Day 5 of the NFL Combine wrapped up with many surprises throughout the day. Top quarterbacks Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III cemented their status as the top two prospects in the draft by dazzling scouts with their athleticism. The wide receiver drills were great in boosting the stock of less hyped prospects, and a bit of a disappointment for the better-known names.
Stephen Hill, Georgia Tech
Hill’s performance is what makes the Combine intriguing every year. Hill tied Travis Benjamin of Miami for the fastest 40 times with 4.36 seconds. Additionally, Hill jumped out the stadium with an 11 ft. 1 inch broad jump and a 39.5-inch vertical. Hill just made himself relevant to a lot of teams and could see his draft position rocket to the top three rounds.
Michael Floyd, Notre Dame
Many mocks have Floyd as the second receiver taken in the draft and Floyd did nothing to disprove the opinion. Floyd ran a stout 4.47 40 with a 36.5 vertical jump that accentuates his 6’3 height. You can bet teams like the Jaguars, Browns and Texans will be taking a serious look.
Kendall Wright, Baylor
It was widely expected that Wright would run one of the fastest 40 times of the pack. However, Wright ran a 4.61, making a slight ding to his draft stock. He did perform admirably on his pass catching drills and should still be one of the top five receiver prospects in the draft. Many scouts insist that despite his slow time, Wright plays fast in actual football games, meaning that the intangibles are all there.
Alshon Jeffery, South Carolina
Potentially raising numerous red flags, Jeffery decided to not participate in any drills with the receiver group today. It was not reported why, but Jeffery essentially reported to the Combine just to weigh in. Scouts will have to wait until March 28th to see Jeffery participate in drills; regardless, it is possible that he just saw his first round aspirations evaporate.
On to the running backs, this year’s group also proved to be exceptionally fast with several running in the 4.40 range. No one broke the 4.40 barrier though, a feat that has happened in many of the preceding years. While the running backs group yielded few surprises, many boosted their draft stock with their solid performances.
Lamar Miller – Miami
Miller turned in the Combine’s fastest 40 time with 4.40 seconds. Built at a solid 212 pound frame, Miller proved that he can be an every down back with accelerating speed, and has probably ensured himself to be selected within the first two rounds of the draft.
LaMichael James – Oregon
James had to show scouts that he has quick speed and great pass catching ability. He excelled in both today and boosted his draft stock tremendously. He ran a 4.45 40 and displayed agile pass catching abilities, making him a candidate to go in the second or third rounds. This combination could definitely make him a game changer in the NFL a la Darren Sproles.
Chris Rainey – Florida
Like James, Rainey displayed great speed in his 40 with a 4.45. Rainey, who is also a track athlete, showed solid pass catching ability and should also raise similar comparisons to Darren Sproles. Because he is a dual athlete, many scouts have raised concerns about his total commitment to football. Regardless, Rainey should be a solid mid-round pick in the draft.
Doug Martin, Boise State
Martin proved that he is an every down back in the NFL. Martin ran an official 4.55, proving that he is fast enough to get outside and accelerate, led all running backs in benching with 28 reps that shows he is strong enough to run in between the tackles, and displayed fluid pass catching ability. With this showing, there’s a good chance that Martin will be the second running back taken behind Trent Richardson.
Although it was a disappointment to see some of the marquee names elect to skip these workouts, it was incredibly satisfying to see so many players boost their draft stock. One thing is for sure, with all these solid showings and no shows; teams will have a difficult time re arranging their draft board after the Combine making the upcoming pro days even more crucial.
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