Winners and losers from the NFL combine
|02.28.12 at 11:41 pm ET|
With the NFL scouting combine coming to an end on Tuesday, here’s a look at six guys who helped themselves with a big performance in Indy and five guys who hurt themselves:
Six guys who helped their stock at the combine:
‘¢Wide receiver Stephen Hill (Georgia Tech): In the words of NFL Network analyst Mike Mayock, Hill “killed it” this weekend. Hill, 6-foot-4 and 215 pounds, posted relatively pedestrian numbers in an option offense (he posted career highs of 28 receptions for 820 yards and five touchdowns as a junior), but ran an absolutely crazy 4.36 40. He looked smooth and natural in pass-catching drills, and his time in an option offense has turned him into a proficient blocker. He’s not in the same group as Justin Blackmon, but turned enough heads to nudge his way into the late stages of the first round or the early stages in the second round.
‘¢Quarterback Robert Griffin III (Baylor): There was little question about his skill set entering the weekend, but an electric 40 time and impressive turn in front of the media solidified his position as the No. 2 pick in the draft behind fellow quarterback Andrew Luck. (The Rams, who have the second pick but already have a franchise quarterback, can exact a sizable price for that No. 2 pick from a quarterback-needy team between now and draft day.)
‘¢Linebacker Luke Kuechly (Boston College): Like Griffin, there were little question as to the fact that Kuechly entered the weekend as one of the top players at his position, but the BC product solidified his status with a series of impressive workouts. (He posted a 4.5 40 and a 38-inch vertical leap.) As Mayock said Monday, he’s now a lock for the Top 20 after his performance.
‘¢Defensive lineman Dontari Poe (Memphis): Simply put, big men aren’t supposed to move like Poe did: The 6-foot-4, 346-pounder ran a 4.98 40 (including a 1.7 ten-yard split), opening the eyes of the rest of the league. He also benched 225 pounds an amazing 44 times. The performance is enough to vault him into the middle stages of the first round.
‘¢Linebacker Mychal Kendricks (Cal): The Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year, he was the top inside linebacker on Monday in the 40-yard dash (4.47), vertical jump (39.5) and broad jump (10-7). The 5-foot-11, 239-pounder entered the weekend as a possible mid- to late-round pickup, but several people now believe he’s worked his way as high as the second or third round after his work in Indy.
‘¢Cornerback Josh Robinson (Central Florida): No defensive back won more categories than the 5-foot-10, 199-pound Robinson. His 4.33 40 time led all players at the combine, and among DB’s, he finished first in the three-cone drill (6.55 seconds) and the broad jump (133 inches) and second in the vertical jump (38.5 inches).
Five guys who hurt their stock at the combine:
‘¢Linebacker Vontaze Burfict (Arizona State): It’s hard to imagine someone doing more damage to his professional aspirations than Burfict did over the weekend. He dogged his college coaches, showed zero contrition about past transgressions and had poor workouts, including the slowest 40 time of any linebacker at the combine. Someone who was being talked about as a possible first-round talent is now sliding down draft boards at a rapid rate.
‘¢Wide receiver Alshon Jeffery (South Carolina): Jeffery started on a positive note — after rumors flew that he was grossly overweight, he showed up looking trim. But then, for whatever reason, he didn’t participate in any drills. (Bottom line was that this wasn’t a guy who could afford to skip drills.) On a weekend where he had a chance to dismiss many of the questions surrounding him and his work ethic, it appears he missed out on the opportunity.
‘¢Wide receiver Kendall Wright (Baylor): With Oklahoma State’s Justin Blackmon not working out, the 5-foot-10, 196-pound Wright also missed out on an opportunity to climb draft boards. Instead, he submitted a relatively sluggish performance, running a 4.61 40. “On tape, I thought he was Desean Jackson, just a notch below him from a speed perspective. To see him run 4.6, I was stunned,” Mayock said. “Kendall Wright ran slow.” He will get another (and possibly better) chance to show scouts what he can do when he works out with RGIII at Baylor’s Pro Day, but now, he has little margin for error if he wants to be considered a first-round pick.
‘¢Cornerback Janoris Jenkins (North Alabama): Positives? He was honest in his sitdown with the media. Negatives? The stuff he was being honest about. He copped to three arrests for possession of marijuana and a bar fight. While he had good workouts, his checkered past will likely cost him in the eyes of some teams.
‘¢Tackle Mike Adams (Ohio State): He had some of the most underwhelming workouts of any of the highly-touted offensive linemen, bench-pressing 225 pounds 19 times and running 5.4 in the 40. There were already some red flags around the 6-foot-7, 323-pounder because he was one of five OSU players suspended for first five games of 2011 due to NCAA rule violation of receiving improper benefits. “I don’t see the core strength. He’s long, he’s got good feet, he’s got the prototypical left tackle’s body,” Mayock said. “I’m not buying that he’s definitely going in the first round just because of his strength and some questions about his maturity.”
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