wasn’t a hitch in his release it was drop back and fire.

Pat White again showing some good things that have surprised a lot of people today with the QB drills.

Sanchez two throws are a little sporadic.

Hakeem Nicks pulls up with a hammy on his first route.

Brian Robiskie, solid route, solid catch and gets up the field.

Robiskie and Nicks two potential second round selections the Bears may look at early.

Alabama QB John Parker Wilson not as on target as you’d like to be with his throws. Throwing a little behind the receiver which may be more of a timing problem.

Comments coming from the NFL network analysts, Sanchez with a long throwing motion and a long stride in his drop. This hurts the timing and gives the DE or blitzer more time to make a play. My observations on Sanchez’s release aren’t as harsh. His release looked good enough to me. I’ve seen worse and better for a release.

Where Sanchez struggles is on the deep balls. You can see he clearly doesn’t have a big league arm. A small quick summary, accuracy sproadic, deep ball arm strength not good.

Well well well the player who elicits the most oooos and aaahhs from the NFL analysts and other players in attendance with his arm strength on a deep throw is Pat White. Just before commercial White throws a bomb….hmmmm.

Andrew Means another solid grab in the drills. Lays out and snags the ball thrown slightly in front of him by Mark Sanchez.

Steve Marriucci and John Gruden like what they see from Pat White. Hard to argue with those two QB gurus. Gruden comments how White is not struggling with anything today.

Overall it looks like a decent crop of true receivers from the second round on. Robiskie, Means, Nicks, really help the truth depth of this draft class at WR. Percy Harvin to me is a guy I wouldn’t touch with a 10-foot pole. I remember when Harvin was known as Peter Warrick from the other Florida School….Seminoles.

I want more than just the flash and pizazz of big plays and high lite reel runs or moves or speed. Give me consistency in the fundamentals before you give me someone who looks like Reggie Bush in the open field. As well all know the speed game evens out in the NFL.

Brian Robiskie man oh man what a catch, yeah it came with one foot out of bounds, but he still made a stretching one handed grab of the football. Showing that he has the hands to get the job done once again.


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One Response to “Sunday NFL Combine Update QBs and WRs”

  1. david m Says:

    I like the quote from Polian. I think Nicks will do well too. My first exposure to him was actually that skills competition on ESPN the day of the super bowl. he looked really good there.

    Keep up the good work bud.

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