Christian McCaffrey, Forrest Lamp among Friday's combine standouts
The NFL Scouting Combine kicked off this week with the offensive linemen and running backs, and while the usual caveats apply that film and production trump workouts, there are always a number of standout performers coming out of Indianapolis. It’s always nice when expectations are met with the workouts, and players who exceed or disappoint in the runs, jumps, and lifts usually earn a second a look at the their game tape.
Here are the top performers from the first day of on-field workouts at the scouting combine.
Alvin Kamara, RB, Tennessee
While Kamara’s 4.56-second 40-yard-dash time doesn’t jump off the page, his 10’ 9” broad jump and 39.5″ vertical jump were both the best in the class. Both drills show the lower-body explosiveness that allowed Kamara to break 54 tackles on only 209 carries and another 36 on 75 receptions—an exceptional total compared to his peers. His work as a receiver may be the best part of Kamara’s game, and his 82.2 grade ranked 11th in that department last season. His explosion matched the strong production we saw on tape, and he will provide an excellent run/pass mismatch at the next level.
Christian McCaffrey, RB, Stanford
McCaffrey will be lumped in with Kamara for a number of reasons, as he provides a similar run/pass threat. A running back with slot receiver skills, McCaffrey caught the ball well in drills, which is no surprise after posting the top receiving grade in the nation among running backs in 2015 and following up with a solid 80.2 grade last season. He came in right behind Kamara at 37.5″ in the vertical and a solid 10’ 1” broad jump, while tying for fourth among running backs with a 4.48-second 40-yard dash. McCaffrey is more about lateral quickness than straight-line speed, but those jumps and 40-yard-dash time only elevated his stock this week.
Garrett Bolles, OT, Utah
After “winning” the press conferences yesterday with his constant reminders that he loves to bury his opponents in the run game, Bolles won the on-field portion of the workouts as well. Bolles had the No. 2 grade as a run blocker (83.9) last season, and he showed his explosion with a 9’ 6” broad jump that led the offensive line group. While the 40-yard dash means little for offensive linemen, a good time still turns heads. Bolles’ positing of the second-best time (4.95) will only help his case as he tries to sneak into the first round. PFF’s analysts have concerns, however, about Bolles’ ability to protect the quarterback after he posted a 78.2 pass-blocking grade that ranked 85th in the nation and featured three sacks, a QB hit, and 16 hurries on his 472 attempts.
Forrest Lamp, OT/G, Western Kentucky
Lamp continues to pass all of the tests, as he has ranked as a top-five offensive tackle in each of PFF’s three years of college grading, and he’s now shown well in his on-field workout. Lamp’s 9’ 4” broad jump ranked fourth among offensive linemen, as did his 5.00-second 40-yard dash. Perhaps more importantly for Lamp this week, though, is that he somehow managed to increase his arm length since the Senior Bowl. Gaining over an inch of arm length is a mix of human error and perhaps some unique combine training, but if it convinces teams to at least try him at tackle, it will be a huge win for Lamp. Given his three-year production and his strong performances against top competition, including LSU in 2015 and Alabama in 2016, Lamp should at least get a shot to stick at tackle before falling back to guard (where most teams project him).
T.J. Logan, RB, North Carolina
Teammate Elijah Hood got more hype, but Logan always showed up positively on tape in the run game, as a receiver, and on special teams. He topped all running backs with a 4.37-second 40-yard-dash time, which was on display on his two kickoff returns for touchdowns last season. Logan also ranked eighth among running backs on Friday with a 10’ 1” broad jump, but it will be the 40 time that really helps him stick out in this deep RB class. With low mileage, special-teams value, and that top-end speed, Logan will have a number of suitors later in the draft, even with a plethora of talented runners in this class.