Joe Marino’s Scouting Combine Notes: Offensive Line and Running Backs


You can see all the testing results on our Combine Results Tracker. The focus of this recap is to analyze highlights/lowlights that you cannot simply read off the chart.

Offensive Line

  • LSU OL Vadal Alexander struggled with movement skills and labored through drills. After playing tackle in college, it’s apparent that he will need to kick inside to guard in the NFL to have a chance. He will not be able to survive on an island on the outside against the NFL’s talented and athletic edge rushers.
  • Everything that Stanford G Josh Garnett does is explosive. His ability to drive off his feet and burst is excellent. He is a road-grading run blocker that has plug-and-play potential in a power scheme.
  • Michigan State OT Jack Conklin showed good fluidity in drills, particularly when asked to move laterally. He showed quick feet and efficient ability to slide. Known for his power, this was good to see.
  • A guy that I wasn’t yet familiar with is San Diego State OL Darrell Green and he caught my eye. He is thick in the lower half and showed excellent movement skills and fluidity in drills. I’m looking forward to evaluating his tape.
  • Ohio State OT Taylor Decker showed terrific posture and clean footwork in drills.
  • Of all the movement skills seen today, arguably the most natural guy was Washington State OL Joe Dahl. He showed refinement, balance and was technically sound. He looked like he was gliding when moving laterally.Jason Spriggs Inside
  • Another prospect in the conversation for “most natural movement skills” is Indiana OT Jason Spriggs. He is incredibly smooth with tremendous ability to change directions.
  • Ole Miss OT Laremy Tunsil didn’t run the 40-yard dash but he was tremendous in drills. I’ve labeled him a “generational talent” in terms of pass blocking upside and it’s easy to see how dynamic, fast and explosive his movement skills are. The Titans should go ahead and fill out the card and the Browns are now on the clock.
  • Kansas State’s Cody Whitehair has obvious natural posture, balance and fluidity in the way he went through drills. He is likely a guard in the NFL and his ability to slide will help him shut down gaps in pass protection.
  • One of today’s winners was Alabama C Ryan Kelly who was listed at 297 pounds but checked in at 311 pounds. He added much-needed weight and looked very athletic.
  • Oregon State’s Isaac Seumalo had a terrific day. He was polished, balanced and maintained great leverage in drills. An athletic player, Seumalo plays with great power and is an ideal zone-scheme guard.
  • Notre Dame OT Ronnie Stanley displayed natural bend, balance and quickness in drills. He is a top-10 offensive tackle in any draft. Plug and play starter on the left side.

 

  • Running Backs
  • Notre Dame’s CJ Prosise is still learning the nuances of playing running back and that showed up in drills. He is still very calculated with his movements but his raw ability is intriguing.
  • My top-two running backs in this class are Ohio State’s Ezekiel Elliott and Alabama’s Derrick Henry and they Zeke Insideperformed like it today. Both have tremendous size and explosive athletic ability and should be NFL workhorses on day one.
  • San Jose State’s Tyler Ervin is lighting in a bottle. His lateral quickness and ability to cut on a dime with minimal throttle-down is impressive.
  • Louisiana Tech’s Kenneth Dixon showed impressive hands and ability to change directions. He is one of the top all-around backs in the class and had a fantastic day.
  • Alabama RB Kenyan Drake, whose calling-card is as a third down back, showed terrific hands and burst. He is an ideal complementary back.
  • The best way I can describe what I saw today from North Carolina State RB Shadrach Thornton is “clunky”. For a guy with red flags off the field, this was not an ideal performance.
  • From a measurables perspective, Cal’s Daniel Lasco had a tremendous day. Be sure to look at his numbers on the results tracker.

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Joe Marino is a Senior Scouting Consultant for NDT Scouting and co-host of the Locked of NFL Draft Podcast. Marino began his career as the Assistant Editor for USA Today Digital Properties Draft Sites Network in 2011. In 2014, Joe joined the highly regarded Draft Breakdown staff as a Senior NFL Draft Analyst where he received high praise for his coverage of the Senior Bowl, NFL Scouting Combine and prospect evaluation. Joe has been a featured NFL Draft Analyst on local ESPN Radio, national NBC and CBS Sports Radio, and numerous local radio shows and podcasts. Marino also contributes a weekly column to USA Today's Draft Wire.