The NFL combine -- the most important evaluation event on the road to the 2018 NFL draft -- is here, and all the best prospects are in Indianapolis to show their stuff in front of NFL front-office personnel. With workouts starting Friday -- here's the full schedule -- we asked ESPN NFL draft experts Mel Kiper Jr. and Todd McShay to break down what they'll have their eyes on in Indy, from the top quarterback prospects to potential fallers and risers, and more.
For Darnold, I'll be monitoring the little things in Indianapolis. His hand size, for one. Ball security has been an issue (14 lost fumbles in 24 starts), but that could be partly due to his mechanics as well. He's not throwing in Indianapolis, but we'll be able to see him go through athletic testing. And no, I'm not overly concerned by him not throwing. Darnold was a three-sport athlete in high http://www.hockeyrangersofficialauthenticshop.com/Kevin_Klein_Jersey_Adidas school and went 20-4 at USC with a supporting cast that wasn't as amazing as some people think. His decision to not throw at the combine will have no impact on whether a team decides to draft him (or any QB).
INDIANAPOLIS -- What Andrew Luck will be able to do when he joins his teammates for the start of offseason workouts remains a mystery. It's possible the Indianapolis Colts quarterback might not even be throwing that first week of April. The Colts http://www.footballcowboysproshop.com/Randy-White-Jersey know that. The bigger storyline is that Luck will be back at the team facility, in the locker room, and around his teammates and the coaching staff again. That in itself is big for Luck and for the entire organization.
"It's not just learning a new system. He's a smart guy; he can probably learn whatever he needed to in a week," coach Frank Reich said. "But it's really about culture. It's about teamwork. It's about he's more than just our quarterback, he's a big-time leader of our team. So to be a part of that and to be part of the culture that we've talked about ... as [general manager] Chris [Ballard] and I have sat down and said, 'Hey, what are we building here? What are we building?' And obviously Andrew is a critical piece to that and his leadership at every level is important."
Ballard says he thinks Luck -- who missed all of last season after undergoing surgery on his right shoulder in January 2017 -- will progress to throwing a football at some point in April or May. That's the boldest statement Ballard has made about Luck and his progress in the past year. The past 14 months have consisted of two things: Where is Andrew Luck in his rehabilitation and when will he return?
The thought that the 28-year-old might be nearing a return bubbled up too often around the organization last season. The Colts wondered about it during training camp, as the weeks passed by early in the regular season, and they definitely wondered about it after he started practicing with the team. The reality that Luck might not play in 2017 set in when he was shut down in October due http://www.rangersteamonline.com/Joe_Kocur_Jersey to continued soreness in his right shoulder. Since then, Luck has traveled to the Netherlands and California Jose Berrios Womens Jersey to http://www.officialshopravensjersey.com/Jimmy_Smith_Jersey_Cheap work on the physical and mental steps he must take if he's Bobby Clarke Jersey to return to a Colts team that finished 4-12 without him in 2017.
"I've preached since I've walked in the door, it's not about one guy; and I thought there were times last year where we were just ... I think we were all, everybody was just waiting for this savior to come in on a white horse and save the day," Ballard said. "I think everybody got to the realization -- that's one thing I was really proud of our team for -- they just played. Were we the best team? No, but they battled, they played and once they saw this is what it is, they just played."
It'll be good for Luck personally to be in the comfort zone of the facility. He has said on more than one occasion that not playing has worn on him mentally. He took every meaningful snap during his first three seasons after the Colts drafted him first overall in 2012, only to miss 26 games over the past three seasons because of injuries ranging from his ribs and shoulder to a lacerated kidney and a concussion.
"Is it going to help having him Chipper Jones Jersey back in the building? Absolutely Mack Hollins Youth jersey it is," Ballard said. "I think it's going to be good for Andrew to be back around his teammates. I think that's what he wants. I think that's what he misses. I think he misses being around the locker room, being around his guys. Like I said a while ago, it's one of the special things about this kid. He likes to be considered as one of the teammates.
"The only other player I've ever been around like that is [Brian] Urlacher. Urlacher, superstar Brian, he was just one of the guys, and he didn't ever want to be treated differently. He knew his status, but he never acted in that way. You never would have known. So, in terms of him being back, yeah, I think it'll be good for the organization, good for the team, good for the locker room and good for Andrew."