Five Players Atop My Watch List After The NFL Combine

You're going to have a hard time convincing me this isn't the best job on the planet. Fresh off the heels of the NFL Combine, there are new names that are simply "must watch" players, dudes who showed out and have me eager to take a look at the tape.

Between writing articles, scouting players, recording podcasts and social media, there are only so many hours in the day. But these are the five guys who I am making time for this afternoon as we settle back in for the home stretch of film study prior to the 2019 NFL Draft in April.

LB Blake Cashman, Minnesota

The Gophers linebacker made himself some cash, man.

Oh whew. I was hacked.

But seriously, what a workout this was. Some gripes could be made regarding Cashman's wingspan (73.63") but when you move the way he does, you'll have no problem keeping guys in your strike zone as a tackler. Cashman has really, really impressive numbers, he looks explosive and carries his 237 pounds quite well.

Now I need to see what kind of instincts he's got on the field.

DB Jamel Dean, Auburn

Dean has pretty outstanding numbers across the board with the exception of his agility drills. Obviously blazing a 4.30 official 40-yard time and jumping 41" in the vert tells me you're an explosive player.

Dean is someone I've only had mild exposure to to this point in the Draft cycle, so he's a blank slate study for me. But I'm hoping he's not as linear as he tests.

WR Miles Boykin, Notre Dame

Miles Boykin: elite athlete. Any time your Mockdraftable comparisons include Andre Johnson and Calvin I need to continue? Very good things from Boykin as an athlete.

Now, can he play football? That's the million dollar question and I don't expect I'll have a quick study here, given the state of the Irish passing offense. That's fine, I'll just have to make sure I'm not following the football and really keeping a watchful eye on the cat and mouse game being played in the secondary.

DB Marvell Tell, USC

Marvell Tell: ALSO an elite athlete. The dude ran a 6.63s 3-cone drill, which is bonkers.

Tell enjoyed a pretty decorated career during his time with the Trojans and with athleticism like this, he's bound to shoot up someone's draft board. I need to watch Tell to find out if he'll be shooting up mine.

If he does, it is because this athleticism translates to his on-field resume.

RB Alex Barnes, Kansas State

I saw Barnes live this year against West Virginia and thought he was an okay back. Definitely had an NFL future ahead of him, I said. Well, yeah. Barnes solidified his status as a draftable back with his testing performance.

Barnes isn't the fastest back but he tested really, really well. And almost every other back tested slow. And non-explosive. So Barnes has that in his back pocket come April. For me, I just need to intently watch Barnes and decide where the ceiling is.

Written By:

Kyle Crabbs

Director of Scouting

Kyle Crabbs is the Director of Scouting for The Draft Network. Prior to his time with TDN, Kyle worked for seven years as the founder of his own third-party scouting service, NDT Scouting. Providing media coverage and also consultation services for agencies, Crabbs penned an annual NFL Draft Prospectus featuring 300+ player profiles on an annual basis from 2014-2020. Crabbs is currently the co-host of the Draft Dudes podcast with fellow TDN scout Joe Marino and helps coordinate TDN's national scouting effort.