What’s Going on During the NFL Combine – Early Negativity
On the first day of on the field competition, no one really stood out as performing exceptionally well on the gridiron. Instead, there were medical or physical issues with multiple guys that could lead to evaluations that might hurt their draft stocks. Obviously (whether that happens or not), that will be up to front offices and how they react/value this information. Also, a couple of athletes will not be participating due to injury or illness. Let’s take a deeper look into these situations.
Everyone Doesn’t Love Reuben
Linebacker Reuben Foster – billed as a top ten draft selection since last season ended, was dismissed from the combine after an altercation with a hospital employee (presumably during his medical assessment). This is clearly not a good look for two reasons; it shows a bad side of his behavior and not being able to control his emotions. Additionally, did Foster have something to hide regarding his health? I still think he will be a fine investment, but he will likely slide in the first round of April’s draft. Personally, I don’t feel that the Browns should go for him with the twelfth choice.
Leonard Packing on the Pounds
Many were surprised at running back Leonard Fournette weighing in a 240 pounds as a running back. Despite this (and explaining himself as retaining water weight) he ran the forty yard dash and drills pretty well. I cannot confirm that teams will drop him as a result of him “not being prepared” for the combine – but perhaps he drops below Dalvin Cook as an option. Running back is not a position of need for the Browns – unfortunately they do not have the luxury of loading up there. Thus, Fournette will not be an option for the orange and brown if still on the board (during their second pick).
Hooker is Hurt
These injuries occurred prior to the combine, but now they are coming ahead for the former Ohio State safety. Malik Hooker had shoulder and groin surgery several weeks ago – causing the star to miss time prior to the draft. Will clubs see this as a guy who is injury prone? Or will they see it as Hooker trying to be fully healthy before entering the league? I would be on board with taking the star at number twelve, provided he drops that far. The Browns need a tremendous safety for their defense and Hooker fits that description. His injuries do not worry me at this point.
Barnett’s Unavailability at Indy
Just coming down is the news that pass rusher Derek Barnett will not be performing due to him being sick. That should obviously not affect his draft status, as these things happen. I would not be surprised to be an exceptional player in this year’s draft – but assuming the orange and brown select Myles Garrett with the first overall pick, they will not take Barnett with their second choice.
Conclusion: I am eager to see the signal callers and wideouts perform in today’s action. The Browns need to improve in these areas and I would like to hear about positive news coming from Indianapolis.