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The Combine Report: Week Six - Dunbar Filled Large Shoes, Hall Scored His First TD

By: Barry Barnes, Founder

Filling in for a Pro Bowl caliber player in the NFL is a blessing… and a curse.

The blessing is that a player gets the opportunity to perform, but the curse involves the high expectations to excel. If the player succeeds, all parties involved are rewarded.

 

 

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Quinton Dunbar/Redskins.com

The Combine Report: Week Six Preview: Rams WR Mike Thomas Returns, RC Pioneers Will Clash

By: Barry Barnes, Founder

After being suspended for the first four games of the 2017 season due to violating the NFL’s policy on performance enhancing substances, wide receiver Mike Thomas returns to the field with his spirited Los Angeles Rams teammates and looks to add to the explosiveness the receiving corps already has offensively.

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Mike Thomas/Google Images

The Combine Report: Week Five - NFL Regional Combine Veterans Played Their Roles Valiently

All NFL Regional Combine pioneers play a role. And no matter their role…large or small…these players execute their duties well enough to make their teams competitive. Week Five of the NFL was no exception.

 

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Cody Davis/therams.com

The Combine Report: Week Five Preview - A Combine Series Tandem Brewing In Jacksonville

By: Barry Barnes, Founder

Week Four of the NFL was totally owe by the kicking specialists from the NFL Regional Combine. Kicker Greg Zuerlein kept the Los Angeles Rams up right after nailing seen field goal attempts through the uprights, while Denver Broncos kicker Brandon McManus help to keep the game out of reach for the Oakland Raiders.

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The Combine Report: Week Four - Rams' RC Veteran Kicking Specialists Are Special

By: Barry Barnes, Founder

Kickers are like life preservers. Life preservers can’t run the ship, but they can save the people on the ship. Punter Johnny Hekker and kicker Greg Zuerlein, Los Angeles Rams kicking specialists and NFL Regional Combine …

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Rams Kicking Specialist/therams.com

The Combine Report: Week Four Preview - Browns Rookie LB B.J. Bello Earning More Time

By: Barry Barnes, Founder

Unfortunately, it has been the same old song for the Cleveland Browns, especially when it comes to defense. They play hard to keep contests close, but fizzle at the end. Evidently, there is talent in “the Land” on the defense side of the ball from the likes of linebacker Jamie Collins Sr., cornerback Jamar Taylor and safety and return specialist Jabrill Peppers to name a few.

Rookie linebacker B.J. Bello could be in the mix too.

Bello is a hybrid linebacker with a combination of athleticism, speed, aggression and patience. After his under the radar collegiate career at Illinois State, following a transfer from Illinois, he burst onto the NFL Regional Combine scene at the Minnesota-held trials in February.

The 6-2, 229-pound linebacker never lacked confidence, just opportunity. When the Browns signed him as an undrafted rookie, Bello excelled during camps and his progress showed in the preseason as he registered four tackles and a sack.

The Browns recognized Bello’s efforts and made him part of the 53-man roster. He was primarily on special teams and earned three tackles. Against the Indianapolis Colts in Week 3, Bello made it onto the field with the defense and was close to bringing down ball carriers twice.

“Since the age of six, playing in the yard, I wanted to play in the NFL,” said Bello via conversation. “To actually be here now is a dream come true.”

In Week Four, assuming he will fill some spots defensively, Bello could register more numbers.

“This is a great opportunity, man. To be with this organization, the only thing I can do is get better,” voiced Bello.

CHICAGO BEARS (1-2) VS. GREEN BAY PACKERS (2-1)

The Bears gave up nearly double-digit yards in punt returns. Packers return specialist Trevor Davis returned a punt for a touchdown in Week One of the preseason and had a return for 33 yards in Week Three.

Davis is getting close.

RELATED ARTICLE: The Combine Report: Week Three – RC Talents Were Radical In Protest And Played Ball

 

Will Thursday be the night that the second year-man from California and the 2016 RC session in New Orleans take it to the house?

One thing for sure, Bears defensive end Roy Robertson-Harris is looking to get his hands on some Packers, as he has two tackles and a pass defense this season.

LOS ANGELES RAMS (2-1) VS. DALLAS COWBOYS (2-1)

Cowboys defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence is bringing havoc to opposing quarterbacks with his furious pass rush. Fellow defensive end Benson Mayowa is causing problems as well.

Mayowa is nearly on every play when the Cowboys defensive front bears down on quarterbacks. With five tackles already this season, Mayowa should bring his total to double digits against the Rams.

Field positioning will be the key for the Rams.  They have one of the best punters in the NFL in Johnny Hekker to assist and kicker Greg Zuerlein to help keep things interesting.

Hekker is fourth in the league in net average yards with 44.6 per attempt, while Zuerlein is tied at the top of the NFL with 12 field goals and remains perfect.

