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Thread: 5 Questions I'm Hoping the Combine Will Answer

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    5 Questions I'm Hoping the Combine Will Answer

    While I think Combine workouts can be over-valued, I do think that we will obtain some useful information this week. Here are the 5 questions I hope the Combine will answer:

    1. Is/are there any WR(s) who stand(s) apart?
    Right now, there's not much separation in my ranking of the top 6 or 7 WRs in the draft. I see the group as consisting of a lot of guys who, at this point, seem like the type of players you'd select beteen the 15th and 50th pick of the draft. The Combine could change this, though. Certainly, 40 times matter for WRs. While I would not completely devalue a highly productive receiver (i.e. Terrance Williams, DeAndre Hopkins) because he runs a 4.5 instead of a 4.45, you have to consider the value of a true burner (low 4.4s or better). I also think the shuttle times are worth looking at, particulary for potential slot receivers (i.e. Tavon Austin). My hope is that, after the Combine, there will be some clarity as to which receivers are really a the top of the class.

    2. Is the safety position as deep as I think it is?
    I can't recall a year in which the safety position appeared, at this stage of the offseason, to be as deep as it seems to be this year. I count at least 8 players (Vaccaro, Elam, Reid, Swearinger, Jefferson, Thomas, Rambo, Cyprien, McDonald) who have at least a Round 3 rating. Will the workouts support this? If so, that bodes well for the Rams, who need a safety, but won't necessarily have to grab one in Round 1.

    3. Who are the 4-3 OLBs?
    Much of the attention at the OLB spot seems to go to rush LBs who fit a 3-4. The Rams, on the other hand, need to find a SLB for a 4-3. Who are the top prospects at that spot? My money is on Khasseem Greene of Rutgers.

    4. Among the OL, who is long and strong?
    While, once again, no test is conclusive, I do think that an OL prospect who has long arms AND does well on the bench press test has a good chance of having the tools to succeed. A truly poor showing on the bench, or T-Rex arms, can really downgrade an OL.

    5. Who am I missing?
    Every year, players emerge at the Combine. Some will be mere "workout warriors," while others may be diamonds in the rough. I have my eye on a few sleepers, but I'm sure that next week we'll be talking about a player or two who has not yet been mentioned.


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    Re: 5 Questions I'm Hoping the Combine Will Answer

    As far as your 1st point goes isn't Patterson already gaining steam in that department. And I agree with your assement that 40 times might push a couple up.

    My question and point 6.

    How many times will Mike Mayock say "bubble butt"?

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    Re: 5 Questions I'm Hoping the Combine Will Answer

    Good questions and I hope we get some definitive answers. I would add a question of whether it makes sense to draft a TE and if so early, mid or late. It seems the class has Eifert and Ertz and then a lot of no-names. My interest is sparked by improving our Red Zone threats which also ties back to your WR question..

    Go Rams!

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    Re: 5 Questions I'm Hoping the Combine Will Answer

    Answers to my questions:

    Quote Originally Posted by AvengerRam View Post
    1. Is/are there any WR(s) who stand(s) apart?
    Right now, there's not much separation in my ranking of the top 6 or 7 WRs in the draft. I see the group as consisting of a lot of guys who, at this point, seem like the type of players you'd select beteen the 15th and 50th pick of the draft. The Combine could change this, though. Certainly, 40 times matter for WRs. While I would not completely devalue a highly productive receiver (i.e. Terrance Williams, DeAndre Hopkins) because he runs a 4.5 instead of a 4.45, you have to consider the value of a true burner (low 4.4s or better). I also think the shuttle times are worth looking at, particulary for potential slot receivers (i.e. Tavon Austin). My hope is that, after the Combine, there will be some clarity as to which receivers are really a the top of the class.
    I'd say that, from a purely athletic standpoint, Cordarrelle Patterson and Tavon Austin were the big winners. I also think Justin Hunter did a great job of showing that he is physically recovered from his prior injury. We're still waiting to see how Keenan Allen runs, so his slot is somewhat flexible.

    2. Is the safety position as deep as I think it is?
    I can't recall a year in which the safety position appeared, at this stage of the offseason, to be as deep as it seems to be this year. I count at least 8 players (Vaccaro, Elam, Reid, Swearinger, Jefferson, Thomas, Rambo, Cyprien, McDonald) who have at least a Round 3 rating. Will the workouts support this? If so, that bodes well for the Rams, who need a safety, but won't necessarily have to grab one in Round 1.
    I'd say its still deep, though a few players did disappoint. Vacccaro failed to distinguish himself as I thought he would. Swearinger and Jefferson were slower than I hoped. Cyprien didn't run, so we'll have to wait and see with him. I still think that good prospects will be available in Rounds 2-3.

    3. Who are the 4-3 OLBs?
    Much of the attention at the OLB spot seems to go to rush LBs who fit a 3-4. The Rams, on the other hand, need to find a SLB for a 4-3. Who are the top prospects at that spot? My money is on Khasseem Greene of Rutgers.
    Greene did not disappoint. I also thought Jamie Collins had one of the best Combine performances, and could project as an SLB from a size/speed standpoint (6'3, 250/4.64 in the 40). An intriguing sleeper is Sio Moore from UConn.

    4. Among the OL, who is long and strong?
    While, once again, no test is conclusive, I do think that an OL prospect who has long arms AND does well on the bench press test has a good chance of having the tools to succeed. A truly poor showing on the bench, or T-Rex arms, can really downgrade an OL.
    Jonathan Cooper (35 reps) and Chance Warmack (27 reps) were strong, and D.J. Fluker's arms are ridiculously long (36 3/4"). I was disappointed that Travis Frederick had only 21 reps with 33" arms, but I suspect that was in part due to his deliberate weight loss as he campaigns as a C rather than an OG.

    5. Who am I missing?
    Every year, players emerge at the Combine. Some will be mere "workout warriors," while others may be diamonds in the rough. I have my eye on a few sleepers, but I'm sure that next week we'll be talking about a player or two who has not yet been mentioned.
    Terron Armstead, who ran a 4.71 at 306 lbs., and added 31 reps on the bench, came out of nowhere. Not sure, though, if that athleticism necessarily translates to success as an NFL OT.

    Knile Davis, RB from Arkansas, also impressed by running a 4.37 at 226 lbs.

    A couple of LBs worth watching are Jon Bostic, Florida (4.61 forty at 246 lbs) and Zavier Gooden from Missouri (4.47 forty at 234 lbs.).
    Vinnie25 likes this.

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    Re: 5 Questions I'm Hoping the Combine Will Answer

    Good job Av, think you asked the right questions and posted the correct answers. Now we have to wait for pro days and FA.

    Question for you AV, where do you see Greene going? would love to have him but in the right spot you know.


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    Re: 5 Questions I'm Hoping the Combine Will Answer

    I think Green probably goes in the 2nd round. I think the Rams should consider him if he's there at #46.

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    Re: 5 Questions I'm Hoping the Combine Will Answer

    Quote Originally Posted by AvengerRam View Post
    I think Green probably goes in the 2nd round. I think the Rams should consider him if he's there at #46.
    I agree, if Greene is there at 46 we have to take him; the TE and S position are usually more important positions in the scheme of things, but I think there's a lot deeper talent than can be found in Round 3 and 4

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