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How they did: Who We Watched for the Colts at the Combine


ColtsLogoJake Arthur
Associate Editor

Last week, we took a look at a group of players you’ll want to pay attention to during the 2014 NFL Scouting Combine that might be good fits with the Colts. Now that the annual Talent Show/Meat Market/Underwear Olympics (or whatever your favorite term is for the Combine) has come and gone and we can take a look at how those players did. ***Combine statistics from nfl.com/combine

Wide Receiver

Davante Adams, Fresno State – Coming into the Combine, Davante Adams was lumped in with the second tier of receivers with guys like Jordan Matthews, Jarvis Landry and Allen Robinson. That is still the case, but Adams appears to be slipping out of even a Round 2 projection. He gets the dreaded “system” player tag for being in a pass-heavy offense, as well as catching passes from one of this draft’s top quarterbacks.

By no means is he a player that you can bring in to be your team’s top receiver right away, but he would come into a perfect situation with the Colts. He need to be more well-rounded in his craft by being a more disciplined route-runner and just getting more technical in his game. Learning from Reggie Wayne – the ultimate technician – would be just what the doctor ordered for a guy like Adams to transition into the NFL.

Adams had an average/slightly above average performance at the combine. He sized in at 6’1”, 212lbs which is an excellent frame, especially one to add bulk to. His 4.56 40-yard dash was not bad, but it is not a time people will rave over. His 39.5 vertical leap makes up for the explosion some may have thought was missing from his 40 time.

Height: 6’1”
Weight: 212lbs
Arm Length: 32 5/8”  
Hand Size: 9”
40-Yard Dash: 4.56 seconds
Bench Press: 14 reps
Vertical Leap: 39.5” (top performer amongst his group)
Broad Jump: 10.25’
3-Cone Drill: 6.82 seconds
20-Yard Shuttle: 4.30 seconds
60-Yard Shuttle: DNP

 

Jarvis Landry, LSU – When it comes to wide receiver performances at the Combine, Jarvis Landry might have taken the biggest hit. Coming in ranked as Mike Mayock’s fifth-best receiver in the class, Landry ran a poor 40-yard dash, and leapt poorly in the vertical and broad jumps.

Luckily for Landry, It is unlikely that his performance hurts his stock much, as speed and athleticism aren’t huge parts of his game. He was widely thought to be a Round 2 selection, and that is still the case – but now, he has the possibility to slip to the later portion of Round 2 rather than the early-to-mid portion, though.

Landry still has more than enough opportunity to improve his stock during his pro day, but his rough performance at the Combine may have actually caught the Colts’ attention in a good way, as general manager Ryan Grigson somewhat enjoys seeing prospects he likes take a draft stock hit during the pre-draft process. That’s not to say Grigson has said he likes Landry, but if he does, then he might have liked what he saw from Landry.

Height: 5’11”
Weight: 205lbs
Arm Length: 31 3/4”
Hand Size: 10 1/4”
40-Yard Dash: 4.77 seconds
Bench Press: 12 reps
Vertical Leap: 28.5”
Broad Jump: 9.16’
3-Cone Drill: DNP
20-Yard Shuttle: DNP
60-Yard Shuttle: DNP

 

Jordan Matthews, Vanderbilt – Jordan Matthews could not have done much more to improve his stock during the Combine than he did. The biggest knocks on him coming into the Combine was his speed/explosion/separation. He put all of that to rest by coming out and running a 4.46 40-yard dash. Matthews didn’t need to run a fast 40 to prove he was a good receiver, as he is an excellent route runner and has a great frame – the speed was just icing on the cake.

As Kyle Rodriguez of Bleacher Report points out, Matthews’ performance at the Combine probably took him out of the Colts’ range in Round 2. Before, Matthews was a mid-to-late second round prospect, but now he has boosted himself to early-to-mid second round consideration.

If the Colts are going to get Matthews, that is either going to take trading up, or other receivers behind Matthews jolting up the draft boards.

