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Q&A with NFL Mocks: Discussing UW Grads at The NFL Combine


The draft experts over at are some of the best on the web at covering the NFL Draft. They break down film, watch all the results, and evaluate each and every player that has a chance to play at the NFL level. I was able to talk with one of NFL Mocks editors, Jesse Bartolis, about UW’s recent graduates that will be in the NFL Draft and participated in the NFL Combine; Chris Polk, Jermaine Kearse, Senio Kelemete, and Alameda Ta’amu.

1. In your opinion how did each UW graduate do at the combine? Kearse, kelemete, ta’amu, and Polk.

Kearse is a guy I thought would actually do a little better int he drills than he did. He’s a maddening player. He has the production of a second round player, and the talent of an early round player, but I think he wasn’t consistent enough at Washington. A late round value pick if he’s selected on day three earlier than that worries me.

Chris Polk looked much better at the combine than he did at the Senior Bowl. Polk is a player we like. Good vision, enough burst and speed to make big plays in the N.F.L. a guy who can catch and run the football. Fringe first round talent. He had big hands at the combine at nearly 10″ so that’s good. He did well.

The buzz around Ta’amu was positive after the combine. It should have been expected though he’s talented. Inconsistent though. Is Ta’amu a player who can play in the 4-3 like Phil Taylor or strictly a 3-4 NT? I think he has ability to play in the 4-3. That will help his stock if teams agree.

Kelemete is athletic so that wasn’t a surprise. He did well in the short shuttle. He has a lot of work on his technique to do though.

2. Did their stock remain the same, increase, or decrease?

I don’t adjust my board much at the combine one way or the other unless I see something that I didn’t expect from a player and then I’ll go back and watch some film and adjust accordingly. The combine didn’t show me anything I didn’t know about any of these players. So they all stayed about the same.

Maybe Kearse was a little disappointing to me, I thought he’d be a little more athletic, but other than about what I expected.

3. What round would you project each to go?

Polk and Ta’amu 2nd
Kelemete late third to early fourth
Kearse 6th or 7th

4. What team do you think would fit Polk the best?

I think Polk fits a lot of teams. I’ll say a team I don’t think he fits all that well is the Philadelphia Eagles. They haven’t had success with bigger, strong backs like Polk to any real degree and they would probably only use him as a chain mover type which won’t help him maximize his ability. I think Polk works well with a team that runs a little more I-formation and isn’t going to ask him to be a third down back early in his career. I would like Polk on the Bengals.

5. What team do you think would fit Ta’amu the best?

That’s a tough question. I suppose if he went to the Texans in round two that’d be a good fit for everyone. Wade Phillips doesn’t use a typical Nose tackle and I don’t think Ta’amu is typical. I think he shoots gaps better than most nose Tackles and doesn’t anchor quite as well.

6. Finally, out of this list who do you think is the most NFL ready and what do you think their impact will be their rookie season?

I think Ta’amu is physically ready to play in the N.F.L. Can he bring it play in and play out?

Chris Polk is likely to have the most impact. He’ll be drafted by a team that needs a running back if they are going to spend a high pick on one so he’ll likely get a good amount of carries. He’s also a decent pass blocker already so it won’t keep him off the field a lot.

The question of impact will depend on where players get drafted. I think that’s THE single most over-looked aspect of draft fans. Not how good a player is, but how good does a player fit the system he was drafted in? And how good are those teams at developing players. That makes a world of difference.

Thanks Jesse! 

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