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Combine Sunday: The day of the wide receiver

Today is wide receiver day at the Indianapolis Combine. They are running, jumping, and doing the gauntlet and other drills.

And because we love wide receivers and the Dolphins need wide receivers, Chris Cordero is on the job with the pass-catchers. Here are his thoughts and updates:

The skinny:

With Dez Bryant and Demaryious Thomas, my top 2 receivers, out of the work, here are four guys to keep an eye on: Arrelious Benn of Illinois; Brandon LaFell of LSU; Carlton Mitchell of South Florida; and Mike Williams of Syracuse.

Look for their explosiveness out of the gate in the 40-yard dash as well as in the broad jump; and keep an eye on their vertical jump as well. In the guantlet see if the player snags the ball away from their body, and 
lastly, watch them in their routes whether they are decisive in their cuts and don't waste any motion. Don't worry so much if they aren't around the ball so much in these drills as the QBs arent exactly on the same 

Some other guys to keep an eye on that are a little smaller: Mardy Gilyard, Taylor Price, Andre Roberts, Jordan Shipley, Damian Williams (I like this guy), and of course Golden Tate.

Bigger guys that need good workouts include: Dezmon Briscoe, Shay Hodge, Verran Tucker, Seyi Ajirotutu, Eric Decker, Riley Cooper, Nyan Boateng, Blair White, David Gettis, Alric Arnett, Chris Bell, Stephen Williams, Marcus Easley, and Danario Alexander.

Dorrin Dickerson - who ran a 4.4 at almost 230 pounds - seems built more like a WR; don't be surprised if that is what he is drafted at as since he is built similar to some of the top WRs here.

The work:

Clemson's Jacoby Ford just ran a 4.28 - at 5-8 he is small and doesn't have the best hands but could be a terror in the return game if Ted Ginn is on the outs. The time is the second-fastest time for a player (behind Chris Johnson of the Titans) at the combine and fastest for a WR.

Arrelious "Rejus" Benn ran a sub 4.5 (4.48 unofficially). I had him in the 1st round before if his time holds up and he performs well in the other drills. There is almost no chance he slips to the Dolphins in the 2nd round. He had a couple of mishaps on the gauntlet - could hurt; but let's see how he runs routes.

His routes are not looking so good - good thing he ran a decent 40.

Brandon LaFell ran a 4.6, which is not a very good time. That could keep him out of the 1st round and for all intents and purposes moves him late 2nd. Could be good value in 3rd if he falls that far.

South Florida's WR Carlton Mitchell, after measuring in shorter than expected and now running a 4.6 - he seems to be holding steady in the 4th-5th round range. However he was a playmaker in college and at that range he is worth a look.

Mitchell later improved his time to 4.49 - much better and probably moves him up a round 3rd-4th area.

Notre Dame's Golden Tate ran a 4.36. So much for him slipping to the second round.

Mike Williams from Syracuse ran sub 4.5 - a good time for a big receiver. However his character issues keep him in the 3rd round area.

Taylor Price out of Ohio looked pretty good in the guantlet after running a 4.3 so he could be solidly in the 3rd round range now.


Mardy Gilyard also had a rough today -not running as fast as he would have liked and dropping a few in the guantlet. I wouldn't take him before the 3rd round due to his inconsistency and slight build.

Damian Williams of USC had a few drops and ran in the 4.5 range. I still feel he presents good value in the 2nd round due to his returning abilities.

Price officially ran a 4.41. Tate's official time is a 4.42. 

The breakdown:

I was impressed with WR Donald Jones of Youngstown St.'s athleticism. He was a late addition to the Senior Bowl and looked impressive in the one practice I saw him in. Could be a late round (5-6) steal.

Andre Roberts of the Citadel continues to impress me. I felt he was the best WR at the Senior Bowl and he looks like a great slot receiver with some explosiveness. He would also help in the return game. However, the Dolphins have similar players already. Expect him off the board 3rd to 4th round.

Dezmon Briscoe of Kansas also showed well. He wasn't as fast as expected but showed solid hands in the drills. He's another guy I see going in the 3rd round.

Mike Williams had a decent showing for someone who had been out of football for most of the last year. I do not know the situation in Syracuse but I worry about someone who quit on their team (Ricky 
Williams being an exception since he has proven to be a player at the highest level). I wouldn't take him before the 4th.

Marcus Easley of Conneticut showed a good time and explosiveness for a big man. However, he really only played one year at UConn. Could be worth a look in the 6th round range.

Riley Cooper of Florida ran surprisingly well for a big man and continued to show strong consistent hands. I don't see him as a #1 receiver, but his size is an asset. Expect him off the board in the 3rd round.

Shay Hodge out of Ole Miss was a player I liked at the Senior Bowl before he got injured. He posted a time in the 4.5 range and was very productive in a tough conference. He could be a solid value in the 
4th-5th round.

Some of the other receivers, such as David Gettis, Nyan Boateng, Blair White, Seyi Ajirotutu, Alric Arnett, Stephen Williams and Chris Bell (both showed good speed), were unremarkable and I give them all 
late day 3 grades - although Williams at 6-4 with good speed and very good production could climb into round 4. Chris Bell of Norfolk State could be a late round, small school sleeper.

Remember the process:

The Combine is mainly to see what type of athlete the players are. Charley Casserly mentioned that 90% 
of the scouting work is done before this point. The teams look as much or more into the interviews than the workouts - as the workouts are used to verify the scouts and execs' thoughts on the players. The game 
film is what matters.

I thought that Jimmy Graham had moved into the 2nd round with his workouts - I already had him in the 3rd. Carlton Mitchell's low 40 kept him in the 4-5 round range the faster time moved him into the 3rd-4th range. No player should make any drastic moves (more than a round) up and down the draft board here (unless it's the Oakland Raiders because the love speed so much). Don't be suprised to see them take 
Bruce Campbell, the OT from Maryland who tore it up yesterday. Most teams, however, have Campbell as a later 1st rounder.