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NFL DRAFT PREVIEW

NFL Combine 'Best in Show': QB, RB, WR

Thu, Mar 06, 2014

Reese's Senior Bowl Executive Director Phil Savage spent four days at the NFL Combine watching workouts from Indianapolis' Lucas Oil Stadium. He is breaking down the top performances by day, focusing on the Sunday workouts here by quarterbacks, running backs and wide receivers. Here are the player that stood out, according to Savage, who spent 20 years in the NFL as a coach, scout and executive, which included four years as the Cleveland Browns General Manager.

QUARTERBACKS

The first three quarterbacks at the top are nearly set with Blake Bortles of UCF, Teddy Bridgewater of Louisville and Texas A&M's Johnny Manzel vying for the top-5 or top-10. After that, the race is on to see who is the fourth quarterback, and even the fifth and sixth quarterbacks off the board come May.

Carr ran a 4.69 in the 40-yard dash.

 Derek Carr     Sr.     Freson State 

Carr took a step forward (to being the fourth QB to be drafted) because he ran in the 4.6's in the 40-yard dash. Although he opted not to throw (he threw for all 32 clubs for five days at the Reese's Senior Bowl), the fact that he ran that fast, he's in the position to be the fourth quarterback off the board in May.

 Jimmy Garoppolo     Sr.     Eastern Illinois 

Garoppolo had a good week at the Reese's Senior Bowl and at the NFL Combine showed he has a very quick release, but he generated more arm strength out of that short release than people anticipated. He had a good workout.

 AJ McCarron     Sr.     Alabama 

AJ made his debut in the pre-draft process and went through all the throwing drills. He did a nice job throwing off the back foot on the three- and five-step drops and throwing it to the outside -- was accurate with the football. We'll see if teams are convinced with the explosiveness of his lower body. He only jumped 8'3" in the broad and had a vertical of 28" -- those are questionalble numbers in terms of what the NFL is looking for. But, overall AJ had a good workouit in Indianapolis.

RUNNING BACKS

Archer ran a Combine-best 4.26 in the 40.

 Dri Archer     Sr.     Kent State 

His 4.26 in the 40 was the best at the NFL Combine and that puts him in position to be a specialist in some sort of way -- kind of a gadget or specialty-type player on offense.

 Jeremy Hill     Jr.     LSU 

This junior took a step forward. Though he didn't run a great 40 time, he looked good running between the tackles, catching the ball out of the backfield. I think you know what you're getting in terms of his on the field talent. 

 Lache Seastrunk     Jr.     Baylor 

Seen a little bit as a one-dimensional, downhill, straight-line runner, he showed more agility and some ability on the perimeter in terms of catching the football. 

 Jerick McKinnon     Sr.     Georgia Southern 

The former quarterback made the transition to running back at the Reese's Senior Bowl. He benched 32 times, ran a sub 4.5 40, caught the ball well -- he looks like a running back. He's going to be a piece of a puzzle for a team next year. 

 Charles Sims     Sr.      West Virginia 

He was the Practice Player of the Week for running backs at the Reese's Senior Bowl. He showed outstanding versatility in Indy. He ran fast, caught the ball well, is very athletic. He's going to be a good player for a team.

 Tyler Gaffney     Sr.      Stanford 

Was reported to be too slow, too stiff, too this, too that during the season. All he did was rack up multiple 100+ yard games week after week then shows up at the Combine, runs 4.49 in the 40, looked exteremely efficient in all the drills, caught the ball well. He helped himself as much as any running back at this year's Combine.

WIDE RECEIVERS

 Sammy Watkins      Jr.      Clemson 

He was one of our 'Combine Studs' that we listed right after the Combine. He was really outstanding. He lived up to every bit of hype that is out there in terms of speed, catching the football.

 Odell Beckham, Jr.     Jr.      LSU 

This is a young man who just knows how to grab the football out of the air. He looked just outstanding on Sunday afternoon. 

 Martavis Bryant     Jr.     Clemson 

The counterpart to Sammy Watkins at Clemson ran fast, he's tall, he has a big catching range.

 Mike Evans     Jr.     Texas A&M

A giant catching radius, he's outstanding -- can reach low, go up high. He ran in the low 4.5's, but I think really were not shocked to see him run that fast, but pleasantly surprised. Now that answers the bell for him to potentially go in the top-15 of this draft.

 Brandin Cooks     Jr.     Oregon State

Another junior and another reason this WR class is so strong (so many underclassmen). Ran in the 4.3's, just is an absolute blur on the football field, catches the ball well.

 Bruce Elliington     Jr.      South Carolina 

The cousin of Andre Ellington (Arizona Cardinals and Senior Bowl alum) and a great athlete. Played basketball for the Gamecocks, too.

 Jared Abbrederis     Sr.      Wisconsin 

The former walk-on who went on to break records at Wisconsin. Runs sub-4.5 and catches every ball in sight.

 Jeff Janis     Sr.     Saginaw Valley State 

Almost 6'3", 219 pounds, runs in the low 4.4s. He has a lot of talent to work with. Teams are going to be intrigued to work with him. Will go probably somewhere in the mid-round area.