Workouts for the 2014 NFL Combine begin on Saturday in Lucas Oil Stadium as the offensive linemen and tight ends take to the field. NFL teams have the opportunity to grade the potential of future employees. What are the big stories surrounding the workouts and which players have the most to gain? Here are six offensive players to focus on ...
QB Blake Bortles, Central Florida: At the time of posting Bortles is the only top-rated quarterback who has publically stated he will throw at the Combine. It’s a terrific opportunity for Bortles, who revamped his mechanics the past month, to separate himself from the rest of the pack. Bortles' ability to accurately deliver downfield passes, specifically the deep outs, could secure his spot as the draft’s top pick.
QB Tom Savage, Pittsburgh: After a three-year hiatus from game-time action Savage showed enough skill to pique the interest of scouts last season. Savage has the arm strength to play in the NFL, but does he have the accuracy? And what about his mindset? His interviews in the Combine’s opening days will be as important as his passing workout on Sunday.
RB Andre Williams, Boston College: Williams has watched his draft stock skyrocket the past four months, the result of his record-setting senior season of 2013 when he rushed for 2,177 yards. He’s a powerful, straight-line ball carrier with sneaky speed. But what about his ability to change direction and run laterally? It looks suspect on film, but Williams can quell concerns with good times in the shuttle and three-cone runs.
WR Kelvin Benjamin, Florida State: Benjamin comes off a career season which saw his production double in most receiving categories. He’s the big-bodied athlete teams want at the wideout position but his receiver mechanics, primarily route running, has raised concerns in the scouting community. Sunday’s pass catching session is critical for Benjamin and every aspect with be dissected by receiver-needy teams. Does Benjamin slow into routes? Does he chop his feet? Does he exit breaks quickly with balance and position himself to make the reception? Affirmative answers will only make Benjamin more attractive to NFL decision-makers.
WR Davante Adams, Fresno State: Fundamentals are not an issue for Adams rather outright foot speed. This is an instance where scouts will pay close attention to the stopwatch when Adams runs the 40-yard dash. A time under 4.49-seconds could cement the productive receiver as a top-40 pick.
OT Seantrel Henderson, Miami: How best to describe Henderson? Looks like Tarzan, plays like Jane. The big-bodied blocker flashed brilliance on occasion the past three years, but all too often looked pedestrian. He’s also had a host of off-the-field issues. Interviews prior to his workout on Saturday are critical. Teams will demand to know why Henderson did not consistently play to his level of ability. They’ll ask why such a talented athlete on the field often times acts like an immature child off it. And most important, scouts will ask Henderson why they should believe any of this will change moving forward.