Today, we introduce a new series as we look forward to the NFL Combine later this month. Over the next 20 days, we’ll cover 20 of the top prospects of the incoming rookie class by giving you the facts you need to know. Unfortunately, we couldn’t fit everyone in our 20/20, so here are some quick thoughts on the players who just missed the cut.
Christian Hackenberg, QB Penn State
Height 6’4”, Weight 234 pounds, Projected NFL Draft Round: 3
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First thing first: Hackenberg played in a tough conference with a bad offensive line that forced him to get rid of the ball early. He still managed to post 2,525 yards and 16 touchdowns and only six interceptions. In 2014, he posted 2,977 yards with 12 touchdowns and 15 interceptions.
Jonathan Williams, RB Arkansas
Height 6’0”, Weight 205 pounds, Projected NFL Draft Round: 2-3
He backed up Alex Collins much of his career and still put up great stats. In 2014, he had 1,190 yards on 211 carries and 12 touchdowns. The appeal to Williams is he has little-to-no wear on his body compared to some of the other backs coming from this class.
Byron Marshall, RB/WR Oregon
Height 5’10”, Weight 201 pounds, Projected NFL Draft Round: 6-7
He played his sophomore year as running back and junior as wide receiver. He will have great appeal as a 3rd down running back and possible kick/punt returner. He has season ending injury his senior season, a hidden gem about Marshall is his quickness. He was a track and field star and was the fastest sophomore in California in 2013.
Keith Marshall, RB Georgia
Height 5’11”, Weight 219 pounds, Projected NFL Draft Round: FA
It’s hard to get on the field when you play behind some studs. In 2013, Marshall was able to learn from Todd Gurley and Nick Chubb. Marshall was only able to get on the field this season when Chubb needed a breather and when he had a horrific looking injury. Marshall is a player with a lot to prove and not a lot of wear on his body.
Hunter Henry, TE Arkansas
Height 6’6”, Weight 255 pounds, Projected NFL Draft Round: 1-2
As a potential first round pick, Henry holds a lot of value even in fantasy. Tight ends tend to stay around for a long time (think Tony Gonzalez and Jason Witten). He is fairly quick for a tight end, and has great potential. He has great run blocking skills and will be a great value for any team looking for tight end.
Jalin Marshall, WR Ohio State
Height 5’11”, Weight 206 pounds, Projected NFL Draft Round: 4-5
Marshall is a burner, but was over shadowed with Devin Smith in previous years and Michael Thomas this season. It didn’t really help adjusting to a different quarterback in 2015. He is a small receiver but can play the slot and has excellent down field speed.
Paul Perkins, RB UCLA
Height 6’1”, Weight 225 pounds, Projected NFL Draft Round: 2-3
Perkins is bit over shadowed in this draft with Ezekiel Elliott and Derrick Henry. He is a very impressive, well balanced running back. He holds terrific value and will be a steal in fantasy drafts. In two seasons, Perkins put up almost 3,000 yards, landing 82 yards shy. He also had 26 total touchdowns.
Jordan Howard, RB Indiana
Height 6’1”, Weight 230 pounds, Projected NFL Draft Round: 4-5
Howard really broke out this season for the Hoosiers after moving over from the dying Alabama-Birmingham program. He improved his yards per carry from 5.2 to 6.2 in a very difficult Big Ten Conference. The question remains if he can be an every down back in the NFL.
Connor Cook, QB Michigan State
Height 6’4”, Weight 220 pounds, Projected NFL Draft Round 2-3
Being able to watch him grow as a quarterback has given scouts plenty of time to really evaluate Cook. He still has a lot of question marks and some could have possibly unveiled had he played in Senior Bowl. He turned down the offer and that may hurt his stock as he could slip into the 3rd round. He shined his senior season throwing for over 3,000 yards and 24 touchdowns. From every scouting report I’ve come across they all address the same issue, and that’s his accuracy.
Carson Wentz, QB North Dakota State
Height 6-5, Weight 230, Projected NFL Draft Round 1-2
The hype is real for this man and he is continuing to impress people (including me). His Senior Bowl was quite impressive and he showcased his arm and down field vision. He is a very mobile quarterback and is perfect for fantasy. The one issue I see is can he play up to the NFL speed. I hate to knock a guy for playing in a lower division but the speed of the game is much different in division two.
Duke Williams, WR Auburn
Height 6’2”, Weight 215 pounds, Projected NFL Draft Round: FA
The talent is there, and he is a worth a sneaky pick in drafts. He might go undrafted but that doesn’t mean and won’t be signed. His character issues are the biggest concern and not the talent. He was kicked off Auburn’s team after week five of this season. His lack of playing could also keep him from being drafted as he is still very raw and needs to improve on some aspects of his game. If you are looking for a flyer late in the draft, this might be your guy. Give him time as he needs to develop.
Mike Thomas, WR Southern Miss
Height 6’1”, Weight 186 pounds, NFL projected draft position: 4
His size is going to be his issue. He is very slim. If he can gain some muscle he will be a steal for any team. He is a play maker though, he jumps out of his shoes going for the ball and has excellent ball tracking skills. Route running could use improving but he makes up for that when the ball is in the air. He will fit any style offense and is not being talked about. You will thank me when you draft him.
C.J. Prosise, RB Notre Dame
Height 6’0”, Weight 220 pounds, Projected NFL Draft Round: 3
You either love him or you hate him. He is a well rounded running back with great body. He has terrific hands and will translate perfectly in the NFL. He reminds me of LeSean McCoy with his low style of running, and he’s very shifty and quick. He could be a steal in your fantasy draft this year.
Kenyan Drake, RB Alabama
Height 6’1”, Weight 211 pounds, Projected NFL Draft Round: 5-6
This is another player that was stuck behind talent. Unfortunately, he was stuck behind a Heisman winner, he couldn’t show case his skills. He his little to no wear on his body as a backup, but when got in he made the most of his opportunities. He only had 76 attempts this season, so when I said no wear, I meant it. He could easily play into his 30’s if he stay’s healthy. There isn’t enough to really judge him but I could see teams taking a flyer.
Keep an eye out as we release a new player with 20 facts each day until the NFL combine.
- 20/20: Just Missed - February 5, 2016
- Dynasty Capsule: Cleveland Browns - January 17, 2016
- Bowl Game Previews: December 26 (Part Two) - December 26, 2015
Nice write up. Exactly what we need. I like JWill a ton and love the fact you think he may sneak into the 2nd. No wear on Drake isn’t accurate.
Might want to check those Perkins stats.. 6’1 225? Have you seen a picture of him?