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Seven Takeaways From The 2017 NFL Scouting Combine


The 2017 NFL Scouting Combine officially concluded Monday afternoon at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.

Over the past week, hundreds of the best football prospects in the country have been put through the ringer, both on and off the field, making their case to the 32 clubs that they deserve to be selected in the 2017 NFL Draft.

As strange as it may seem, the Draft is less than two months away, so now that all the interviews have been conducted, and the 40-yard dashes have been run, let's take a look at the major takeaways from the 2017 edition of the Combine.

1. Head Coach Jack Del Rio is looking forward to his future in Silver and Black.

In this case, Head Coach Del Rio was the exception to the rule.

After just two seasons as the as the Raiders head coach, Del Rio was rewarded with a new deal last month that will keep him in Silver and Black for the next four years.

And make no mistake about it, Del Rio is happy that he'll be wearing the Silver and Black for the foreseeable future.

"It's awesome because Mark Davis has been a man of his word since the day I got here," said Del Rio. "We talked about upgrading the facilities. We talked about spending in free agency, and we talked about when I come in and do what I was intending on doing, the vision that I provided, he would tear up that original contract, and give me on that I deserve, and that's what he did. I'm very appreciative."

2. 2017 will be a big year for the Raiders 2016 draft class

Head Coach Del Rio said earlier this week that it's hard to get a good assessment of a rookie class after just one season.

However, that being said, he does expect to see an uptick in production in the Silver and Black's 2016 rookie class that was headlined by safety Karl Joseph.

"The first year you come in, some guys may break out, most don't, but year two, you should really start to emerge, and become who you are," Del Rio explained. "We feel like Karl Joseph coming off the injury last year, [it] kind of slowed him a little bit more than we had hoped going into camp, and didn't start the season, and so he was a little behind. Jihad [Ward] has got great talent. We have to develop that talent, get him to play a little bit better, and he will. I really believe he will… We like our group. We like our guys, but it's time for us to develop them."

3. John Ross owned the 40-yard dash

The 40-yard dash has become the most talked about drill at the Combine, and seeing the wide receivers in particular run has become must-see TV over the past few years.

Well, University of Washington wide receiver John Ross didn't disappoint, setting an NFL Combine record on his first and only attempt of the day, running the 40-yard dash in a blistering 4.22 seconds.

4. Isaac Asiata and Carl Lawson put on a show

Now, it's not an exact indicator – I don't think you'd find anyone who would argue differently – but the bench press has become one of the premier ways to evaluate strength at the NFL Combine.

After all the prospects had their time on the bench, two stood above the rest, Utah guard Isaac Asiata, and Auburn defensive end Carl Lawson.

5. Obi Melifonwu jumped out of Indy

While we won't know how Connecticut safety Obi Melifonwu will translate to the NFL, what we do know is that the man is an athlete.

Not only did Melifonwu record the highest vertical leap at the Combine (44 inches), he also jumped an impressive 11'9" in the broad jump, five inches further than anyone else in 2017, and just six inches off the current Combine record set by Byron Jones in 2015.

6. Christian McCaffrey made his presence felt

Over the past few months we've heard time and time again about the depth of this year's running back class.

From Leonard Fournette to Dalvin Cook and everyone in between, there certainly aren't a lack of playmakers coming from the running back position in 2017.

While some of the bigger – no pun intended – backs might have garnered a lot of the headlines heading into the Combine, Christian McCaffrey made sure that he wasn't forgotten about, putting on a clinic during his time between the hash marks.

7. We got our first look at some of the newest members of the AFC West.

The Raiders gave Head Coach Jack Del Rio a new contract last month, ensuring he'd be wearing in Silver and Black for the next several years, but a pair of other teams in the AFC West decided to make a move regarding their respective head coaches this offseason.

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