The popularity of the NFL Scouting Combine annoys some folks in the media. They refer to it as "The Underwear Olympics" and often cite the misguided rise of players such as Mike Mamula, Vernon Gholston and Matt Jones. However, while it's not the most important piece of the evaluation puzzle (the game tape will always carry this distinction), the combine is very valuable to all 32 NFL clubs.
Both of these players are studs. They are three down linebackers with ideal speed, explosiveness and versatility. Unfortunately, both players suffered knee injuries during the 2015 season and won't be 100 percent for the NFL Scouting Combine. All 32 teams will have the opportunity to evaluate their progress as they continue to recover. What is the timetable for a full recovery? We should have a better understanding following the week in Indianapolis.
Treadwell is an outstanding player. He has excellent size, ball skills and toughness. However, the major question about him is the lack of top-end speed. He excels at winning 50/50 balls (contested catches), but he doesn't create much separation from defenders. Scouts that have gone through Ole Miss during the fall were told Treadwell was likely to run the 40-yard dash in the mid 4.6s. If he could lower that time into the mid to low 4.5s, it would be a huge boost to his draft stock.
Coleman is one of my favorite players to watch on tape. He is a dynamic athlete and he generates a lot of big plays. His blend of speed, toughness and instincts reminds me a lot of Steve Smith. However, having not seen him play live, I'm very curious to see his official height/weight. He's listed at 5-foot-11 and 190 pounds, but I've been told he's actually closer to 5-9 than 5-11. I'm hoping to be pleasantly surprised.
4. How will the QBs look taking snaps from under center?
Due to the rise of the spread offense, very few college quarterbacks spend much time taking snaps from under center. During the throwing drills in Indy, they will take snaps from under center and take full three-, five- and seven-step drops. Last year, Marcus Mariota impressed evaluators with his polished footwork at the combine. That was a concern coming into the week, but it was quickly alleviated following his performance. While most folks at home will focus on where the ball ends up, trained evaluators will focus more on footwork and mechanics.
As it stands right now, there appears to be three top shelf quarterback prospects in this draft class: Carson Wentz, Jared Goff and Paxton Lynch. While the order of those three players varies by club, most agree those are the top signal-callers. However, there isn't much consensus on the 4th quarterback. Cook took a lot of criticism, warranted in my opinion, for not showing up to participate in the Senior Bowl. However, this is his opportunity to start building some momentum. If he interviews well and has a good workout, the buzz will start to build.