Height: 6’3”
Weight: 212lbs
Arm Length: 33 1/4”
Hand Size: 10 3/8”
40-Yard Dash: 4.46 seconds
Bench Press: 21 reps (top performer amongst his group)
Vertical Leap: 35.5”
Broad Jump: 10.0’
3-Cone Drill: 6.95 seconds
20-Yard Shuttle: 4.18 seconds
60-Yard Shuttle: 11.84 seconds

 

Interior Offensive Line

Bryan Stork, Florida State – Acquiring a center in the draft like Bryan Stork works under the presumption that Samson Satele gets released and with the possibility the Colts don’t bring in a free agent at the position. This selection would be to compete with Khaled Holmes as the starter.

Holmes had an extremely small sample size of action last season, so it is hard to tell what he is going to be. All we know is that Holmes was a healthy scratch many times during the season.

In Stork’s case, he really did not do anything at the combine other than measure in and likely do interviews with teams. Regardless, a player like Stork would be nice to have. He is a big interior lineman that can handle wide-bodied tackles or five-techniques. Where he could struggle is containing speed rushers stunting in from the edge. Stork will have to show his stuff at Florida State’s March 18th Pro Day.

Height: 6’4”
Weight: 315lbs
Arm Length: 32 1/4”
Hand Size: 10 1/8”
40-Yard Dash: DNP
Bench Press: DNP
Vertical Leap: DNP
Broad Jump: DNP
3-Cone Drill: DNP
20-Yard Shuttle: DNP
60-Yard Shuttle: DNP

 

Dakota Dozier, Furman – Dakota Dozier helped validate/boost his stock as well as any offensive lineman not named Robinson or Lewan at the Combine. He measured in very well, and hung with the big boys through every step of the way.

Something Dozier’s size, strength and athleticism helped show is that he can be plugged in at either tackle or guard at the next level. If the Colts are looking for interior offensive line help in Round 3, they can’t do much better than Dakota Dozier.

Height: 6’4”
Weight: 313lbs
Arm Length: 33 7/8”
Hand Size: 9 7/8”
40-Yard Dash: 5.42 seconds
Bench Press: 23 reps
Vertical Leap: 24.0”
Broad Jump: 8.41’
3-Cone Drill: 8.14 seconds
20-Yard Shuttle: 4.89 seconds
60-Yard Shuttle: DNP

 

Gabe Jackson, Mississippi State – Mississippi State guard Gabe Jackson had a decent Combine, as well. He didn’t do anything to wow anybody (save for his size and 30 reps on the bench), but he didn’t do anything to damage his stock either.

He basically validated, “I’m huge, strong and can maul my opposition”. Although I’m not a huge proponent of drafting an offensive lineman with the Colts’ first pick, Jackson would be one of the few prospects I would consider in that range. If the Colts want to establish the power run game, they will need to command more out of the interior of their offensive line. Adding a massive guard like Jackson certainly shows a commitment to the run.

NFL.com’s Nolan Nawrocki gave a sparkling review of Jackson: “Big, thickly built, relatively polished blocker who brings a steadying presence to the interior offensive line. Dependability and effectiveness blocking for pass and run combined with sterling intangibles, including football intelligence, make him capable of starting as a rookie and holding down a position for years to come.”

Height: 6’3”
Weight: 336lbs
Arm Length: 33 3/4”
Hand Size: 10”
40-Yard Dash: 5.51 seconds
Bench Press: 30 reps
Vertical Leap: 29.0”
Broad Jump: 9.0’
3-Cone Drill: 8.25 seconds
20-Yard Shuttle: 4.78 seconds
60-Yard Shuttle: DNP

 

Defensive Line Depth

Aaron Lynch, South Florida – Aaron Lynch is a somewhat enigmatic prospect in this year’s draft. He is a first-round talent stuck in a mid-round projection right now. He began his college journey as a 3-4 defensive end as a true freshman at Notre Dame. After his first season, he got homesick and transferred to South Florida. He had to sit out 2012 due to NCAA rules on transfers, and then play as an edge rusher at South Florida in 2013 – not his natural role.

