Thursday, February 20, 2014

Previewing Will Clarke and Charles Sims at the 2014 NFL Scouting Combine

Will Clarke is looking to stare down the competition at the NFL Combine.
The 2013 NFL Scouting Combine held in Indianapolis had a distinct Gold n’ Blue feel to it. Going into that weekend, the debate raged about who would come out of the weekend as the top quarterback: E.J. Manuel, Matt Barkley or Geno Smith. As the weekend progressed, Tavon Austin stole the show and subsequently vaulted into the Top 10.

   This year, two Mountaineers received an invite to the annual talent contest. Charles Sims is regarded as one of the top running back prospects, and Will Clarke stood out during the weeks of the Shrine Bowl and Senior Bowl to get selected to attend.

   Sims is a dual-threat type of back who can catch the ball with ease out of the backfield or lined up in the slot. At 6’0”, 214 lbs. he is solidly built. He’ll need to demonstrate he has the strength to be able to shrug off would-be tacklers He has great lateral quickness he uses with shifty jukes and spin moves to separate from defenders at the college level. As Tavon Austin’s transition to the NFL last season showed, the tacklers who would have been left behind at the college level are much tougher to shake at the pro level.

   He should put up good numbers in the 40-yard dash and 3-cone drills. We’ll be watching what he does in the bench press on Sunday when the running backs are on center stage.

    Will Clarke, on the other hand, shouldn’t have a problem in the bench press or any other drill showing feats of strength. At 6’6”, 271 lbs., he will be one of the largest participants in the combine. His long arms keep offensive linemen at bay, and his quick first step and athleticism lets him get to the quarterback quickly.

   Clarke should stand out athletically at the combine. With his size, strength and speed, he’s a rising NFL prospect. He will be on the field at Lucas Oil Stadium on Monday.

   Follow us @WVUPros on Twitter and keep checking back here throughout the weekend for updates on how these players fare.

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