Written By: Adam Poedubicky
Well, the combine is finally over. For those of you who spent the past weekend refreshing nfl.com to only find videos instead of numbers, here is a clearer idea of who, in my opinion, performed the best and the worst by each position, starting with the offense. This has a direct influence on the NFL Draft.
Best QB Performance:
Sam Bradford, Oklahoma. Although Bradford didn’t throw at the event, he showed up at a chiseled 236, up from his playing weight of 210. He will throw before the draft, so he didn’t hurt himself at all before all of the scouts by bringing an unimpressive performance before he’s fully ready. Could he be the #1 pick in the NFL Draft?
Honorable Mention: Tim Tebow (Florida), Dan LeFevour (Central Michigan)
Worst QB Performance: Jimmy Clausen, Notre Dame. Like Bradford, Clausen did not throw at the combine. However, he showed up and measured out very averagely (6’2, 222) and couldn’t duck questions about maturity and leadership issues. He’s going to need to have a huge pro day to make people forget this weekend. There are many questions concerning Clausen heading into the NFL Draft.
Best RB Performance:
Jahvid Best, California. Best erased all questions by running a running back best (no pun intended) 4.35 40, besting C.J. Spiller of Clemson who was supposed to challenge Chris Johnson’s 4.24. The combine will not test how Best has recovered from his concussions, so one team will have to put some faith in his numbers.
Honorable Mention: Toby Gerhart (Stanford), C.J. Spiller (Clemson), Ryan Matthews (Fresno State), Ben Tate (Auburn),
Worst RB Performance: Jonathan Dwyer, Georgia Tech. Dwyer, who played in the triple option offense under Paul Johnson at Georgia Tech, played in the dive back position and in the wing. He ran an unimpressive 4.68 40, which was almost .2 seconds slower than expected. Either he was amped up too high, or he is out of shape, but considering the overabundance of quality running backs who performed at the combine, Dwyer is going to have to do some convincing at his pro day to move up.
Best WR Performance:
Jacoby Ford, Clemson. Jacoby Ford, get ready to become a superstar, at least until the draft. Ford blazed a 4.28 40, the fastest for any offensive player. He did show up smaller than expected (5’8, 186) so he’s going to have to prove that his speed translates to the field better than his 2009 numbers do (56 catches, 779 yards, 6 TDs).
Honorable Mention: Golden Tate (Notre Dame), Dez Bryant (Oklahoma State), Arrelious Benn (Illinois)
Worst WR Performance: Demaryius Thomas, Georgia Tech. Demaryius Thomas is relatively unknown as a wide receiver in a triple option offense, so his performance at the combine would greatly assist his draft position. So showing up to the combine but not running or lifting because of a broken foot isn’t a good way of getting acquainted with NFL teams.
Best TE Performance:
Dorin Dickerson, Pittsburgh. Dickerson has been criticized for not having a true position, but he is mostly a tight end who can line up at H-back or wide receiver. Although undersized for a true tight end, he ran a blazing 4.4 40. This will make one team want to invest in this player who can create huge match-up problems across the board.
Honorable Mention: Jimmy Graham (Miami FL)
Worst TE Performance: Aaron Hernandez, Florida. Hernandez measured up undersized at 6’2, 245 and did not run due to a strained back. He will have to run a sub-4.6 40 at Florida’s Pro Day to stay as an early pick. I covered, Hernandez earlier.
Best OL Performance:
Bruce Campbell, Maryland. Campbell had the second most reps on the bench while running the fastest 40 on the offensive line. At 6’6, 313 pounds, Campbell has all the makings to be a great left tackle, but he will have to prove that he can do it when he’s there.
Honorable Mention: Russell Okung (Oklahoma State), Bryan Bulaga (Iowa)
Worst OL Performance: Anthony Davis, Rutgers. Honestly, I don’t care how fast any offensive lineman runs their 40, but 5.4 for a professional athlete is ridiculous. Also, considering he only has 21 reps on the bench, it’s beginning to look like Davis could have used the extra year in school. Hopefully for his sake, teams look at his performance on the field instead of at the combine, which is always more important.