NFL Combine 2016: Players to Watch on Day 3, First Day of WorkoutsBy Russell Westerholm, UniversityHerald Reporter
The NFL Draft Combine will start to get active on Friday, as it is the first day of on-field workouts and will feature running backs, offensive linemen, and special teams players.
WIdely projected as the number one overall pick, left tackle Laremy Tunsil will get to show off his physical abilities. Tunsil has some stellar game tape, so the workouts should just be a way for him to put evaluators' minds at ease.
During a conference call, the NFL Network's Mike Mayock told reporters he believes Tunsil is a "great fit" for the Titans. However, he was also highly complimentary of another offensive tackle, one who could be taken not long after Tunsil. Read the full transcript of the conference call here.
Players to watch on Day 3 of combine:
Ronnie Stanley, OT, Notre Dame
Mayock was clear that Tunsil is the top offensive lineman in the draft class, but also said he thinks Stanley is "closer to Tunsil that other people do." It may not be likely that Stanley's workout convinces the Titans to take him over Tunsil, but he could solidify himself as a Top 10 or even a Top 5 pick.
Jack Conklin, OT, Michigan State, and Taylor Decker, OT, Ohio State
While Conklin and Decker are certainly in the tier below Tunsil and Stanley, they are still first-round locks in all likelihood. Either one seems to be a good fit for the Indianapolis Colts, who desperately need to protect Andrew Luck better than they did last season. Mayock noted Conklin and Decker are also able to play on either the right or the left of the offensive line, which will add to their value.
Joey Bosa, DE, Ohio State
Bosa was one of four Buckeyes suspended all the way back on week one of the college football season, though the specific reason was never revealed. Coach Urban Meyer said it was a "violation of team reasons," and ESPN cited sources saying it was "either marijuana or academics." Not only will Bosa be asked to disclose the reason of his suspension, but evaluators will pay attention to how he answers.
Bosa is a gifted pass rusher who wears offensive linemen out with a high motor, and he is no slouch when defending the run. He is also just as highly praised for his versatility to play inside and on the edge. He has also been slipping in various analysts' mock drafts, so his overall combine performance could help restore his draft stock.
Ezekiel Elliott, RB, Ohio State
Like Bosa, Elliott is a well-regarded prospect (albeit not as hyped up) with one public slipup on an otherwise solid track record. Elliott publicly called out Meyer for not giving him more carries in the Buckeyes' upset loss to Michigan State, and yes, he was right but it was not exactly a good look.
Fortunately for him, he already answered those questions and can now focus on his workouts. Elliott is considered a superb blocker and an all-around talent, whereas other top running back prospects are more specialized. His position values athleticism heavily, so Elliott can actually do a lot of good for his draft stock with his skill drill performance.
Myles Jack, LB, UCLA
Myles Jack will be answering questions on Friday, and those questions will probably center on his knee injury. Jack's versatility and talent are dependent on his quickness, so teams interested in him will want to know his knee is doing. Jack will also probably be asked to explain his reasoning for leaving UCLA before finishing his degree and if he hopes to continue to play multiple positions in the NFL.
Roberto Aguayo, K, Florida State
Aguayo was the first kicker in 16 years (since Sebastian Janikowski) to declare for the NFL Draft before exhausting his collegiate eligibility, and it is because he is that good. Will Aguyao be the first kicker since Janikowski to be taken in the first round? Hard to say, because not even Mayock knows where he will be taken, though he acknowledged he does not evaluate kickers.
It stands to reason that the teams selecting late in the first round, the ones with the better rosters and fewer weaknesses, would be more inclined to at least consider Aguayo.