Sunday's combine observations


INDIANAPOLIS -- The fantasy football part of the NFL scouting combine made Sunday an exciting day.

The receivers were exceptional. A receiving class billed as the best in years dominated the day. The only problem came with the second group of receivers, because the quarterbacks who were throwing couldn't match the skills of those catching the passes.

Regardless, talent won out and it was easy to see that wide receiver was the best position during the first two workout days of the combine. Sure, guards and tackles did well Saturday, but the receivers were the best in drills over the entire weekend.

Fantasy fans better start studying this class of rookies.

Here are the five things we learned Sunday at the combine:

1. Blake Bortles is as advertised: With Johnny Manziel and Teddy Bridgewater electing not to throw, Central Florida's Bortles was expected to be the best of the seven quarterbacks who threw in the first group. As it turned out, he was clearly the best quarterback who threw Sunday. The question now is what it means. It's apparent that Bortles has a lot of work left to do on his footwork. Once he fixes that, he could evolve into a franchise-level quarterback. He has a nice release and throws a nice, catchable ball. Once his footwork is better, he should be able to throw a more consistent long pass and be more consistent on his short, quick throws.

Safe to say, though, there is plenty to work with for the team that acquires Bortles. He's 6-foot-5 and 232 pounds. He ran a 4.93-second 40-yard dash and is dangerous on rollouts and breaking a run. From what you saw Sunday, there is still a great chance Bridgewater and Manziel will be drafted ahead of Bortles. The debate is whether Bortles is worth taking in the top seven, which is likely to happen. The team that drafts him, though, might be advised to let another quarterback start at the beginning of the season in order for him to fully work on improving his footwork. Regardless, it was a good day for Bortles.

2. The skinny at the quarterback position: Manziel, Bridgewater and Bortles will go in the first round of the draft. The next group includes  AJ McCarron, Jimmy Garoppolo and Derek Carr. Garoppolo continued to score scouting points with his strong, fluid arm. Because he worked almost exclusively out of the shotgun at Eastern Illinois, a shotgun passing team would love him. But if he's asked to do a lot of dropback passing, he's going to need some time to develop. Still, his arm alone could draw a second- or third-round grade. McCarron was consistent with his throws and should have locked in a second-round grade. At 6-3¼ and 220 pounds, McCarron kind of reminds you of  Andy Dalton of the Cincinnati Bengals.

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