Today marks the first day of on-field workouts at the NFL Scouting Combine. Three groups will participate that includes offensive linemen and running backs. The Cowboys are probably interested in offensive linemen for depth and will likely pick up one or two in the draft. They almost certainly will be looking at running backs, trying to find the one they would like to pair with Darren McFadden next season then take over the lead back role down the road. Since it's unlikely they will grab a running back at the overall number four pick, getting one later in the draft would be less costly than signing a free agent.
Some players in the running back class that could interest the Cowboys include:
Derrick Henry showed up pretty heavy at 247 lbs., he put up 20 reps on the bench press.
Devontae Booker weighed 219 but put up a solid 22 reps.
Kenneth Dixon weighed 215 and had 18 reps.
Kenyan Drake only put up 10 reps.
Alex Collins weighed 217 and put up 18 reps.
Ezekiel Elliot and C.J. Prosise didn't participate in the bench press.
The NFL Network will be showing the on-field workouts starting at 9 AM EST and will go all day until 4 PM EST. Later today they will have Combine Primetime from 8 PM EST to 11 PM EST where they will show highlights and recap the days events.
This is an open thread for discussion of the today's combine action.
The 40-yard dash is the marquee event at the combine. It's kind of like the 100-meters at the Olympics: It's all about speed, explosion and watching skilled athletes run great times. These athletes are timed at 10, 20 and 40-yard intervals. What the scouts are looking for is an explosion from a static start.
The bench press is a test of strength -- 225 pounds, as many reps as the athlete can get. What the NFL scouts are also looking for is endurance. Anybody can do a max one time, but what the bench press tells the pro scouts is how often the athlete frequented his college weight room for the last 3-5 years.
The vertical jump is all about lower-body explosion and power. The athlete stands flat-footed and they measure his reach. It is important to accurately measure the reach, because the differential between the reach and the flag the athlete touches is his vertical jump measurement.
The broad jump is like being in gym class back in junior high school. Basically, it is testing an athlete's lower-body explosion and lower-body strength. The athlete starts out with a stance balanced and then he explodes out as far as he can. It tests explosion and balance, because he has to land without moving.
3 cone drill
The 3 cone drill tests an athlete's ability to change directions at a high speed. Three cones in an L-shape. He starts from the starting line, goes 5 yards to the first cone and back. Then, he turns, runs around the second cone, runs a weave around the third cone, which is the high point of the L, changes directions, comes back around that second cone and finishes.
The short shuttle is the first of the cone drills. It is known as the 5-10-5. What it tests is the athlete's lateral quickness and explosion in short areas. The athlete starts in the three-point stance, explodes out 5 yards to his right, touches the line, goes back 10 yards to his left, left hand touches the line, pivot, and he turns 5 more yards and finishes.