We all saw the numbers from the combine for Syracuse's NFL hopefuls. But what do they really mean? I called in one of the experts, Dan from Mocking The Draft, to break down what Ryan Bartholomew, Delone Carter, Derrell Smith and Doug Hogue can expect to hear Draft Weekend.
Ryan Bartholomew just might have done more for his NFL stock in one weekend than in four years of football at Syracuse. Just how much did Barty help himself out at the combine with those monster numbers?
Bartholomew helped himself, but what people see during games is obviously far more important than his Combine showing. Specifically in regard to the Combine, his bench press numbers were more important than the running numbers. Everyone knew he can move around. But the bench press showed he should be able to hold his blocks in a short area. Why that hasn't always translated, who knows. It could be coaching, but it's also technique. His numbers tell an NFL team that he's someone whom they can draft and at least get a player who has the tools to be molded. How he takes to that is up to him. It would be interesting if centers had to show off their shotgun snapping in Indianapolis.
Delone Carter had a career full of highs and lows at Syracuse. Did he do enough to help himself at the Combine? How much will his past injuries and the "snowball incident" play into his draft status?
With Carter, the biggest thing at the Combine for him was medical evaluations and team interviews. Since he didn't avail himself to the media hordes, we couldn't ask Carter how he checked out medically. Assuming he checked out fine, that hip injury is still concerning because it was such a freak thing. That should leave an NFL team to wonder how prone he is to random injuries. As for his character issues, you'd know this better than me, but I think the "snowball incident" is his only red flag. The Shrine Game did far more for Carter than his Combine showing, where he did what most expected. He's going to be a good player in the NFL if he can get in a rotation at running back but also contribute covering kicks and punts.
Derrell Smith has been the anchor of Syracuse's defense the past two years. Does he have any shot at getting drafted, especially now that he didn't participate in drills at the Combine?
It's hard to say whether or not Smith will get drafted. That might be best answered at the March 23 Syracuse pro day. He's a solid, nothing special player. Like a lot of late-round linebackers, he'll have to play special teams really well and hope to be a backup.
Doug Hogue began his college career as a running back but ended it as a solid OLB. Does Hogue have a legitimate shot to get drafted? Did he do anything notable at the Combine to help himself?
Hogue absolutely has a shot to be drafted, especially by a team that runs a cover-2 system. I think his agent, David Canter, is selling his client short when he said after the Combine that his client could be a "core special teams guy." Hogue has a chance to be much better than that. There's not a lot of linebackers with his speed and quickness. There's no reason Hogue can't have a career like Cato June, for instance. Hogue helped himself at the Combine by weighing 235 pounds. As silly as that sounds, some teams would probably strike him from their draft board if he came in below 230.
If you had to say, what round do you see Syracuse's four combine participants going, if at all?
Bartholmew - 4-6 round
Carter - 4-6 round
Smith - 7-UDFA
Hogue - 5-7 round
Thanks again to Dan and check out Mocking The Draft for all your NFL Draft info needs.