/ AFC East / The Combine Report: 22 RC Players Were Signed As UDFA. NFL Teams Being Safe?

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: 22 RC Players Were Signed As UDFA. NFL Teams Being Safe?

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By: Barry Barnes, Founder

NFL clubs deemed 22 out of the 780 NFL hopefuls who attended the NFL Regional Combine were worth the opportunity to extend their dreams. For the first time since the platform’s inception in 2012, no player was drafted. Was the talent pool thin in the 2017 RC trials or did NFL squads want to play it safe by relying on more traditional powers for the selection process?

Normally, during the late rounds of the NFL Draft, players from lesser known programs attract the attention of the nation, especially in the sixth and seventh installments.

Dating back to the 2015 NFL Draft, in the sixth and seventh rounds, 55 players from Division-I powers were selected, while 25 athletes from non-traditional programs were drafted. For 2016 selection process, allotting the same rounds, 53 players from traditional programs were chosen and 21 players from smaller programs had their name called.

Mar. 11, 2017 – (Metairie, LA) – Southern Mississippi quarterback Nick Mullens at the 2017 NFL Regional Combine. (Photo by: Locker-Report.com)

For the 2017 event, 59 athletes from well-known powers were selected, while 15 standouts from non-traditional powers had the privilege to go down in NFL Draft history.

Many teams around the league will open their rookie mini-camp between Wednesday and Thursday. More NFL hopefuls will be invited by clubs to challenge for roster spots.

Scouting and evaluating NFL talents should never be a lost art as the process established the game as what it is today.

Drafting is a risky game, and competitive. According to the last three NFL Drafts, the competitiveness of discovering gems is fast becoming a lost art. Apparently, scouts want to be safe by selecting players based off an institution’s representation in the later rounds.

The RC is a proven discovery stage, and each year since 2013, at least three players were drafted. In 2016, five players were selected, the most ever. In terms of signing undrafted rookie free agents, at average of 36 pioneers from the RC inked deals each year of its existence.

To have a drop off after one year of making history is baffling for the RC stage, and for non-traditional football powers. With over 120 years of scouting and evaluating experience between the NFLRC National Directors, it is impossible for NFL team scouts to overlook the potential after surveying the talents in this year’s session.

It’s unexplainable, unfortunate and should be unacceptable.

Evaluating and drafting safe does not always equate to security.

Check out who has the potential to secure spots, while others await.

                                             AFC East

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)

BUFFALO BILLS

CB Marcus Sayles, West Georgia

NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS

OL Jason King, Purdue

DE Corey Vereen, Tennessee

S Jason Thompson, Utah

NEW YORK JETS

CB Xavier Coleman, Portland State

 

                                           AFC North

CINCINNATI BENGALS

OL Dustin Stanton, Oregon

CLEVELAND BROWNS

LB B. J. Bello, Illinois State

 

                                          AFC West

DENVER BRONCOS

TE Emmanuel Byrd, Marshall

SAN DIEGO CHARGERS

Feb. 18, 2017 (HOUSTON, TX) - South Florida linebacker Nigel Harris runs drill at the 2017 NFL Regional Combine. Photo By: John Moore - Locker-Report.com

Feb. 18, 2017 (HOUSTON, TX) – South Florida linebacker Nigel Harris runs drill at the 2017 NFL Regional Combine. Photo By: John Moore – Locker-Report.com

LB Nigel Harris, South Florida

C Dillon DeBoer, Florida Atlantic

 

                                          AFC South

INDIANAPOLIS COLTS

DB Chris Lyles, Mississippi College

JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS

WR Keenan Cole, Kentucky Wesleyan

 

                                           NFC North

DETROIT LIONS

TE Robert Tonyan Jr., Indiana State

GREEN BAY PACKERS

Montay Crockett/Google Images

Montay Crockett/Google Images

WR Montay Crockett, Georgia Southern

RB Raysean Pringle, Southern Oregon

OL Thomas Evans, Richmond

CB Cameron Brown, UW-Oshkosh

CB Donatello Brown, Valdosta State

 

                                            NFC West

ARIZONA CARDINALS

DB Ironhead Gallon, Georgia Southern

SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS

QB Nick Mullens, Southern Mississippi

S Khary Bailey-Smith, UMASS

LB Jameer Thurman, Indiana State

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