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:
Quarterback – Mike Glennon – NC St - I thought Glennon looked like a deer in headlights at times. He is a big kid, but lacks any bulk. His throws were inconsistent throughout the entire workout. Glennon also showed a slower wind up on deep throws. Glennon looked like a 3rd round quarterback at best at the combine. Back to the film!
Running Back – Montee Ball – Wisconsin - The former Heisman trophy candidate had a lot of buzz and was doing a lot of talking before the combine. Montee Ball did not display good speed or good strength this weekend. Running backs are tough to judge because it does not take elite speed to make an elite back. I want quickness, agility, and vision. NFL evaluators will be dissecting as much of Ball’s film as possible.
Wide Receivers – Keenan Allen – Cal – The old saying “out of sight, out of mind” comes to play here. This year’s receiver class is not very deep, so as other receivers tried to distance themselves, Allen stood from the sideline and watched. This puts extra emphasis on his pro day.
Tight End – Gavin Escobar – San Diego St. - Escobar was considered the top tight end after Tyler Eifert and Zach Ertz. Escobar was not impressive in the 40-yard dash (4.84) and did not participate in the bench press. He was known for outstanding hands at San Diego St, but evaluators will need to decide if his hands can out-weigh his lack of elite speed to stretch the field.
Offensive Lineman – DJ Fluker – Alabama - This one is tough because most of the offensive linemen were solid. Fluker makes this list for the sheer fact that his style of play just isn’t made for the combine. He won’t beat you with his athleticism or technique. Fluker is a mauler, and while only 21 reps on the bench might concern you about his strength, remember that his arms are about 2-3 inches longer than most of the other linemen in this draft.
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