He proved to be most effective as the Notre Dame five-technique, although he did finally catch on a bit at the end of his only season at USF. He played 25 pounds lighter at USF and it showed. Now, many will acknowledge he should still be in that 3-4 defensive end role, but he’s going to have to bulk back up to that 270-plus range he was at Notre Dame to do so in the NFL.

Lynch hardly participated at the Combine, so he will have to show some things at his Pro Day – most noteworthy being how he weighs in. He will also likely be asked about reported character issues, as well as what’s going on with the whole “homesick” thing.

Lynch would actually come into a good situation in Indianapolis. He would not be needed right away, so he can rotate in behind Ricky Jean Francois and Cory Redding in the base 3-4, and then rotate with Bjoern Werner and Robert Mathis in certain passing situations. Lynch can also get added playing time if Redding or Francois miss time due to injury, which they have proved to do from time to time.

Height: 6’5”
Weight: 249lbs
Arm Length: 34”
Hand Size: 10 1/4”
40-Yard Dash: DNP
Bench Press: 18 reps
Vertical Leap: DNP
Broad Jump: DNP
3-Cone Drill: DNP
20-Yard Shuttle: DNP
60-Yard Shuttle: DNP

 

Caraun Reid, Princeton – If Caraun Reid played at a BCS-level school, he would probably have a Round 2 grade. However, playing at Princeton in the Ivy League, he beat up on much lesser competition.

The good news for Reid is that he got the chance to show his stuff at the Senior Bowl, as well as the Combine – he didn’t disappoint at either of the two. He likely did not boost his stock in terms of where he will be taken, but teams will likely feel much more comfortable with selecting him in the middle of the draft. He is another player like the Colts’ Montori Hughes that can rotate all over the defensive line.

Height: 6’2”
Weight: 302lbs
Arm Length: 33”
Hand Size: 10 1/2”
40-Yard Dash: 4.91 seconds
Bench Press: 20 reps
Vertical Leap: 26.5”
Broad Jump: 8.83’
3-Cone Drill: 7.59 seconds
20-Yard Shuttle: DNP
60-Yard Shuttle: DNP

 

Deandre Coleman, California – Deandre Coleman is not the pass rushing type many may look at for the Colts, but he is much better at stuffing the run, which is something the Colts could really use.

Coleman lined up to Josh Chapman on early downs would be a wonder against the run within a couple of years, but Coleman could definitely use some tuning up. He hardly did much at the Combine, so a good portion of his evaluation will have to be done at his Pro Day.

Height: 6’5”
Weight: 314lbs
Arm Length: 34 3/8”
Hand Size: 10 1/4”
40-Yard Dash: DNP
Bench Press: 24 reps
Vertical Leap: DNP
Broad Jump: DNP
3-Cone Drill: DNP
20-Yard Shuttle: DNP
60-Yard Shuttle: DNP

 

Inside Linebacker

Chris Borland, Wisconsin – Chris Borland’s subpar performance at the Combine isn’t likely (or shouldn’t) affect his draft stock at all. He is just your classic, throwback linebacker that is a football player, not an athlete. He wasn’t going to perform admirably in the on-field drills, and everyone knew that.

However, his performance might have validated his status in the eyes on some teams that just wouldn’t want him. He is small and not overly-athletic and that may be a turnoff to some teams.

If you’re looking for a reference, just think about Zach Thomas of the Miami Dolphins in the 90’s, but not as bulky. You could also think of him as a better Pat Angerer. He would be the run stopper the Colts need to go with Jerrell Freeman.

Height: 5’11”
Weight: 248lbs
Arm Length: 29 1/4”
Hand Size: 9 7/8”
40-Yard Dash: 4.83 seconds
Bench Press: 27 reps (top performer amongst his group)
Vertical Leap: 31.0”
Broad Jump: 9.5’
3-Cone Drill: 7.18 seconds
20-Yard Shuttle: 4.27 seconds
60-Yard Shuttle: DNP

 

Jeremiah George, Iowa State – The same things I said about Chris Borland could be said for Jeremiah George. He is not an uber-athlete, and he isn’t going to exude straight line speed in the 40. He is just a football player.

George tweaked a hamstring during an attempt at the 40-yard dash, so he didn’t complete everything during the drills. He will be able to recover his stock during his March 25th Pro Day.

