Vols At The Combine
February 26, 2013 at 12:05am by Scott • 5 Comments »
Since the combine is going on and I was asked about it (once, but I don’t need much of a window), here is the breakdown of the Tennessee Volunteers in the combine. This article is for a very small audience, so if you don’t care about Tennessee, go back to whatever it is you were doing. I’m sure it was incredibly important.
QB Tyler Bray: Bucky Brooks has as good a description of Bray at NFL.com as anyone. He’s got the strongest arm in the this year’s draft (which is saying very little considering the awful QB class this year) and when he’s on, he can launch missiles into very tight windows, a la Brett Favre. And just like Favre, he thinks his arm can bail him out of any situation, so he throws balls that he should dump off or pull down and run with (which he is not good at). He threw 34 TDs and 12 INTs in 2012, which sounds great, but keep in mind that a lot of those touchdowns were against powerhouses like Georgia State, Troy and Akron. Bray’s TD/INT ratio will not look anything like it did in Tennessee until he can be a better decision maker. Plus he’s kind of a jackass. Value to Bucs: 5th round. He won’t be there.
WR Cordarrelle Patterson: Patterson is consistently listed at the top wide receiver in the draft. He’s got great measurables (6-2, 216, 4.42) and fantastic hands (rawr!) and consistently gets separation even from top-ranked corners. He moves through traffic easily and has great vision. Oh, and he would instantly solve the Bucs’ return problems. The only knock you might see against him is that he doesn’t get good jams on corners when he lines up on the line. It’s like he doesn’t want to make contact on the line, although he isn’t afraid to catch the ball in traffic. He’d prefer to fake you out. But that’s it. He’d be a great addition to the Bucs, but he’s going in the first round and the Bucs have many MANY other needs than wide receiver. Value to Bucs: 2nd round.
WR Justin Hunter: Hunter was the best receiver on the Vols until Patterson showed up. He’s got great height (6-5) and speed for that height (4.44). His best attribute is his leaping ability. He’s one of those guys you can just throw the ball up and let him go up and get it. But he has inconsistent hands drops some very catchable balls which is INFURIATING when it costs your team the game. Not that I’m bitter. He worked really hard to come back after an ACL tear, so I know he’s not a slacker, but he needs good coaching to work on his hands and being more of a willing blocker. He has all the physical tools, though. Value to Bucs: 3rd round.
TE Mychal Rivera: Rivera is a decent tight end who every now and then shows flashes of great athleticism to twist his body to catch a ball. His best assets are his hands, which are very reliable. And he’s a good blocker against lesser teams but can get overpowered against top tier SEC talent like Alabama, so you know he’s gonna get crushed in the NFL unless he can get stronger. The Bucs took a Tennessee tight end a couple years ago and that didn’t work out so hot yet. Rivera is a work-hard, meat and potatoes guy with excellent intangibles, but I don’t see him making a lot of noise in the NFL. Value to Bucs: 7th round.
OT Dallas Thomas: The offensive line was really the strength of the Vols last season and Thomas was a big reason for it. He’s got good punch and is a very smart player, able to counter defensive line moves and games. He never gives up on a block and can get nasty. He’s 6-5, 306 but has great agility, although he could probably stand to get stronger so he doesn’t get overpowered by the better bullrushers in the NFL. He has been successful against top SEC talent and, while I don’t think he’s ready to start out of the gate, I think would be a solid starter at right tackle in a year or so. The Bucs need a right tackle and I think Thomas has the best chance of being selected by them out of all the Vols. Value to Bucs: 2nd round.
To answer the question about any Vol defenders in the combine, no, there aren’t any. The only one who is even trying to get drafted is Darrington Sentimore, a defensive end who has made his share of plays for Tennessee, but will not be a player in the NFL.