Reporting Justin Pawlowski
While the combine has its critics each and every year, there sure are a lot of people who pay close attention to every move these players make.
If the combine was a meaningless weekend, the NFL would have rid themselves of the event by now.
Sure, there are always the “workout warriors” who test well at the combine, but fail in the NFL. However, the combine is the only time before the draft where most of the prospects can all be tested at the same time under the same surroundings.
What should be taken from the combine is the players who make you go back and watch more film on them.
With that said, here are players from each position that I feel hurt their cause during the combine:
Defensive End – Damontre Moore – Texas A&M – Moore had an awful combine. At 6’5” and 250 lbs, Moore managed just 12 reps on the bench press and ran a slow 4.95 40-yard dash. Sure, the combine isn’t everything, but Moore’s stock will drop mightily after this showing.
Defensive Tackle – Johnathon Hankins – Ohio St – Hankins was not very impressive when it came to mobility. Hankins is known more as a 2-gap defensive tackle, but did not display the attributes of a 1st round selection.
Outside Linebacker – Chase Thomas – Stanford – Thomas is known more as an effort player, but still did not test well. As a 3-4 outside linebacker, Thomas was 244 lbs and ran a 4.91 40-yard dash, while doing 18 reps on the bench. Thomas looked very stiff in agility drills and could see his stock slip a little.
Inside Linebacker – Manti Te’o – Notre Dame - I’m not sure how much Te’o truly hurt himself, but the other inside linebackers did well, so Te’o lands here by default. For a projected 1st round pick, Te’o did not display any of the qualities that an elite 1st round linebacker has. He obviously had a slow 40-yard dash, but he also was very stiff in agility and pass defense drills. What might have hurt him most of all was his excuse that the “stress of the combine” was why he had a bad performance on the field. Here’s a hint, football coaches at any level hate excuses!
Cornerback - Johnthan Banks – Mississippi St. – There was a lot of hype surrounding Banks heading into the combine. Banks has great size at 6’2” and had the longest arms of any corner in this draft. However, Banks struggled in the 40-yard dash, running an official 4.61. Adding in just 10 reps on the bench, the sound you just heard might have been Banks falling way out of the 1st round.
Safety – Zeke Motta – Notre Dame - While speed isn’t the most important factor of a safety, Motta’s 4.83 on the 40-yard dash is a major concern. Yep, a 4.83 for a defensive back. Motta also only posted 11 reps on the bench, which was the worst amount of any safety.
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