NFL combine winners/losers: Saquon Barkley puts on a show


Former NFL player and scout Bucky Brooks is spotlighting the prospects who make a mark -- for better or worse -- at the 2018 NFL Scouting Combine. On Friday, the offensive linemen and running backs took the field at Lucas Oil Stadium. Here are Brooks' impressions from Indianapolis:


Saquon Barkley, RB, Penn State: The No. 1 prospect on a number of boards might make it impossible for the Cleveland Browns and others to pass on his potential after a scintillating performance in Indy. Tipping the scales at a robust 233 pounds, Barkley blazed the 40-yard dash in 4.40 seconds. This crazy display of speed for that size came after the Penn State product popped out 29 reps on the bench press and posted a 41-inch vertical leap. Not to mention, Barkley was quite impressive during on-field drills, displaying precise route-running ability and natural hands. He looked like a wide receiver out there in a running back's body. Given his character, leadership skills and production, it is quite possible Barkley leaves Indianapolis as the consensus No. 1 player in the 2018 draft class.

Will Hernandez, OG, UTEP: The Senior Bowl standout will continue to climb up the charts following a spectacular series of workouts that left scouts impressed with his explosiveness, power and movement skills. Checking in at 6-foot-2 and 327 pounds, Hernandez clocked a solid 5.15 40 after pushing up 225 pounds 37 times on the bench press. He followed his fine performance in athletic testing with a flawless positional workout that showcased his quick feet and body control. Considering his sterling game tape and solid performance in Mobile, Hernandez has cemented his place as a Day 1 pick with an A+ workout at the combine.

Kolton Miller, OT, UCLA: The former Bruin looked like a decathlete on the Lucas Oil Stadium turf while running through drills. The 6-9, 309-pounder breezed through the 40-yard dash in 4.95 seconds (with a remarkable 1.67-second 10-yard split), while also posting a 31.5-inch vertical and 10-foot-1 broad jump. Miller followed his dazzling athletic display with a strong positional workout where he exhibited outstanding movement skills and lateral quickness in drills. Although this enticing athleticism doesn't always show up on his game tape, Miller's stellar workout could propel him into the Day 1 discussion.


Orlando Brown, OT, Oklahoma: The potential first-round pick could see his stock tumble after putting on one of the worst athletic displays I've ever seen at the NFL Scouting Combine. Brown lumbered through a 5.85-second 40 after recording a 19.5-inch vertical jump and a 6-10 broad jump. Those disappointing results speak volumes about his limited athleticism and movement skills as an edge blocker. Now, it is important to remember workouts don't outweigh the film study, but it's hard to ignore Brown's pedestrian numbers when pondering his draft prospects going forward.

Ronald Jones II, RB, USC: The USC standout missed out on a chance to show scouts that he deserves to be the second running back taken in the draft. Jones tweaked a hamstring during his first 40-yard dash that forced him to the sidelines for the rest of the day. With scouts questioning his hands and route-running skills due to his low catch numbers as a collegian, Jones needed to go through the pass-catching portion of the workout to establish himself as the top RB prospect not named Saquon Barkley. Really unfortunate circumstance here.

Follow Bucky Brooks on Twitter @BuckyBrooks.



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