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The Stories From The NFL Scouting Combine Still In Our Minds A Week After

After the 2013 NFL scouting combine there’s a clear picture of what may happen come draft day and here are few things that paint a better picture of those possibilities.

Trying To Get Things Back On Track

Mante Te’o

A few days ago Te’o got surrounded by the press and that was overshadowed by his dismal 40 time. Chris Mortensen tweeted that “many teams feel Notre Dame ILB Manti Te’o is undersized for the ILB position.”

While another an anonymous scout told Bob McGinn this “some of his teammates think he’s kind of a phony.” Those comments by the scout were made in early December before Teo’s online relationship came out as a hoax. Which is interesing as there are questions about his character in order to impress at the combine.

Te’o is 6’1″ 240 pounds and Mortensen feels that his best fit is as a 3-4 inside linebacker at the NFL level or outside linebacker behind a four man front. He may lack the athleticism to play as a weak side linebacker. Against Alabama in the BCS Championship game he got swallowed up in the interior.

During the weekend his 40 time was going to truly indicate his draft positioning and it didn’t go as planned as he posted a miserable time. He is hoping to make up for it at his pro-day on March 26th at Notre Dame.

“The biggest thing he will do this week is not answer silly questions,” Jeremiah said (who’s Jeremiah?” “It’s gonna be what he runs in the forty.” We don’t expect a great showing in this category for Te’o, but he might surprise. Regardless, teams will have to feel comfortable drafting the inside linebacker before factoring in forty times.

“No way the second- or third-rated inside linebacker gets to the bottom of the round now, in the wake of the fake girlfriend story,” King writes (King who?). One NFL evaluator said Teo is an “unbelievable kid” and that “everybody in our room fell in love with him.”

Small School Standout on the Rise

Arkansas-Pine Bluff OTTerron Armstead 

The cavalry has come for Armstead after posting a 4.65 and 4.71 40 and then showed of his power bench pressing 32 reps at (how many pounds?)

His official time later announced at 4.71 is impressive for someone who is 6’5″ and 306 pounds.  Armstead generated lots of buzz at the East-West Shrine Game and possesses the length and athleticism to protect the blindside in the pros. “He’s gonna be a starting left tackle in the league down the road,” said Mike Mayock. “This kid is rising up charts.”


QB Finally Making An Impression 

Geno Smith

Smith had a good combine with a good 40 time and may have proved to several teams that he can be a winner and a leader as well at the professional level, which was a good thing as he decided to decline the invite Senior Bowl. Has the opportunity to turn more scouts heads with his pro-day in West Virginia.

Where he can showcase the rapport he built up with talented receiver Tavor Austin who will get taken in the first round who also had a big impact at the combine.

The Kansas City Chiefs aren’t going selecting a quarterback with the first pick in the draft especially when the trade for Alex Smith of the San Francisco 49ers gets completed on March 12th. More likely a great spot for him is the Buffalo Bills or Arizona Cardinals both teams desperately needing a franchise quarterback.

As the rumors continue a surprise team may snatch him up including the Oakland Raiders or Cleveland Browns. Neither team has a top flight quarterback yet are invested in their current starter.

A Couple of Speedster Wide Receiver’s

Marquise Goodwin

Two wide receivers made headlines during the combine.  University of Texas wide receiver Marquise Goodwin ran an Olympian like 40 posting a 4.27 on Sunday. It was the fastest time of the day and nearly broke running back Chris Johnson’s all-time dash record.

The  5’9″ Goodwin was the only player to post a 40 time faster than 4.3 seconds. He didn’t produce big numbers for the Longhorns as he caught 26 passes for 340 yards and three touchdowns in 2012. He also ran for  an additional three touchdowns.

He’s extremely fast as he competed for the United States in the long jump during the 2012 Olympics, where he qualified for the finals.

Tavon Auston

As for West Virginia wide receiver Austin he posted two unofficial times that were on par with Goodwin though his official was clocked at 4.34.

His best 10 yard split was measured at 1.45, which is extremely quick. In the open field he’s dangerous as he proved his elusiveness with that time.

Auburn running back Onterio McCalebb, and Texas A&M wide receiver Ryan Swope also posted a 40 at 4.34.

Discoveries Beyond A Player’s Control

Star Lotulelei

Utah defensive tackle Lotulelei went into the combine with all the great hopes of being a top five pick and ranking on top of most draft boards in the upcoming draft in April. As he measured in at 6’2″ and 1/2 inches and 311 pounds.

Yet, before his first workout even began an EKG showed a heart condition and that ended his combine before it even began. Mortensen indicated that “Lotulelei’s left ventricle was pumping at 44 percent efficiency, with the normal range being 55-70 percent.” He flew to Utah to undergo more tests to indicate the reason for the discrepancy and is still scheduled to perform all workouts on his March 20th  Pro Day.

Making for a disappointing weekend for Star. He did complete the interview process and was workhorse for the Utes. The question mark about his health will raise questions about his ability to play and may scare teams off from drafting him in the top five even if the condition is minor.

He still will get taken in the first round as he’s an incredible talent and is rated the top interior defensive linemen in this class. Improved at stopping the run in 2012 and is best at putting pressure on the quarterback.

