NFL Combine Recap
College Players Audition for the NFL Draft
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The NFL combine in Indianapolis was last week. 300 NFL hopefuls were invited to showcase their skills in front of scouts in hopes of improving their draft stock. There were many winners and losers of the week. Some of the winners of the day include Washington’s John Ross and Stanford’s Christian McCaffrey while the losers are Alabama’s Reuben Foster and Notre Dame’s DeShone Kizer.
Washington wide receiver John Ross greatly improved his draft stock because he broke the record for the fastest 40 yard dash time ever recorded at the combine. He ran the 40 in 4.22 seconds beating the previous record of 4.24 seconds set by running back Chris Johnson in 2008. What makes this even more impressive is that Ross did this while battling a torn labrum in his shoulder. He has moved himself from a projected 2nd to 3rd round pick all the way up to a possible 1st rounder.
Stanford running back Christian McCaffrey shot himself up many team’s draft boards due to how fluid and effortless his route running looked at the combine. McCaffrey, a Heisman finalist, was always a “triple threat” while at Stanford whether it was running the ball, receiving, or returning kicks and punts. Teams knew he would do well in the receiving drills, but they didn’t know he would look that good. McCaffrey moved himself into the ‘top tier’ of running backs in this draft, expanding that group from three to four with his performance at the combine.
Alabama linebacker Reuben Foster seemed to really hurt his draft stock because he was sent home from the combine and didn’t even get to participate. He was sent home due to an altercation with a medical staff worker during treatment. He reportedly was complaining about the long wait and even said, “Do you know who I am?” He was viewed as a top 10 pick after finishing an unbelievable final season at Alabama where he won the Butkus award which is given to the nations best linebacker. He is bound to fall outside of the top 10 and possibly further.
Notre Dame Quarterback DeShone Kizer didn’t look as sharp as the other top quarterback prospects at the combine. He did well in the physical evaluations, such as the 40 yard dash, but looked off in the throwing drills. Another big issue with Kizer is he looked ‘rattled’ during the throwing drills which is a huge turn-off for NFL scouts. If he can’t handle the big stage of the combine, he probably can’t handle the even bigger stage of playing in the NFL. Not only did Kizer not look his best, but the other top quarterback prospects, like Deshaun Watson and Mitch Trubisky, preformed very well. All of these things considered, Kizer definitely hurt his draft stock at the combine.
When asked about who he thought helped them self the most at the combine, Dennis Kennelly said, “I think it’s John Ross from Washington. Him breaking the 40 yard dash record moved him really far up a lot of teams draft boards.”
When asked about who he thought hurt them self the most at the combine, Seamus Carroll said, “Definitely Reuben Foster. The fact that he didn’t get to participate is not a good sign for him.”