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Scouting Combine notes: day 4

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Notes and observations from DB weigh in, DL/LB bench press, and the WR/TE/QB field tests.

Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

It was a disappointing Day 4 of the 2016 NFL Scouting Combine. We didn’t see enough long CB, we didn’t see enough fast WR, and what an awful group of TE.

DL and LB completed their first test today when they competed in bench press. Andrew Billings was a bit of a disappointment after all of the hype, posting a 4th place – 31 reps. Matt Judon put up a shocking 30 reps. And the lightest player in the DL group, Dadi Nicolas, put up a group-low 14 reps…furthering his stigma of not being strong enough for the position.

At time I’m writing this, the linebacker bench totals haven’t been pubished. I don’t care enough to wait.

The final group(s) to weigh-in were measured today in the safeties and corners. I was really hoping to see about 10 total CB come in with 32" arms, but guys like William Jackson, Keivarae Russell, and Xavien Howard didn’t hit that. These were the new, confirmed 32’s:

Artie Burns- 6’0"/193, 33 ¼"

Deandre Elliott- 6’1"/188, 32"

Jalen Ramsey- 6’1"/209, 33 3/8"

Rashard Robinson- 6’1"/171, 32 ¼"

Brandon Williams- 5’11"/197, 32 ½"

Daryl Worley- 6’1"/204, 33 3/8"

We also saw Deiondre Hall and James Bradberry measure in above 32" at the Sr Bowl, but I’m eliminating both based on performance. I also would eliminate Elliott for the same reason, cross off Ramsey cause he’ll be long gone, and cross off Robinson for his weight. Williams I need tape on.

If we’re giving arm length a certain margin of error, the next closest prospects are Taveze Calhoun (6’0"/192, 31 7/8"), Jackson (6’0"/189, 31 ¾"), Eric Murray (5’11"/199, 31 ¾"), Maurice Canady (6’1"/193, 31 5/8"), Russell (5’11"/192, 31 5/8"), LeShaun Sims (6’0"/203, 31 5/8").

If we’re talking about a TRUE Seahawky CB, really, I’m down to only Burns and Worley. But, as I talked about on Tuesday (http://www.fieldgulls.com/2016/2/23/11097546/2016-scouting-combine-preview), Worley might be the guy. It’s always good when the guy that looks most like what you want is still looking most like what you want.

At Safety, there are fewer recognizable required baseline traits. I mean, there’s a pretty wide range between an Earl Thomas and a Kam Chancellor. I just want to look for a solidly built guy that will test decently. After today we know the first half of that.

None of the 2016 group came in over 220 lbs (those guys are currently playing LB), but Tevin Carter-218, Miles Killebrew-217, Kavon Frazier-217, Jayron Kearse-216, Elijah Shumate-216 were the heaviest. Kearse was the longest with his 34 ¼" arms. Jeremy Cash, Keanu Neal, Tyvis Powell, and TJ Green are also nicely proportioned for the position.

The field testing today was done by WR’s and TE’s. After eliminating a bunch of guys that didn’t run multiple events, we basically had nine TE that participated. Of that group, I really only came away impressed with Beau Sandland (one of my picks from Friday night). Sandland finished 6th in the forty, 2nd in bench, 3rd in vert, 1st in broad, 9th in cone, and 8th in shuttle. With Jimmy and Luke already on-board, we don’t need a massive SPARQ number at TE, but Sandland seems an average athlete.

As I wrote on Tuesday, Jeff Driskel had a very solid day for the QB field test: running a 4.56 forty and 10’2" broad jump to lead the group in both of those categories, 32" vert, 7.19 cone.

Vernon Adams had a pretty poor day. First, he showed up with his weight up, but he looked really doughey…he didn’t add muscle. His forty was 12th best, but after you apply weight factors, that’s a really bad time.

Conversely, I really liked the day that small-school QB Josh Woodrum put together: 4.80 forty, 31" vert, 117" broad (4th place in group), 6.74 cone drill (1st in group & would have been 4th in the WR group). He’s a guy that is really growing on me as Russell’s backup.

I wrote on Tuesday that I thought the Combine Invite committee screwed up the WR group…well, after testing, it was widely reported that this was one of the slowest groups of WR we’ve seen at a combine in five years. I said that the committee should have passed on guys like D’haquille Williams and Roger Lewis in favor of a few select WR that I think are faster, and more-skilled.

Williams had a day of 4.72 forty, 30" vert, 10’1" broad, 7.43 cone, and 4.47 shuttle (overall day ranked in 3rd percentile of NFL WR, per Zach Whitman).

Lewis tested at a 4.57 forty, 33.5" vert, and 9’8" broad (did not perform agility tests).

Not to mention horrible days from De’Runnya Wilson, Demarcus Ayers. Those spots could/should have gone to Mike Thomas, Jaydon Mickens, Bryce Treggs, etc.

Speaking of Mike Thomas…now I’m really curious if he’ll test better than Michael Thomas. The Ohio State Thomas came in with a 4.57 forty. The Southern Mississippi Thomas will get the benefit of the blessing-in-disguise of not being in Indy: getting timed without the laser. I like his chances.

Going back, again, to my Tuesday Combine preview piece, I had five WR that I was looking to see hit 4.4 forties to qualify as mid-round Seahawk candidates (Rashard Higgins, Tajae Sharpe, Ricardo Louis, Trevor Davis, and Charone Peake). I hit on 60%.

Peake logged a 4.45 official, with 35.5" vert, 10’2" broad, 6.96 cone, and a 4.46 shuttle. All very solid marks save for his shuttle.

Davis made a BUNCH of money with his overall performance:

4.42s forty – 3rd place

38.5" vert – 4th place

10’4" broad – 12th place

6.60 cone – 2nd place

4.22 shuttle – 15th place

Davis was also one of my favorites running the gauntlet, and catching the ball in general.

And then Louis had an incomplete day, but excelled in the three drills he tested in: 4.43 forty (4th), 38" vert (5th), 11’00" broad (1st). Having watched Louis a lot on tape, I suspect is agility won’t be great. He does struggle a bit evading defenders after the catch. Louis will make some spectacular catches, and then drop some easy ones…he’s very much Jermaine Kearse-esque, and would make a ton of sense as Kearse’s replacement (if need be).

Higgins and Sharpe, in spite of all the college production, are very much below average athletically. It’s not a death-knell…guys like Jarvis Landry and Keenan Allen have been successful without huge SPARQ…but these two certainly don’t look like Seahawks.

I’m very happy with the day that Keyarris Garrett put together, including a 4.53 forty. If you believe in roster mirroring, Garrett is a prime candidate to mirror newly-signed Seattle receiver Jeff Fuller.

And Jordan Payton had enough of a quality performance that I will spend some time going back over his tape.

Looking forward to Sunday, it’s the DL main event; with the hog mollies taking the field for testing. LB’s on the field as well, plus DB bench press.