Combine Observations

I spent too much time this weekend watching what Mike Mayock derisively calls the "Underwear Olympics."

Personally, I think it's great television. My wife, however, speculated that we were probably the only household in America who was watching it. She can't be right, right? Surely, I'm not the only one.

Regardless, here are some thoughts I had while watching. If you're a desperate NFL junkie like I am and have something to share, please do so in the comments.

- As I expected, Lamar Miller ran the fastest 40-yard dash among the running backs. To be honest, I was disappointed in his time (4.4). I expected him to run in the mid-4.3 range. Considering he's only been training for the 40 for two weeks, his performance wasn't horrible. And some of his starts looked slow. By the way, the 40 was the only event he participated in due to his recovery from shoulder surgery. I'm curious to hear reports from Miami's Pro Day.

- Virginia Tech's David Wilson impressed. Although he wasn't as fast as some hoped, he stood out in many of the agility drills and demonstrated really capable hands in the field drills. I still think his limitation at the next level will be his patience and his vision. Nevertheless, the team that drafts him will land a good one.

- Robert Turbin is ripped. He's a near-perfect specimen. He looks like a superhero. He's almost too ripped, because his musculature seems to inhibit his movement. Nowhere was this more evident than when he ran the wheel route and had to turn and find the ball. Don't get me wrong, he'll be a solid back in the NFL. But I question whether he'll be on the field in obvious passing downs.

- I'm sick of watching these Ohio State players run the 40. I don't know where they train, but they all take three times as long as most players do "getting in position" to run. I don't have anything against Ohio State or former Buckeyes. But to me, I don't trust Ohio State combine measureables. I think there's less correlation between Combine performance and real on-field football performance with Ohio State athletes than with any other school. I think they train for the Combine better than anyone.

- It was a bad weekend for Oklahoma State wide receiver Justin Blackmon. Blackmon, who has been viewed by many as the top receiver prospect in this draft, came in both short and light and then he chose not to run the 40. In the field drills, he really didn't shine. His hands looked good, but not special. His route running, which was has been described as "pro ready", looked good, but not special. In short, he didn't look elite.

- Staying with the receivers, Baylor's Kendall Wright, who many believe is the draft's second-best receiving prospect, also didn't help himself. Many viewed him as a speed guy and he didn't kill in the 40.

- Conversely, Notre Dame's Michael Floyd really impressed. Not only did he run faster than most expected, but he really stood out during the field drills. Prior to the Combine, I speculated that the gap between the top three receivers (Blackmon, Wright and Floyd) wasn't as large as other observers believed. I also speculated that Floyd might be the only elite receiver in this class. It's still early, but this weekend's events did nothing to change my mind.

- Regarding the quarterbacks, Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin did nothing to disappoint (other than the fact that they didn't throw). Both demonstrated great athleticism in the 40 and in the agility/explosion drills. Griffin appeared on set with Eisen and Mayock and company. He's an impressive kid with a great personality. I bet he killed it during the interviews.

- Unlike the receivers, I believe the gap between the top 2 quarterbacks and the second tier is less of a drop off and more like a cliff. Based on what I saw Saturday, I think Brandon Weeden is the only other quarterback that's even worth considering in the first round (Ryan Tannehill and Brock Osweiler didn't work out).

- Speaking of Brock Osweiler, who does he think he is? Tannehill's recovering from foot surgery, so I can understand why he wouldn't workout. But, to my knowledge, Osweiler simply chose not to workout. Weeden worked out. Russel Wilson worked out (and looked very, very athletic). Nick Foles worked out. I think Osweiler should have thrown and participated in the explosion/agility drills. How can someone claim to be a fierce competitor (which he has) and then choose not to compete. Screw him.

- Oregon's Darron Thomas can't play. I didn't know much about him prior to the Combine, other than the fact that most analysts were surprised that he chose to come out early. I expected him to be more athletic. He didn't stand out in any of the explosion/agility drills. But even more disappointing was his crappy performance during the field drills. They conducted a drill designed to evaluate a receiver's ability to locate a ball and adjust on a go route. The quarterback's job was to throw it outside the numbers and error on the overthrow side. Weeden and Boise State's Kellen Moore made these throws effortlessly. For an NFL quarterback, this seems like an easy throw to make. Not only did Darron Thomas underthrow most of his receivers, he couldn't even consistently place the ball outside the numbers! This is with no pads. No wind. No pass rush. And no other reads. It was horrible. If he's drafted, I'll be surprised.

- As I type this, Memphis NT Dontari Poe is putting up incredible explosion/agility numbers at the Combine. And he rep'd 225 44 times. He's probably not a good fit for the Broncos. But he's probably working himself into the first round.

- If you didn't see, West Virginia DE Bruce Irvin ran an unofficial 4.4 40 (the same as Lamar Miller). The number will probably be adjusted higher. But still...dang.

Anyway, I gotta go. But I'll check back later to see if anyone else had any observations.

This is a Fan-Created Comment on The opinion here is not necessarily shared by the editorial staff of MHR

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