On Friday, we got to see the offensive linemen and the running backs do their thing at the NFL Scouting Combine. Some running backs that stood out included Keith Marshall from Georgia who blazed a 4.31 in the 40-yard dash and had a nice 25 reps in the bench press on Thursday. He spent a career battling some injuries and working behind Todd Gurley and Nick Chubb. Derrick Henry is a gifted athlete to go along with his big frame, posting nice numbers especially in the vertical and broad jump. Tyler Ervin out of San Jose State posted nice numbers in most events making teams take notice. Kenyan Drake also put up some quality numbers. Ezekiel Elliott was solid across the board.
We know that the Cowboys had formal interviews with both Elliott and Henry.
Today, it's the quarterbacks, the wide receivers and the tight ends. Of course the debate for the Dallas Cowboys has been around selecting a quarterback at #4 if they believe they are getting a franchise quarterback for after Tony Romo, or waiting until later to pick up a developmental quarterback and use the #4 pick elsewhere. They will be looking at Jared Goff, Carson Wentz and possibly Paxton Lynch at that top spot, all others would be later round picks.
Lynch had a minor medical issue that popped up around a long ago fractured clavicle that had healed but left some pieces of bone floating around, but he's good to go. All of the top quarterbacks are expected to participate in the drills today, so we'll get a good look at them. Wentz should be able to show some of his athleticism that scouts have discussed, while Goff will be looking to get past the small-hands issue of a few days ago.
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.