With the NFL Scouting Combine underway in Indianapolis, everyone is focused on the pure physical ability of all the prospects in the draft. Guys like Marquise Goodwin have already displayed track speed, while others blew up some of the other drills.
Teams are looking for prospects to stand out from the pack, and plenty of guys did that. Whether they displayed elite strength, speed or just overall athleticism, these guys will rise up draft boards with strong performances in the combine or their pro days.
Marquise Goodwin, WR Texas
The diminutive speedster out of Texas demonstrated all the athletic upside that scouts needed to see on Sunday, blazing a 4.27 40-yard dash and jumping out of the room with an 11' broad jump. Some team will be so enamored with that athletic ability that they'll take him, regardless of his production.
Goodwin wasn't exactly a productive college player, having a career-high 421 yards receiving yards as a junior.
That won't matter to some teams, though, who will be more entranced with his speed and explosion. They might even see him as a poor man's Tavon Austin.
Realistically, Goodwin's speed should help him be a good returner and have some upside as a receiver. Scouts had best pay attention to his tape and his performance in the gauntlet, though, before they buy in completely.
Terron Armstead, OL University of Arkansas-Pinebluff
Scouts were looking for linemen to stand out from the middle tier, and Armstead did that with an all-around performance that rivals some of the best in history.
Just take a look at Armstead's numbers. A 4.71 40, 31 bench press reps and the top performance for both the vertical and broad jumps guarantee scouts will take a second look at Armstead.
That athleticism gives Armstead perhaps the best upside among middle-tier linemen, which will make him a highly sought after prospect. Teams liked his performance against mediocre competition in college, and with that athleticism, Armstead could translate that into the pros.
Tavon Austin, WR West Virginia
If anyone had questions about Tavon Austin's athletic ability, they're gone now. He blazed a 4.34 40, as expected, but he also displayed decent strength with 14 reps in the bench press. The speedster had an excellent combine that should cement his status as a first-round pick.
Teams love speed, and when paired with production like Austin's college numbers, it usually produces a highly sought-after prospect. There should be no question at this point that Austin is a unique weapon who could really help a team shake up its offense.
The real questions were about durability, but Austin proved to be a very solid 170 pounds. Not many men that small can bench 225 pounds 14 times, but Austin did. He is clearly committed to the weight room, which should help him hold up in the NFL.
Teams have to be excited about Austin's combination of speed and surprising strength. Don't be shocked if he rises into the top 20.
Vance McDonald, TE Rice
Maybe no prospect had a better combine than Vance McDonald, who was a top performer in five of the big events.
His 4.69 40 was fifth among tight ends, while his 31 reps in the bench press would have been solid for even an offensive lineman. He also displayed excellent quickness in the shuttle runs and three-cone drill.
Even McDonald's weigh-in was picture perfect. His 34'' arms should help him excel in jump-ball scenarios, while his 10'' hands should help him catch the ball consistently.
Physically, McDonald is the ideal tight end. Paired with a solid performance in his career, McDonald should be rising up draft boards.
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