I’m now all caught up on the NFL Network’s combine coverage after I missed a fair amount during club hockey regionals and now it’s time for my list of the three biggest winners and losers of the combine. Keep in mind that when I say the losers of the combine, I don’t mean that they won’t be drafted, I just mean that their stock took a significant hit during this past week, and now they must have an extremely good pro day.
Mike Adams, Ohio State, Left Tackle–The big fella was talked about as a late first round pick that could be headed to the Lions. At 6’7″ 323 lbs he has the frame for the position, but he screwed himself over during the bench press. He only benched 225 lbs 19 times, which is atrocious for an offensive lineman, especially a left tackle, who is supposed to be the cornerstone of your line. A tackle needs to put up at least 25 reps, but it was apparent that Adams needs to improve his strength and conditioning drastically. To make matters worse for him, he still has to answers questions about the five game suspension he had for receiving improper benefits. Bottom line, Adams needs to have an unreal pro day if he wants to get back into the first round mix.
Vontaze Burfict Arizona State, Linebacker–He is a pure playmaker on the field, but he has serious attitude question marks. He is completely unreliable on the field and has a reputation for being a dirtier player than Lions defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh. He was thought of as a potential first round linebacker at one point, but then he turned in a garbage 40 yard dash time of 5.09. I’m one to say immediately that 40 times are overrated, and Brandon Spikes has done well in New England despite his poor combine performance. But, in this situation, its much easier to draft a player that is a loose cannon if he is a tremendous athlete, not an overweight sluggish psycho. The video below is only one of many different incidents.
Dan Herron, Ohio State, Running Back–I really didn’t want to put two Buckeyes on this list, but it is not my fault that they had a poor combine when they had to answer for character flaws (you’ll notice that all these players are talented, but have had issues in the past and didn’t do what they needed to silence the critics). As my roommate Austin put it, “Boom” looked like he was running in cement cleats during his 40 yard dash, posting a 4.66. To make matters worse for him, he looked terrible running routes and showed that he does not possess the ability to catch out of the backfield on a consistent basis. With the NFL more of a passing league than college, it is a prerequisite for a running back to be able to catch out of the backfield and pass block. He is unable to do both and definitely hurt his stock.
Honorable Mention: Sean Spence (LB, Miami), Cliff Harris (CB, Oregon), Marc Tyler (RB, USC).