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The NFL Combine or as I call it, a reunion for a dysfunctional family we call the National Football League. The combine provides Owners, General Managers and Coaches a chance to reconnect, make generalized statements to the media and observe potential draft prospects in the first official event of the off season. Unfortunately two players that I really wanted to see – Matt Barkley and Eddie Lacy – did not participate.  Some of my favorite moments include Chip Kelly’s “Erroneous” interview, GM Tom Telesco stating that Ryan Mathews will be the starting running back for the Chargers (not buying it), watching the hundreds of people gather at Manti Te’o’s interview only to get the same information we have known for months, the blazing 40 times including 6’ 5” 305 LB Terron Armstead run a 4.65 and of course everyone’s overreaction to under or over performers.  I half expected for Jerry Jones to have an interview stating that he was looking forward to watch Leon Sandcastle and that he was on the Cowboy’s radar…sorry Jerry, it’s just a joke. Seriously though it might have been entertaining to watch in regards to the background noise but ultimately we watch the combine for one reason and that’s to keep an eye and get a first look as Fantasy Football owners of the talent that could possibly land on our fantasy rosters and give us the best opportunity to win the coveted championship. Lets take a look at a few combine standouts from each position and how their performance effects their relative draft position. One thing to keep in mind with these grades and scores is that a good evaluation does not always mean that a player is or is not a great NFL prospect this is more of a track meet and as we know there is more to football than running, jumping and lifting weights. Track speed and strength does not always translate to football speed and strength.  But enough about that, let’s see how the 2013 NFL Combine played out and what, if any, effect it will have on 2013 fantasy football…

Quarterbacks

Geno Smith West Virginia: There was a lot of talk about Geno and how skipping the Senior Bowl would affect his draft status. I will tell you that without a doubt after the combine he quieted all doubters by posting stellar numbers.

40 Yard Dash: 4.59 Seconds (Tops all Quarterbacks)

Vertical Leap: 33.5 Inches

Broad Jump: 124 Inches

EJ Manuel Florida State University: Manuel was drawing skepticism from critics that he actually wasn’t as athletic as he appeared and should not be considered a mobile Quarterback. I think EJ proved the exact opposite, for his size he posted equally impressive numbers.

40 Yard Dash: 4.65 Seconds

Vertical Leap: 34 Inches

Broad Jump: 108 Inches

*Nothing in particular stood out with any of the other Quarterbacks and really didn’t do much to drastically improve and hurt their draft status.

Running Backs

Johnathan Franklin UCLA: I wrote about Franklin in my Senior Bowl article describing him as one of the most complete running backs in the draft but said he needed to post good numbers in he combine to build a case that he can be an effective edge runner in the NFL, he did just that.

40 Yard Dash: 4.49 Seconds

Bench Press: 18 Repetitions

Vertical Leap: 31.5 Inches

Broad Jump: 115 Inches

20 Yard Shuttle: 4.31 Seconds

Michael Ford LSU: Know as somewhat of a “plodder” in a very simplistic LSU offense Ford surprised many with very competitive combine scores. I think Ford is catching the eyes of scouts and his draft stock could be rising.

40 Yard Dash: 4.50 Seconds

Bench Press: 25 Repetitions

Vertical Leap: 38.5 Inches

Broad Jump: 130 Inches

20 Yard Shuttle: 4.25 Seconds

Montee Ball Wisconsin: The touchdown machine of the Wisconsin Badgers was under close watch at the combine. Most have classified him as undersized, with average speed and are concerned with the abuse he took in college as an every down back. Ball posted average numbers in all events as expected.

40 Yard Dash: 4.66 Seconds

Bench Press: 15 Repetitions

Vertical Leap: 32 Inches

Broad Jump: 118 Inches

20 Yard Shuttle: 4.40 Seconds

Giovani Bernard UNC: Considered one of the top running back prospects the main concern with Bernard is how well he recovered from a previous knee injury and some were projecting less than stellar numbers in the combine. Bernard did just the opposite and ran one of the faster 40 sprints and Shuttle runs of the running back prospects.

40 Yard Dash: 4.53 Seconds

Bench Press: 19 Repetitions

Vertical Leap: 33.5 Inches

Broad Jump: 118 Inches

20 Yard Shuttle: 4.12 Seconds

*Disappointments included slow 40 times from Andre Ellington Clemson, Ray Graham Pittsburgh and Stefan Taylor Stanford

Wide Receivers

Tavon Austin West Virginia: One of the top wide receiver prospects in the draft and I think Austin has the ability to be an immediate impact player if he goes to the right team that needs a dynamic receiver. His combine scores show why he is such a threat with the ball in his hands.

