The 2013 NFL combines are winding down and after everyone has wiped the drool from their mouths over some super fast 40 times, we can now get to the real point of the NFL combines—not who is the fastest but who has solidified his draft stock and who has moved up.
The Pac-12 was well-represented at the combines but there's a lot of youth in the conference which explains why there isn't as much representation as the SEC and ACC have at the combines—remember, one team (Arizona) returns everyone on defense this year and two teams (Washington and Washington State) only lost a combined five players.
Among the quarterbacks, receivers, offensive linemen, tight ends, defensive ends and running backs who have participated in the combines, these have really impressed the NFL scouts so far. Note that Cal receiver Keenan Allen (PCL) and defensive lineman Star Lotulelei (heart) did not participate in workouts.
Matt Barkley, quarterback, USC
Matt Barkley's height wasn't exactly a strength going into the combines—at 6-2, he doesn't stand tall in the pocket. Barkley has had multiple games where he has sailed the ball over the receivers' heads and he also missed the final two games of the season due to a shoulder injury—he also didn't throw at the combines.
On the plus side, Barkley has four full years of experience at the college level and can read defenses well. He also displays superior leadership skills and has no character issues.
According to NFL.com's Daniel Jeremiah, the Arizona Cardinals were impressed with Barkley. More:
According to one source, the Cardinals were extremely impressed with the USC quarterback during his interview this week.
Matt Scott, quarterback, Arizona
Matt Scott apparently left a little in the tank when he showed up in Indianapolis. Scott was very accurate in his positional workout and impressed scouts and analysts including National Football Post's Russell Lande:
While he didn’t stand out physically in terms of stature or arm strength, he threw every route with tight zip and very good accuracy. With several “big name” QBs in his group struggling with mechanics and accuracy, Scott acquitted himself well in a very tough environment.
Markus Wheaton, receiver, Oregon State
Wheaton was a track star (400m & 800m) who displays excellent concentration while catching the ball—he'll go high and sacrifice his body to make the catch. Because of his quickness, he is dangerous in the open field.
At only 5-11, he was the same size as most of the corners he faced yet I wonder how that will translate in the NFL—coaches demand receivers who can block.
Wheaton ran the 40 in 4.45 and impressed scouts in the 20 yard shuttle.
Dion Jordan, defensive end, Oregon
Jordan is projected as a first-rounder and ran a 4.53 this morning. Remember, we're talking about a 6-6, 248 pound man running a 4.53. Well done, sir. Well done.
Kenjon Barner, running back, Oregon
Barner's size is a liability at 5-9 and 196 pounds but his 40 time was very good at 4.44. His short-stature is deceiving because he's powerfully built and can handle the load—last season he had three games with 30-plus carries a game.
Datone Jones, defensive end, UCLA
Datone Jones measured 6-3 7/8 and 283 pounds and already wowed scouts with his physique. Jones ran a very respectable 4.84. According to 12th Man Rising, Jones has already had a second interview with the Seattle Seahawks. The Orange County Register's Michael Lev asked Jones why he improved so much in his senior year and NFL scouts should take note of the praise he had for Jim Mora:
I felt like the coaching change helped. It was one of the steppingstones.
Robert Woods, receiver, USC
Woods isn't known for his push off the line but what he is known for is crisp route-running abilities and attacking the ball. More from National Football Post analyst Russell Lande:
He ran excellent routes with surprising precision. While he lacks premier explosiveness, he was faster in his 40 and in his routes than expected. Looking professional, Woods reached out and plucked the ball away from his body with ease.
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