This weekend is pivotal in the evaluation process of soon-to-be NFL players. The scouting combine in Indianapolis is considered to be the biggest “job interview” in all of sports. With that being said, there are a few things I will be paying close attention to;things that may influence who Atlanta decides to pursue.
One development I will be focusing on is the battle between TE prospects Zach Ertz of Stanford and Tyler Eifert of Notre Dame. Both of these players have a lot to prove at the combine in terms of separating themselves from one another. As of now, Eifert and Ertz are neck to neck and it is anyone’s guess as to who will be selected first. I think the combine will begin to give us a better idea of which one of these pass-catchers will emerge, and perhaps head to Atlanta.
Another thing I will be looking into is the 40 yard dash time of the RB’s. The reason being is that the Falcons are reportedly in the market for a homerun hitter out of the backfield. This past season it was evident that Atlanta made a concerted effort to become more explosive—cutting down Turner’s carries, throwing more screen passes, and taking more shots down field indicated to me that the Falcons want to become a faster team offensively. I will be looking particularly at RB’s such as Andre Ellington of Clemson, Giovanni Bernard of North Carolina, and Montee Ball of Wisconsin, Each of these prospects brings a new perspective to Atlanta’s new offense. Look for the Falcons to target these guys in rounds 2-4.
One final component of the combine I will pay close attention to is the pass-rushing class coming in. Everything from their speed, agility, and strength will be put on display in raw form this weekend and I am excited to see if there is one particular guy I will fall in love with, and possibly see in a Falcons uniform. A few of the guys I am looking forward to watching workout include Sam Montgomery of LSU, Ezekiel Ansah of BYU, and my personal favorite, Alex Okafor of Texas. These guys are all projected to go late first round; lets see which one proves to be most impressive—in shorts.