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Saturday, February 27, 2016

FANTASY FOOTBALL AT THE COMBINE: RUNNING BACKS ATTACK THE 40

By Eric C. Wright

Indianapolis, IN.--Lots of nonstop action at the NFL Scouting Combine so let's get to all the latest news and notes from around the league.

-The running backs are up Saturday in terms of running the 40-yard dash which is always a very crucial marker for these players.  Here are some of the notable performances:

Tyler Ervin (San Jose State):  Ran a 4.41 which was a huge number and bumps Ervin up more than a little on draft boards.  Ervin has decent size as well at 5-10 but his weight falls under the 200 range which doesn't make him an every down guy at the NFL level.

Ezekiel Elliot (Ohio State):  Ran a 4.47 which cements a first round grade for Elliott.  Rumors have him going as high as number 10 to the New York Giants and either way he should be the only back in Round 1 who will compare to Todd Gurley.

Derrek Henry (Alabama):  The Heisman Trophy winner ran a plodding 4.54 which further increases the BUST chatter surrounding him.  We had Henry down as a major bust candidate in our annual NFL Draft Guide (make sure you purchase) and the fact he has just a straight ahead style and is a zero in the receiving game adds to his risk. 

Paul Perkins (UCLA):  Ran a 4.54 which won't open many eyes but there has been more than a few whispers about Perkins being a potential diamond in the rough who runs quicker then his 40-time.  Also there are rampant Devonta Freeman comparisons as well. 

Kenyan Drake (Alabama):  Ran a 4.45 and Drake was a second fiddle guy to T.J. Yeldon and Henry at Alabama.  Very good hands here who will be an excellent receiving complement at the NFL level.  Could go as high as Round 4.

Alex Collins (Arkansas):  Ran a slow 4.59 which could knock Collins to the seventh round or even out of the draft entirely. 

C.J. Prosise (Notre Dame):  Ran a 4.48 and has very intriguing promise as a mid-round pick.  Prosise can also catch the football and has a ton of tread on his tires as he was a starter for only one full season.  Has to cut down on his fumbles. 

Kenneth Dixon (Louisiana Tech):  Ran a 4.58 and Dixon is a good power runner who could go as high as Round 2.  Speed is average but Dixon has solid wiggle and the ability to break tackles. 

-In other news, the Washington Redskins will franchise tag Kirk Cousins which the QB is fine with if it comes down to it. 

-Notre Dame linebacker Jaylen Smith will likely miss all of the 2016 season which should knock him out of Round 1 due to the torn ACL he suffered in the team's bowl game. 

-Nothing new on the Alshon Jeffery talks but again the Bears will franchise him if a long-term deal is not reached. 

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