Risers, Fallers From NFL Combine


The 2015 NFL National Scouting Combine has come to a close.

After a week in Indianapolis, college football's top prospect had their opportunity to prove to NFL coaches and scouts that they are ready to make the jump to the professional game. More than 300 college players participated in the drills, medical evaluations, media interviews and team meetings.

The combine experience can hold significant weight when it comes to the teams building their draft boards, and some players may find themselves quickly ascending or falling in the rankings based on what they did at Lucas Oil Stadium.

Here are some of the risers/fallers after this year's combine: 


DE Dante Fowler, Florida

The Florida product came into the combine considered as one off the top edge rushers in the class, and he helped solidify that perception with an impressive workout. Fowler posted a 40-yard dash time of 4.60 seconds, which is particularly impressive for a 260-pound defender. Quarterbacks will have a tough time running away from Fowler, as only three of them ran a faster time. Fowler also brought some style to his 40-yard dash, sporting a gold watch as he ran through the drill.

DE Vic Beasley, Clemson

Beasley made a case for himself as an edge rusher, posting the best 40 of any defensive linemen (4.53 seconds). The 6-foot-3 defender also surprised people who had questions about his size by weighing in at 246 pounds, 11 pounds heavier than he was listed during the season. Beasley proved to be one of the most athletic linemen in the class, as he was also among the best in the vertical jump and shuttle times.

CB Byron Jones, Connecticut

Jones put on a show Monday morning in the combine, showing NFL teams that he's one of the most athletic overall players in this year's draft. He set a combine record with a 12-foot-3 broad jump, shattering the old record (11'7") set in 2013. Jones' broad jump actually broke a world record that had stood since 1968. He also had a 44.5-inch vertical leap. Jones may have put up another impressive mark, but he decided not to run the 40-yard dash until his pro day next month when he's fully recovered from an offseason injury.

WR Kevin White, West Virginia

The chances of White falling to the Ravens at the end of the first round are slim to none after he shined at the combine. White is now garnering buzz as a potential top-five pick after running the 40-yard dash in 4.35 seconds. At 6-foot-3, 215 pounds, White has the combination of size and speed that makes him a coveted target in the passing game. He could end up as the first receiver off the board in this year's class.

WR Jaelen Strong, Arizona State

Strong may have also ran his way out of Baltimore's range with a 40-time of 4.44 seconds. Strong is known for his ability to win one-on-one battles for the football, but he showed NFL scouts that he has the speed to beat defenses over the top, too. In a deep receiver class, Strong made a case to come off the board as a first-round pick. 


ILB Paul Dawson, TCUDawson entered the combine as the top-rated linebacker by NFL Network draft expert Mike Mayock, but his slow time in the 40-yard dash caught people by surprise. Dawson was clocked at 4.93 seconds in the 40, leading Mayock to say, "this one just blows me away." Dawson was a leader of TCU's defense, but he'll have to convince NFL teams that his speed isn't a concern. He already took to social media after his combine performance to dismiss the criticism he received for his 40-yard dash.

OLB/Safety Shaq Thompson, Washington

The Washington defender came into the combine with some questions about where he'd play at the NFL level. He was a linebacker in college, but some analysts believe he projects to be more of a strong safety at the NFL game. Thompson, 6-foot-0, 228 pounds, didn't live up to his reputation as one of the most athletic prospects in the draft, posting average marks during the on-field drills. His 40-time of 4.64 seconds was slower than expected, and the questions still loom about his eventual position.

WR/TE Devin Funchess, Michigan

Funchess has been a popular pick for the Ravens in early mock drafts, and his combine performance may ensure that he's around when the Ravens get on the clock at No. 26. Funchess, who played both tight end and wide receiver in college, disappointed in the 40-yard dash with a time of 4.70. That time isn't bad if teams want him to play tight end more than receiver, but the 232-pounder would likely have to bulk up if he's going to be an in-line blocker in the NFL. 

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