Friday, March 2, 2012

Biggest Losers of the Combine

Just as usual, the combine this year saw some players elevate their status while others fell. Here is a list of some of the worst performers of the combine.

1) Mike Adams, OT, Ohio State: Adams entered the combine with a lot of hype vying to be the number 2 tackle in this draft class. Instead of coming out strong, all Adams did was disappoint. He ran a dismal 40, clocking in at 5.4 seconds. This is coming from a guy who is 323 pounds. For comparison, Cordy Glenn, who weighs in at 345 pounds, ran a 4.96. To make matters worse, Adams only put up 19 reps in the bench press. That is pathetic for a tackle; there were running backs who put up better numbers. Adams had the opportunity to cement himself in the first round, and when it was presented, he failed. Make no mistake about it, this was terrible.

2) Vontaze Burfict, LB, Arizona State: Issues off the field can be put aside by teams if the talent is great enough, but what do you do with a player who has issues on the field? Burfict did nothing to help his draft stock, which at this point may as well have jumped off the Grand Canyon. Burfict used his interviews and time with the media to blame his problems on his coaches. Is there anybody in the league that would want to work with a player like that? To make matters worse, Burfict turned in a lumbering 5.09 40 and looked terrible in drills. He also showed up much heavier than expected, weighing in at 248 pounds. What more can this kid do to hurt his stock? Actually, don't answer that, I don't even want to know. Character issues were already going to force him down teams boards, but this workout may have pushed him off a few.

3) Alshon Jeffery, WR, South Carolina: Rumors had been swirling about Alshon Jeffery and his weight for some time now. While he did show up at 216 pounds (not the 229 he played at or the even higher expected number), he promptly took the positive news and threw it under the bus. With top wideout Justin Blackmon not running the 40, Jeffery had a chance to step up and fight for the number 2 receiver spot in this class which is getting rather crowded. To make matters worse, Jeffery didn't even compete in any drills. He will have to wow at his pro day, and even then, there are still going to be issues with his work ethic that he will need to answer.

4) Kendall Wright, WR, Baylor: Wright was another receiver trying to emerge from a talented group who came up flat. He ran a slow 4.61 and didn't look the sharpest in drills. Wright doesn't have ideal size. He needed a strong workout to help his case, and it just came up flat. He is still going to be drafted, but he can expect his stock to fall by at least 1 round. His explosiveness is there, but he must improve his speed.

5) Michael Brockers, DT, LSU: There was a huge amount of hype coming into the combine with this kid. He was viewed as one of the top tackles in a good class. With all the hype about him, Brockers disappointed. His 40 time was bad (5.36), but worse, he did poorly in the short shuttle (4.81), bench press (just 19 reps, a position worst), and only registered a vertical jump of 26 1/2 inches (lineman have to get those hands up). All in all, his numbers were a huge disappointment. He was being talked about as one of the best linemen in this draft, but at this point, he may be waiting a long time to hear his name called.

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