Some believe he “the most overrated of the bunch” when referencing the defensive tackle group.

According to one scout “he doesn’t really generate pressure and he doesn’t shed guys and make plays. Sometimes he disappears. Other times he surely dominates.” Another scout  indicated “he’s a better player than Dontari Poe coming out. He’s quick-footed, strong, can run.”

For the Utes he was a standout in the Pac12 Lotulelei registered 42 tackles, including a team-high 10 for loss, with five sacks. Lotulelei also forced three fumbles.

From this situation with Lotulelei health issues the NFL scouts and coaches diverted their attention to  Florida’s defensive tackle Sharrif Floyd who everyone seems to be falling in love with.

Player That Put His Face On The Map 

SMU Marcus Hunt

Who would have ever dreamed an SMU player would turn some heads at the combine? But they did. Known as one of the best kick blockers in the country made a name for himself this weekend. Marcus Hunt the 6’8 defensive-end ran a 4.65 in the 40, and the NFL network  announcers were drooling all over him and giving him praise. He ran one 4.60, but the announcers said the time is unofficial, and that the official time usually is a little slower, which it was  the 4.65 . Still  that’s the second-fastest time by any defensive lineman had done up until that point

He also lifted 38 reps on the 225-pound bench press the top performance by a defensive lineman and a 38-inch vertical jump. He certainly came prepared for his job interview and lifted his draft stock most likely in the second round.

Top Flight Defenders

Dion Jordon

Does everyone see the Aldon Smith sighting Jordon is a beast as a pass rusher and found some way at the combine to strengthen his already high draft stock. Eagles coach Chip Kelly might even be tempted if he lasts that long his former coach at Oregon. For the Ducks he was the elite pass rusher  making a complete impact in every game he played until he was bitten with a shoulder injury. Last season from the outside linebacker spot he recorded 44 total tackles, 10.5 going for a loss, including five sacks with three forced three fumbles and an interception.

He is very fluid and quick off his feet able to get to the ball carriers quick off the snap. In the combine he had 4.6 forty while also leading defensive lineman in the vertical jump 32.5 and 20 yard shuttle time of 4.35.

However there’s one speed bump standing in his way but if all goes right he will be ready come camp. He still must undergo surgery to repair a torn labrum but he did everything he can to prove to the NFL scouts and coaches in the NFL combine he’s ready to take the next leap and start in the NFL.

Sharif Floyd

Floyd may just be the  best defensive player in this draft class, and might wind up as the best player overall when its all said and done. He can play multiple positions on the line and work as a 3-4 or 4-3 defensive scheme in terms of a weapon he can become another Darnell Dockett on the field with his quick hands and a continuous motor make him a nightmare to block one-on-one. According to NFL.com he can can swim over his opponent or get his hands up into his man’s jersey to push him into the backfield. He is very experienced  in gaps, by keeping his eyes in the backfield at the ball carriers and sheds to either direction to snatch at the running backs coming towards him.

The combine just gave him more to solidify himself as one of the top defenders in this year’s draft class. He posted a 4.92 on the forty and being just about 300lbs bound to catch NFL team’s attention.

The Sliders 

Domontre Moore

Moore has really incredible potential coming into  the combine specifically coming out of Texas A&M as one the best pass rushers in the country and he was clearly on his way into top 10  pick discussion. Moore is a referred as a  natural pass rusher, and will be able to fit in both 3-4 and 4-3 alignments. Supposedly on tape he shows that he has both the speed to beat tackles to the edge, and the ability to get off blocks. However in the combine he failed to show the speed and seem like a big truck and not smooth or agile. Secondly he needs to bulk up to become a good defender in the NFL. The only thing he has going for him until he can prove otherwise is his instinct.

He may not have the bulk to be a great run defender, but his speed and instincts will allow him to disrupt a number of runs. However instead of being a top 10 pick expect him to go in the later part of the first round.

Jonathan Hankins

Johnathan Hankins of Ohio state had an excellent junior season with the Buckeyes before deciding to leave school and  enter the NFL draft certainly with your name ranked as a possible top 15 pick there was no surprise there.

The defensive tackle seemed unprepared for the combine as he didn’t exactly make a splash at Indy. Running like a truck in other words according to NFL.com extremely slow 40 (5.31), showing that he lacks the speed and burst to be anything more than a run-stopper.

Talk about size he weighed in at 320 pounds talk about being bulky. In the NFL he will need to keep his weight down to keep pressure off his knees, which have been injured the past two seasons also throwing a few red flags.

Robert D. Cobb
Founder, Publisher and CEO of INSCMagazine. Works have appeared and featured in places such as Forbes, Huffington Post, ESPN and NBC Sports to name a few. Follow me on Twitter at @RobCobb_INSC, email me at robert.cobb@theinscribermag.com

0 thoughts on “The Stories From The NFL Scouting Combine Still In Our Minds A Week After

  1. Tavon Austin had an impressive combine. He looks like a smaller, faster version of Percy Harvin. Dynamic return and big play ability will help him see the field early in his career. if you play in a fantasy league that counts return yards, then I would absolutely use a late pick on him regardless of what team he goes to. Good combine recap!

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