Best From the Combine
With the completion of the 2006 NFL combine fresh on the minds of football fans everywhere, THN is here to provide commentary on the highlights of the Indianapolis event. For unofficial results, please visit our Combine page.
The Duke of Tight Ends
Maryland’s Vernon “Duke” Davis, may have been the biggest eye-opener at the combine. Davis’ official 40-time was 4.38, and even reported as high as 4.35, which would be a Combine record for tight ends. Davis also added 33 reps on the bench press. To put things in perspective, Davis would have had the third-fastest 40-time, had he run with the wide receivers, and would have finished in the top 25%, had he lifted with the offensive linemen. Just for good measure, Davis scored a 42 inch vertical jump, and his 10 foot 8 broad jump was the best for a tight end by a full 10 inches. He also showed well in pass blocking drills, though he is known for his pass catching.
The Young and the Testless
No bigger controversy came out of this year’s combine than Wonderlic-gate. The sports world was abuzz when Vince Young’s test results were leaked to the media. The thought that a top-two quarterback had scored a six on the Wonderlic was mind-boggling. Young disputed the results and re-took the test, scoring a sixteen, equalling the score posted by Dan Marino.
Running Down Hill
Clemson defensive back Tye Hill turned in the fastest time of the combine with an even 4.30.
Manny is the Man
NC State DE Manny Lawson made a splash during his drills. At his size, Lawson would be best utilized as a 3-4 linebacker, and his stunning 40-time of 4.43 supports that notion. Lawson performed well in the movement drills, and is slowly but surely working his way out of teammate Mario Williams’ shadow and up the draft charts.
Chad Jackson continues to make a push to pass Santonio Holmes as the draft’s number one receiver. Jackson took advantage of Holmes’ absence, posting the fastest 40-time as well as excellent numbers in the 3-cone, short shuttle and long shuttle drills. Holmes will need to have a top-notch pro day to maintain his top ranking.
Tennessee’s Finest Cutlery
Vandy quarterback Jay Cutler also made the most of the opportunity afforded him. With Matt Leinart and Vince Young both skipping the workout portion of the combine, it was Cutler who got the most attention. With the uproar over Young’s Wonderlic, there is buzz in the air that Cutler could surpass Young in the rankings by the start of the draft. That being said, the combine is only four days, and should only be taken in the context of a small piece of a much larger body of work.
Running Back to School
With four of the top five running backs opting out of the workouts in favor of pro days and/or private workouts, other backs had the opportunity to make their mark. The diminutive Maurice Drew made a name for himself by: (a) posting the fastest 40-time (4.39) and the smallest size at 5’ 7”. One thing that became abundantly clear is that the 2006 running back class is not quite as deep as in years past.
Sign on the O-line
There were no real surprises in the workouts for the behemoth linemen that THN loves to cover. Maybe the biggest news from this group was from a guy that did not even work out. D’Brickashaw Ferguson weighed in at 312 pounds, as compared to his weight at the Senior Bowl, which was 297. Other than that, Nick Mangold continues to keep a stranglehold on the top center spot with solid workouts. Max Jean-Giles posted a lackluster 40-time, but being an offensive lineman, that should not hurt him too badly.
This article was released on 2006-03-03.
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