Combine leftovers from Polian, Clayton

February, 26, 2014
Feb 26
6:30
PM ET
A few combine leftovers of note that could be applicable to the Washington Redskins:

Former general manager and current ESPN NFL Insider Bill Polian listed 14 players Insider among those he considered the most impressive. A handful of them might be available when the Redskins make their first choice with the 34th overall selection.
Odell Beckham Jr., WR, LSU: This is a very explosive player. He ran a good 40-yard dash time (4.43 seconds, tied for seventh among receivers) and a really great triangle drill (6.69 seconds, tied for sixth among WRs). He has good hands and runs explosive routes.

Brandin Cooks, WR, Oregon State: He has great speed (his 40 time of 4.33 was the best among receivers at the combine), great skills and great separation quickness, which will likely be enough to overcome his size (5-foot-10, 189 pounds).

Beckham probably solidified a first round selection with his speed at the combine, which confirmed what scouts had anticipated. He's fast. Cooks, too, could be a late first-round pick; entering the combine he was pegged as someone who could go there or early in the second. ESPN's Mel Kiper listed Cooks among his risers Insider after the combine. Among Kiper's fallers? LSU receiver Jarvis Landry, thanks to his 4.77 in the 40.

Polian then listed two defensive backs that should be intriguing, even if the Redskins should have its starting corners in DeAngelo Hall and David Amerson. However, consider this: Amerson played 684 snaps last season as the No. 3 corner; that's 67 percent of the snaps. If you don't have three solid corners, you're in trouble.

So here are two guys, Jason Verrett and Lamarcus Joyner, who should be around after the first round. The only problem is that Verrett is 5-foot-9, though he moves so well, and Joyner is only 5-foot-8 and might be limited to playing a slot corner and returner (or perhaps safety). But, still, Polian liked them and had this to say:
Lamarcus Joyner, CB, Florida State: A very good college player with really good instincts, Joyner confirmed Tuesday in Indianapolis that he can run well.

Jason Verrett, CB, TCU: He is a really good cover cornerback with outstanding speed (he ran a 4.38 40, tied for second-best among corners) and the ability to stick to receivers in man-to-man coverage.

Finally, here's a tidbit from John Clayton's final observations from the combine that makes a lot of sense to me.

Again, the Redskins want and need more receiver help. Doesn't mean they'll spend big, but with Josh Morgan and Santana Moss both free agents they definitely have spots to fill.

Clayton makes the case, as I would as well, that the draft provides a terrific option:
This receiver class will hurt free agents at the position: With Hakeem Nicks being a slight question mark coming off two years in which he struggled with injuries, there are no great receivers in free agency. Last year it was easy to see Mike Wallace was going to get the most money. He was a No. 1 receiver with speed. Most of the free-agent receivers this year fit more into the slot.

Many of the top receivers in this year's draft project to be No. 1 receivers in the future. [Sammy] Watkins is clearly the best receiver to hit this league since A.J. Green of the Cincinnati Bengals and Julio Jones of the Atlanta Falcons. The draft is loaded with great receiving prospects -- Watkins, Mike Evans of Texas A&M, Odell Beckham of LSU, Marqise Lee of USC, Kelvin Benjamin of Florida State and Brandin Cooks of Oregon State. Teams may prefer the potential of drafted receivers over the track records of the receivers available in free agency.

John Keim

ESPN Washington Redskins reporter

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