Appreciate the Combine, but don’t overrate it is the message Rob Rang at CBS Sports is trying to push in the days leading up to the scouting extravaganza.
More than 300 players will participate in numerous drills under the watchful eye of the most important decision makers in football.
With that said, Rang releases his most recent big board with the 64 best NFL Draft prospects. There are four quarterbacks in this group, but only one makes the top-10.
Of course, this could change after the dust clears in Indianapolis …
- Adam Hoge of WGN writes that one of the purposes the Combine serves is to be a tie-breaker for top prospects. And with much information to be gathered about these prospects between now and draft day, a lot can change. Even still, Hoge goes to the available tape to dissect the top four quarterbacks of this class in the latest from his offseason notebook. And if any position needs tie-breaker help, it’s quarterback.
- Deshaun Watson was one of the rare junior-eligible players invited to the Senior Bowl, but skipped out on it after closing out his college career with one of the all-time great championship game performances. However, Watson will get a chance to show NFL scouts and decision makers what he has to offer at the NFL Combine, where he expects to be a full participant. “Run, throw, meetings, everything,” Watson said. With the quarterback position truly open in Chicago, the Bears could keep a close eye on the Clemson quarterback who could be fit to be picked third overall.
- In advance of the Combine, NFL Network analyst Daniel Jeremiah asked five anonymous executives which prospect will generate the most buzz in Indianapolis. Two of the more popular answers are players who could be of interest to the Bears in the early rounds of the draft, including defensive lineman Solomon Thomas (who was recently mocked to go to the Bears with the No. 3 pick) and quarterback Patrick Mahomes (whose stock is skyrocketing).
- Of all the top quarterback prospects in this draft – all of whom are unpolished, but skilled in their own ways – Mahomes might have the most to prove. He has a strong arm, ideal build, and statistics that jump off the page, yet, still is a bit of a darkhorse prospect. He received a second-round grade from the NFL Draft advisory board, but told Cleveland.com he has a lot to offer and wants to show he belongs in the conversation with Watson, DeShone Kizer, and Mitch Trubisky at the top of the board. Sources also told Cleveland.com that Mahomes has five private workouts planned, with two teams reportedly working to move up in the draft to take him. Mahomes could really solidify his draft position with a strong effort at the Combine.
- One of the most important things to come out of the NFL Combine is something that shouldn’t get lost in the shuffle. The medical information for each of the participants could be a deal breaker for certain teams and prospects. This type of background information goes a long way toward how a player is perceived and valued in the draft market. Over at Pro Football Weekly, Greg Gabriel highlights eight players whose medicals will be the most important. Among them, Ohio State safety Malik Hooker, who at one point was worthy of consideration of being picked by the Bears third overall before it was announced he was having surgery that would make him miss the Combine altogether.
- Keep your eyes peeled and watch the Combine results roll in with an open mind because you just might find a gem.
— Chicago Bears (@ChicagoBears) February 22, 2017