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10 Quick Hits On Combine Numbers
While Thursday and Friday had no times recorded, no passes thrown, or drills run, the Combine still provided some useful insight onto the makeup of the offensive side of the ball.
Here are ten notes that really meant something from these weigh-in and offensive line bench press numbers.
1. Both Baylor Bears Pass the Size Test
Both quarterback Robert Griffin and receiver Kendall Wright had size concerns coming into the NFL Combine. Griffin was listed at 6'2, but reports were that he could measure in closer to the 6'0 range. As for Wright, he was listed at just 5'10, and with many schools "rounding" up heights for smaller players, concern was there as well. But Griffin measured in OVER 6'2, and a more built 223, while Wright was his listed 5'10 and at 196, adequate for a smaller yet potential outside NFL receiver.
2. Despite Not Even Working Out, Ryan Tannehill Raises Minor Flag
Ryan Tannehill will not do any workouts while at the NFL Combine, but he did raise one minor concern for myself at the weigh-ins/measurements: he has just 9 inch hands. For comparison's sake, that's tied for the smallest of any quarterback at the Combine, and smaller (by 3/8 of an inch) than Alex Smith, the infamous "small-handed" quarterback prospect in 2005. While it may be a minor detail, it's also of note that Tannehill has 10 fumbles in his career, including 4 this year as the full-time quarterback.
3. USC's Matt Kalil Has Bulked Up, Showed Strength
Similar to Tyron Smith a draft-season ago, this year's USC tackle prospect Matt Kalil had some bulk concerns coming off his junior season. A light-on-his feet left tackle, scouts wanted him to be a bit more stout and add weight to be stronger at the point of attack. Well, he gained over 15 pounds since the end of the season, reportedly still looks cut and in shape, and put up 30 bench reps. If there was ever a doubt, now there shouldn't be: Matt Kalil is the top left tackle in this draft and a near Top 3 lock.
4. Alshon Jeffery Starts Out Big Week With On A "Light" Note
A prospect I spotlighted as one that NEEDED to show up in shape and ready to impress at the Combine, and so far, he's done his job. While also showing off catchers mit 10 1/4 inch hands, he came in at just over 6'2 and a half, 216 pounds, Jeffery answered some of his conditioning/weight questions. While the weight question is a concern now, it doesn't look like he played at that weight in college. He's had a long time to prepare to get in shape for the Combine, but his ability to keep that weight off still isn't answered yet.
5. "Premier" Tackle Prospect Mike Adams Struggles on Bench
After Matt Kalil, it's been Riley Reiff, Jonathan Martin, and Mike Adams battle for the #2 offensive tackle spot. While Reiff measured, weighed, and worked out well enough and Martin won't be performing at the Combine, Mike Adams did not have such a great first day of workouts. While long terms may be a deterrent to some linemen putting up big bench rep numbers, only pushing 19 reps at the bench will only add to the "softness" label he has as a tackle prospect.
6. Mammoth Blocker Cordy Glenn Displays Raw Power Despite Wingspan
While Adams struggled on the bench, a longer, mammoth blocker in Cordy Glenn of Georgia was ultra impressive. He finished with 30 bench reps despite having the 2nd longest arms among the offensive lineman (the longest, Josh Oglesby, only put up 22 reps). He gets by as a left tackle prospect by using his length and raw power on film, and while it's not always pretty, his abilities as a left tackle pass blocker make him a worthwhile first rounder.
7. We May Have Our Yearly Tight End "Workout Freak" Already Decided
The Tight End position has become the yearly workout show for the Combine because of the leagues value on these athletic match-up nightmares. Before the Combine started, it looked like Orson Charles of Georgia would be the favorite to fill that role. That hasn't changed, but the fact that he came in at 251 and put up 35 bench press give him two surprisingly impressive numbers in areas that he wasn't expected to impress in. He should wow this weekend in drills as well.
8. Justin Blackmon Doesn't Quite Live Up to Size Expectations
While size for a receiver is sometimes overblown, many were expecting Justin Blackmon to be in a 6'2, 6'3 range. But now that he's been measured in at just over 6'0 and a half and 207, teams may think twice about taking him in the Top 15 or so picks. He's still the top receiver in this draft (not by much though with Kendall Wright gaining steam), but it's starting to become clear to everyone he's not the elite guy many thought he was.
9. Chris Polk Uses Rumored Senior Bowl Critiques, Drops Nine Pounds Since
Despite the Senior Bowl practices not being a great indication of running back scouting, Chris Polk left the week with concerns about his "soft body" and some weight issues. Since that final day in Mobile, he's dropped 9 pounds, going from 224 to 215. The weight isn't much of a concern to me (think he's a Top 3 back in this draft at either weight), it could show teams that he's able to stay in shape as well as likely testing better this week.
10. Wake Forest Early Declaring Wide Receiver Shows Off Small Hands
A surprise declaring junior, Wake Forest wide receiver Chris Givens didn't impress all that much on film as anything more than a 3rd or 4th receiver and run after catch in the short area type receiver. Combine that with his now measured 8 1/4 inch hands (tied for 2nd lowest at the Combine for receivers), and teams will be even more considered that he'll be a short area body catcher.
SCOUT: 2012 NFL Combine Central
Eric Galko is a contributing NFL scout for Patriots Insider at Scout.com.
Eric Galko is the Owner, Director of Scouting of Optimum Scouting and lead editor for OptimumScouting.com. He has been scouting college football for eight years, and for pro teams and other sports professionals for the last four years. Eric is also a member of the FWAA.
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