For the Colts, George would be a late-round pick who would have to fight his way onto the field and outperform players like Mario Harvey, Josh McNary and Andy Studebaker.

Height: 5’11”
Weight: 234lbs
Arm Length: 31 7/8”
Hand Size: 9 1/4”
40-Yard Dash: 4.91 seconds
Bench Press: 28 reps (top performer amongst his group)
Vertical Leap: 33.0”
Broad Jump: 9.66’
3-Cone Drill: DNP
20-Yard Shuttle: DNP
60-Yard Shuttle: DNP

 

Yawin Smallwood, Connecticut – Yawin Smallwood did not perform well at the Combine, and that was a much bigger surprise than the performance of Borland and George. Smallwood has been a consensus second-to-fourth ranked inside linebacker and this draft, and he just needed to turn in a good Combine performance to cement that. Now, it is very possible for him to slip into the mid-to-late third round. The fourth would not even be out of the question at this point.

If Smallwood is on Grigson’s radar, then he is probably licking his chops and hoping to fend off other teams in pursuit of Smallwood. Smallwood has great size for what the Colts need at their inside linebacker spot and would likely be able to start right away. He isn’t very fast, but he plays much faster than the 5.01 he ran.

He can still recoup his stock by drastically improving at his Pro Day, but for now he made landing with the Colts much more of a possibility.

Height: 6’2”
Weight: 246lbs
Arm Length: 31 3/4”
Hand Size: 9 1/2”
40-Yard Dash: 5.01 seconds
Bench Press: 18 reps
Vertical Leap: 36.5”
Broad Jump: 9.0’
3-Cone Drill: DNP
20-Yard Shuttle: DNP
60-Yard Shuttle: DNP

 

Defensive Backs

Ahmad Dixon, Baylor – Ahmad Dixon is a mid-round prospect the Colts could target to groom behind Antoine Bethea (if he is brought back). He is not ready to be a starter yet, and could learn a thing or two from Bethea in terms of technique and professionalism.

Dixon is a highly emotional player and really needs a strong locker room to get him in check if he is getting out of line. The Colts could provide just that.

Dixon had about an average performance at the Combine. His 4.64 time in the 40 isn’t out of the question for an NFL safety, but he isn’t the rangy type of safety to begin with. He plays a lot more like a Bernard Pollard than a Jairus Byrd.

Height: 6’0”
Weight: 212lbs
Arm Length: 32 1/4”
Hand Size: 9 7/8”
40-Yard Dash: 4.64 seconds
Bench Press: 14 reps
Vertical Leap: 32.0”
Broad Jump: 9.25’
3-Cone Drill: 7.55 seconds
20-Yard Shuttle: 4.50 seconds
60-Yard Shuttle: 12.01 seconds

 

Bashaud Breeland, Clemson – Bashaud Breeland’s draft stock has seen some extreme highs and lows in the last month. He wasn’t talked about at all a month ago, then for a couple of weeks before the Combine he was talked about as a late-first/second-round prospect. Now his stock seems to have leveled out as a mid-round prospect.

Breeland really did nothing to boost or drop his stock any more at the Combine, so if he is going to boost his stock then he will have had to interview well at the Combine and have an exceptional Pro Day. He is an extremely intriguing prospect with loads of potential.

Although the likelihood of being a first-rounder is about all but out of the question by now, he could still very well be taken in the late second round or early in the third.

Height: 5’11”
Weight: 197lbs
Arm Length: 31 3/4”
Hand Size: 9”
40-Yard Dash: 4.62 seconds
Bench Press: 11 reps
Vertical Leap: 34.5”
Broad Jump: 10.25’
3-Cone Drill: 7.04 seconds
20-Yard Shuttle: 4.33 seconds
60-Yard Shuttle: 11.65 seconds

 

Deone Bucannon, Washington State – Someone who could be considered one of the true winners of the Combine is Washington State’s Deone Bucannon. He led his group in four separate categories, including the 40-yard dash. The drills he led in show a well-rounded prospect with potential to be a regular starter in the NFL – strength, speed, explosion and overall athleticism.

