NFL Combine Wrap-Up – Who Nailed It and Who Failed It
The 2014 NFL Scouting Combine has come and gone and now it’s time to rip apart those draft hopefuls. All kidding aside, depending on who you believe, the combine either solidifies a prospect's stance with a team or raises concerns.
In honor of the Sochi Olympics we’re giving out gold, silver and lead medals. Cut us a break…we ran out of money after silver. The budget in radio isn’t exactly thriving.
Gold Medal Winners:
Arnold Donald, defensive tackle, Pittsburgh: Donald had the best overall day of any defensive lineman at the combine, throwing up 35 repetitions of 225 pounds, running a surprising 4.68 40-yard dash while making a solid impression with his position drills.
Taylor Lewan, offensive tackle, Michigan: Lewan blew it up at the combine! It is scary when men who are 6-foot-7 and weigh 309 pounds move the way he does. The Michigan product ran a 4.87 40, had a 30.5 vertical jump, a 9.75 broad jump and ran through the three cone drill in 7.39 seconds. All four were tops among offensive linemen.
Brandin Cooks, wide receiver, Oregon State: Cooks blistered the 40-yard dash in 4.33 seconds while also impressing with a 3.82 in the 20-yard shuttle. He looked great in the position drills exhibiting fluidity coming in and out of his breaks. Cooks also showed terrific awareness of the ball.
Justin Gilbert, cornerback, Oklahoma State: Gilbert also scorched the track at the combine running a 4.37 40 and was very smooth during the position drills displaying loose hips.
Greg Robinson, offensive tackle Auburn: The junior ran a 4.92 40, with a broad jump of 9-feet-5 inches. He also looked very smooth in the position drills, showing excellent agility.
Mike Davis, wide receiver, Texas A&M: The Aggie surprised many with a 4.53 40-yard dash at 6-foot-5, 231 pounds. Davis also posted a 37-inch vertical jump and looked agile in his drills.
Silver Medal Winners are:
Khalil Mack, linebacker/defensive end, Buffalo: Mack just missed out on gold, running a solid 4.65 in the 40, ran a linebacker group best 2.18 in the 20-yard shuttle and leapt out of the roof with a 40-inch vertical and a 10.6-foot broad jump.
Sammy Davis, wide receiver, Clemson: Davis put on a show displaying his athletic talents, while also looking great in the passing drills. His 4.43 in the 40 was a little surprising, since he was expected to run a sub 4.4.
Tre Mason, running back, Auburn: The junior ran a 4.5 40-yard dash, had a 38.5 vertical jump and a 10.5-foot broad jump. All were position bests for running backs.
Kyle Fuller, defensive back, Virginia Tech: Fuller was able to leg-out a 4.49 40, showing better speed than anticipated, and also posted a 10.7-foot broad jump.
Blake Bortles, quarterback, Central Florida:Bortles was the only projected first round quarterback to throw at the combine and performed well in the drills. He also was able to run a sub 5.0 40-yard dash, post a 9.6-foot broad jump and 32.5 vertical jump.
Johnny Manziel, quarterback, Texas A&M:The 2013 Heisman winner did not throw at the combine, choosing instead to throw at his pro-day, but did participate in the individual drills. Manziel displayed his great athletic ability running a 4.68 40, posting a 31.5 vertical jump, a 6.75 three-cone drill and a 4.03 20-yard shuttle.
And the Lead Winners are:
Michael Sam, defensive end/linebacker, Missouri: The “tweener” continued to have a disappointing post-season performance. Sam was underwhelming at the Senior Bowl and looked rough his position drills. He is not a very fluid and natural athlete. He also was sub-par in the bench press with 17 repetitions at 225 pounds, a 25.5 vertical jump and a 4.91 40-yard dash.
Teddy Bridgewater, quarterback, Louisville: Bridgewater chose not to do anything at the combine. Enough said.
Derek Carr, quarterback, Fresno State: Carr did some testing drills, running a solid 4.69 40 along with a 34.5 vertical jump—but he didn’t throw. His passing skills are considered near the top of all draft eligible quarterbacks. Why not display his skill?
Jace Amaro, tight end, Texas Tech: Amaro ran a slower than predicted 4.74 in the 40-yard dash and was less than sure-handed in the position drills.
Ka’Deem Carey, running back, Arizona: Carey ran a slow 4.7 and was disappointing in the both the vertical and broad jumps.
James Wilder Jr., running back, Florida State: Wilder was even slower than Carey, posting a 4.86 40.
And the one and only Gold/Silver/Lead Winner:
Jadeveon Clowney, defensive end, South Carolina: Clowney was the enigma at the combine and continues to raise questions about his competitive level. He won gold for posting an insane 4.53 40-yard dash and a 37-inch vertical jump. Remember, this is a man who is 6-foot-5 1/4, weighing 266 pounds…geez! The silver is for the 21 repetitions at 225 pounds, which is under-par for defensive linemen. The lead is for his perplexing choice to pull himself out of some of the drills, saying he didn’t like one because it started from the floor but then used a hip-pointer as an excuse to avoid that drill and others.
Coming up on Friday, I’ll have a top 40 prospects list and a top five at each position.