Scouting The Durham Offense

DURHAM, N.C. -- With nearly 250 prospects in attendance at the Combine in Durham, it took a little time, but the elite players started to rise over the course of the event. Now we take a look at some of the players that stood out at the offensive skill positions.


Tyrod Taylor
Tyrod Taylor came into the combine a little cold having not picked up a ball since last fall, but once the rust quickly came off he showed what makes him one of the top players on film. Taylor has a release that some would work on, but with his unequaled quick release and the velocity he gets with the ball it should not be touched. It was obvious that he wanted to show his arm, and there were a couple of wide receivers that came back shaking their hands not being used to catching a ball with that velocity.

Peter Lalich
Right behind Taylor was Peter Lalich, who showed throughout the event that he is very, very well coached. He is smooth in all aspects of the game and he has a great frame. He may have the strongest arm of all the quarterbacks there, but he also knows when to put a little touch to let his receivers make a play on the ball. Lalich is easily the most ready to jump in early and play quarterback with his ability to make all the throws and understanding of the passing game.

Rodney Cox
Rodney Cox showed his potential not just in the one-on-one drills, but also in his combine measureables. Coming in at 6-6 with a long, lean frame, he still stayed low in the speed drills and had some amazing times. His release is a little slow, but still gets good rpms on the ball and keeps a great base while throwing. The biggest area where he could find some trouble in staying at the position in college is simply his placement on the ball. A big arm all the time means less reaction time for a wide receiver to adjust to the ball, and there were a lot of dirt divers coming out on Sunday.

Kyle Holland
Kyle Holland looks like a new man from what he showed on film last year. He and Lalich were battling over the best footwork out there, and with Holland having good balance his accuracy really has increased and his timing is much, much better. Should he continue to work on his game and show as much improvement between now and the summer camps, he will emerge as a division one player pretty quickly.

Dustin Nelson
Dustin Nelson is another player that showed his versatility through some great times in the combine events and a raw, untapped form in the one-on-one drills. Nelson, who made some great throws last year on film for Christchurch, was very streaky on Sunday making some great throws and then some bad throws. If he can get his fundamentals down, he has everything a college coach would want from a quarterback and then the potential to move around to another position if things do not work out.

Wide Receivers

Jay Smith
Jay Smith was a known commodity going into the Combine on Sunday, but nobody knew just how much of a prospect he was. Coming out of the event, it is pretty obvious that the MVP has the talent to back up his highlight tapes. While he did not have many catches last season, he did not show a lack of experience catching the ball on Sunday. He made great moves with his routes, created separation, caught everything thrown his way, and all that followed up some impressive times during the combine testing portion of the day.

Mark Barnes
Had he participated in the combine testing, Mark Barnes easily could have earned the MVP honors on the day. He made the toughest catches, used his huge frame very well, and showed more speed than expected throughout the day. He made every catch, which included over the shoulder grabs in the corner of the endzone, catches over the middle, and outjumped every defender. His routes were well coached, with several good double-moves completely turning around many cornerbacks.

Greg Little
Greg Little showed on Sunday similar traits that put him on the national spotlight at the Combine in Durham last year and the All-American Combine in San Antonio in January. His athleticism is completely off the charts and he is not completely set into his future position. While sometimes he makes spectacular catches having to completely turn his body horizontal to the ground catching passes behind him, he can have trouble catching a short out with defenders playing off. Consistency is going to be the thing for him to work on before becoming the All-Star he has the potential to become.

Dwight Jones
Dwight Jones showed a glimpse into the potential that has everyone impressed with the basketball player turned football player. His performance and numbers were similar to Chris Bell last year, with some high-flying catches and strong moves against defensive backs are what college coaches want with their big men, and he even showed some speed on the deep routes tracking down the long ball.

Brandon Clear
Of all the wide receivers, Brandon Clear's numbers in the combine are the most impressive. At 6-4, 206 pounds and running some great times, he showed that he has a ton of potential in the one-on-one drills as well. He used his body and moved to the inside time after time in his routes, though he caught the ball in his body several times. His biggest asset is his ability to use that size and a 36 inch vertical to completely out leap defenders to get that deep jump ball.

Running Backs

Tyrell Worthington
Tyrell Worthington was easily the best running back prospect once Ryan Houston went down with an injury. His speed came through in the combine, but his best asset is his acceleration, which he used to blow by linebackers in the one-on-one drills and showed that he can stop on a dime to make a move. His film backs up what we saw on Sunday, and he should be a major prospect this year.

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