The NFL released the full list of Combine invitees yesterday afternoon. The Scouting Combine will be held from February 24 to March 1 with each position group coming in to do medicals, interviews, and on field testing at various times. NFL rules state that prospects with any type of domestic or sexual crime allegations against them will not be invited.
The seven former Ducks are as follows:
QB Justin Herbert
WR Juwan Johnson
iOL Shane Lemieux
C Jake Hanson
OL Calvin Throckmorton
TE Jacob Breeland
LB Troy Dye
- Herbert has very little left to prove during the draft process after an outstanding Senior Bowl week (he was named MVP of the game) on and off the field. Senior Bowl Executive Director Jim Nagy even called out the stigma of Herbert’s supposed lack of a competitive nature on Twitter this week. I wouldn’t doubt that Herbert would make the decision to throw at the Combine instead of at the Oregon Pro Day but he doesn’t “need” it like the other quarterbacks not named Joe Burrow. The decision to throw or not has always come under scrutiny as passers can be often judged for having a competitive desire or not based on the choice. Nagy’s tweet below for reference:
Hearing questions about @oregonfootball QB Justin Herbert’s personality/leadership. After spending a week with him at @seniorbowl that’s a FALSE narrative. He’s got far more charisma than many NFL starters we’ve been around. He can connect with people. This is genuine . pic.twitter.com/UjdFIe35vI— Jim Nagy (@JimNagy_SB) February 6, 2020
Herbert is easily the second best quarterback in the class. The only other quarterback even remotely in the discussion is Utah State’s Jordan Love. That’s it.
- Johnson will have to be really special in order to stand out in a loaded class of receivers. In the Pac-12 alone, there are three receivers that got invited better than he is. This receiver group is so loaded with NFL ready talent that a team can still get a good one in the fifth round. Johnson will need to break the 4.6 barrier and test insanely well beyond his physical capabilities in order to get drafted before the sixth round.
- Lemieux might have needed to show up for the Senior Bowl instead of bowing out of it for undisclosed injury reasons. He is still one of the best interior offensive linemen in the class but buddy, let me tell you, there are SOME DUDES waiting to take that away from him. Namely Jonah Jackson (Ohio State), Damien Lewis (LSU), Logan Stenberg (Kentucky), and Darryl Williams (Mississippi State). He really needs to test well to keep his perch atop the iOL rankings without a postseason all star event to his name. He has the resume of a top guard but can he keep it there? Right now as it stands, he has a middle third round grade from me.
- Hanson didn’t get a postseason invite so he needs to show out at the Combine in order to get on the NFL radar. He’s viewed as a part of the Ducks OL machine and not much more than that. The competition at center will be fierce for him with such names as Matt Hennessey (Temple), Cohl Cabral (Arizona State), and Lloyd Cushenberry III (LSU all vying for top center honors in this class. Hanson is currently projected as a fourth round pick on my board.
- Doc Throck would like to erase that Senior Bowl game from everyone’s memories because it was abysmal. True to form, he played multiple positions along the line in the game after playing exclusively left tackle during the practices. The Shrine Bowl coaching staff viewed him as a guard though. The versatility will get him in the league somewhere, what he does with it is up to him. He’s purely a guard in the NFL as he doesn’t have the physical tools to play tackle on a consistent basis. Throckmorton is a early Day 3 grade from me after that Senior Bowl performance. The offensive line class is loaded down with draftable prospects, pushing him down.
- Breeland must have cleared medically as he was allegedly seen with a visible limp during the Rose Bowl festivities. He was on course to win the Mackey Award last season until the injury derailed it. JB has talented but the medical will be the thing to watch. The tight end class is very good so he will need to stand out on and off the field testing wise. He’s really competing with Brycen Hopkins (Purdue), Stephen Sullivan (LSU), Thaddeus Moss (LSU), Adam Trautman (Dayton), and Albert O (Missouri) for TE2 honors behind Mackey winner Harrison Bryant (FAU).
- Let’s face it, Dye missing out on the Senior Bowl due to “injury” was a hammer blow to an already shaky draft stock. He’s just not a fit for what he does physically. Dye will need to blow away everyone during the on field portion, like the top of the class numbers to have a chance to get drafted any higher than the fourth round. The inside linebacker class is too good for him to be even above average, much less the outside linebacker one. He’s too small for inside linebacker, too slow for safety at this point. I’m not sure if he can add on any weight to a maxed out frame.