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NFL Scouting Combine meets fantasy football
I really don't put much stock into NFL Scouting Combine performances, because football is played wearing pads and on a field at full speed against other players. With that said, I do want to briefly address a few areas of the offensive portion that stood out to me from a fantasy football perspective.
RB Dri Archer, Kent State: The 5-foot-8, 173-pound speedster blew away my expectations by running an official 4.26-second 40-yard dash. I knew he was fast -- that is evident on tape -- but I was expecting somewhere around 4.38-4.22. Archer will automatically make an NFL team's kickoff return game lethal, and he has spot-duty ability on offense, too. Keep an eye on where he winds up.
RB Lache Seastrunk, Baylor: I really like Seastrunk and am way higher on him than most. He may have opened a few eyes with his vertical jump (41.5 inches) and broad jump (11-foot-2) figures, which illustrate his lower-body explosiveness. Both results were tops among running backs at the Combine. Seastrunk needs to show his receiving ability to prove he can be a versatile NFL player. Remember his name for full-retention keeper formats.
WR Brandin Cooks, Oregon State: The speedy Cooks is at his best working the middle of the field with short routes that allow him to go the distance. He would be an ideal fit for a West Coast offense and could have immediate fantasy football value as a flex play. He has decent enough hands and comes from a pro-style offense. You can't teach 4.33 speed. He led the Scouting Combine in 20-, 40- and 60-yard dashes among wideouts.
WR Jeff Janis, Saginaw Valley State: Make sure you are familiar with this name, but be patient, because Janis is likely to take some time to develop into a fantasy contributor. He comes from a D-II school, is an inconsistent route runner, and doesn't play up to his size (6-foot-3, 219 pounds). However, he produced like crazy and offers NFL teams something to work with because of his tremendous drive, among other awesome intangibles. Think somewhere between Riley Cooper and Jordy Nelson.
WR Donte Moncrief, Mississippi: While he isn't nearly as strong as his 6-foot-2, 221-pound frame would suggest, Moncrief has the makings of a potential WR1 in the NFL. He just needs a little fine-tuning by a dedicated pro coaching staff. He's big, fast (4.40 40 time), and has experience versus NFL-level opponents. Moncrief could be an instant contributor if he is drafted by a wide receiver-starved team with a poor defense. It may not always be pretty in Year 1, but he has the talent to matter.
WR Damian Copeland, Louisville: Known as "Honey Mustard," because of his interesting hairdo, Copeland could shine in the slot at the next level. Unfortunately, he has a lengthy history of injuries and needs to improve his route-running skills. Copeland could battle for a gig in the slot, but I doubt his contributions will be fantasy-worthy in his first season, regardless of where he plays. Remember him as a long-term option in deep keeper setups with carryover rosters.
TE Jace Amaro, Texas Tech: Amaro is athletic and surprised with 28 reps on the bench after looking like eight reps could be an issue for him. His upper body does not appear to be toned, but the reality is, that isn't his game. Amaro is a flexed tight end who can play the seam and challenge defenses by creating mismatches. I think he's an ideal fit in New England, but maybe that is too obvious. Does he make past the Baltimore Ravens? Not if they cannot re-sign unrestricted free-agent TE Dennis Pitta. Either way, Amaro has definite 2014 fantasy upside.
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