The Colts really need a new safety in 2014, as the Antoine Bethea/LaRon Landry project did not turn out as planned. Neither veteran excels in pass coverage, but Bethea is much more well-rounded and is one of the main arteries of the team. At the worst, Bucannon can learn behind the two with Delano Howell.

Height: 6’1”
Weight: 211lbs
Arm Length: 32 3/8”
Hand Size: 9 3/4”
40-Yard Dash: 4.49 seconds (top performer amongst his group)
Bench Press: 19 reps (top performer amongst his group)
Vertical Leap: 36.5” (top performer amongst his group)
Broad Jump: 10.41’ (top performer amongst his group)
3-Cone Drill: 6.96 seconds
20-Yard Shuttle: 4.26 seconds
60-Yard Shuttle: DNP

 

Keith McGill, Utah – Keith McGill is another player that really put his stamp on the Combine. A giant by cornerback standards, McGill showed his speed and explosion with a 4.51 40-yard dash, and led his group in the broad and vertical jumps.

McGill is a great blend of size, speed and athleticism that teams will be looking for, but whether or not he would be available to the Colts in Round 3 is questionable. He likely would not be their best option in Round 2, but he would probably be scooped up by pick #90.

One knock on McGill is that he does need to learn to use his size to his advantage more. He is going to be as big or bigger than a good portion of the receivers he covers, so he’ll need to be coached up a bit more.

Height: 6’3”
Weight: 211lbs
Arm Length: 33 1/4”
Hand Size: 10 1/4”
40-Yard Dash: 4.51 seconds
Bench Press: DNP
Vertical Leap: 39.0” (top performer amongst his group)
Broad Jump: 10.75’ (top performer amongst his group)
3-Cone Drill: 7.29 seconds
20-Yard Shuttle: 4.18 seconds
60-Yard Shuttle: DNP

 

Kenny Ladler, Vanderbilt – Like Bucannon, Kenny Ladler fits another big need for the Colts at safety. Again like Bucannon, Ladler also had a nice, well-rounded performance at the Combine. He led his group in the bench press as well as the vertical and broad jumps. He is the well-rounded safety the Colts need, but he also creates turnovers, which is something the Colts have not had at the safety position in years.

From titansonline.com, Ladler said, “I am able to make good tackles,” Ladler said. “I am a great open field tackler. I am consistent in the pass and run. And I am a turnover machine. I had five interceptions and five forced fumbles – that’s 10 takeaways this whole season. That’s how I got the nickname ‘Swiper.’ I take the ball away from the other offense and I think that playmaking ability will help me.”

Height: 6’0”
Weight: 207lbs
Arm Length: 31 5/8”
Hand Size: 9 5/8”
40-Yard Dash: 4.70 seconds
Bench Press: 24 reps (top performer amongst his group)
Vertical Leap: 36.5” (top performer amongst his group)
Broad Jump: 10.58’ (top performer amongst his group)
3-Cone Drill: DNP
20-Yard Shuttle: DNP
60-Yard Shuttle: DNP

 

Pierre Desir, Lindenwood – Pierre Desir did exactly what he needed to do at the Combine, and that is participate in everything. He proved to do himself well by participating, as he showed decent speed and explosion with his jumps.

With 6’1” size and 33” arms, Desir is an ideal size for today’s starting corner in the NFL, and would certainly fit in with the Colts after taking time to adjust to the big time.

Height: 6’1”
Weight: 198lbs
Arm Length: 33”
Hand Size: 9 5/8”
40-Yard Dash: 4.59 seconds
Bench Press: 11 reps
Vertical Leap: 35.0”
Broad Jump: 11.08’ (top performer amongst his group)
3-Cone Drill: 6.86 seconds
20-Yard Shuttle: 4.30 seconds
60-Yard Shuttle: 11.60 seconds

Jake Arthur is the Associate Editor at the Indy Sports Report covering the Indianapolis Colts and is recognized as an accredited member of the media by the Colts and has full media access. He is a member of the Professional Football Writers of America. You can follow Jake and ISR on Twitter.

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