NFL Combine

NFL Combine

Analysts, scouts and GMs have different philosophies on how much stock to put in the NFL Combine. Some think the combine can accurately predict the future success of a player others put their faith only in what they see in game film. In any case it is a wonderful opportunity for future NFL players to put some numbers on the amazing athleticism they show on the field. These are Thuuz’s top impact performers of the 2015 NFL combine.

 

Jameis Winston:

Jamis

While Famous Jameis is almost a shoo-in for the first overall selection in the NFL Draft, however, his lackluster NFL Combine performance led to many wanting more. Winston, the Florida State Heisman winner, has won a national championship with his mobility and athleticism, yet that didn’t show up on Saturday. Winston ran a disappointing 4.97 second 40 yard dash, and put up only a 28.5’’ vertical leap. While Winston still is a fantastic quarterback, the Buccaneers are probably not pleased with his being out of shape.

 

Marcus Mariota:

Mariota

Mariota is a stud, it’s as simple as that. The fantastic pocket passer has proven his worth as a dual threat, as he has been able to display his athleticism at the Combine. The Oregon Heisman-winner ran a blazing 4.52 second 40 yard dash, and has an astonishing 36 inch vertical. Mariota’s athleticism and presence has improved his stock, and could possibly allow him to be taken number one overall.

Kevin White:

Kevin White

Most people didn’t know who the wide receiver from West Virginia even was before the Combine. Yet Kevin White has now proven that he should be taken seriously, and could even get drafted in the top five. White is the perfect wide receiver for the NFL—he has great speed, height and physicality. White ran a 4.35 second 40 yard dash, and had a 36.5 inch vertical. With his 6’3” frame, White could be unstoppable at the NFL.

 

Amari Cooper:

Amari

If Amari Cooper can play wide receiver in the NFL like he did at Alabama, then he could be a future hall of famer. Cooper is the ideal athlete in the NFL. Size, speed, strength, awareness, Cooper has it all. This highly-touted prospect backed up his worth at the Combine, with a nice 4.42 second 40 yard dash and a 33” vertical. The 6’1” Cooper should be a top five pick, and if he isn’t, some lucky GM will be pinching themselves when they see that they get to draft him.

 

Chris Conley:

Chris Conley

This year, Nick Chubb and Todd Gurley led a devastating running attack for the Georgia Bulldogs. Georgia’s success, however, also is in large part due to Chris Conley, their monstrous wide receiver. The 6’2” Conley has the ability to burn past his defenders and then rise up and snag down hail mary dimes from quarterbacks. Conley is not the biggest receiver, but he showed he can make up for his lack of size with his 45” vertical (the highest in the 2015 Combine). Additionally, scouts are still in awe over Conley’s 4.35 second 40 yard dash, and are now raising Conley on their draft boards.

 

Phillip Dorsett:

 

While the hot item this offseason has been giant wide receivers, every team has a use for a small, speedy slot receiver. Phillip Dorsett, the wide receiver out of Miami, fits this profile perfectly. Dorsett’s explosive 4.33 second 40 yard dash has made many GMs eager for a chance to grab this guy. Even though he is 5’10”, Dorsett’s 37” vertical makes him able to be a major asset in the deep ball game as well. NFL teams are alway looking for reliable players like Dorsett.

 

Danny Shelton:

 

Anyone who watched Danny Shelton play at University of Washington knew exactly what what to expect at the combine. The massive 6’2”, 339 lb nose tackle has used brute force and surprising agility to eviscerate offenses throughout his college career. Shelton’s strength was evident with a fantastic 34 reps at the bench press. Even though Shelton is big, his 5.64 second 40 yard dash showed that he is still in shape for his size. Shelton should be nabbed fairly early in the draft especially after such a strong showing at the Combine.

 

Vic Beasley:

 

Vic Beasley has all the makings of a great NFL player. The 6’3” Clemson Linebacker has a dazzling mix of size and speed, and can use his strength to stop and offensive player in their tracks. Beasley had one of the most impressive 40 yard dash times for defensive players, with 4.53 seconds. Beasley also added a strong 41 inch vertical and 35 reps at the bench press. This multi-tool player has GM’s chomping at the bit for the chance to draft him.

