Offensive players took the field this past weekend in Indianapolis for the NFL scouting combine, which meant an opportunity for several players to improve their draft status in April.
However, Central Michigan quarterback Dan LeFevour might have hurt his draft status by deciding not to throw during the combine drills.
NFLDraftBible.com reported a couple weeks ago that LeFevour would not throw, which became big news with scouts, who were hoping to see him quiet concerns about his arm strength. LeFevour told NFL Network on Sunday that he was tweaking his delivery and would throw at Central Michigan’s pro day where he could work with receivers he was familiar with.
The decision drew criticism from NFL Network's group of commentators, many of whom remarked that LeFevour didn’t have the body of work that Oklahoma’s Sam Bradford, Texas’ Colt McCoy, Notre Dame's Jimmy Clausen and Florida’s Tim Tebow had. Those four quarterbacks were the others that opted not to throw.
ESPN’s Scouts Inc. analyst Todd McShay agreed and wrote that LeFevour missed out on an opportunity to help his draft stock.
Scouts were disappointed that Central Michigan's Dan LeFevour -- who is also retooling his delivery -- opted to throw only to stationary targets, and that disappointment was compounded by the lack of arm strength LeFevour displayed.
He missed a chance to take another positive step and carry over the momentum he gained with a strong Senior Bowl week, but LeFevour's 4.66 in the 40 was second-best among quarterbacks, so the day was not a complete wash.
Central Michigan’s pro day is scheduled for March 24, which is less than a month before the draft. LeFevour is listed as high as a third round pick on many mock drafts, but if he can’t show some decent arm strength during his pro day, his stock could drop drastically.
But LeFevour wasn’t the only offensive non-AQ player making headlines over the weekend. Ohio receiver Taylor Price gained a lot of buzz as a potential sleeper after running the 40 in 4.41, the second fastest time in the receiver group. Price’s time tied with SMU receiver Emmanuel Sanders, who also is quietly sneaking up the draft boards. Here’s what McShay had to say about both players:
A few under-the-radar prospects had big days on Sunday, starting with Ohio's Taylor Price. We had our eye on Price coming in and he did not disappoint with an official 40 time of 4.41 -- second-best among wideouts -- and a 37-inch vertical.
We like the way Price runs routes and drops his weight in and out of breaks, and he showed soft, natural hands when securing balls during the gauntlet. Add his speed to all the other traits he has and it's easy to see why we feel Price would be a steal in the third round.
Finally, SMU's Emmanuel Sanders tied for the second-best 40 among wideouts with a 4.41. He also finished in the top five in both the vertical (39.5) and broad jumps (10-6). He lacks ideal size (5-10^, 186) but shows the initial burst, explosiveness and hands to develop into a dangerous slot receiver at the next level. Sanders could come off the board as early as Round 3.