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2010 NFL Scouting Combine: Wideouts and TE's

A detailed look at the performance of the 2010 NFL Scouting Combine Fantasy relevant pass catchers

As the NFL turns more and more into a pass heavy league, the impact of young wide receivers and tight ends is being felt earlier than usual. The 3rd year WR theory is a common belief that a receiver has a great chance of breaking out in his third season. While that does still happen and there are many receivers that need time to develop, many are contributing in key spots as rookies. The 2010 WR Draft Class gets high marks for its potential depth, although there are only a handful of elite talents. What we are likely to see out of this draft from the wide receiver position is more solid WR2 and WR3 types. The 2010 TE Draft Class is dominated by very athletic pass catchers with ideal builds. While not particularly deep, the Top 5 all have TE1 fantasy potential. Let’s take a look at some prospect performances from the Combine this past week.


Wide Receivers

Dez Bryant (Oklahoma St.):

6'2" - 225 lbs
From the perspective of a skill set and overall upside, Bryant is easily the top WR in this class.  Many say he is more physically gifted than last years top wideout Michael Crabtree.  Bryant missed the final 10 games of the 2009 season due to NCAA suspension. Unfortunately, he did not work out due to minor hamstring injury.  He will do a complete workout at his pro day.  Post combine reports have indicated his work ethic lacks and his maturity level could hurt him some.  Still the top WR however and his skillset is elite.

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Arrelious "Regus" Benn (Illinois):
6'1" - 219 lbs
Coming out as a junior, Benn possesses an excellent size and speed combination. He plays physically and is willing to go over the middle. He has suspect hands, but his upside is as high as any wideout outside of Dez Bryant and Demaryious Thomas. Not as productive in his junior year due to suspect QB play and offensive gameplan. Clearly worked hard towards the Combine, running a 4.48 40 and putting up 20 reps of 225 lbs. on the bench press, the most of any WR. He could be the 2nd WR off the board in the NFL Draft and should be no worse than a 2nd round pick in your Dynasty Draft.

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Brandon Lafell (LSU):
6'2" - 211lbs
175 catches and 25 TD's in college.  At approximately 15 yards per catch, he will be compared to the big play potential and physicality of Anquan Bolding and Pierre Garcon. He is also an excellent blocker.  Powerful player with soft hands that ran pro-style routes. Lafell was solid at the Combine, but not overly impressive. He has a chance to make an instant impact if he gets drafted into the right system.

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Demaryias Thomas (Georgia Tech):
6'3" - 224 lbs
Thomas will have to recover from a broken foot prior to working out for pro teams.  A blend of size and speed, he will make for an intruiging pick for a team in need of a physical WR.  Look for Thomas to make an attempt to run at his pro day near the end of March. Unfortuantely could not run due to injury. His upside is off the charts, but he is a somewhat raw product. He could be a steal in your Dynasty Draft if he falls outside of the Top 15-20 picks.

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Mardy Gilyard (Ole Miss.):
6'0" - 187 lbs
Gilyard was the star of the 2009 Senior Bowl. He continued his solid pre-draft performance with another good showing, this time at the Combine. Gilyard is a natural playmaker with good hands, burst and quickness. He has great potential in the return game His slender build might discourage some teams from drafting Gilyard, but he has potential to be a high-end WR2 if he develops. His stock has been on the rise since the offseason started.  Lived out of his car for a while and has been interviewing solid this draft season.  He is a high character individual that will find a niche in the NFL.

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Golden Tate (Notre Dame):
5'10" - 199 lbs.
Tate is built more like a Tailback than a NFL wideout.  This is not necessarily a bad thing for this years Biletnikoff Award winner, which goes to the countries top collegiate wideout.  Tate's stock might fall in fantasy circles this draft season as he clearly will not fill the role as a #1 receiver at the next level, but his Combine performance was excellent. He ran a 4.42 40 and is getting praise for his ability after the catch. He may be a steal in your Rookie Drafts should he find a role on a squad in the Percy Harvin, DeSean Jackson, Eddie Royal mold.  We have a feeling he will climb in our Rookie Rankings as the NFL Draft Season progresses.

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Jacoby Ford (Clemson):
5'9" - 181 lbs.
Beware of the sprinter speed inflating his stock. Ford is a track athlete and the fact that he ran the second fastest forty in Combine history (4.28) should come as no surprise. He does not play as fast in pads and his size limits his upside. Likely will find a home as a slot receiver and return threat. He could be overrated in your Dynasty Draft because of his impressive Combine performance, but there are a lot of other prospects that possess more upside in the long term. 

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Tight Ends

Jermaine Gresham (Oklahoma):

6'5" - 261 lbs.
The top TE available this year, Gresham is a physically gifted prospect with major upside. He was injured during the first game of the 2009 season and missed the entire season. His is said to be fully recovered from that knee injury. He is athletic, but not necessarily fast. He has question marks, but size and ability keep him atop draft boards. Graham looked shaky in catching drills, but ran a respectable 4.73 forty. He had a pretty sizeable lead as the top TE of the draft and while he did not cement it, he will not relinquish that with his Combine performance.

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Jimmy Graham (Miami):
6'6" - 260 lbs.
Graham is a raw player with obvious talent. A former forward on the Miami basketball team, he was convinced with a full scholarship to return for a 5th season at Miami to play football. It was the first time he had played the sport since his freshman year of high school. Graham is on his way up draft boards. His size is ideal and he has a frame that would support some additional muscle. He ran the second fastest TE forty at 4.56 and looked very smooth in the receiving drills. His stock is on the way up in a big way.  It is important here to look at his game tape compared to pure workout numbers - to get the complete understanding of his skill set.  Graham has some serious upside.

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Rob Gronkowski (Arizona):
6'6" - 264 lbs.
Missed 2009 season due to back injury. Is waiting to work out until pro day. A solid showing would help him hold onto his ranking as the second best TE in the draft. As a prospect, he can block and has excellent upside as a pass catcher. If you have an aging TE such as Tony Gonzalez or Dallas Clark on your Dynasty team, Gronkowksi could make an excellent addition at the backend of your Rookie Draft this offseason.

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Dorin Dickerson (Pittsburgh):
6'1" - 226 lbs.
Dickerson was considered by some to be more of a WR prospect than a TE. During his first three seasons at Pitt, the athletic Dickerson played numerous positions. As a senior , he blossomed as an H-back. Then came the Combine, where Dickerson ran a 4.40 forty (among other very solid performances) and just like that, his stock is on the way up. He is 6'1", but only 226 lbs. and will not be an effective blocking TE in the NFL. His potential as a pass catching weapon is why he is so intriguing in Dynasty leagues. He could end up as a full back, H-back or TE, but either way Dickerson should be monitored closely as your Dynasty Draft approaches.

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Upcoming BeastOrBust.com NFL Draft Content:

Over the next couple months, we will be bringing you important NFL Draft Content.  Check back as we will unveil our Top Dynasty Prospects at each skill position.  In our yearly Needs not Wants Draft Column, we will take an in-depth look at each NFL teams needs to highlight suitable landing spots for these future Beasts of the NFL.  Draft Previews and Draft Instant Reaction Articles will wrap up this years coverage.  Be sure not to miss our upcoming Dynasty Digging - Who Wants to Gamble feature, highlighting some players to roll the dice on in your upcoming Rookie Drafts.