Joe Marino’s Scouting Combine Notes: Quarterbacks, Wide Receivers and Tight Ends

Written by Joe Marino on February 27, 2016


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

Quarterbacks

  • Michigan State QB Connor Cook’s release and throwing motion really stood out today. It is efficient and compact; ideal for getting the ball out quickly.
  • On the contrary, TCU QB Trevone Boykin’s release is elongated and he “cocks” the football.
  • Cal QB Jared Goff’s ball placement, as he displayed on tape, was outstanding all day. Coupled with his terrific footwork and you see why he is my top rated QB in this class.
  • Penn State QB Christian Hackenberg was erratic with the football in drills. Several passes got away from him and sailed over his intended target.
  • Louisiana Tech QB Jeff Driskel’s ball loses notable velocity as it approaches his target and will even nose dive before reaching his target.
  • It was apparent at the Senior Bowl and again in drills today that North Dakota State QB Carson Wentz takes command and control of every situation; one of my favorite things about him. His arm talent is obvious.
  • USC QB Cody Kessler’s throwing ability was a notch below the rest of the field today. There was too much arc on short outs and couldn’t drive the ball vertically with any accuracy.
  • Memphis QB Paxton Lynch looked uncomfortable which was somewhat to be expected. His college system was 100% shotgun so taking drops from under center is a new thing for him. With that said, it was apparent and everything looked calculated with his feet and timing in his drops.

Wide Receivers

  • Pitt’s Tyler Boyd and TCU’s Josh Doctson displayed the most natural, soft hands of any receivers today. These docston insideguys can catch footballs in their sleep. Both have exceptional body control.
  • Not far behind Boyd and Doctston is Cal’s Kenny Lawler and Colorado State’s Rashard Higgins. They are effortless hands catchers and the ball sticks to their hands.
  • Notre Dame’s Will Fuller came into today’s drills with numerous drops in games and small hands. With that said, he had a clean day catching the football. That was important for him to show.
  • UMass WR Tajae Sharpe showed his ability to adjust to the football and had a strong day catching the football. He was locked in and performed well.
  • Oklahoma WR Sterling Shepard was as good as his tape advertised. After turning in excellent test results, he showed good route-running skills, burst and hands.
  • Clemson’s Charone Peake and UCLA’s Jordan Payton both had better timed speed than I anticipated. In a class of “slower” receivers, this will boost their stock.
  • Cincinnati WR Chris Moore tested extremely well today and showed good ball skills. Never waiting for the ball to come to him, he showed the ability to “got get it”.
  • I had a mild liking for Mississippi State WR Da’Runnya Wilson but his performance was dreadful today. His tests across-the-board were poor and he looked clunky running around. Not ideal for a NFL receiver in any way.

Tight Ends

  • South Carolina TE Jerell Adams was the fastest tight end today and displayed a massive catch radius.
  • Ohio State’s Nick Vannett was the most natural hands catcher in the group. He was clean in the gauntlet drill and the ball was securely squeezed away from his body. He ran excellent routes with good change of direction skills and timing.
  • Montana State’s Beau Sandland struggled catching the football today. The ball was on top of him quickly and he was unable to adjust and secure the ball in the gauntlet. He had several drops.
  • Stanford’s Austin Hooper who is an intriguing move-piece, ran good routes and confirmed his play speed.

Joe Marino

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.

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