Ebs’ Hot Takes: The NFL Scouting Combine

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WEST PITTSTON, PA – Ah, the Underwear Olympics. Everyone’s favorite sporting event of the year.

The NFL scouting combine, the most important and maybe unnecessary job interview ever invented.

Josh Rosen

When is Oklahoma offensive tackle Orlando Brown ever going to run 40 yards in a straight line again? It’s quite possible he may never need to. But hey, it matters.

At the same time, prospects are vetted more than ever before. For example, doctors found that likely first-round draft pick Maurice Hurst had a heart condition. Hurst left the combine without testing and will now undergo further testing to find the severity of the condition.

That stuff is no joke. It’s scary.

And not to mention this is the first time teams get to meet with a good chunk of the prospects. These interviews that teams conduct with players could be the difference between a team choosing Sam Darnold as its franchise quarterback over Josh Rosen. Or vice versa.

The NFL combine is a big part of the pre-draft process and because of that, I’ve been able to form some of my own opinions on the draft class. No shocker there.

Here we go, a fresh set of Ebs’ Hot Takes.

Enjoy.

Lamar Jackson will be drafted in the first round. To anyone that thinks Lamar Jackson can’t cut it in the NFL as a quarterback, I have one question for you…

Lamar Jackson

Have you ever heard of Blake Bortles?

Bortles was taken third overall in 2013 and we’re not even talking about Jackson as a first-round lock. Come on, son.

If an offensive coordinator can build their offense toward Jackson’s strengths, similar to what Bill O’Brien did for Deshaun Watson this past season, the former Heisman Trophy winner can take this league by storm.

Jackson didn’t have a great combine like Rosen or Josh Allen did, but he did have some flashes and showed some improvement in his footwork.

His floor is Tyrod Taylor. But his ceiling is higher than Michael Vick. And I think it’s not reasonable to assume that Jackson lands somewhere closer to his ceiling than his floor.

Either the Colts or Giants will trade back. Two quarterbacks will be taken in the first three picks next month and it’ll likely be Rosen and Darnold, but don’t count out Allen.

USC Trojans quarterback Sam Darnold (5) talks with Wyoming Cowboys quarterback Josh Allen (2) during the 2018 NFL Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium. Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

Both the Indianapolis Colts and New York Giants have multiple needs. Needs that a top-3 pick alone can fix. Why not trade back and accumulate multiple picks and assets?

Hey, I have an idea.

The Buffalo Bills need a quarterback and have relationships with both teams’ front offices. Not only do the Bills have two first rounders and second rounders this year, but former Pro Bowl offensive tackle Cordy Glenn is on the trade block.

Yes, both teams probably don’t want to trade back into the 20s, but they’d love an offensive tackle. It’s worth consideration.

Shaquem Griffin was the star of the combine. By now I’m sure you’ve heard of the name Shaquem Griffin, the one-handed linebacker from UCF.

Shaquem Griffin

After receiving a late invite to the combine, Griffin was a star over the weekend. The defensive prospect – he’s working out with both the linebackers and defensive backs – pushed out 20 reps on the bench, which was better than Brown’s 14, and ran the fastest 40 of any linebacker ever recorded at the combine, which dates back to 2003.

While Griffin is likely a Day 3 prospect, he’s going to play a valuable role on whichever team drafts him.

Feel free to comment below, check out Ben Whitney and please follow us on Twitter at @ByDJEberle, @MeetTheMatts and @Matt_McCarthy00, Instagram at @meetthematts and like our Facebook page, Meet The Matts.

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DJ Eberle: The youngest of our team, DJ is also the largest. Offensive Tackle Large. In fact, this Albany native used OT for Western New England University - until he graduated in May of 2014. Like Junoir Blaber, he's a regular on Rugby Wrap Up - his dad played rugby with The Matts. His cross to bear, however, is his love for the Buffalo Bills and Buffalo Sabres. As for baseball and basketball, it's the Yanks and Atlanta Hawks. Follow him on Twitter: @ByDJEberle.

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