Blog Entry

WRs Floyd, Hill out-shine Blackmon Sunday

Posted on: February 26, 2012 12:19 pm
While the media isn't allowed in to view most of the workouts at the Scouting Combine, a select group of media members were invited in Sunday morning to watch the quarterbacks and receivers' positional drills. 

With's top-four rated quarterbacks -- Andrew Luck, Robert Griffin III, Ryan Tannehill and Brock Osweiler -- either unwilling or unable to throw at the Combine, it was the pass-catchers rather than the passers who stole the show.  This fact is all the more interesting considering that the highest regarded player at the position struggled to live up to his lofty billing. 
Oklahoma State wide receiver Justin Blackmon entered the week as's top-rated wide receiver and viewed as a potential top five prospect but a rather ho-hum performance Sunday morning may put his perch at the top in peril. 

Blackmon demonstrated the strong hands and body control Sunday that he'd used to earn back to back Biletnikof awards as the nation's top wideout but it appeared that he was limited by the hamstring injury he'd cited as the reason he wouldn't be running the 40-yard dash this week. Blackmon had to gather himself a bit when cutting and never showed the top-end speed scouts would expect of an elite prospect. The key will be how much improvement Blackmon shows when he works out for scouts at his March 7 Pro Day. If he shows improved burst during the workout on the Oklahoma State campus, scouts will likely chalk up his Combine workout as an example of a player simply being limited by injury. If he isn't more impressive, however, Baylor's Kendall Wright and Notre Dame's Michael Floyd are very much in the race to be the first receiver selected in the 2012 draft. 

Floyd certainly helped his cause by running the 40-yard dash in 4.42 seconds (unofficially) at 6-3, 220 pounds and showing excellent hands, flexibility, and surprisingly precise routes. Whether it was drifting across the middle during the gauntlet drill, dropping his hips on quick comeback routes or showing the ability to track the ball over either shoulder deep, Floyd consistently plucked the ball out of air, quickly secured it and got upfield in one fluid motion.

Perhaps the surprise star among receivers, however, was Georgia Tech's Stephen Hill. Possessing a similarly freakish combination of size and speed as his Yellow Jacket predecessor Demaryius Thomas, the 6-4, 215 pound Hill was credited with a blistering 4.30 time in the 40-yard (unofficial) and showed the sticky hands and excellent body control he'd flashed as a big play specialist in Georgia Tech's triple-option offense. If there was a concern about Hill's workout it would be that he seemed a bit stiff when re-directing. His quick acceleration and top-end speed, however, were every bit as obvious with the ball in his hands as they were when he was running the 40-yard dash.

Of the quarterbacks throwing in the morning session, Michigan State's Kirk Cousins was clearly the most polished. While he does not possess a cannon for an arm, Cousins showed enough zip and excellent accuracy on the deep out and was particularly accurate on the post-corner route -- a throw many view as the most difficult asked of quarterbacks during the Combine workout. Cousins does the little things well. While other passers struggled with their footwork and release point, Cousins' has a clean set-up and delivery and consistently stared down the middle as he dropped back, mimicking the form he'd use during a game to look off the safety before turning to fire passes to the outside. Considering his four years starting experience, two years as a captain and experience in a pro-style offense, don't be surprised if Cousins enjoys a late rise up draft boards very similar to the one Andy Dalton enjoyed a year ago. 

Two relatively unheralded quarterbacks also took advantage of the big stage to turn some heads. Southern Mississippi's Austin Davis and Richmond's Aaron Corp each showed enough arm strength and accuracy to prove that they belonged. Davis' touch on the deep ball was particularly impressive. 

On the flipside, Arizona's Nick Foles and Houston's Case Keenum struggled. Each were erratic with their accuracy, especially on longer routes. Foles has good enough tape to withstand the disappointing workout. Keenum, short and sporting a 3/4 release, may have an uphill climb ahead of him to get drafted despite a sparkling collegiate career.         

Since: Apr 25, 2011
Posted on: February 28, 2012 2:31 pm

WRs Floyd, Hill out-shine Blackmon Sunday

For some reason i am cheering for Case Keenum. I thought he was impressive in college. And Michegan State creates good qbs coming out of college but never get to put up the numbers like other 1-A schools because they are a run first offense. I think Stranton/Stanton (or however its spelled) could be a very good qb for an NFL team looking for a qb. The Lions utilized him at the end of 2010 and he was really good especially with what resources he had. Im pretty sure he ended up winning a few games that season as well. As will Cousins because they make good qbs for the NFL in Lansing. ( This is coming from an Ohio State fan).

Since: Aug 20, 2006
Posted on: February 27, 2012 2:38 pm

WRs Floyd, Hill out-shine Blackmon Sunday

Blackmon was the best performer during bowl season - of any position, any team.  He's the best WR out there.  Wright is good, Floyd is good, but neither of them is Blackmon.

Since: Apr 16, 2009
Posted on: February 27, 2012 12:52 am
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Since: Aug 21, 2009
Posted on: February 26, 2012 6:50 pm

WRs Floyd, Hill out-shine Blackmon Sunday

Aaron Corp could be a really good pick, he was a top High School Recruit and went to USC and had to sit behind Mark Sanchez and then was beaten out by True Freshman Matt Barkley...

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