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2018 NFL Combine

The Future Players of the NFL

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2018 NFL Combine

Photo: SB Nation. RB Saquon Barkley at the NFL Combine.

Photo: SB Nation. RB Saquon Barkley at the NFL Combine.

Photo: SB Nation. RB Saquon Barkley at the NFL Combine.

Photo: SB Nation. RB Saquon Barkley at the NFL Combine.

Tyler Didio, Staff Writer

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Over this past weekend, the NFL hosted its 36th annual combine, and 2018 seemed to have more unanswered questions from the most important position on the field than ever before. With so many quarterbacks expected to go in the first round of the draft, all eyes were on Josh Allen, Josh Rosen, Sam Darnold, Baker Mayfield, and Lamar Jackson. Because the need for the quarterback position has grown even larger, these five guys had the spotlight on them all weekend long. Allen, Rosen, Darnold, and Mayfield all performed pretty well at the combine despite all the attention. Each of them were hitting their targets on their throwing drills perfectly. Jackson, however, was a different story. It seemed like Jackson was trying too hard during the throwing drills. Of course, there have been reports that some teams are trying to turn Jackson into a wide receiver, but Jackson strictly told everyone across the NFL that he is a quarterback and will not be a receiver for any team. All Jackson needs is a coach that will help him learn the defenses in the NFL, and if he gets that opportunity, he should have a fine NFL career.

Photo: SI.com. QB Josh Allen throwing at the combine.

Additionally, running back Saquon Barkley, who was highly anticipated coming out of college, proved to many scouts that he should be the first overall pick. Barkley currently weighs 233 pounds and he ran a 4:40 40-yard dash, had a 41-inch vertical, and also had 29 reps of 225 pounds on the bench press (NFL.com). To put that into perspective, future hall of famer Adrian Peterson weighed 217 pounds and ran a 4:41 40-yard dash, had a 38.5-inch vertical but did not participate in the bench press (nflcombineresults.com). Barkley weighs more than Peterson and still had better numbers. The Cleveland Browns currently have the first pick so they should at least consider Barkley as an option. The Browns also have the fourth pick overall so many analysts have been saying that they should draft Barkley at one and then draft one of the five quarterbacks at number four.

Every single year, there is always an inspirational story about a player growing up in poverty and then working extremely hard to make it to the NFL combine. But this year, we saw a truly unique story. Linebacker Shaquem Griffin, had his left hand amputated at a young age and was not invited to the combine when the invites first came out. But thanks to some late dropouts, Griffin received an invite and boy did he take advantage of it. Griffin ran the fastest 40-yard dash for a linebacker in NFL history. Running a 4:38 while currently weighing 227 pounds.

Photo: Orlando Sentinel. LB Shaquem Griffin running the 40-yard dash.

With the NFL draft starting on April 26, 2018, future NFL players are not done yet proving to the scouts that they have what it takes to play for an NFL team. Scouts still must attend the college players Pro Day, which is basically another combine, but now it is located at the players’ specific college. The draft process is always an exciting time for football fans and of course an exciting time for the players that are about the fulfill their longtime dreams of playing in the NFL.

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2018 NFL Combine