Wide Receivers And 40-Yard Dash Make or Muss-See Football TV
By Kevin Wilkerson, PubClub.com Sports Blogger
The NFL Network is expanding its coverage of the Scouting Combine into primetime for 2020 and here’s some prime things to watch for during the telecasts.
First of all is the coverage itself. The NFL Network is providing it starting Thursday, Feb. 27 with the quarterbacks, wide receivers and tight ends and continues with the running backs, offensive linemen and special teams on Friday, Feb. 28, the linebackers and defensive linemen on Saturday (Feb 29) and defensive backs on Sunday, March 1.
Coverage begins at 4 p.m., ET on Thursday, Friday Saturday and on Sunday it starts at 2 p.m.
“It’s going to be fun,” said NFL Draft analyst Daniel Jeremiah.
One thing that will be definitely fun, according to Jeremiah, is watching the wide receives. It’s a deep group of talent, one of the best in NFL history.
“We’ve got 27 wide receivers with top three-round grades in this draft,” he said. “And consider average 31 are taken. We had a max of 35 taken in, I believe that was in 2017. So this is a really phenomenal group of wideouts. Not all those guys are going to go early. They’ll end up spreading throughout the draft. But it’s really a good group.”
Jeremiah ranks Oklahoma’s CeeDee Lamb as the top receiver, followed by Alabama’s Jerry Jeudy, but don’t sleep on – or even wink – when Alabama’s Henry Ruggs III is on the field or you may miss him.
“He can fly, “Jermeiah said. “He’s not as polished as Jerry Jeudy in route running, but I bet if you polled the defensive coordinators based on the tape and asked them whom they would not want to defend, he would get the most votes.”
Another deep and fun-to-watch group is, as always, the quarterbacks. Tho their action will be limited. Joe Burrow just announced he will not throw at the combine, instead showing off that skill during LSU’s pro day. Tua Tagovailoa is injured, of course, and has a big physical test to pass on March 5. He is, by all accounts, progressing along remarkably well so he will have more of an impact in the draft than at the combine. Although he has been winning the pre-combine press conferences in Indianapolis.
That puts more pressure to perform on Justin Herbert (Oregon), Jalen Hurts (Alabama, Oklahoma), Jake Fromm (Georgia), Jacob Eason (Georgia, Washington) and Kelly Bryant (Clemson, Missouri).
The most fun part of the combine to watch? As always, the 40-yard dash.
On a side note the week after the coverage of the combine, the network will be airing the NFL’s Top 100 players. So the football keeps on bouncing on the NFL Network. You can see what all the NFL Network airs and when on its website, www.nfl.com/network.
For a full analysis from NFL Network analyst Jeremiah on the NFL Draft, which is April 23-25, PubClub.com Sports will provide a rundown in a separate article.
NFL Network 2020 Scouting Combine TV Schedule
• Thursday, Feb. 27, 4-11 p.m.
Tight ends, quarterbacks, receivers
• Friday, Feb. 28, 4-11 p.m.
Place kickers, special teams, offensive linemen, running backs
• Saturday, Feb. 29, 4-11 p.m.
Defensive line, linebackers
• Sunday, March 1, 2-7 p.m.