Jameis Winston, NFL Combine Weekend Wrap-up, And Monday’s Standouts

The biggest portion of the Combine took place on Saturday and Sunday as the QB’s, WR’s and RB’s were on tap for Saturday, while the DL and LB’s showed off on Sunday. Like any year at the Combine, there were some big time winners, and there were some guys who left a lot of work to be done at their Pro Day.


Jameis Winston went through the paces on Saturday, but we’ll have more on him later.

Philip Dorsett, a receiver from “The U”, came into Saturday with a legitimate chance to break the record in the 40-yard dash. He came up short but still turned in an impressive official time of 4.33 seconds. Dorsett has made a lot of money for himself since Miami’s season ended. He continues to impress whenever given the chance. The NFL Draft will be very good to Philip Dorsett.

FSU’s Rashad Greene had a productive career catching passes from Jameis Winston, but scouts wanted to make sure he tested well. Greene held his own, turning in a 4.53 40 time, enough to satisfy scouts. He added a respectable 36.5 inch vertical. Greene has the game to play on Sunday’s. I think Greene can be a valuable #2 receiver, but asking him to be the primary focus of a passing attack may be a lot for Greene at this stage.

The more you see of Louisville’s Devante Parker, the more you want to see. There were other WR’s that created a buzz during the weekend, but I like Parker as much as any of them. Parker has the size at 6’3″ 209 lbs, with the frame to carry 220 easily. The Combine allowed Parker to prove the explosiveness you see on film is legit. He ran a 4.45 in the 40 as well as a 36.5 inch vertical. That is a potent combination. I look for Parker to be a 1st round pick and to be a highly productive player in his career. Learn his story and be ready to impress your friends at the water cooler in the next couple years.

Duke’s Jamison Crowder continued a trend of solid performances since his career at Duke came to an end. Crowder’s game is based on fluidity and natural instincts. Those types of things don’t jump out at you in Combine testing. However, he did run an acceptable 4.56 in the 40, proving the film to be accurate. The top end speed isn’t elite, but he has great quickness and combines that with phenomenal route running to be a threat in the passing game. He will be a good slot receiver, similar to an Eddie Royal or a Danny Amendola.

One name that you may not be as familiar with is Darren Waller, a receiver from GT. I covered him briefly during one of the college all-star games, and at the time, his weight was up and he looked to be a TE project at the next level. A lot can change in a month. Waller measured in at 6’6″ 238 lbs, down about 10 lbs. While TE is still a strong possibility, Waller’s workout keeps the door open to leaving him a wideout. Even with all that size, Waller ran a 4.46 40. That’s better than just about any DB who would have the size to compete with Waller. Add to that his 37-inch vertical, and Waller is a scary combination of top end speed and jump ball hops. If he can develop more consistency in his hands, Waller could be a major offensive weapon, whether its outside, TE, or anywhere else on the field. Some NFL team will draft Waller and have him in front of a JUGS machine, catching a thousand balls every day, all summer long.

With some work, catches like this will be the norm, not the exception.


As far as the Running Backs go, the ACC had two standouts this weekend, Duke Johnson and Karlos Wiliams. Our own Greg Quintero had a terrific take on Duke Johnson, so I won’t go into great detail, but I encourage you to read his piece if you haven’t already. Johnson turned in a respectable 40 time of 4.54 seconds. As for the performance of FSU’s Karlos Williams, I was more than impressed. Williams is a big back at 6’1″ 230 lbs, yet he turned in the 2nd fastest time of all backs with a 4.48 second run. That number will pop for a lot of scouts.


Sunday’s crop of ACC talent wasn’t quite as impressive as a whole, but one individual stole the show.

Once again, Stephone Anthony leaves me scratching my head. Anthony had a great Combine running the 3rd fastest 40 of all linebackers with a time of 4.56 seconds. In each event and drill, Anthony showed his quickness and athleticism. He has the tools to be a 1st round guy, but I have yet to see him play up to his potential. If I’m a GM, I wait it out on Anthony and hope he slides. If he’s there in the 4th round, I grab him and in three or four years I look like a genius. Why not draft him sooner then? Because at the same time, if Anthony hasn’t played up to his potential yet, what’s to say he ever will? That’s what makes the NFL Draft so exciting and intriguing, the risk-reward aspect and the hope that franchises get with each draft class.

Mario Edwards had a solid day. I thought he had a chance to perform better than he did however, and the next few weeks will be interesting to see what scouts have to say. Edwards measured in at 6’3″ 279 lbs and ran a 4.84 second 40. That’s not too bad for a guy his size, but on tape, Edwards looks much faster. I wouldn’t be surprised if he runs in the 4.7’s at his Pro Day.

UVA’s Eli Harold was another guy who had a solid day. With Stephone Anthony running a 4.56, I would expect Harold to be at least that fast and maybe even quicker. He turned in a 4.6 40. That’s a respectable time, but I expected Harold to be the fastest LB at the Combine. He also posted a 35-inch vertical. Let me be clear, Harold didn’t do anything to hurt his stock and I imagine he’s pretty happy with his performance.

