Saturday, March 6, 2010

NFL Combine: What did you think?

I am interested to know what people thought about this years’ NFL Combine. I could really get into details about performances, but overall I think that the talent was pretty solid. The professional evaluators who have been projecting results for whos, whats, and how fasts seemed as though in some aspects they had no clue how guys would perform. My first thought of the Combine was that it was disappointing in so many ways, but after another review of the performances as a whole, I’ve realized that this year’s combine was very interesting and will be even more interesting is how things unfold leading into the draft.

The Offensive linemen ran pretty well with the Top 10 all being under 5.16 imagine one of those 6’7 300+ whales running full speed and getting his hands on a 5’10 185 pound Defensive Back (not a pretty sight). Speaking of Defensive Backs this years’ DB are very intriguing. I think these guys deserve to be commended for their efforts. All of the Top DBs (i.e. Taylor Mays, Eric Berry, Myron Rolle) stepped up... to the challenge of showcasing their skills in front of the NFL coaches, scouts, and GMs. So there wasn’t the disappointment of having one top DB that the nation was looking forward to seeing, decline to complete the full workout (*cough cough*Tebow, Clausen). Now c’mon I understand injuries, but what I am getting bitter about is the disappointment of the Quarterbacks on Day 2. The guys who were there, quite frankly didn’t impress at all. You could actually see the Wide Receivers face showing frustration when doing the catching drills.

The publicity and hype behind the Top 5 QBs has been and will be overwhelming sport media during the 2009 season up until Draft Day. Unfortunately, we didn’t get to see them at the NFL Combine. Those names include Colt McCoy (Wanted to throw, but doctors advised him not to. Recovering from a shoulder injury) Tim Tebow (took part in testing but not throwing because he wants to wait until his pro-day to unveil his new throwing motion), Jimmy Clausen (Recovering from surgery to address tendon damage in his right toe), Dan LeFevour opted out of the throwing drills just because…(Who is advising this guy!?!?). You (LeFevour) had a chance to steal the show at the combine by simply throwing a few good passes because you of all people are a huge story “waiting to happen.” (LeFevour posted very “Tebow-like” numbers standing 6’3 240, a 150 passer rating, 28 passing TDs, 15 rushing TDs)…With the other “star QBs” opting out, he could have boosted his stock significantly by showing some competitiveness and even leadership with the groups of QBs and WRs on Day 2.

On Day 3, watching the Defensive Line, all I have to say is, Wow. The interior Defensive Line guys were very impressive. They showed up! The big boys down in the trenches don’t usually get much acknowledgement, but they will be well represented come draft time with the talents that Top 5 guys have (i.e. Gerald McCoy (OU), Ndamukong Suh (Nebraska), Dan Williams (Tenn.), Jared Odrick (PSU) Brian Price (UCLA)). The “biggies” as I like to call OL/DL players ran fairly good 40yd dashes in the 4.9 to 5.1 range. Many of the Defensive End type of D-Linemen and Linebackers also posted pretty impressive test numbers between the 4.6 to 4.8 ranges in the 40yard dash. The Defensive Ends were like big Linebackers the way they moved so well in drills. The Linebackers were moving around like Defensive Backs in their back pedal, cuts and breaking on the ball.

Even though I didn’t discuss it much, the RBs wowed us with their testing. It is a fairly big group with some exceptional speed for their size. There will be a mad shuffle when it comes time for the Draft. All in all, it looks like for this NFL Draft there will be more than a few quality guys at pretty much every position. It will be very interesting to see what will happen between now and draft day because all of the players will have a chance to perform for significantly smaller audiences at their Pro Days. It will be the another chance for them to build on previous performances and for many off the radar guys (those not invited to the NFL Combine) it will be their first and last impression to make of NFL Scouts before April’s draft. Make it count!

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