Today the NFL Scouting Combine wraps up the offensive side of the ball with the quarterbacks, wide receivers, and tight ends taking the field.
Watching the wide receivers and tight ends do athletic things makes Saturday one of the most popular days of the combine, rivaled only by the defensive backs on Monday. This year’s combination of a wide receiver class lacking in star power and a very deep tight end class is a change from previous years.
It also happens to match up with two of the New York Giants offensive needs. With no back-up quarterback to Eli Manning under contract, that position bears watching as well.
But who should we be watching? Here are some prospects who have piqued my interest.
Jerod Evans (QB, Virginia Tech) - If there is one quarterback to watch it is Virginia Tech’s Jerod Evans. He should put on a show athletically, and he has intriguing arm talent. After having Logan Thomas on their roster and practice squad for much of 2016, the Giants might be interested in developing a big, atheltic quarterback of their own.
Carlos Henderson (WR, Louisiana Tech) - Henderson could soon be one of the draft’s worst-kept secrets. After strong but not spectacular freshman and sophomore seasons for Louisiana Tech, Henderson exploded with 1,535 receiving yards (on 85 catches) and 19 receiving touchdowns, as well as 133 rushing yards and two more TDs on the ground.
Of particular note for Giants fans, fantasy football writer, and occasional friend of BBV, Matt Harmon has mentioned that Henderson’s Reception Perception scores are “ridiculous”. Both Odell Beckham Jr. and Sterling Shepard lead their respective classes in Harmon’s metrics.
Malachi Dupre and Travin Dural (WR, LSU) - With former LSU wide receiver coach Adam Henry on the Giants’ coaching staff, they will have insight into these two receivers. And given the Giants strong history of drafting from LSU, it’s always a good idea to keep an eye on the school. These two receivers are listed together because they were both held back by LSU’s lack of a quality quarterback. This is their chance to show off what they are really capable of on a level playing field with the rest of the receivers. In particular, it is a chance for Travin Dural to show off his the speed which has scouts intrigued.
O.J. Howard (TE, Alabama) - The belief right now is that the Giants will have their eyes on drafting a tight end highly this year. So with that in mind, Giants fans should keep an eye on all of them. Howard comes in to the combine considered the top tight end prospect in the class, but he will need to have a good workout to keep the others at bay.
David Njoku (TE, Miami) - Njoku is expected to put on a show in the measurable events, and that is always fun to watch. After Tony Pauline of DraftAnalyst.com reported that the Giants are high on Njoku (as well as Gerald Everett, who is another player to watch), his positional drills should be watched keenly by Giants fans.
Bucky Hodges (TE, Virginia Tech) - Hodges is a relative newcomer to the tight end position, with just three years at the position. He looks big and athletic on the field, but he will need to back that up at Indy. If he does so, he could go from being considered a forgotten third rounder to much higher.
Evan Engram (TE, Ole Miss) - Another “hybrid” tight end, Engram should put on a show when it comes to catching the ball. He should also have a good showing when it comes to the measurable portion of the combine. He will need to show at least willingness in the blocking drills, but Engram should be a fun watch all around.
Jordan Leggett (TE, Clemson) - Leggett carried the “lazy” tag through the first part of his college career, and a strong combine performance will help to dispel that cloud. He is also a good athlete and tight end in his own right, and his draft stock could only be helped by reminding scouts of that.
Adam Shaheen (TE, Ashland) - Most fans have only heard rumors about, or seen highlight videos of, the big tight end from Ashland. This will be his chance to prove that he is a big-time prospect who can hang with some of the best at his position in the nation. It will also be his chance to show that despite coming from a small school, he can do the things a tight end needs to do, like run routes, catch the ball, and block.
Use this as your open thread for the day and let us know who you are watching.