The NFL Combine kicked into high gear on Saturday with on-field workouts for quarterbacks, wide receivers, and tight ends, along with interviews for defensive backs. Many were curious about how the top quarterbacks in the draft, North Dakota State's Carson Wentz and Cal's Jared Goff, would perform as they're competing to be the first QB taken in the draft. Here are the biggest takeaways from Saturday's events at the combine:
Goff closing gap on Wentz
Wentz had been the hottest prospect leading up to the combine due to his performance at the Senior Bowl, but Goff's performance was enough to put him back in the conversation with Wentz. Via CBS Sports' Rob Rang:
Scouts anticipated that Goff would impress with his overall accuracy. After all, he'd completed 62.26 percent of his passes over his career and Saturday's workout was against no defenders.
But for a quarterback who rarely was asked to drop back from center in college, Goff was remarkably smooth whether asked to take three-, five- or seven-step drops Saturday. This was an area in which Cook and Hackenberg -- due to their experience in pro-style offenses in college -- had been expected to be much further along than Goff. They performed well in this regard but not any better than the record-breaking Goff, who showed considerably better anticipation and accuracy.
Scouts aren't necessarily counting completions in a combine throwing session because quarterbacks and receivers have little to no experience with each other but Goff's accuracy stood out nonetheless.
Goff clearly stood out among all quarterbacks who threw passes on Saturday, looking like the prospect with the smoothest delivery, most arm strength, and best accuracy.
Mackensie Alexander says he's the best cornerback in the draft
Clemson cornerback Mackensie Alexander isn't one to lack for confidence. The redshirt sophomore didn't come up with one interception during his career with the Tigers, but that doesn't matter much to him - he says he's the best cornerback in this class:
"I had some opportunities to come up with some picks in my career. I didn't come up with them at the end of the day. I'm taking it like a man. In a lot of my situations, I wasn't challenged very much," Alexander said. "A lot of quarterbacks on teams stayed away from me, and that was their game plan, really. That's it, really. That's how I answer that.
"I'm 22, but I'm ready to compete with anybody. There's nobody more dedicated than me, who's put more time in or is more of a competitor than me. ... I'm here prepared. I'm telling you I'm the best corner in this draft class."
Fuller impresses with 40 time
Notre Dame wide receiver Will Fuller was known as a speedster in college, and he used that speed to turn heads at the combine, posting the second-fastest time among all athletes tested.
Reggie Ragland confident in coverage abilities
Alabama linebacker Reggie Ragland was known for being an excellent run stopper during his time with the Crimson Tide, but he insists that he's the best all-around linebacker in this draft class because of his growth in coverage.
“I know I can do it,” Ragland said. “I've done it this year and showed people I can do it. So it's really just getting out there and keep proving people wrong because I know a lot of people think I can't do it.”
Trevone Boykin wants to play quarterback, but open to receiver
TCU quarterback Trevone Boykin bounced between QB, wide receiver, and then back to QB during his collegiate career, ultimately becoming a Heisman contender at quarterback. However, NFL teams are still skeptical about his arm talent and ability to read coverages, and some want him to play wideout in the NFL because of it. Boykin wants to play quarterback at the professional level, but said he is willing to change back to receiver.
“Yeah, I'm totally open to it,” Boykin said. “If you look at my college career at TCU, I bounced from receiver to running back to quarterback, but my heart is at quarterback. You can look at my whole body of work and only one incident throughout my whole college career. You can't let one incident define you at all. It is something that you have to move past and move forward. And I feel like I am doing that pretty well.”Back to the NFL Newsfeed