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NFL Combine Winners
By Matt Horkman

-- Overlooked entering the combine, Oregon left tackle Jake Fisher proved he has the measurables to develop into an NFL starter. Fisher has good size (6-foot-6, 306) and length. His 40-yard dash (5.01) ranked second among offensive tackles, while his 10-yard split (1.75) was first. He also turned in the best 20-yard shuttle time (4.33).

He is a terrific pass blocker, who gets out of his stance fast. Additionally, he finishes blocks in the running game. His performance in Indianapolis, especially during individual drills, suggests he has the footwork and movement skills of a left tackle. As a result, his stock will begin to trend upward. He should hear his name called early on day two.

-- Not only did Marcus Mariota and Jameis Winston buck the trend of top quarterback prospects not throwing at the combine, they went out on Saturday morning and delivered on their hype.

Both displayed excellent velocity, putting the football where it needed to go. Winston, in particularly, showed off an arching deep ball that often landed in the receiver’s breadbasket. Because Mariota comes from a spread offense, he needed to demonstrate the footwork of a top-flight prospect. He did. His drop back was smooth, and his throws were on the money.

Athletically, Mariota is special. He ran the best forty among quarterbacks, clocking in at 4.52. His forty bested both Cam Newton (4.59) and Russell Wilson (4.55). Newton went first overall in the 2011 draft, while Wilson is one of league’s premiere quarterbacks.

Perhaps the most important thing players do at the combine is sit down and talk with teams. Simply put, this is a job interview. According to various reports, both Winston and Mariota nailed their interviews, with Winton reportedly impressing several teams with his understanding of coverage and route concepts. Thanks to the NFL Network, we were able to get a glimpse of what teams may have saw from Winston in Indianapolis. Here’s a clip of him doing a whiteboard session with current NFL Network analysis and former NFL head coach Steve Mariucci.

-- This year’s receiver class is shaping up as a worthy sequel to last year’s historic one. West Virginia’s Kevin White entered with a lot of fanfare, and backed up his hype with the most impressive workout among receivers.

He ran a 4.35 forty, an absurd number for someone who stands 6-foot-3 and weighs 215 pounds. He also did 23 reps of 225 pounds on the bench, tying him with Auburn's Sammie Coates and UConn's Geremy Davis for the best among his peers. His workout, which included an impressive showing in positional drills, confirms his explosiveness and puts him in the conversation to be the top receiver selected in May’s draft.

I’ve been on Arizona State receiver Jalen Strong’s bandwagon since 2013. At the combine, he cemented himself as a first-round pick. Standing 6-foot-2 and 217 pounds, he ran an impressive 4.44 forty and jumped 42 inches in the vert. The latter was good enough for second among all receivers. First went to Georgia's Chris Conley, who blew up the combine with a 45-inch vert and a 4.35 forty. He also posted an 11-foot-7 broad jump, which was third best in combine history. These freakish numbers puts him in day two conversation.

Vic Beasley

-- The star of the combine, without a doubt, was Clemson linebacker Vic Beasley. His athleticism was never in question, but his size was. While Clemson listed him at 235, he looked under 230 on tape. Frankly, he relied too much on his athleticism and was often dwarfed by offensive lineman in the running game. He clearly heard the cries of undersized, so he bulked up for the combine. He measured 6-foot-3 and weighed in at a healthy 245 pounds.

Players often put on muscle ahead of a workout to quell any concerns about their size. They usually do so at the expense of their explosiveness, though. Not Beasley. He carried his 245 well, clocking in with a 4.53 forty. He was also the standout during individual drills, moving better than any of his peers did. His workout suggests that he can play at a heavier weight (245-250) and maintain his explosiveness.

-- Cornerback was one of the draft’s unsettled positions. The keyword is was as it’s clear that Michigan State’s Trae Waynes is the headliner of this year’s class. He ran the best forty at his position, clocking in at 4.31. In fact, among all players, only UAB receiver J.J. Nelson had a better forty (4.28). Waynes, a tall and physical corner, also did a healthy 19 reps of 225 pounds on the bench. The Minnesota Vikings, who hold the No. 11 pick and need a cornerback, had to like what they saw.

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