Rams defensive back Cody Davis is quietly becoming known for his hard hitting. Against America’s team, in front of a national audience, Davis will have another stage to show that trait.

THE RC RUN-THROUGH

 

  • After a controversial week of standing for the national anthem against the team’s plan, Pittsburgh Steelers left tackle Alejandro Villanueva is looking to steam roll over some Baltimore Ravens, create lanes for the backfield and give quarterback Ben Roethlisberger the time he needs to lead the club. Punter Jordan Berry will keep the Ravens deep in their territory, and the Steelers will need him to.

 

  • Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Adam Thielen is on pace to earn his first 1,000 yard season. The Detroit Lions’ defense will key on wide receiver Stefan Diggs, and Thielen will burn them.

 

  • As rookie wide receiver Keelan Cole continues to prove his worth, the Jacksonville Jaguars will continue to make him a target, as they will fullback Tommy Bohanon who is exploiting his catching skills this season. Against the New York Jets, they will continue their growth. Nevertheless, either player may meet linebacker Julian Stanford, another RC brother.

 

  • Oakland Raiders wide receiver Seth Roberts has been quiet for the past two weeks. He should make some noise against division rival Denver Broncos.

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The Combine Report: Week Three - RC Talents Were Radical In Protest, And Played Ball

By: Barry Barnes, Founder

Week Three of the NFL was…well…interesting, to say the least.

While many more players knelt during the National Anthem, one player in particular, although sensitive to the issues, proudly stood because his heart would not allow him to bow to controversy.

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Alejandro Villaneuva/Google Images

The Combine Report: Week Three Preview - Offensive RC Pioneers Look To Get Back On Track

By: Barry Barnes, Founder

Week Two of the NFL was exciting as defensive players from the NFL Regional Combine stole the show with huge hits and many stops. This week, the athletes on the other side of the ball will be expecting to be let loose.

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Seth Roberts/Raiders.com

The Combine Report: Week Two - Defensive RC Talents Aggressively Attacked

The NFL Regional Combine talents were sharp on the defense in Week Two. Several squads wanted to make amends for Week One. Many put their “best foot forward” via their shoulder pads as hitting was the name of the game for the RC defensive standouts.

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Cody Davis/therams.com

The Combine Report: Week Two Preview - Will RB Penny Elijhaa Get To Face Regular Season Action?

By: Barry Barnes, Founder

The Week Two of the NFL is shaping up to feature some solid intrigue among the NFL Regional Combine pioneers. Several players turned out and had strong performances in Week One. And Week Two should be no different.

 

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Elijhaa Penny/Google Images

The Combine Report: 2017 NFL Team Needs – NFC East

Benson Mayowa/Google Images
Barry Barnes on April 25, 2017 - 9:07 pm in AFC East, AFC North, AFC South, AFC West, NFC East, NFC North, NFC South, NFC West, NFL, The Combine Report
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By: Barry Barnes, Founder

Other than using the vehicle of the NFL Draft to solve an immediate need, teams look to the selection process to build depth. Due to expected injuries and overall development, constructing a solid roster from top to bottom is essential for clubs to succeed. Players must be teachable, hungry and ready, which is why the NFL Regional Combine is significant.

NFL teams should build according to their division. If a squad can amass the right talents to execute the system well enough to dictate outcomes on the field, skies the limits.

From top to bottom, the NFC East was the best division in football last season. The East was the only division to have all their teams to finish with a positive differential. With the second most amount of points scored, the East surrendered the fewest points in 2016.

Clearly, the NFC “Least” label can finally be removed.

The NFC East is an aggressive minded division that can pound the ball, attack from the air and has solid quarterback play.

The situation for the NFC East comes during the postseason when neither of the teams is productive.

The NFC East should be prepared to move forward this season.

DALLAS COWBOYS – (Current RC players – DE Benson Mayowa)

Last season, 13-3

 

The Cowboys played like America’s team last season. Despite each weekly victory, America was skeptical because a rookie fourth round drafted quarterback name Dak Prescott led them. This season, Prescott may continue to have his doubters. However, the Cowboys should sustain success, especially if they take advantage of the RC platform.

Needs – Defensive Back, Defensive End, Tight End

Defensive Back

Feb. 25, 2017 – (Ashland, VA) UMass safety Khary Bailey-Smith catch pass during his drill at the NFL Regional Combine. (Photo by: John Moore – Locker-Report.com)

Forrest Jones (Texas A&M-Kingsville), Fluent, great hands and feet, decent speed, instinctive

Khary Bailey-Smith (UMASS), Complete

Deshawntee Gallon (Georgia Southern), Leadership, strong, agile, physical, pure tackler

Defensive End

Brian Madunezim (Texas-El Paso), Solid, strong, great first step, uses hands well.