I have been one of the biggest believers in Denzel Perryman all through this process. After his Combine performance, I’m starting to have some questions. Perryman, who is 5’11”, was listed at a slight 236 lbs, and yet his 40 time was a sub-par 4.78. At his stature, he really needed something in the 4.5’s, and honestly, I expected such. Perryman’s calling card was athleticism and instincts. That’s what was supposed to make scouts overlook his size. While 4.78 is not a deal breaker, it was disappointing.

Now for the good news from Sunday, Vic Beasley. Beasley is now firmly in my top 10 prospects, not just ACC guys, but prospects period. Standing 6’3″ and 246 lbs, the Clemson standout ran the fastest 40 time of all DL and LB’s with a 4.53, he blew scouts away with a 41-inch vertical, and if all that weren’t enough, he had the most reps at 225 of any defensive player at the Combine with 35. The question is what will Beasley do on Sunday’s and my answer is anything he wants. With the kind of upper and lower body strength that Beasley showed, he absolutely can play DE in a 4-3 scheme. He has the speed and quickness to be an elite pass-rusher and is easily strong enough to set the edge. He could also be a prototypical 3-4 OLB and then move down to the line in passing situations. Beasley should be a lot of fun to watch over the next 10 years.


I’m throwing in Today’s Combine performances as well to bring the Combine coverage to a close. As of now, Im using the numbers listed on NFL.com and from viewing NFL Network’s coverage earlier today. If any numbers change as they become “official” don’t hold it against me.


Florida State CB Ronald Darby was an absolute stud today. He was phenomenal in drills showing great hands and attacking the football. He showed loose hips and a great change of direction. He had the 2nd best 40 of all CB’s with a 4.38 and also had a 41.5-inch vertical. Darby impressed and made a lot of money.

Louisville’s Charles Gaines performed well turning in a 4.44 40 and positioned himself well moving forward. Gaines previous experience at wideout gives him an instinctive feel and understanding of the tricks receivers use to get open, allowing him to stay in pretty good position on most routes.

Kevin Johnson of Wake Forest also had a good showing. His 40 time wasn’t all that impressive at 4.52, but he excelled in the vertical and broad jumps, showing great lower body explosiveness, specifically his 41.5-inch vertical.

Virginia Tech’s Kyshoen Jarrett didn’t receive a lot of on air praise but watching him live I thought he had a decent Combine. His numbers weren’t overly impressive running a 4.57 40 yard dash, but he did have 21 reps of 225, a good number for a safety. Watching Jarrett go through the on-field drills is where I thought he did well. He showed good fluidity and change of direction skills. There are plenty of DB’s who ran 40’s faster than Jarrett, but when it came time to do drills, their jerky motions when changing directions easily cancelled out all the tenths they may have gained on Jarrett. He has great ball skills and I think he belongs in the NFL.

Now to discuss Jameis Winston…

I don’t claim to be a Winston supporter or a Winston hater. He’s made some major mistakes both on and off the field. He’s also had some amazing moments. After watching him play a lot of football, seeing numerous interviews, and factoring in everything that went into this year’s NFL Combine, my final take on Jameis Winston is as follows.

Winston is talented enough, smart enough, and mature enough to lead an NFL Franchise… on the football field. At the same time, Winston has shown a propensity to make a lot of bad decisions both on and off the field. He’s smart enough and old enough to know better, yet he’s still young enough to make dumb mistakes. I’m in no way giving Winston a pass. How do you shoplift as the star QB for the Florida State Seminoles?! There are no excuses for such a stupid move. I won’t even touch the rest of the idiocy Winston has allegedly participated in. But at the end of the day, the guy is a talented QB. His mind, when focused on football related issues, is about as sharp as they get. His confidence, albeit often toeing the line of arrogance, is what allows him to throw four INT’s and still march his team down the field, late in the game, when all the pressure is on. Like it or not, Winston is likely going to be the #1 pick in the draft this year. I’ve compared Jameis Winston to Jay Cutler in previous articles, moreso because of the mental makeup of each, rather than arm talent. What makes this comparison interesting is that if Winston is taken #1, he’ll be going to Tampa Bay, where he will have Lovie Smith as his head coach. This is the same Lovie Smith that traded for Jay Cutler when he was in Chicago.

Ultimately, it comes down to this, leopards can’t change their spots, but kids can grow up. I think Jameis needs to grow up and learn to be a man. It’s tough to do that when you’re the big man on campus, and everyone tells you how great you are. Lovie Smith and Bucs-great Derrick Brooks are men that Jameis can relate to and look to for guidance. Taking the sports fan glasses off for a second, I’d like to see Jameis as the #1 draft pick for that very reason. If they can make a difference in Jameis’ life and get him straightened out, then Jameis Winston will have a great platform to reach a younger generation also starving for guidance… And that impact goes beyond the ACC, the NFL, and sports in general.

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