That fifth tight end could be any number of players. Jake Butt of Michigan couldn’t work out, but he can be just as good as Howard when he’s healthy. George Kittle of Iowa surprised a lot of people with his blazing 40 of 4.52 seconds and a 35-inch vertical.
After the top three wide receivers — Mike Williams of Clemson, Corey Davis of Western Michigan, and John Ross of Washington — it’s a take-your-pick group at the position. Chris Godwin of Penn State and Zay Jones of East Carolina helped themselves the most among wide receivers, and should be in the discussion for the second round.
JuJu Smith-Schuster of USC should have a spot in the second round. He did good enough in drills to not drop draft placement. Taywan Taylor of Western Kentucky followed up a solid Senior Bowl with an equally solid combine, and he could also be in play for the first 64 picks.
Ohio State’s Curtis Samuel is in there as well, and he could even be in contention for the first round. His workout was overshadowed by Ross, but his 40 for 4.31 seconds was impressive, as were his 18 bench press reps and 37-inch vertical leap. Samuel, who works at receiver and running back, may not be for everybody, but a creative team will know how to utilize him.
I asked Christopher Crawford, minor-league guru for Rotoworld.com and bad tweeter, to explain why Van Mil hasn’t had the same success as Young. He replied:
When you’re that tall, keeping your delivery intact is really, really hard, and he never did it in the United States. Even when he got better at hitting the strike zone, he never had anything resembling quality command. He also doesn’t have a competent breaking ball, so that doesn’t help.
The question is how a 7’1 pitcher can’t be as successful as a 6’10 pitcher, even though he throws 10 mph faster.