As most people know by now, the Combine officially starts on Wednesday. There's going to be the usual first couple days of players arriving, interviewing with teams, and weigh ins. The player interviews may very well be the most important part of the combine, since players must sell their abilities to teams and hope they agree. It certainly is the most important job interview these players will ever have. These interviews are never leaked, however, so I won't spend my time going into more detail about them. Here's a little list of what Jaguars fans should be keeping their eyes out for when Wednesday comes around.
1) OL measurables- If the Jags don't sign a FA RT, then they will be looking for a second or third round OT prospect to potentially come in and start immediately. With that said, the OL are the first position group to check into the Combine and will be heavily scrutinized if their measurables aren't up to par. Keep track of how some of the mid round prospects match up with their listed college heights and weights, since those are usually very favorable for the players. Arm length is another major part of the combine that has affected prospects each year, and usually not in a good way.
2) Player aptitude tests- Word around the internet is that there will be a new aptitude test in place for the combine that will compliment the Wonderlic test. I have not seen what the format will be, but I'm sure we will hear more about it when players start taking it. I would expect it to be a better measure of a player's football intelligence considering how criticized the Wonderlic is though. The Wonderlic isn't a huge determinant of football talent, but it is always interesting to see what players get. A high Wonderlic test could help a player like Geno Smith, whose biggest knock is not reading all of his reads. Getting a high score would help alleviate some of the pressure about not being able to mentally handle the speed of the NFL.
3) WR 40- The 40 isn't always a great judge of a player's football speed because they run without pads, but expect some players to really run on Sunday. Both Blackmon and Shorts showed promise last year, but there isn't much depth behind them. I personally like Shipley as a slot receiver, but the Jags may look to add a late round WR who has deep threat ability. That means that we should keep an eye out for the lesser known players who run in the low 4.4s.
4) DE/OLB 3 cone drill- The Jags will be spending a high round pick on a DE/OLB prospect who they believe can fill the LEO spot on the defense. Clearly there are players like Barkevious Mingo who would be a great fit for this role, but try and keep track of some of the guys who post low 3 cone times. I personally love this drill since it shows off great agility and quickness. The players who can really perform well on this will improve their draft stock.
5) CB bench- We've probably talked too much about how much Gus Bradley loves bigger CB's who can press on the line, but I'm going to talk about it again. The CB's who post higher bench presses are usually better at press coverage, so I would keep an eye out for the high performers in this category. Clearly height will also be a big factor for Bradley as well when the CB's measure. The Jags should also be looking at a high round CB, especially if Cox isn't resigned/tagged.
There are obviously any things that I didn't add on here, but I wanted to stay away from all of the QB talk since that has been covered on other FanPosts. The Combine is always the first real portion of the draft process and it is exciting to sit back and see how it all unfolds. There is even more reason to pay attention this year given our high draft picks and new regime. What do you guys expect from this years Combine?