5 Stock-Rising NFL Draft Prospects

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Published: March 15, 2014

Stock-Rising Combine Performances

Some may argue that the NFL combine is a meaningless process. Others may contest that the combine is set up to separate the fast from the not so fast. You have the fans that won’t watch one minute and those who take off time from work to tune in. Regardless, a strong NFL combine performance can make or break you. Below are five players who were able to use the combine as a stepping stone to hyped Pro days.

1. Logan Thomas QB

Virginia Tech. 6’6” 248 lbs.

Logan ThomasLogan Thomas makes for a freaky athlete at the QB position. Not only does he have an enormous frame, but is deceivingly fast. Thomas showed up to the combine outrunning all other QB’s in the 40 yard dash. Clocking in at an official 4.61 he outran the likes of  names like Connor Shaw and Johnny Manziel who were known for their speed. Partaking in five different drills, Thomas finished top five in all and first in three. Logan Thomas certainly caught the attention of many teams as a “project QB”. This is not a guy that could come in right away yet teaching him proper footwork and mechanics could make him worth the risk down the road.

Virginia Tech’s Pro day is March 19th, and many are curious to see how many familiar coaching names attend.

  • 4.61 40 Yard Dash
  • 35.5″ Vertical Jump
  • 118.0″ Broad Jump
  • 7.05 3 Cone Drill
  • 4.18 20 Yard Shuttle

 

2. Dri Archer RB/KR

Kent St.5’8” 173 lbs.

Dri ArcherDri Archer was able to transform himself from nobody to somebody all in 4.26 seconds. Archer entered the combine relatively unknown to the public. The small stature running back was able to put up big numbers in his college career but fell off the map after an injury plagued senior season. Dri Archer was a do it all for KSU running the ball, catching screen passes, and returning kicks. His outstanding junior season brought along dark horse Heisman consideration. Fast forward to the combine he ran a mind blowing 4.26 40 yard dash. Not only was he the fastest time at the combine was a tenth of seconds away from beating “CJ2K”. His combine performance put his name back on everyone’s boards.

Expect a team like New Orleans to possibly target Dri Archer after trading Darren Sproles to Philly at free agency. His elsuive speed and solid hands could fit the part for the Saints.

  • 4.26 40 Yard Dash
  • 20 Reps Bench Press
  • 38.0″ Vertical Jump
  • 122.0″ Broad Jump
  • 6.86 3 Cone Drill
  • 4.06 20 Yard Shuttle

 

3. Brandin Cooks WR

Oregon St. 5’10” 189 lbs.

Brandin CooksBrandin Cooks had an outstanding 2013 campaign, yet many are unsure if this talented wide receiver is first round worthy. Cooks was able to nab the Biletnikoff award before finishing his career at Oregon State. He opened eyes with his 10.72-sec 60-yd shuttle at the NFL Combine, which was an all-time record. Still despite all the flashy numbers and awards, the biggest knock on Brandin Cooks is his size. Standing at 5’10″ and weighing 189 pounds, he is not anywhere close to the biggest wide receiver in this draft class. He is currently being ranked below other wideouts such as Sammy Watkins, Mike Evans, and Marqise Lee. NFL teams tend to focus far too much on size, as many small shifty wide receivers surface to be some of the more trusted targets in the league.

Cooks had an impressive Combine and an even stronger Pro day. The Seahawks and Jets seem very interested.

  • 4.33 40 Yard Dash
  • 16 Reps Bench Press
  • 36.0″ Vertical Jump
  • 120.0″ Broad Jump
  • 6.76 3 Cone Drill
  • 3.81 20 Yard Shuttle

 

4.Joel Bitonio OT

Nevada. 6’4” 302 lbs.

NFL Combine Stats 2014The offensive linemen in the upcoming class are quite special. Headliners such as Taylor Lewan, Greg Robinson, and Jake Matthews all have a chance to be elite. Looking beyond the top three there will still be great talent left to be selected. Prior to the combine Joel Bitonio may have been considered as a late round selection. After his combine workout it’s certain the OT from Nevada will no longer be available in the later round. Bitonio competed in 6 different events finishing top 4 in five of them. Bitonio was unable to finish in the top when it came to the bench but for those counting, neither did Robinson, Lewan or Matthews. After outworking the top three lineman in the combine its possible Bitonio may hear his name called anywhere between late 2nd- 4th round.

  • 4.97 40 Yard Dash
  • 22 Reps Bench Press
  • 32.0″ Vertical Jump
  • 114.0″ Broad Jump
  • 7.37 3 Cone Drill
  • 4.44 20 Yard Shuttle

 

5.Aaron Donald DT

Pittsburgh 6’1” 285 lbs.

Going into the NFL Combine Aaron Donald was already a first round draft pick. However there were multiple DTs ranked ahead of him placing him the bottom half of the round. After his showing at the combine that all changed. Donald began boosting his stock after running an astonishing 4.68 40 yard dash. 4.68 seconds is the fastest 40 ever recorded by a DT. After showing he was fast he showed off his footwork finishing fourth among DL in the 3 cone drill (7.11 seconds). To finish the job he displayed his strength totaling 35 reps on the bench. Donald will no longer have to wait long to hear them call his name

  • 4.68 40 Yard Dash
  • 35 Reps Bench Press
  • 32.0″ Vertical Jump
  • 116.0″ Broad Jump
  • 7.11 3 Cone Drill
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