You can get expert opinions all over the web about who performs best/worst at the NFL Combine. We highly recommend following @Cover_1_ on Twitter to get the best and most accurate information about draft prospects for the Buffalo Bills. They are far and away the best source of data analytics and assessment of draft prospects for Bills fans.
Also, don’t forget to bookmark Astro ‘The Dean’ Kindig’s BillsMafia War Chart to use as the best up-to-date guide for all interesting prospects for Bills fans to follow leading up to the 2020 NFL Draft April 22-25 at Las Vegas.
However, if you’re also looking for an opinion from an old lady with amateur eyes and no professional scouting skills, look no further than our BillsMafia blog. I don’t purport to be an expert at anything other than the behavioral aspects of performance. If someone interesting stands out, it’s probably fairly obvious to the rest of the world.
I don’t have enough time in my personal life to do the deep-dive on college football players. Like many fans, I watch casually and make mental notes of players who pique my curiosity throughout the season.
My opinions about players while watching the Combine are based mostly on the good old eye test and less on who I think the Bills are likely to draft. I look for players who look like natural athletes no matter what particular skill they are trying to demonstrate.
But mostly, I like to see if someone stands out who gets less media hype than the top no-brainer picks. For example, a few years ago I fell in love with Courtland Sutton. Wasn’t trying to claim he was the best pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, but I saw something in him that just looked like he would succeed at the NFL level. He’s done pretty well for the Broncos and exceeded many people’s expectations, but not mine.
I’ve tried to figure out how to operationally define this “feeling” I get about certain players, but to be honest the twisted way my brain works defies explanation at times. So, without further blabber, let’s get to who stood out in my opinion on Thursday evening. I’ve also chosen not to review quarterbacks for this post because the Bills aren’t in the market, and quite frankly none of the later-round prospects captured my attention.
–Devin Cates, Drake University. Loved the aggressive way he attacked every skills test. Big dude, but looks like he has good hands. No idea where he may or may not be drafted, but check out these articles about him:
This is a guy who looks like he could take Lee Smith’s place on the roster and could be a good developmental prospect. Besides, as Niecy Nash might say, you can never have enough big tight ends.
–Charlie Woerner, Georgia. If the Bills do decide to part ways with Lee Smith and are looking for a solid blocking tight end, Woerner might be a really good fit for the Bills. Although his stats reflect his usage as mostly a blocking tight end, what I saw at the Combine on Thursday looks like a guy who can also catch the ball.
He’s a smooth runner and I thought he showed really good hands. Maybe like Dawson Knox, his receiving skills weren’t utilized enough in college. Check out these articles about Charlie Woerner:
Honorable mention: Dalton Keene, Virginia Tech
–Justin Jefferson, LSU. His 4.43 40 yard dash just pumped up the hype train even more for QB Joe Burrow’s workhorse receiver. After his Combine performance on Thursday, it’s not likely he will end up being a value pick because he’s definitely got it all and it showed up big time under the lights at Lucas Oil Stadium. Jefferson runs so smoothly, has great hands and showed himself worthy of being picked earlier than many projected.
–Donovan Peoples-Jones, Michigan. This guy had himself one fine Combine. Smooth runner, great hands and with this being a rich draft at the wide receiver position, Peoples-Jones just might be available at a value in the upcoming NFL draft. Although he’s not as tall as Jefferson (6’4″), at 6’2″ Peoples-Jones is tall enough to be excluded from the Smurfs’ Club at One Bills Drive.
Honorable mention: Antonio Gandy-Golden, Liberty University.
Also, I’ve been on the Laviska Shenault (CO) bandwagon for several months. His requiring ice packs after the 40-yard dash and history of injuries is starting to make me queasy.
Editor’s babble: That’s it for now. Stay tuned for more of my useless assessments of the 2020 NFL Combine here at the blog. You can also find me @RobynMundyWYO on Twitter if you’d like to give me the business.