10 crazy good stats heading into the NFL scouting combine

Ryan Jenson identifies which prospects posted impressive numbers during the 2015 season, along with what to watch for in Indy.

| 10 months ago
(AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)

(AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)

10 crazy good stats heading into the NFL scouting combine


With the NFL scouting combine just days away, the nation’s top prospects will come together in Indianapolis to show off their skills for scouts. Many of those players already impressed with their 2015 campaigns.

Today, we’re going to take a look at some of the most eye-popping numbers these top prospects boast on their resumes:

Brandon Doughty (QB, Western Kentucky) was the NCAA’s most accurate passer in 2015.

Doughty led the nation in many categories, but the most impressive was his accuracy. No QB had a better accuracy percentage in 2015 or 2014 than Doughty’s 81.8. At the combine, Doughty will need to prove he has NFL-caliber arm strength.

Demarcus Ayers (WR, Houston) had only two drops on 101 catchable passes.

The junior wide receiver was targeted on 133 passes, of which 101 of them were deemed catchable. He caught 99 of them. Besides the excellent hands, Ayers has the type of versatility that offensive coordinators crave. He can line up in the slot, on the outside, and can return kicks. At the combine, Ayers will need to separate himself with his athletic ability. At 5-11 and 190 pounds, Ayers is undersized and raw. Even his college coach thinks he should have stayed in college one more year.

Paul Perkins (RB, UCLA) was the NCAA’s most elusive running back.

In a year of great college running backs, you might be surprised to know that Paul Perkins was the hardest one to tackle. He led the country in PFF’s elusive rating at 114.7. He forced 85 missed tackles on 265 touches. Perkins lacks size and stature (5-11, 210 pounds), so he’ll need to impress scouts with his speed, quickness and pass-catching ability.

Hunter Henry (TE, Arkansas) was the nation’s top deep threat from the tight end position.

Henry had six catches beyond 20 yards for a total of 231 yards. No tight end was more dangerous down the field than Henry. At the combine, Henry will simply need to meet expectations. Viewed as a very good pass catcher and blocker, Henry will likely be the first tight end off the board in April.

Spencer Drango (OT, Baylor) allowed zero sacks and only 6 pressures all season.

The four-year starter was tied for first in the country in pass blocking efficiency at 98.9. Besides his production on the field, Drango has all the physical dimensions needed to play left tackle in the NFL. The question is whether or not he’ll be able to transition from the spread offense he’s played in his whole college career. Drango will need to show he has the athleticism to play a tackle position at next level to avoid being tagged as an NFL offensive guard.

Jarran Reed (DT, Alabama) stopped the highest percentage of opposing run plays of any defensive tackle in college football.

No defensive tackle was more essential to their team’s run defense than Jarran Reed. He had the highest stop percentage in the country at 13.4 percent. That would have been tops in 2014 as well. At the combine, Reed will need to show quickness and agility if he wants to be viewed as a three-down tackle at the NFL level. His college production points to him being a run-stopping specialist.

Among the elite pass rushers in the NCAA in 2015, Emmanuel Ogbah (DE, OK State) was the most versatile.

Carl Nassib and Joey Bosa were the top pass-rushing defensive ends in 2015, with pass-rushing productivity of 18.3 and 16.4 respectively. Ogbah was a tick below them at 15.2. Ogbah can separate himself with his versatility. Nassib rushed from the left side 92.6 percent of the time and Bosa did the same at 72.1 percent. Ogbah essentially split his time between the left and right side and was an effective pass rusher from both positions. At the combine, Ogbah will need to show better athleticism than the scouts are expecting. He has ideal size, but has been labeled as “stiff.”

Dominique Alexander (LB, Oklahoma) was the best coverage inside linebacker in the NCAA in 2015.

The junior linebacker allowed one reception per 34.5 plays in pass coverage. That was good for first in the country among inside linebackers. He allowed only 13 receptions for 141 yards on the season. At the combine, Alexander will need to impress in the weight room. He obviously has good speed and quickness, but is not viewed as a physical linebacker.

Mackensie Alexander (CB, Clemson) allowed only 19 receptions on 57 targets.

Even though Alexander didn’t put up the traditional stats that scouts were expecting, he had a very good year. Opposing receivers had only 19 receptions for 258 yards and zero touchdowns. Opposing quarterbacks had a passer rating of 48.7 when targeting Alexander. At the combine, Alexander needs to hold steady by posting numbers expected by scouts. Most of Alexander’s strengths are in-game intangibles and instincts that don’t necessarily show up in combine workouts.

Jeremy Cash (S, Duke) was our top-graded safety during the 2015 season.

Cash was PFF’s top graded safety in 2015, particularly as a run stopper and pass rusher. He’s big, physical and an excellent tackler. He recorded 72 tackles and 11 quarterback hits (the second place safety had five). At the combine, Cash will need to have a good 20-yard shuttle time showing he has the change of direction quickness needed for pass coverage in the NFL.

 

  • MotherGM

    Not saying Paul Perkins is the next greatest back to come out but to say he’s undersized is unfair. Barry Sanders and Walter Payton were both smaller and lighter then Perkins. Not saying he’s the next best thing but I’ve noticed how every one critiques a running backs height. If he’s 5’9″-5’11” their too small and If they’re 6′-6’3″ their too big.

    • BVP4QB

      I thought the same when I read the section on Perkins. I think 5’10” – 6′ is the ideal height for a RB, and 210 isn’t that light, especially when you consider he will probably put on another 10 more pounds in an NFL training room.

  • Tim Edell

    Spencer Drango’s only chance to make it in the NFL is to move inside to guard. He is not close to be athletic enough and mixed in with his small arms (under 33 inches) he is at best a late round draft pick.

  • Mike J.

    Could be that Demarcus Ayers benefited from going against William Jackson in practice every day.