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Combine confirmations: 11 prospects deserving of draft status

I wrote last week that this year's NFL Scouting Combine was the most important edition of this event ever. That doesn't mean a player's grade is based solely (or even mostly) on their combine performances. His play on Saturdays is still the best indicator of future success.

The position drills and workout results, however, are a good way for general managers, coaches and scouts to confirm the talent they saw on tape. If someone looks clumsy and slow on the Lucas Oil Stadium floor, it sends a red flag.

After watching every player work out in Indianapolis this week, here are the top-rated 2016 NFL Draft prospects that didn't disappoint scouts with their speed and athleticism.

1. Laremy Tunsil, OT, Ole Miss:Tunsil didn't run a 40-yard dash, and frankly, didn't need to work out to keep his status as the No. 1 offensive tackle in the draft. Anyone who has watched him play knows he has a competitive nature. The light feet and overall movement skills he showed during drills, though, confirmed scouts' feelings about his potential as a Pro Bowl blind-side tackle.

2. Jared Goff, QB California and Carson Wentz, QB, North Dakota State: The top two quarterbacks in this draft kept themselves above the fray with their workouts. Forget about Goff's hand size (9 inches). The ball comes out of his hands without an issue and he was very accurate throughout the sessions. Cleveland head coach Hue Jackson might prefer Wentz's large hands due to Ohio's weather in the fall and winter, as his arm strength and tight spiral should work well in inclement conditions.

3. Joey Bosa, DE/OLB, Ohio State: If you downgrade Bosa due to a good, but not great, 40 time, I can't help you. The more important facet of his workouts was to show 3-4 teams he was agile enough to stand up and drop, and he excelled in those drills. Add in his instincts and strength at the point of attack, and he cemented his status as one of the top five players in the draft.

4. Jalen Ramsey, CB/S, Florida State:Ramsey's day started with big-time jumps (41 1/2-inch vertical, 11-foot-3 broad). Then he ran a 4.41 40 at about 6-1, 209 pounds. As if that wasn't enough, the potential top-five pick ended by showing off the ability to plant and drive, as well as turn his hips pretty well for a player his size. Add in exceptionally long arms (33 3/8 inches), and Ramsey proved himself the elite prospect everyone pegged him before the event. Teams wanting to play corner should have no concerns, and he projects as a Pro Bowl safety as well.

5. Ezekiel Elliott, RB, Ohio State: Elliott checked the boxes, running a sub-4.5 40 at 225 pounds, and looking quick in drills. He dropped a couple of passes during the workout, but teams know he has the hands (10 1/4-inch long ones, in fact) to be a receiving threat. Teams will also see great blocking when they check the tape, so he's good.

6. Andrew Billings, DT, Baylor: Anyone that wasn't convinced Billings was a top-12 talent coming into the combine had better hop on the bandwagon. This young man is mobile, agile and certainly not fragile at 311 pounds. In a top-heavy tackle class, he's at the top of the heap.

7. Darron Lee, OLB, Ohio State: It doesn't take much film-watching to see Lee's athleticism, so it was no surprise when he blew up the 40 (4.47), vertical (35 1/2), and had among the best results in agility drills. Then he confirmed his movement skills during drills, likely cementing a top-15 draft slot.

8. Josh Doctson, WR, TCU:Laquon Treadwell chose not to run, so I can't quite say he confirmed a top-10 spot. Doctson needed to work out in Indy, though, due to the wrist injury that sidelined him late in the year. He did what he needed to do by running a 4.5 40, exploding in the vertical (41 inches) and broad (10 feet, 11 inches) jumps, and showing off his strong hands throughout the workout. I'd be surprised if he didn't lock up a first-round slot.

9. Eli Apple, CB, Ohio State:Vernon Hargreaves could have been on this list, as well, but Apple was in more dire need of confirmation this week. As only a two-year on-field contributor for the Buckeyes, scouts wanted to make sure of his ball skills, ability to transition, and straight-line speed (sub 4.5 50) were consummate with the solid film.

10. Joshua Garnett, OG, Stanford: Garnett played like an All-American this year, so it was no surprise that he was considered one of the top guard prospects coming into the combine. But he excelled in every combine drill on Friday, consistently hustling between reps, looking agile and strong no matter what he did. If he wasn't already in the first-round conversation, he sure should be now.

Follow Chad Reuter on Twitter _@chadreuter_.

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