The NFL Combine has tremendous value for NFL teams from a player evaluation standpoint. While interviewing top quarterback, comparing top prospects and weeding out players from the big board is a huge aspect, team’s mostly want to make sure they haven’t “missed” on any guys, especially ones they may have under-appreciated.
These seven players are a mix of lesser known and relatively unknown prospects on the 2015 NFL Combine attendees list, but could leave Indianapolis far more appreciated talent-wise in the media and, more importantly, in the NFL front offices.
Bryan Bennett, QB, Southeastern Louisiana
After battling with Marcus Mariota for the starting job in Oregon two years ago, Bennett was forced to move on to FCS Southeastern Louisiana to get his starting chance. The dual-threat passer offers ample arm talent, but it’s his flexibility as a runner, explosiveness when attacking upfield in the option game, and big-play speed. He should test among the best for quarterbacks in Indianapolis.
Mike Davis, RB, South Carolina
The physical, thick Gamecock runner has some motivation concerns for NFL teams which may bring his draft value down. However, if he can test in explosiveness drills (broad jump, vertical jump, 10-yard split) among the best in the running back class, as I’d expect, he may make it too difficult for him to slop in top-100 too long.
Phillip Dorsett, WR, Miami (FL)
The odds-on favorite to be the fastest 40-time player at the 2015 Combine, Dorsett has a real chance to run in the high 4.2s. While the receiver class boasts some depth, not many pure speed, vertical receivers are in the top-four round mix. Dorsett running the fastest forty as well as testing well enough in the agility drills (short-shuttle, 3-cone drill), don’t be surprised if he emerges as a top-8 receiver in this class for teams.
Jake Fisher, OL, Oregon
Already meriting a first-round grade from Optimum Scouting, Fisher should be among the best testing offensive linemen at the Combine. A plus-athlete who’s NFL issues stem from hand placement and timing along with more control in the run game, Fisher offers great explosiveness, strength and fluidity compared to other top tackles in this class.
Obum Gwacham, DL, Oregon State
A deep-sleeper, the former receiver turned defensive end has gotten past any injury concerns in his history, and is ready to turn in some of the best times among all pass-rushers in the class. Teams are already excited about his gaudy upside and demeanor, but with the value teams have begun to place on athleticism analytics to impact their pass-rusher rankings, Gwacham may go from free agent to top-four round option.
Neiron Ball, LB, Florida
An afterthought on a poor Florida team the last two years, Ball offered plus-athleticism and quickness at linebacker for the Gators. Although he’s not among the top linebackers in the class at this point, a plus-Combine performance as expected could push him towards the top of a very poor 4-3 linebacker class.
Jaquiski Tartt, DB, Georgia Southern
Arguably the most explosive safety in the 2015 class, Tartt is the prime candidate to quietly emerge as the second or third safety in this very weak crop. Despite hailing from a small school, he’s offered position versatility, ample experience, consistent productivity, and the athletic upside to grow into much more just an adequate starter.