Who stood out at the NFL Scouting Combine?
Arik Armstead sure gets your attention when he walks by. How do you miss a guy who is 6-8 and 300 pounds?
The Oregon defensive end proclaimed himself the best D-line prospect in this upcoming draft. Guys with his kind of size and speed are rare, so who’s to say his confident self-assessment won’t prove to be true.
Because the Indianapolis Colts need help on the defensive line, you pay extra attention to those guys when they’re being interviewed. And because Amstead played against Ohio State in the NCAA Championship Game, you remember how the Buckeyes needed to double team him for part of that game to slow him down.
I expect Amstead will be drafted before the Colts select at 29. Most mocks have him going fairly high.
Here’s a video I shot of the big guy at Lucas Oil Stadium.
When radio shows have asked in recent days about who stood out, that’s the first guy I mention.
Of course there are others. Keep in mind, we don’t keep our eyes glued to the TV screens to see the workouts. NFL executives have informed for years, and did so again last week, that they don’t get too excited about guys running around in shorts.
The Combine is about the interviews with players and the medical check-ups. It’s been that way for a long time.
That we get to chat with them gives us some frame of reference come draft day.
USC wide receiver Nelson Agholor is another guy who got my attention. I can’t say I’ve seen him play a down. Just watched a few clips. What struck me is his approach to the game. Agholor spoke of having a running back’s mentality at the position, that it wasn’t enough just to make the catch. It was about what he did with the ball after the catch. Every touch was an opportunity for a big play. He was a running back in high school.
He’s studied NFL greats Antonio Brown and Reggie Wayne, among others. Combine prospects say a lot of things — some are too full of themselves — so you remember those who are indeed students of the game. They watch how the pros take care of business and try to pattern what they see into their games.
Here’s a video I shot of Agholor.
Most draft analysts have USC defensive tackle Leonard Williams rated as the No. 1 prospect. The first pick will probably be a quarterback, because the position is so valued, and that should make the Tennessee Titans happy because they have the No. 2 pick and probably won’t hesitate to take this 6-5, 291-pound monster.
What you remember about Williams, aside from the big hair, is how he just wants to buy his mother a “stable” house. The big guy seemed more grounded than other players. He definitely didn’t have the massive ego of other prospects, not in this chat anyway.
Here’s a video of Williams.
Like Williams, Davis seems real grounded. Here’s a video I shot of him.
Another guy who made a positive interview impression was Michigan State running back Jeremy Langford. He was at the Senior Bowl, too, and I can’t say that he impressed me as much as Northern Iowa’s David Johnson or Minnesota’s David Cobb, but Langford always seems to fly under the radar.
This draft appears to be loaded at running back, so it’s easy to overlook a few of them. Langford told me he’s used to that. He’s not worried about how much love he gets from the media. It’s all about doing whatever the team needs to win.
Here’s a video I shot of him.
We don’t know how the draft will play out, but four days of shooting 75 videos at the Combine sure provides a lot of footage on guys headed to the NFL.
It makes me more anxious than ever before to see how it plays out.
Phillip B. Wilson can be found on Twitter (@pwilson24), Facebook and Google+.