 

Trae Waynes:

 

As there is an influx of great wide receivers this draft, NFL teams need great cornerbacks to buff up their defenses. This means that Michigan State’s Trae Waynes is going to be a hot commodity at the NFL Draft. Waynes led cornerbacks with a 4.31 second 40 yard dash, and added a solid 38” vertical. Waynes can keep up with any deep threat, and is strong and big enough to break up passes. This is a prime example of a player’s Combine performance helping them greatly in the eyes of NFL GMs.

NBA Trade Deadline: Winners & Losers

Winners:

Goran Dragic and the Heat

It’s safe to say that Dragic and the Miami Heat were the blue-ribbon winners at the trade deadline. Dragic wanted out of Phoenix, and realizing that they would need to pay their third point guard this summer, the Suns front office obliged. The Heat acquire the point guard they desperately needed to go along with Dwayne Wade, Hassan Whiteside, and Chris Bosh (who is hopefully OK). Dragic’s stats have dropped this year but that is attributed more to splitting time with Isiah Thomas and Eric Bledsoe as opposed to a drop in performance. Expect big things from the Slovenian slasher over the final thirty games of the season. He could be what the Heat need to rise up to fifth or sixth in the Eastern Conference standings.

 

Oklahoma City Thunder

The Thunder obtained some much needed front court depth. They acquired Enes Kanter along with D.J. Augustin, Kyle Singler, and Steve Novak at the net cost of Reggie Jackson, Kendrick Perkins and a future first round pick (Grant Jerrett too, but I’ve never heard of him). Kanter provides some offensive firepower in the front court, an area where Nick Collison, Steven Adams, and Mitch McGary have struggled. I also like the acquisition of D.J. Augustin, who is a good fit to backup Russell Westbrook. With all of their new pieces and the Suns shooting themselves in the foot, the Thunder look poised to make some noise in the playoffs.

 

Portland Trail Blazers

Portland got the second-unit scorer they needed in Arron Affalo at the cost of NBA scraps and a  2016 protected first round pick. Affalo will boost a bench that has little to no scoring potential, and take some pressure off Nicolas Batum, who has been absolutely dreadful this season. This is a sneaky good move for a team that is very well put together. Though they don’t get much attention, but come playoff time we could very well be seeing Portland in the conference finals.

 

Losers:

Phoenix Suns

Ryan McDonough blew it up. I have no problem with GMs blowing their teams up. But blowing your team up while tied for the last spot in the playoffs is very questionable. Yes, Thomas and Dragic both wanted out of town and could have been cancerous in the locker room. But the Suns are mortgaging their present for their future, which isn’t a great move in the heat of a playoff race. They got three first round picks, but won’t see any until 2016 at the earliest. That leaves nearly a season and a half for coach Jeff Hornacek to figure out how this team is going to mesh, which will be a tall task. Phoenix took themselves out of the playoff hunt on deadline day this year.

 

Philadelphia 76ers

From an economical perspective the Sixers pre-deadline moves have their merits. Michael Carter-Williams was probably going to get overpaid in the next couple of years and K.J. McDaniels was due to leave this year anyway. But at some point you’ve got to keep some of the players that are going to win you games . What gets lost in valuing all these players as assets and not people is that with every move it becomes harder and harder to build team chemistry. Continuity is important for the development of young players, and Sam Hinkie seems to care nothing for it. Developing young players like Joel Embiid and Nerlens Noel becomes more difficult when every player is on the chopping block. It will be interesting to see when Sam Hinkie finally decides which Sixers aren’t expendable, and starts to try and actually build a team.

 

Brandon Knight

Poor guy. Knight was having a career year on a Bucks team that was the feel-good story in the East. He’s now second banana on a Phoenix team that likely will miss the playoffs. At least the weather is better in Arizona.