Where 3 Beavs stand headed into combine

THE NFL COMBINE kicks off in earnest on Friday in Indianapolis. The event is likely to shape the futures of three Beavers: QB Sean Mannion, CB Steven Nelson and Obum Gwacham, the DE/WR who is projected at linebacker in the NFL. Where do they stand heading into Indy? And if you thought Mannion would be the first Beav drafted, the NFL cyberspace gurus out there disagree.

Sean Mannion is the No. 6 QB in the draft on Mel Kiper’s list headed into the combine. Kiper rates Garrett Grayson (Colorado State); Bryce Petty (Baylor); Brett Hundley (UCLA); Marcus Mariota (Oregon) and Jameis Winston (FSU) above Mannion. “Frankly, it's a pretty thin class,” says Kiper.

Mannion is pegged as a 6th round selection by nfldraftscout.com and the No. 7 QB on the board.

At Oregon State, Mannion was responsible for protections, diagnosing the “MIK” linebacker and that he had many pass/run alerts,” he said in an article in the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel.. Based on the defensive front, Mannion said he could call a run or pass. And that most of Oregon State’s called running plays included a check at the line.

NFL Network analyst Mike Mayock says Mannion needs to get through his reads faster and get the ball out of his hand sooner. Mannion has said his quick decision making counters any extended wind-up.

Quarterbacks will work out in Indianapolis on Saturday.

"The way I look at it is I'm as good a quarterback as anybody," Mannion told the Journal-Sentinel. "That's just the way I feel. I'm confident in my game. I feel I can be the best quarterback in this class. I understand people have opinions, but that's just the way I feel."

Steven Nelson is Kiper’s No. 9 corner and says the CB spot could see “some serious fluctuations coming out of Indy” depending on the 40 time – “if you struggle there, the tape has to be exceptional,” says Kiper.

Nelson is ranked the No. 12 corner in the draft by nfldraftscout, but they also project him to be the first Beaver selected – in the third round.

Nelson is credited with running a 4.53 40 by nfldraftscout.

He was among those who reportedly raised their stock in the Senior Bowl.

“Nelson stood out in coverage all day long, showing quick feet, a fluid turning motion and the closing burst,” said Rob Rang. “He officially broke up four passes, consistently undercutting receivers to bat away passes. Nelson has the blend of size and tenacity scouts are looking for in a nickel corner. He does, however, have a tendency to get grabby and drew a penalty in this game for holding.”

No one is talking much about defensive end Obum Gwacham (projected as a linebacker in the NFL).

That could work to his advantage.

Gwacham has the kind of athleticism that could enable him to test well and put up impressive numbers at an event like the combine. He is listed at 6-5, 236-pounds and was converted to d-end this past season from wide receiver. Kiper does not rate Obum Gwacham among his positional top 10’s.

Gwacham "is going to blow some people away with his explosion numbers and teams will love him in interviews because he's a genuinely good guy. As a player, he still needs a lot of time to develop and you better set aside time for that and have a plan for him," NFL.com quoted an NFC South area scout as saying.

NFL Network TV schedule

Friday, February 20
9 am. - 4 p.m. -- 2015 NFL Scouting Combine: Kickers, Offensive Linemen & Tight Ends

Saturday, February 21
9 a.m. - 4 p.m. -- 2015 NFL Scouting Combine: Running Backs, Quarterbacks & Wide Receivers

Sunday, February 22
9 a.m. - 4 p.m. -- 2015 NFL Scouting Combine: Defensive Linemen & Linebackers

Monday, February 23
9 a.m. - 4 p.m. -- 2015 NFL Scouting Combine: Defensive Backs

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