We knew going into the combine that Chris would be one of the players to keep an eye on, but the Granby (Va.) wide receiver flew well beyond all expectations. Finishing in the top ten of every event but the broad jump, and even missing that by just two inches, Bell nearly dominated the combine portion of the day.
Measuring in a 6-foot-2.5 and 202.8 pounds, Bell also showed in the one-on-one drills that he not only has the tools, he knows how to use them. While cornerbacks were able to jam at the line, nobody could keep Bell close to the line as he used his large frame to create separation and run crisp routes to gain a cushion for quarterbacks to get the ball anywhere close to his long arms.
Carl Johnson - Video
Carl received several first place votes for camp MVP, and he is a sure-fire candidate for the Scout.com Hot 100 this summer. Measuring in at 6-foot-5, 346.9 pounds, he was the largest athlete in attendance. He then came out onto the field to run an unbelievable 4.75 short shuttle and jump 29 inches in the vertical. In the three cone drill, a new drill to most of the prospects, he was disappointed in his first run of 8.9 seconds, knew that he could do better, and shaved half a second off of his time.
During the one-on-one portion of the combine, everyone wanted to test their skills against the Southern Durham (N.C.) tackle. One by one Johnson sent them back to the line disappointed. Johnson did receive a stern test from Dekoda Watson who managed to split with Johnson most of the day. Johnson is a remarkable athlete, but an even more amazing young man, so congenial and well-spoken. The kid had a smile on his face all day long; it's very refreshing to see a player truly enjoy the game.
Dekoda Watson - Video
Watson was the early selection going into the combine for sleeper of the combine, but after such a strong showing he moved from sleeper to touted recruit. Measuring in at 6-foot-2, 209 pounds, the South Aiken (S.C.) put up some unbelievable numbers including a 37 inch vertical, 112 inch standing broad jump, 4.77 40 and 4.53 short shuttle.
In the one-on-ones, Watson set the bar for all defensive linemen with an unbelievable burst off the ball catching everyone off-guard and losing very few matchups once he finally tired out at the end of the day. While he may be a bit small for defensive end in college, he is a fierce player coming off the edge as an outside linebacker and his speed shows he has the ability to play in coverage once coached.
Deunta Williams - Video
Sore hamstring or not, Deunta Williams impressed throughout the combine. Posting the top vertical at 41 inches, and nearly taking down the measuring device. At 6-foot-2.5, 191.2 pounds, the White Oak (N.C.) safety and wide receier pushed the bar at every station including a 4.32 short shuttle and a 117 inch standing broad jump.
Williams also decided to play wide receiver, one of the many positions colleges want him to play, in the one-on-one drills and showed he has the raw tools. He moves very well, showed a nice explosion past defenders, and catch most of the balls thrown his way.
Ameer Salahudin - Video
Salahudin had some trouble in the combine testing early on, but still put up very respectable numbers in the short shuttle, with a time of 4.37 seconds, and followed that up with a 35 inch vertical. However, once the TL Hanna (S.C.) cornerback put on his green John Deere hat in pass coverage he went into lockdown mode. Salahudin had just one pass caught against him all day, and that was a tremendous circus catch, but kept two players from leaving the line of scrimmage with press coverage.
|Top Five Sleepers|
Byrnes HS (S.C.)
Notes: Backup on his own team, but still a legit D1 quarterback.. Great touch, spins the ball well, stronger arm than expected.
Jack Britt HS (N.C.)
Notes: Great frame to play along the interior line, amazing numbers for a player his size and worked hard in one-on-ones.
Quince Orchard (Md.)
Notes: Speed, size, agility, but still lacking offers. That will not last long.
Hillside HS (N.C)
Notes: Rising junior is the only reason he is a sleeper. Will be a top player in North Carolina next year.
Cedar Ridge HS (N.C.)
Notes: Only player to finish in top ten of all five combine categories.