40 Yard Dash: 4.34 Seconds

Bench Press: 14 Repetitions

Vertical Leap: 32 Inches

Broad Jump: 120 Inches

20 Yard Shuttle: 4.01 Seconds

Cordarrelle Patterson Tennessee: Considered by most as the top wide receiver in the draft because of his size and amazing athletic ability, Patterson only strengthened his status by posting combine scores similar to players much smaller than him making his performance even more impressive. I still have questions regarding ability to make NFL type catches but he is making a strong case as the best receiver in this class.

40 Yard Dash: 4.42 Seconds

Vertical Leap: 37 Inches

Broad Jump: 128 Inches

Marquise Goodwin Texas: I wrote in my previous article Senior Bowl Wide Receivers that Marquise would have no problem with the combine and his football skills were the only question mark. The Olympian lived up to all expectations by running the fastest 40 time nearly beating Chris Johnson’s record of 4.24 Seconds.

40 Yard Dash: 4.27 Seconds

Bench Press : 13 Repetitions

Broad Jump: 132 Inches

Quinton Patton Louisiana Tech: Patton has drawn a lot of attention for a player from such a small school, he proved himself by performing well in Senior Bowl workouts and now again in the combine. His 40 time wasn’t didn’t stand out but his shuttle run was one of the best matching Tavon Austin’s time.

40 Yard Dash: 4.53 Seconds

Bench Press: 8 Repetitions

Vertical Leap: 33 Inches

Broad Jump: 118 Inches

20 Yard Shuttle: 4.01 Seconds

10 Responses

  1. Tallow says:
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    Yeah, whomever thought EJs issue were physical is an idiot. Seriously…Saying EJ isn’t athletic should automatically bring up a red flag about a persons intelligence. When a statement like that is made I figure the person hasn’t actually watched EJ play.

    The issue with Ej is the same as Jamarcus. Too much purple drank.

    • Murph says:
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      @Tallow: Not sure about the comparison between EJ and Jamarcus. I think the key difference is Jamarcus went number 1 overall and received the equivalent of a Powerball lottery payout and essentially gave up. EJ should fall to a team in the second round. I think this gives EJ a chance to earn his way and he has the abilities to be a starter on the NFL. Maybe too much Red drank or Blue drank but certainly not Purple Drank

  2. Dom V says:
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    Just curious, what are your thoughts on Knile Paul? His numbers are nice, is he legit though?

  3. Dom V says:
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    I mean Knile Davis…haha

    • murph says:
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      @Dom V: @Dom V: Kniles Davis and Ontario MCCaleb both had top scores numbers wise but I left both of them out because I think they are the variables that people get excited about. After watching film on both the blazing speed does not translate to football, they both seem to lose a step in full pads and lack the explosiveness you need as a running back. On top of that we only have a small sample size from Davis because he spent most of 2011 recovering from an injury and was pretty much ineffective in 2012 (3.4 YPC and 2 TDs). Could one of these backs become an NFL star? Sure athletic ability alone can be enough but I need to see more football from these guys. We should have a clearer picture after pro day but they both have certainly added value to their draft stock.

      • Dom V says:
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        @murph: Good point, the fact that Davis put up 31 reps on top of that 4.3 40 was the biggest reason I asked about him. I agree that the combine performances don’t necessarily translate to football speed or skills though.

        • Murph says:
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          @Dom V: Yes that was insane 31 reps is solid even for an offensive or defensive lineman. Certainly a player to watch moving forward. He compared himself to Arian Foster and Adrian Peterson in his post combine interview, so the confidence is there haha.

          • Dom V says:
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            @Murph: Haha that’s a big comparison, I’m going to definitely be watching to see where he lands. Perhaps he Bryce Brown’s it?

            • Murph says:
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              @Dom V: Not sure he is a Bryce Brown type, he is about 15 pounds heavier and people forget coming out of high school Bryce Brown was the number 1 ranked RB in the nation, Knile Davis was barely in the top 20. If he lands to the right team though as a backup and we see an injury at the position he could emerge. Seems like there is always one Demarco Murray in 2011, Bryce Brown in 2012 it’s just hard to predict who that’s going to be. It’s all about landing on the right team. I’ll do a little more research to come up with a comparable NFL running back but at first glance I see similarities to Stevan Ridley.

              • Dom V says:
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                @Murph: Yeah Bryce is a specimen. Always guys popping up after an injury though. NFL.com had Correy Dillon as a player Davis is similar to. Still I got to do my homework on the guy.

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