The 2016 NFL Combine has come to an end and like every year, players see their draft stock rise or fall due to their performance in the handful of drills. The Buffalo Bills will have some important decisions to make when the NFL Draft comes around, and the results of the combine will likely influence how they stack their draft board. So which players stood out over the last week and could potentially wind up as future Buffalo Bills?
WR Devon Cajuste, Stanford
Devon Cajuste didn’t get many opportunities to show his ability as a receiver during his time at Stanford, catching just 61 passes for 940 yards and nine touchdowns over the last two seasons. However, he’s got impressive film and he made his name known at the NFL Combine, measuring in at 6’4” and 234 pounds with 10 ¾” hands. He ran a 4.62 40-yard dash (16th), 4.20 second 20-yard shuttle (6th), and a historically great 6.47 second three-cone (1st). Cajuste’s 36” vertical leap was eighth best and his 10’3” broad jump was 11th. He looked good running the gauntlet and teams looking for a big, athletic receiver with quickness will certainly go back and watch more tape on Devon Cajuste.
OL Jason Spriggs, Indiana
Heading into the NFL Combine, Laremy Tunsil, Ronnie Stanley, Jack Conklin and Taylor Decker were the hot names among the offensive tackles. That changed when Jason Spriggs stole the show, measuring at 6’4” and 301 pounds with 34 1/8” arms. He ran a 4.94 second 40-yard dash (1st), a 4.44 20-yard shuttle (2nd), putting up 31 reps on the bench (4th) and posting a 31.5” vertical leap (1st) with a 115” broad jump (1st). Spriggs isn’t just a good athlete, he’s a fantastic lineman with great footwork and power. He solidified himself as a first round pick with his performance.
TE Austin Hooper, Stanford
Austin Hooper was another product of Stanford’s run-oriented offense who’s athletic ability wasn’t showcased as often as it could have been. Hooper was an in-line blocker on roughly half of his snaps, catching just 34 passes for 438 yards and six scores last season. He measured in at 6’4” and 248 pounds with big 10 5/8” hands. His 4.72 40-yard dash was 3rd among tight ends, with a 7.0 second three-cone (5th), a 4.32 20-yard shuttle (5th) while putting up 19 bench press reps (4th) before posting a 33” vertical leap and a 117” broad jump (5th). Hooper is an excellent blocker and will attract teams looking for an “H-Back” type of weapon.
DL Charles Tapper, Oklahoma
DeForest Bucker, Robert Nkemdiche and A’Shawn Robinson generated most of the hype leading up to the NFL Combine, but Oklahoma’s Charles Tapper shocked everyone with his testing. The 6’3” 271 pounder played all over the Sooners’ defensive line, from the three-technique, five-technique and seven-technique. His 34 3/8” arms were tied for the sixth-longest among 64 defensive linemen. He ran the fastest 40 of all defensive lineman (4.59), while his 34” vertical leap ranked 5th and his 23 bench press reps ranked 10th. His versatility will certainly attract a variety of teams that run different defensive schemes.
EDGE Emmanuel Ogbah, Oklahoma State
When I watched Emmanuel Ogbah, I saw a stiff, clunky power player. But in Indianapolis, he showed the incredible athleticism we’ve heard about since he took over as a starting defensive end. He measured in at 6’4” 273 pounds with ridiculous 35 ½” arms. He ranked second in his position group in the 40-yard dash and the vertical leap with a 4.63 and 35.5” vertical. His 10’1 broad jump ranked third, while he put up 20 bench press reps, running a 7.26 three-cone and a 4.5 short shuttle.
EDGE/Linebacker Kyler Fackrell, Utah State
Kyler Fackrell was a relatively unknown commodity until the Senior Bowl, coming out of an unheralded program. However, the 6’5” 245 pounder ran a 4.72 in the 40 (11th), posted a 34.5” vertical leap (6th) and a 121” broad jump (6th), all impressive numbers for his size.
Linebacker Darron Lee, Ohio State
Darron Lee was the winner of the NFL Combine, ranking in the top 10 of every drill: 1st in the 40 (4.47 seconds), 1st in broad jump (133”) 3rd in the 20-yard shuttle (4.2 seconds), 5th in the vertical leap (35.5”) and 7th in the bench press (17 reps) and the three-cone (7.12 seconds). Lee is a dynamic player that was projected as a mid-to-late first round pick, but after his combine he should be a lock for the top half of the first round.
Defensive Back Justin Simmons, Boston College
Justin Simmons didn’t get much recognition this season on the talented Boston College defense, after recording 67 tackles, five interceptions, seven pass breakups and two forced fumbles. He allowed just 17 receptions and missed only four tackles on the year. While the numbers weren’t eye opening, his performance on Monday was. He ranked 1st in the vertical leap (40”), the three-cone (6.58 seconds), and the short shuttle (3.85 seconds), 4th in the broad jump (10’6”) 5th on the bench press (16 reps) and 7th in the 40-yard dash (4.61 seconds). Simmons is a true free safety with range and his combine performance should have teams going back to watch more of him.