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Position groups for Broncos fans to watch at the Combine

INDIANAPOLIS -- As with any Scouting Combine, some positions will bear more close monitoring than others. For Broncos fans, here are the ones to watch:



While some, like UCLA's Caleb Wilson, bring big numbers and high levels of college production to the draft process, others were limited by their scheme or the focus of their quarterbacks.

Two examples of this are Utah State's Dax Raymond and LSU's Foster Moreau. Both were among the standouts of Senior Bowl week; Raymond made some athletic plays, while Moreau created separation all over the field -- including the red zone -- with precise cuts and subtle misdirection that reminded me of Owen Daniels.

If both do well in the on-field drills and the strength, speed and quickness tests, they should solidify themselves as mid-round picks.



Measurements matter, but position drills will be of at least equal importance. How do the prospects look in as they backpedal, and how fluid is their change of direction?

You're not going to find out whether an inside linebacker can be a plus player in coverage; that's going to come from game tape. But you can get enough information from the drills to differentiate between prospects whose film is relatively equal.

First-round caliber players such as LSU's Devin White will attract the headlines, but take note of some second- and third-day prospects such as New Mexico State's Terrill Hanks and Stanford's Bobby Okereke.

Hanks, who was was my third-round pick for the Broncos in my seven-round pre-Combine mock on Orange and Blue 760 on Monday, delivered one of the biggest hits during Senior Bowl practice. He showed speed, quick reaction to plays as they developed and tenacity last month.



In a Feb. 1 interview on Orange and Blue 760, Ohio State's Dwayne Haskins said that he intended to throw at the Scouting Combine. Oklahoma's Kyler Murray will likely face questions if he opts to bypass throwing drills.

But as is the case with inside linebacker, it's the second- and third-day prospects who bear monitoring. West Virginia's Will Grier needs a bounce-back week after a scattershot performance during Senior Bowl practices. North Carolina State's Ryan Finley should impress in interviews and at the whiteboard, but a good on-field workout could provide him some separation in the race to be the fifth quarterback drafted.

Boise State quarterback Brett Rypien could also solidify his place in the draft with solid on-field work and a good performance in interviews.

Below-the-radar names to watch include Mississippi's Jordan Ta'amu and North Dakota State's Easton Stick. Ta'amu had a stellar week at the East-West Shrine Game, while Stick was less consistent during the work in St. Petersburg, Florida.



Even though these groups will work out on different days, you're looking for similar traits in the speed and quickness drills. While much will be made of the 40-yard dash, pay more attention to the 10- and 20-yard splits, and watch the three-cone drill and the short shuttle to see how they change direction, cut and keep their balance.

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