Rival Views: NFL Combine sleeper
Rivals.com National Recruiting Director Mike Farrell and National Recruiting Analyst Adam Gorney don’t always see eye to eye. In this edition of Rival Views, the two debate which player could be a sleeper at the NFL Combine.
FARRELL'S VIEW: MALACHI DUPRE, LSU
I’m going to go with LSU'S Malachi Dupre, who has a second-round grade from some and third- to fourth-round from others.
He won't jump into round one, but he will show well and has been a victim of poor quarterback play at LSU over the last few years. He’s a tall leaper, and if he runs well, he could shoot up a bit in a weak wide receiver class.
Louisville’s Josh Harvey-Clemons is another athletic freak who could surprise some people, and watch out for tight end Bucky Hodges from Virginia Tech as well, who is being overlooked a bit behind guys like O.J. Howard from Alabama and David Njoku from Miami. None of these guys have close to a round one grade, but they can help themselves move comfortably into round two territory.
GORNEY'S VIEW: PATRICK MAHOMES, TEXAS TECH
Patrick Mahomes is a wild card in this quarterback draft class, but I predict he’s going to perform well at the combine and NFL teams, especially later in the first round, are going to fall in love with him and take a chance drafting him there.
North Carolina’s Mitch Trubisky will probably be the first quarterback taken, but he’s unproven since he only started for one season.
Clemson’s Deshaun Watson has thrown 76 touchdowns the last two years but also 30 interceptions, so he’s no guaranteed lock. Deshone Kizer from Notre Dame definitely has some question marks around him as well.
My point: This quarterback class is filled with gambles. Mahomes played in a quirky, system offense where he put up huge numbers, but no one really knows whether that’s because of Texas Tech’s offense or because Mahomes is so talented.
I’m going with the latter. The kid is a tough winner who comes from a good pedigree (his dad played pro baseball for over a decade), and there’s no question Mahomes has the size and the arm strength to be special in the NFL.
Cal’s Davis Webb, Pitt’s Nathan Peterman and Miami’s Brad Kaaya are some other quarterbacks who could emerge with a great combine, but my prediction is that Mahomes is going to really impress a lot of people in Indianapolis and could possibly move ahead of Watson and/or Kizer to go in the first round.