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NFL Combine Day 2: Five takeaways on QB, WR draft prospects

By Dane Brugler, The Sports Xchange   |   Feb. 25, 2016 at 10:36 PM
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NFL Combine Day 2 brought quarterbacks and wide receivers through the interview room.

Here are five observations:

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1. Laquon Treadwell sets his goal for the 40-yard dash

The clear-cut top wide receiver prospect in the 2016 NFL Draft, Ole Miss' Laquon Treadwell disappointed scouts with his decision to not run at the combine. But he defended his decision on Thursday.

"Well, I just didn't have enough time," Treadwell said. "Well, I had enough time to prepare, but I was training at one facility and then switched facilities mid-training process. I just wasn't getting the work I needed to run my best time."

Treadwell is working out in Miami and said his goal for the 40-yard dash at the Rebels' pro day on March 28 is the "low 4.5s." He added that he has "to do what's best for me right now" as to why he wasn't worried about defending his decision to NFL teams. Treadwell said he doesn't model his game after anyone in the NFL but did say he saw some "similarities" between him and Dez Bryant.

The best quote from Treadwell was his response to the question: Who is the toughest cornerback he has faced in his career?

"I mean, I wouldn't consider anyone tough in college," Treadwell answered.

Treadwell then elaborated somewhat: "I just never got a one-on-one matchup where I thought that guy would stop me. There were some great guys ... Cyrus Jones, the guy from Florida, not Vernon Hargreaves, the younger guy. The Mississippi State cornerback was great."

2. Whether he's in Cleveland or not, Goff sees future success in Cleveland

Cal quarterback Jared Goff is a strong contender to be the No. 2 overall pick by Cleveland, but regardless of where he is drafted, Goff believes the Browns are headed in the right direction.

"I think it starts with coach (Hue) Jackson," Goff said. "I think he's a great coach, and that if he ends up choosing me or whatever quarterback he ends up choosing or whatever way he ends up going, I think he's going to be able to make the guy successful.

"I think he's a great coach, a great offensive mind and a great quarterback guy."

Goff took some heat on Thursday for his 9-inch hands, which is below average for quarterbacks. He measured at 6 feet 4 and believes that he will continue and fill out his 215-pound frame.

"I can always put weight on," Goff said. "I've been trying to put weight on my whole life and I've been able to do it. I've gained about 10 pounds every year since I was about 14. I'm 21 now and I weigh 215, maybe when I'm 24 I'll be 245 pounds."

3. Wide receiver redemption.

For several prospects at the Combine, the medicals and agility drills are important, but the interviews are essential to rebuilding their damaged draft stock. And that's especially true at wide receiver with prospects like Florida's Demarcus Robinson and Auburn's Duke Williams.

Robinson struggled to get out of his own way in college with four suspensions (six total games) in three seasons that spanned two different coaching staffs. Robinson was up front about his issues but pointed out that he hasn't tested positive for marijuana since his freshman season.

"I know I made mistakes and I learned from them," Robinson said, adding that he attended rehab (Florida Recovery Center) for 45 days to help get himself clean. His latest suspension came in November for meeting with a "marketing lady" and violating his curfew.

Robinson has top-50 overall talent and looks like a future NFL starter on film, but the character issues will determine his draft stock.

Williams was one of the top-five senior wide receiver prospects during the summer for NFL scouts, but his immaturity within and away from the football building led to multiple issues and his eventual dismissal. He took ownership of his past mistakes. "Coach (Gus) Malzahn gave me chance after chance," Williams said. "It's not his fault, it's my fault."

Williams voiced regret for his issues, specifically his involvement in a bar fight and his laziness showing up late for practice. He even checked himself into counseling to help with his attitude.

"Once I was in the doghouse, it was hard to get out," Williams said. "It was all on me, I took it upon myself to go to counseling."

It's tough to see Williams as anything more than a late rounder at-best, but his contrite answers in team interviews will be a step in the right direction.

4. Will Fuller's smaller hands will be tough to overlook.

Hand size for quarterbacks is crucial, but hand size for wide receivers is arguably more important for obvious reasons.

And for Notre Dame wide receiver Will Fuller, his 8 1/4-inch hands is a disappointing measurement. However, it backs up the game film. Fuller is the best deep threat in this draft class, but on tape, he struggles in contested situations with too many clean drops off his hands.

NFL teams are ideally looking for at least 9 1/2-inch hands for the wide receiver position, which is a substantial difference from Fuller's hand size. Other notable wide receivers and their hand size for comparisons: Ole Miss' Laquon Treadwell (9 1/2i nches), Ohio State's Michael Thomas (10 1/2 inches), Cal's Kenny Lawler (10 1/2 inches), TCU's Josh Doctson (9 7/8 inches). Baylor's Corey Coleman was slightly below average at 9-inches.

Fuller can't help the measurements, but his 40-yard dash time on Saturday could provide some redemption.

"I'm shooting for a mid-4.3," Fuller said. "Something around a 4.35 would be a real good time for me, I believe. That's what I'm shooting for."

5. If Cowboys pass on quarterback at four, Dak Prescott could be target later in the draft.

We're still two months from the 2016 NFL Draft. But right now, I don't see the Cowboys drafting a quarterback with the fourth overall pick. Instead, I think the goal will be to add a quarterback on Day 2 or early on Day 3 who can be a backup and possibly more. And one of the quarterbacks on Dallas' short list could be Mississippi State's Dak Prescott

The Cowboys have shown interest.

"Last night, meeting with Wade Wilson, just talking about what they expect me to do if I come in there in the backup role behind Tony Romo," Prescott said Thursday. "How do I plan on approaching it and then just talking ball, so some very productive meetings."

The Cowboys will meet with several quarterbacks in Indianapolis, but Prescott, who grew up a Cowboys fan, makes sense as a possible target in the third or fourth round. He has sterling intangibles and a fantastic resume in the SEC.

Prescott was considered more of a thrower earlier in his career but developed into a productive passer as a senior, showing the poise, toughness and arm talent to stick at the next level.

So what's the pressing question that Prescott must answer to NFL teams?

"I think I have to show people I can make all the drops from under center, something I haven't been asked to do in high school or college," Prescott answered. "But I've been working really hard on doing it."

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