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Risers and fallers from the weekend

03.02.10 at 10:36 am ET
By isn’€™t batting an eye when it comes to the 2010 NFL Draft. From interviews with experts to original mock drafts to weekly looks at potential Patriots, this is the place to be leading up to draft weekend, April 22-24.

Before’s first post-combine mock drops on Wednesday, here’s a look at some of the big-name players who impressed and disappointed at the combine and what it means for their draft stock. Keep in mind that defensive backs have yet to run, so we will have a better idea of what kind of overall shakeup there will be by the end of the day on Tuesday.


Bruce Campbell, OT, Maryland

The joke has been made that following Campbell will go eighth to the Raiders following his astonishing 4.85 40-yard dash, but we might be wise to save our laughter. Why wouldn’t a team that places an emphasis on speed spend a first-round pick on someone who so perfectly fits their standards?

Jared Odrick, DT, Penn State

Based on what we saw this weekend, the 6-foot-5, 305-pound Odrick’s versatility and size should clearly make him the third-best defensive tackle behind Gerald McCoy and Ndamukong Suh. Odrick could literally play any position on the defensive line in the 4-3 or 3-4 and  his intelligence makes the Richard Seymour comparisons a little more realistic. This is a very deep draft, but any team that lands Odrick in the middle of the first round is getting a steal.

Tim Tebow, QB, Florida

Tebow literally did everything right that he could have done. Unlike some of the other quarterbacks (see below), the 2007 Heisman winner more or less got a free pass when it came to his decision to wait to throw until his March 17 Pro Day. Why? Because his mechanical tweak (holding the ball higher to get rid of what he called the “loop” in his delivery) is a clear compliance with what NFL teams would want from him. He also ran well (his 4.7 is good speed for a tight end) and faced a pretty tough media session with the utmost maturity and professionalism. It might not be smart, but don’t count Tebow out as a late first-round pick (to reiterate my argument over the weekend, if John McCargo can go in the first round, anyone can).

Jarrett Brown, QB, West Virginia

Brown didn’t have to do much in throwing drills to make him one of the most impressive quarterbacks at the combine, but he showed off good arm strength and accuracy anyway for good measure. Factor in his 4.54 second 40-yard dash and he further complicates the order in which quarterbacks will go following Sam Bradford and Jimmy Clausen.

Jahvid Best, RB, California

In a combine during which Chris Johnson was nervously tweeting that he feared for his record because of CJ Spiller, Best was the fastest running back. Injury concerns had really tarnished his value, but Best should be a mid-to-late first-round pick following his 4.35 second 40-yard dash.

Toby Gerhart, RB, Stanford

We’ll see how much Gerhart’s surprising 40 time of 4.55 really helped him. Though speed was undoubtedly one of, if not the biggest, knocks on Gerhart, his lack of agility might still concern teams that view him as a fullback. His combine performance did wonders for him, however, as he is at least more in the discussion at running back than he ever was since declaring.


Dan LeFevour, QB, Central Michigan

The feeling amongst media members from all over the country that were on hand Sunday was that LeFevour wasn’t a good enough prospect to get away with picking and choosing how NFL teams will see his arm. “I know what I’m capable of doing,” LeFevour said in Indianapolis, but rather than displaying it he gave a lot of other quarterbacks (Tony Pike, Levi Brown, Skelton) room to catch up to him. Even with a good Pro Day LeFevour isn’t a lock to be the third quarterback taken.

Tony Pike, QB, Cincinnati

Pike was basically handed the keys to LeFevour’s draft slot, yet found a way to come away from Indianapolis being held in lower regard. Pike has put on 13 pounds and is now up to 223 pounds, but he still looks horrifically fragile and struggled mightily in throwing drills.

Dexter McCluster, RB/WR, Ole Miss

McCluster has been compared to the likes of Reggie Bush, Percy Harvin, and DeSean Jackson in that he’s a small guy with speed. Bush ran a 4.33, Harvin ran a 4.41, and Jackson a 4.35. McCluster is shorter than all of them (5-foot-8) and ran his 40-yard dash in 4.58 seconds. His agility allows for an offense to get creative, but teams may be wary of spending a second-round pick on a JV-sized back who lacks the speed to be especially shifty.

Read More: 2010 NFL Draft, NFL Combine,



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