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NFL Combine Recap

The Good:

Jason Smith- The Baylor OT may have solidified himself as the top tackle prospect.  He did 33 reps of 225 lbs. on the bench, ten more than Eugene Monroe. Smith also measured similarly to Monroe, coming in at 6′ 5″, 309 lbs. Monroe has longer arms, but the difference is very small.

Mark Sanchez- Any time he gets to throw he is going to help himself. The USC QB showed above-average accuracy, great touch, and decent arm strength in his throwing session. It is clear he can make all the throws, and he has good measurables at the position (6’2″, 227 lbs.). The only questions about him still revolve around his lack of starting experience in college. It also didn’t hurt that Stafford chose not to throw at the combine.

Aaron Curry- Curry was already an elite prospect, so the OLB out of Wake Forest had to have a really special showing to improve his draft stock. He did. He beat all linebackers in 40-yard dash time (4.56 seconds) and the broad jump (10 feet, 4 inches).  He also tied for first in the vertical jump (37 inches). He showed amazing agility in the position-specific drills, and showed up at a ripped 254 lbs.

Clay Matthews- He performed the best out of the talented USC LB’s at the combine. He ran a better 40 than Cushing, the other highly-touted Trojan OLB , and showed fluid hips in drills. Clay was on the first-round bubble before the combine, like the next person on the list, but they have both tentatively solidified a round one selection.

Darrius Heyward-Bey- The Terp WR ran a blazing 4.3 40, leaving fellow speedsters Percy Harvin and Jeremy Maclin in the dust. Heyward-Bey also has a more prototypical build at the position than those players. He still has questionable fundamentals and college production, but his speed certainly warrants a mid or late first round selection.

The Bad:

Injuries- Players affected by injuries include Rey Maualuga, Brian Orakpo, Michael Crabtree, Jeremy Maclin and Hakeem Nicks, just to name a few. Injuries prevented players from doing some or all of the drills, and in some cases may affect draft stock. Crabtree needs to prove he is ok at his individual workout.

Runningbacks- Knowshon Moreno ran a 4.61 forty, Beanie Wells ran a 4.59, and LeSean McCoy had to skip out after battling the flu. These are not good times at all, especially considering what an amazing RB crop there was last year. Don’t expect any RB’s to go in the top 15, maybe even the top 20.

Cornerbacks- Malcolm Jenkins from OSU was the highest ranked, but he ran a 40 in the mid 4.5′s, meaning he will probably have to be moved to safety. He also didn’t impress anyone with his agility. Vontae Davis from Illiinois was probably the most impressive, and he ran a 4.49 forty. Let’s keep in mind that last years CB class averaged 4.45.

The Ugly:

Andre Smith- He went to the combine with intent to work out, than left early because he realized he was out of shape. Oh yeah, and he didn’t tell anyone he was leaving. All this coming after a bowl-game suspension. He better really impress at his individual workout, especially with the rising stock of the other first-round OT’s.

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