After finishing my article on the risers of the 2018 rookie class I decided to follow up with a rookie combine fallers edition. I take no pleasure in pointing out the failings of others but its positives and negatives are a part of every aspect of life. It is my duty in helping all of you to point out both sides of the spectrum.
Some players will have a bad showing at the combine, and completely turn things around at their pro day. Whether it’s an injury, mishap, or just plain bad luck that day some are able to regroup. While others show that what they did at the combine was not a true representation of the player that they are. See Dalvin Cook. Honestly, I hope all of these players are able to turn things around for themselves. Honestly, that’s just not likely. So let’s get on with this before I end up sabotaging this whole thing.
Rookie Combine Fallers
Mark Walton (RB) – Walton had a chance to propel himself into the top of the 3rd down running backs. He, in turn, displayed poor top speed with a 4.60 40, and a lack of burst jumping a 118 – inch broad and 31.5 – inch vert. For a 5’10 202 pound back these numbers are well below ideal. I’m hoping that the ankle injury he suffered last October contributed to this performance as I really do like the kid. The end of round two is where I have him, but you may be able to gamble and get him at the top of round three.
Jordan Lasley (WR) – Viewed as a wiry wideout with speed and great burst off the line. I expected Lasley to have a better day. He ran a 4.50 40 which is not bad, but not what I expected. Couple that with a 19th percentile burst score, and what was viewed as a trait now becomes more of a question mark. During his college career, he has been known to suffer from an occasional drop as well. They continued to show up during catching drills. All of these concerns have him in the late 4th round of rookie drafts for me.
Auden Tate (WR) – Tate was supposed to be on the other list. He was to show off his athleticism to match his size and shoot up the rankings. Well, on measuring day he had the size and then things went south. Tate ran a 4.68 40, had a broad jump of 112 inches, and a vert of 31 inches. Those numbers put him in just the 29th percentile speed score and only the 3rd percentile in burst. All the way near the end of the 3rd round is where you’ll find Tate in my rankings.
Marcell Ateman (WR) – As a 6’5 receiver you would expect Ateman to be better than the 66th percentile in catch radius. He also ran a 4.62 40. He’s virtually off my board.
Akrum Wadley (RB) – Wadley weighed in at 194 pounds which just isn’t ideal for an NFL running back. At his size, he would need to have a trait that separates him to make him stand out, and usually, that would be speed. A 4.54 40 just isn’t good enough. He was once an intriguing prospect but now looks to be a lesser prospect. Take a flyer on him in the late 4th and throw him on the taxi squad, then pray he finds a way.
It’s fun to see where all of our favorite prospects rank and file in with the rest of their counterparts. The combine is a great way to measure that as they are all in one place and being asked to do the same things. Don’t let it be your be all about where you slot these guys though. Use it as another tool to weigh against similarly ranked players. It could also answer some questions you had about a particular player’s skills.
Have any questions, or feel I was wrong or missed someone on one of these articles? You can reach me @TFA_Chris anytime and I’m happy to talk. Keep an eye out for my future articles here on The Fantasy Authority main website.