The best thing about the combine for me is discovering players you haven’t focused on. You see a guy run a great forty, make the most of his chance to shine in the drills and then you go and dig out the tape. I remember a year ago seeing a ripped Robert Turbin running well in Indianapolis, finding a couple of videos immediately and being impressed enough to believe he could be a third round pick for this team. Low and behold, he ended up in Seattle (albeit in round four).
It’s not always positive though. Take Georgia’s Cornelius Washington. He ran a 4.55 at 6-4 and 255lbs. He had 36 reps on the bench press and a 39-inch vertical jump. Basically, that’s first round athleticism. So why did he only have 0.5 sacks in 2012? You watch the first video below and realise why. Never has the term ‘looks like Tarzan, plays like Jane’ been more appropriate. Sure, the game against Buffalo is only one performance. Yet that’s the game where he recorded his solitary half-sack for the season. It’s hard to justify even a 7th round grade on that evidence, even with the upside.
In other cases there won’t be a negative outcome. Over the next 7-10 days I’m going to be studying the following prospects. I wanted to put out a video of each to get us started today. Take a look for yourself and let us know what you think.
Cornelius Washington (DE, Georgia) vs Buffalo
He made headlines at the combine with a superb show of speed, power and athleticism. I’m sure I wasn’t the only person saying, “Cornelius Washington? Isn’t that the guy from Georgia?” Nobody really expected to see what happened in Indianapolis and given his ideal size and speed combination, he appeared to be a brilliant LEO. Yet you watch the tape below and think… when’s he going to start trying? It’s incredibly disappointing.
Sio Moore (LB, Connecticut) vs Rutgers
With 7.5 sacks last season and a further 6.5 the previous year, it’s hard to ignore Sio Moore. The Seahawks need to find multiple ways to improve their pass rush and a naturally attacking WILL linebacker would be of some benefit. He’s not the fastest (ran a 4.65) but he is big, strong and athletic.
Mark Harrison (WR, Rutgers) vs three opponents
I don’t really know how I missed this guy. The presence of Brandon Coleman in the Rutgers line-up is pretty distracting, but Harrison also has a lot of attractive qualities. He’s a big target at 6-3 and 231lbs with 4.46 speed. My assumption when watching this video for the first time yesterday was he probably won’t have good hands or much playmaking ability. I was wrong. This guy is one to keep an eye on.
Jon Bostic (LB, Florida) vs Vanderbilt
I spent no time on Bostic during the season, mainly due to his position as a roaming middle linebacker. Yet as soon as he ran an unofficial 4.50 I felt obliged to add him to my list of targets. He was later downgraded to an official 4.61, but I’m going to recycle all the Florida tape I have and keep an eye on him.
Chris Gragg (TE, Arkansas) vs Ole Miss
I liked Gragg going into 2012 and thought he could have a bit of a break-out season. Then Arkansas decided to have a year off from taking football seriously and everybody paid the price as a consequence. He was raw in 2011 and even looked a little awkward at times. When you run a 4.50 at 6-3 and 244lbs however, you want to go back and check out the tape. So hear it is…
Sanders Commings (CB, Georgia) vs Alabama
When I watched the SEC title game, Commings stuck out like a sore thumb. He looked the part. Big and physical yet quick enough to shadow Alabama’s talented receivers. It was a superb display. As with all corners who weigh around 216lbs though, you worry about speed. Then he runs a 4.41. At just a shade under 6-0, he doesn’t have the natural length this team has looked for at the position. Yet Commings is intriguing as a mid-round option and could even convert to safety.
Trevardo Williams (DE, Connecticut) vs NC State
He lacks the height and length you’d prefer at the LEO (only 6-1) but it’s hard to ignore 4.57 speed at 241lbs. I’ve not spent any time studying Williams although I have a couple of Connecticut games to get through. One is a two-sack performance against NC State that you’ll find below. He’s Jamaican-born with a sprinters background.
Colby Cameron (QB, Louisiana Tech) vs Texas A&M
This is the guy who broke Russell Wilson’s NCAA record of 379 consecutive pass attempts without an interception. The Seahawks love mobile quarterbacks who can move the ball around the field and don’t turn it over. There’s a little Kirk Cousins to Cameron’s game and he had a prolific final season in college with 31 touchdowns and just five interceptions. No tape is available yet but he was throwing the ball nicely in Indianapolis. I’ve included a Quinton Patton video instead to get a glimpse of what he has to offer.
Zaviar Gooden (LB, Missouri) vs Syracuse
I’ve been meaning to watch Gooden for some time, but since his combine performance I’m even more determined to do so. He’ll probably be the first player I really study. With 4.47 speed he automatically screams ‘Seahawks’ and he’d make a natural fit at the WILL. He had 27 reps on the bench press too so he’s strong enough to take on blockers. Gooden’s stock is rising.
Matt Scott (QB, Arizona) vs Stanford
One of Kip’s favourite guys. Another big, athletic quarterback who might be able to come in on the cheap and backup Russell Wilson. He seems to have possible trade-value down the line too. Since his man-crush on Russell Wilson, if Kip likes a quarterback I’m going to make sure I take a closer look.
Corey Fuller (WR, Virginia Tech) vs North Carolina
Both Fuller and Virginia Tech team mate Marcus Davis impressed at the combine. There’s currently no tape for Davis available although I have two Virginia Tech games stashed to go back and look at. Fuller ran a 4.43 and while he doesn’t have amazing size at 6-2 and 204lbs, he’s a player I’ll be trying to learn more about.
Kerwynn Williams (RB, Utah State) vs Louisiana Tech
Seattle had some success with Utah State guys last year, why not go back to the well? Kerywnn Williams is small (5-8, 195lbs) but he has 4.48 speed and could end up being a kick return specialist with special teams upside. Leon Washington won’t keep going forever, after all.