While the action at the 2019 NFL scouting combine will really pick up when the on-field drills start tomorrow, today’s schedule still reveals plenty of things to look at — from the measurements for quarterbacks, wide receiver and tight ends, to medical examinations, to the offensive line bench-press, day three in Indianapolis projects to be a rather busy one.
In order to keep you up to date, here is a quick primer on what will happen today as well as what and who the New England Patriots in particular might watch out for.
Group 1 (PK, ST, OL), Group 2 (OL), Group 3 (RB): NFLPA Meeting, Psychological Testing, PK/ST Workout, Media, Bench-Press, Interviews
Group 4 (QB, WR), Group 5 (QB, WR), Group 6 (TE): Measurements, Medical Examination, Overflow Testing, Interviews
Group 7 (DL), Group 8 (DL), Group 9 (LB): Arrival, Registration, Hospital Pre-Exams & X-Rays, Overflow Testing, Orientation, Interviews
Medical examination will be one of the biggest yet least publicized parts of today’s action. For prospects like D.K. Metcalf, however, it could have a bigger impact on the draft stock than any performance during the drills: the Ole Miss wide receiver underwent surgery on his neck after the 2018 season but was cleared for on-field work at the combine. Of course, today’s testing could help address concerns teams still might have about the projected first-round pick.
The 225 pound bench-press, meanwhile, is a crucial part when it comes to measuring and testing an offensive lineman’s upper-body strength (not his functional strength, though) and endurance. Furthermore, it gives insight for NFL clubs on just how serious a prospect is working with weights in preparation of the event and in general. While the Patriots’ line is mostly set, the team will still keep a close eye on the drills to potentially find offensive tackle prospects worth further pursuing.
For the second straight day, coaches and general managers will step in front of the press to answer questions. Once again, no members of the Patriots are scheduled to speak — and neither are men with ties to the Bill Belichick-led club. The full schedule looks as follows (all times in ET):
9:00: Jon Gruden, Oakland Raiders
9:15: Sean McVay, Los Angeles Rams
10:00: John Dorsey, Cleveland Browns
10:15: Ron Rivera, Carolina Panthers
11:15: Mike Zimmer, Minnesota Vikings; Anthony Lynn, Los Angeles Chargers
11:30: Les Snead, Los Angeles Rams
11:45: John Lynch, San Francisco 49ers
Noon: Pete Carroll, Seattle Seahawks
Prospects to watch
WR Emanuel Hall, Missouri: Emanuel Hall is expected to become a mid-round selection in late April, but a lingering groin injury might impact his draft stock. His medical results will certainly be closely watched by clubs — including a Patriots team that needs to upgrade at the wide receiver position.
QB Daniel Jones, Duke: Few quarterbacks are as popular a mock draft pick for New England as Daniel Jones. Today another piece is added to the puzzle: while his length will likely not be a problem, hand size will be the one measurement to keep an eye on. The Patriots usually prefer their passers to have bigger hands to be able to hold onto the football in the inclement New England weather.
QB Kyler Murray, Oklahoma: One of the most interesting prospects to enter this year’s draft process, Kyler Murray’s height will be watched closely: how undersized by conventional NFL quarterback standards will he really be? And how much weight will teams put into the measurement?
WR Riley Ridley, Georgia: One of the top wide receiver to enter this year’s draft, Riley Ridley could be an option for the Patriots in the late first or early second round. After all, the club has shown an affinity for Georgia prospects recently and the 6’2, 200 lbs wideout would fill one of the club’s biggest needs while becoming a high upside receiving option for quarterback Tom Brady.
TE Irv Smith Jr, Alabama: New England appears to be in the market for tight ends, and in case Iowa’s Noah Fant and T.J. Hockenson come off the board too early, Irv Smith Jr. might be the next best option. An excellent route-runner that lacks top-notch athleticism, his length and hand size will be interesting to watch.
TE Jace Sternberger, Texas A&M: Jace Sternberger might be worth taking a mid-round flyer on: a natural athlete who needs to improve his route running and blocking technique, the Texas A&M product might catch the Patriots’ attention as a developmental option as a receiving tight end.