The NFL Combine begins tomorrow and two former UCLA football players (Caleb Wilson and Andre James), will be participating in the scouting event that precedes the NFL Draft. Here is what you need to know to follow their on-field workouts and scouting reports for both.
Though the UCLA football team only has two members heading to the NFL Combine this year, we expect bigs things from two of the Bruins’ key members from last season.
Tight end Caleb Wilson and offensive lineman Andre James will be representing the blue and gold in Indianapolis for this four-day weekend event and after seeing what they were able to accomplish at UCLA, many Bruins fans are eager to see what they will do in the combine and how it will help (or hurt) their stock for the 2019 NFL Draft.
2019 NFL Combine On-Field Workout Schedule
First workout times in parentheses.
- Friday, March 1 (6 a.m. PT): Running Backs, Offensive Linemen, Special Teams, Place Kickers
- Saturday, March 2 (7 a.m. PT): Quarterbacks, Wide Receivers, Tight Ends
- Sunday, March 3 (6 a.m. PT): Defensive Linemen, Linebackers
- Monday, March 4 (6 a.m. PT): Defensive Backs
How to Watch the NFL Combine
Coverage will be live on the NFL Network (via live stream or your cable provider) with additional coverage on ABC from 10 a.m. to 12 noon.
Quick Scouting Report
Caleb Wilson, TE, 6’5, 235 lbs
2018 Stats: 60 receptions, 985 receiving yards, 5 TDs, 16.1 avg/catch, 80.4 avg/game
The upside: Wilson is an absolute beast. In the last two seasons, Wilson has been the go-to guy in UCLA’s passing game. Though he only played five games in 2017 due to a foot injury, he was lauded as the top TE in the nation. He backed up that claim in 2018 as he caught for 985, the most among all tight ends in the nation.
With his size, Wilson has enough speed to not only get into open space but get several yards after the catch. He has great field vision and can find the holes in the defense or find the blocker to run behind, but most importantly, he knows how to get the ball downfield in a hurry. Last year, in head coach Chip Kelly‘s first season, it took a while for Wilson to become an integral part of the offense, but once he claimed the spot as “go-to receiver”, all the Bruin QBs had to do was throw it his way.
The downside: Though Wilson has all the tools to make it in the NFL, one thing he needs to work on is his blocking. Though he has solid hands, he is going to have to prove himself with any NFL team in all facets of the position. Wilson does a decent job of engaging but needs to put more emphasis and strength into his pushback and creating gaps for the offense.
Andre James, OL, 6’5, 310 lbs
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The upside: James is a three years starter that has played multiple positions on a team that had three offensive coordinators in three years. If anything, he knows how to adapt. The biggest plus for James is the fact that he was able to work with OL/OC Justin Frye who made immense improvements with UCLA’s line last season. In the first four games of the season, UCLA averaged 311.3 yards and 17.0 points per game. In the last four games, that shot up to 485.5 yards and 31.3 points per game and the line was a big reason why.
James might have digressed from the 2017 season, but a big reason for that is the change in the offensive scheme under Kelly. The important thing to note is that he improved as the season went on in run protection, opening gaps, pulling, blocking rushers on the edge and conforming to the offensive scheme.
The downside: James could have benefitted from another year in college, but you cannot keep down a player with this much talent and professional aspirations. Still, if there is anything that James needs to work on is his footwork and speed. Though he has the physical tools, he was a part of an O-line that allowed 2.67 sacks per game (tied for 97th in the nation). On many occasions, a pass rusher would slip by James en route to the QB or RB, but with professional coaching, he should have no problem improving in this area in the next few years.
Good luck to both Bruins as they begin their journey to the NFL! Go Bruins!