ATM: Players to Watch At The Combine

| February 28th, 2018

The NFL’s annual meat market is here.

Don’t listen to anyone who tells you it doesn’t matter. The Bears, in particular, seem to value athleticism with their early picks and there’s no reason to think this year will be any different.

Here are a few players to watch when the combine really gets rolling later this week.

Calvin Ridley, WR, Alabama

Ridley is generally thought to be the top wide receiver but there are questions about whether or not he deserves to be a top-10 pick.

After a 1,000-yard season as a freshman, Ridley failed to reach that mark again in his final two years. While much of the blame for that has gone to Alabama’s horrendous quarterback play, there are still questions about the wideout.

One major thing NFL teams will need to see is if Ridley is taller than six-feet, like he is listed. If he comes in shorter, teams are going to question his ability to play outside. Since 2010 only two receivers who measured under six-feet were drafted in the top-10. Neither — Tavon Austin and John Ross —  have worked out so far.

Even if he is six-foot-one, Ridley needs to show he has at least good athletic ability to create separation from defenders.

Read DBB’s Saturday Scout column on Ridley HERE.

Tremaine Edmunds, LB, Virginia Tech

You don’t often see off-the-ball linebackers who look and move like Edmunds.

Expected to measure in at around 6’5″, 250 pounds, Edmunds is a player a lot of teams are going to want to take a close look at. In addition to his freakish size, he flies around the ball and could be a menace covering the middle of the field.

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Across the Middle with Andrew Dannehy: Who/What to Watch at the Combine

| February 24th, 2016

Kevin White

Editor’s Note: I will not watch any of the Combine. My thoughts on the charade are well known. So thankfully, Andrew is around.

I don’t care what anybody says, the NFL combine is a valuable part of the predraft process. It has become popular to understate the value of the NFL Combine but if it didn’t matter, teams wouldn’t send every scout and coach they have. The common theme amongst former scouts is that the workouts are mostly to confirm what they have seen on tape. A lot of times, however, it makes them re-watch the tape and, sometimes changes their views on certain players. We, as fans, and NFL teams are going to get a lot of valuable information this week.

The best skill position players in the league are almost always athletic freaks. Two years ago, Aaron Donald went from being a guy mocked in the third round to a consensus top-15 pick just by putting on a show at the combine. There are certainly exceptions to the rule, but not many.

The elite talents are usually obvious on tape, but the numbers are about more than separating the elite. NFL teams have minimums or bench marks that they look for at each position. Just last year, Greg Gabriel deemed current Baltimore Ravens tight end Maxx Williams as being not good enough to be selected in the first round seconds after he ran the 40-yard dash, claiming Williams needed to break into the 4.6-range to be drafted in the first round. Greg was right.

The two most important parts of the combine are the physicals and the interviews, neither of which we get to see. But there’s still valuable information that we can learn.

Here are a few things to watch for the Bears this year:

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