Last season we talked about how important it seemed the NFL Scouting Combine was to the Arizona Cardinals for figuring out who was in play at wide receiver. While John Brown was mentioned, it seemed pretty obvious when you look back that Brown fit into that mold of player Arians liked.
We also know Bruce Arians has a type at quarterback, that is why he allegedly thought Blake Bortles was the only franchise quarterback in the draft, so the weigh-ins and measurements will be important, because the quarterbacks will have to fall into a specific category of size before they can be considered.
What about running back? They have Andre Ellington, Kerwynn Williams and Stepfan Taylor, but do they have a downhill, between the tackles type?
Here are five players to know and five to watch as the Combine continues today with receivers, running backs and quarterbacks arriving:
Javorius Allen, RB USC: He is a large running back who runs big in between the tackles, has good lateral movement skills, and can catch the ball out of the backfield. How much long speed does he have? Is he truly as elusive as he looks?
Mike Davis, RB South Carolina: He's a bowling ball runner, but he looks tight hipped, does not make a ton of guys miss in the open field and his test numbers will be an important look into if that was just conditioning, or if he really is not the most agile runner.
JJ Nelson, WR UAB: He is SMALL, and not the, really well built small, but the, can he hang at the next level because he is so rail thin small? He should fly in the 40 though, and he'll measure in under 6' tall, so those are some interesting check marks, but the weigh in for him, that matters (allegedly weighs 160lbs).
Mario Alford, WR West Virginia: Alford is a track start on the field and has a lightning fast first step. He can leave defenders in the dust, but can he move laterally? If not, he may not be impactful player outside of a deep threat and an excellent return man to boot.
Tyler Varga, RB Yale: He's white, so he has to play full back, right? Varga is built like Hercules and he runs between the tackles hard. His timing numbers will be important to get out of the pigeon hole he will be placed in, but that can start at the combine.
NOTE: Jess asked me to include a quarterback, but the man can't hold me down! And honestly there were none that were too unknown that fit into the Arians build, as Brett Hundley is really it, but I do not know if he has the arm to play in a vertical passing game.
Others to watch:
Zach Zenner, RB South Dakota State
Jerry Lovelocke, QB Prairie View A&M
David Johnson, RB Northern Iowa
Matt Jones, RB Florida
Deon Long, WR Maryland
This group is interesting, as there are three positions the Cardinals could and probably should look to add young talent to, but who fits into what the Cardinals want to do? This will help us determine that.