John Popovich (Southeast Missouri), Agile, strong, athletic, good hands, smart

Alex Jenkins (Incarnate Word), Extremely athletic, raw talent, explosive, strong, great hands

Tight End

Robert Tonyan (Indiana State), Strong, great hands, total package

Tyler Scalzi (Texas Tech), Good hands, extremely physical, good route running

Nehemiah Winston (UC Davis), Workhorse, strong, agile, decent hands, blocked in Pro-Style offense

NEW YORK GIANTS – (Current RC players – QB Josh Johnson, RB Daryl Virgies, CB Valentino Blake)

Last season, 11-5

 

The Giants broke the bank and loaded their roster with defensive talents in 2016. For the 2017 campaign, the G-Men made some withdrawals from their bank account and made some additions to their offensive. If they can continue to evaluate successfully, they will eventually get a bargain.

Needs: Offensive Lineman, Linebacker, Quarterback

Offensive Lineman

Mar. 4, 2017 (EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn.) – Kean University linebacker Robert Meade executing his 4 Bag Agility Drill at the 2017 NFL Regional Combine (Photo by: John Moore – Locker-Report.com)

Jason King (Purdue), Huge, strong, moves well, uses hands well

Toree Boyd (Howard), Athletic, strong, good feet, aggressive, mean

John Clark (Southern Nazarene), Moves well, great feet and hands, great run blocker

Linebacker

George Stone III (Stephen F. Austin), Quick, discipline, decent speed and hands

B.J. Bello (Illinois State), Agile, great feet, decent hands, hybrid, plays the pass, quick

Robert Meade (Kean), Mobile, great feet and hands, smart, plays well in space

Quarterback

Austin Apodaca (New Mexico), Strong arm, quick release, smart, moves well, great touch

Nick Mullens (Southern Mississippi), Great release, mobile, smart, great vision, strong with a solid touch

Zach Kline (Frenso State), Quick release, strong arm, great touch, moves well, has a good deep ball

WASHINGTON REDSKINS (Current RC players – DBs Quinton Dunbar and Dashaun Phillips, LB Rufus Johnson

Last season, 8-7-1

 

Outside Washington D.C., there is not much optimum for the Redskins to be a consistent playoff contender. The Redskins are more in tuned with the RC platform than ever before, and for the 2017, they may demonstrate their postseason worthiness – if they commit to the quarterback.

Needs – Linebacker, Safety, Running Back

Feb. 25, 2017 – Ashburn, VA – Chowan safety Demetrius Newberry executing a defensive back drill at the 2017 NFL Regional Combine. (Photo by: John Moore/Locker-Report.com)

Linebacker

Abner Logan (Albany, N.Y.), Powerful, physical, decent hands, moves well

Omar Howard (Richmond), Natural tackler, good feet, decent hands

John Silas (Elon University), Smart, balance, strong, decent speed, good hands

Safety

Khary Bailey-Smith (UMASS), Complete

Deshawntee Gallon (Georgia Southern), Leadership, strong, agile, physical, pure tackler

Demetrius Newberry (Chowan), Physical, aggressive, solid tackler, decent speed and hands

Running Back

William Stanback (Virginia Union), Powerful, huge, good hands, tough, physical

Jakhari Gore (Marian, Ind.), Smooth, strong, fluent, great hands, solid route runner, high IQ

Matthias McKinnon (Wagner), Powerful, dual-threat, great hands and feet, patient, aggressive, fast

PHILADELPHIA EAGLES (Current RC players – LB Kamu Gruiger-Hill, DB Aaron Grymes)

Last season, 7-9

 

Despite displaying first year staffers and a quarterback, the Eagles are no longer looking to be cellar dwellers in the East – now that the rookie jitters are behind them. With 18 undrafted players on their roster last season, expect the Eagles to sign more to push the squad more.

Needs – Cornerback, Running Back, Defensive End

Mar. 11, 2017 – (Metairie, LA) – Savannah State running back Arshon Spaulding at the 2017 NFL Regional Combine. (Photo by: Locker-Report.com)

Cornerback

Kevin Wharry (Angelo State), Great hands, aggressive, physical, good feet

Kedrick Davis (North Carolina-Charlotte), Good speed and technique, balance, decent hands

Christopher Lyles (Mississippi College), Long, great speed, hands and leaping ability, agile, strong

Running Back

Arshon Spaulding (Savannah State), Quick, explosive, solid hands and ball skills, strong, aggressive

Marquell Beckwith (Alabama State), Explosive, good hands and feet, quick, tough

Virgil Hammond (Minn. State-Mankato), Fast, strong, solid blocker, decent hands and footwork, discipline

Defensive End

John Popovich (Southeast Missouri), Agile, strong, athletic, good hands, smart

Christopher Casher (Faulkner), Explosive, discipline, good hands

Dajon Montague (Mars Hill), Aggressive, determine, good hand and feet, strong

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