Day 1 NFL Combine winners, losers: McCaffrey, Kamara impress

Former NFL player and scout Bucky Brooks is spotlighting the prospects who make a mark -- for better or worse -- at the 2017 NFL Scouting Combine. On Friday, the offensive linemen and running backs took the field. Here are Brooks' impressions from Indianapolis:


Garett Bolles, OT, Utah: The big, athletic tackle lived up to his reputation as a "dancing bear" during his outstanding workout in front of scouts. He posted a sub-5.00 40-yard dash (4.95 seconds) while displaying exceptional movement skills in drills. With his quick feet, superb balance, body control and agility, Bolles looks like a prototypical franchise tackle on the field. If he continues to display exceptional athletic traits at his pro day on March 23 in Salt Lake City, he could grab the No. 1 spot at the position by draft day.

Alvin Kamara, RB, Tennessee: Kamara will leave Indy as one of the fastest risers in the draft following a spectacular performance on and off the field. I was told he crushed the interview portion of the event, exhibiting a high football IQ and energetic personality. Coaches raved about his understanding of the game, including pass protection and with run-blocking schemes. On the field, he flashed enough explosiveness (39.5-inch vertical jump and 4.56-second 40) to affirm his explosive potential as a triple threat (runner, receiver, and returner). He also showcased remarkable receiving skills while shagging balls as a slot receiver at the end of the workout. Considering the buzz surrounding his name at this event, I firmly believe Kamara is being considered by teams as one of the top running backs in the draft.

Forrest Lamp, OT, Western Kentucky: Teams are always looking for versatile front-line players with size, athleticism, and strong technical skills. That's why Lamp will certainly see his stock surge after a strong showing at the combine. He posted a 4.99-second 40 and displayed outstanding movement skills in positional drills. Lamp easily changes directions in space and plays with the kind of balance that scouts covet in premier players. With a strong resume on tape, he is a near lock to come off the board in the first round.

Christian McCaffrey, RB, Stanford: After posting a disappointing 10 reps in the bench press, McCaffrey put on a solid showing at the on-field workout. He alleviated some concerns about his speed and explosiveness with an impressive vertical jump (37.5 inches), broad jump (10 feet 1 inch) and 40-yard dash (4.48). During positional drills, he impressed scouts with his remarkable balance, body control, and agility. He is light on his feet, yet displays the ability to make hard cuts on a dime while changing directions. With the Stanford star also showing soft hands and terrific ball skills, he might have sealed his spot among the top four running backs in the 2017 class.


D'Onta Foreman, RB, Texas: Foreman was facing an uphill battle to get into the discussion as a top-5 running back prior to the combine due to concerns about his size-speed combination. Although scouts love his 6-foot, 233-pound frame, they wondered if he had enough quickness and burst to reach the second level against NFL defenses. Foreman didn't have a chance to address those concerns because of a stress fracture in his foot that kept him out of the workout. Now, he will have to answer durability questions with the medical people red-flagging his foot two months from the draft.

Wayne Gallman, RB, Clemson: It's hard for a pedestrian runner to get a look in a loaded running back class. That's why Gallman's slow 40 time (4.60) could send his stock tumbling. Although there have been plenty of successful NFL runners without elite speed and quickness, it is hard to convince a team decision-maker to spend a top pick on a runner that fails to crack the 4.6 mark.

Corey Clement, RB, Wisconsin: The hard-nosed runner did little to dispel the notion that he was a system back during his on-field workout at the combine. He posted a pedestrian 40 time (4.68) and failed to show impressive agility or change-of-direction quickness in drills. Although he has been productive as a "tough guy" in the Badgers' system, Clements' lack of explosiveness could prevent him from elevating above his Day 3 prospect status.

Saturday preview

All eyes will be on the quarterbacks Saturday. Most of the focus will be on the "Big Three" (**Deshaun Watson**, **DeShone Kizer**, and **Mitchell Trubisky**) as they duke it out for the No. 1 spot, but Texas Tech's **Patrick Mahomes** could make a big move with a strong performance during drills. The strong-armed QB has impressive arm talent but scouts want to see if he can deliver pinpoint passes to receivers while displaying quick feet in the pocket.

Cal's **Davis Webb** will also receive some spotlight as he attempts to build on the movement created by his Senior Bowl MVP performance. He has been touted as one of the biggest sleepers at the position, and he could make a move up the charts with a strong showing in front of the scouts.

At wide receiver, the football world will have to wait to see if Clemson's **Mike Williams** can post a respectable 40 time as a big-bodied receiver. He told NFL Network's Total Access on Friday that he will be sitting out the 40 because he didn't have enough time to prepare. He added that he will run at his pro day. He is viewed as a 4.55 guy but a slower time could raise doubts about his ability to separate at the next level. Washington's **John Ross** is a blazer with polished receiving skills. He could boost his stock with a fast time and a dazzling workout that showcases his route-running ability. Keep an eye on USC's **Juju Smith-Schuster** in drills. He isn't expected to run fast, but he could impress scouts with better than anticipated route-running skills.

Follow Bucky Brooks on Twitter @BuckyBrooks.

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