2007 NFL Combine Superlatives
The 2007 NFL Combine is officially over, so who helped or hurt their draft cause this week in Indianapolis?
Top 5 Combine Performances
Chris Houston - One of the studliest of all the combine workouts came from Arkansas' Chris Houston. Running a 4.32 in the forty gave him the second fastest time of the entire event, and made what he did at the bench press just ridiculous. At just 5'10" and 185 pounds, he pushed an unthinkable 27 repetitions at the bench. Only eleven defensive LINEMEN fared better. That stunning display of strength in the weight room, and speed on the track will translate into some board climbing for Houston between now and the NFL Draft.
Joe Thomas - At 6-feet-7 inches tall and over 300 pounds, Thomas burned down the track in 4.92 for the third fastest OL time. He jumped 33 inches in the vertical leap (2nd) and showed that he had explosive power to match his speed. Then he looked like a man among boys in ALL of the position drills and stood out in a group that had some great performances. Joe Thomas may have sailed right into this year's top three draft picks.
Greg Olsen - Did anybody stand out more at their position than Greg Olsen did at the Combine? He ran a full two-tenths of a second faster than any of his fellow tight ends, with a 4.51 in the 40-yard dash. He didn't drop a pass all day long. He measured in at almost 6-foot-6 and 254 pounds. He basically did everything he could to sneak into the first round and earn himself a few million extra dollars.
Ryan Kalil - Kalil used the Combine to show his superior athletic ability. He looked fluid in every drill, and was among the offensive linemen's top five or six in virtually every event. His combination of speed (4.96) and power (34 bench press repetitions) should be enough to make somebody do the unthinkable, or at least the seldom practiced, and draft a center in the first round. Whoever does won't be sorry. He's a terrific player, and a terrific athlete.
Gaines Adams - A defensive lineman that runs a 4.64? That's money on draft day; and early on draft day. Adams cemented his spot atop the defensive end rankings and will probably be the first defensive player chosen.
Honorable mentions: RB Adrian Peterson, CB Leon Hall, S LaRon Landry, WR Steve Smith, WR Anthony Gonzalez, LB Patrick Willis, CB Jonathan Wade, WR Jason Hill, WR Calvin Johnson (see next).
Best Imitation Workout
Calvin Johnson wowed those on hand when he checked in at 6'5" 239 pounds. He took to the track, and after running a blistering 4.35 in the forty-yard dash, he put on his sweats and called it a day. A great day. The wide receiver from Georgia Tech did as much as anyone at the Combine to help raise his draft stock and he worked out for a grand total of 4.35 seconds. Add smart, and astute to the list of superlatives that go with the best athlete in this year's draft.
Top 5 Surprises
Chris Henry - The ONLY reason Henry isn't listed in the top five performances is well, because it was simply the most surprising performance of the week as well as one of the best. He tied Adrian Peterson as the fastest of all the running backs with a 4.4 in the 40, he had the best broad jump (10'7"), the second best 60-yard shuttle (11.51), the third best 20-yard shuttle (4.14) and the fifth best 3-Cone time (6.96), and the eighth best vertical leap (36"). His prowess earned him the Combine's title of 'Workout Warrior'.
Michael Allan - Coming in to the Combine, the big tight end wanted to prove that a Division III school player could match up. Allan proved he could, and that NFL teams should start reviewing tape of him. He posted the second fastest 40-time (4.71) of all the tight ends, he posted the second highest vertical leap (36") and he posted the best broad jump at 10'3". The Whitworth Pirate took full advantage of the opportunity that the NFL Combine afforded him.
Gabe Hall - The Texas Tech offensive lineman really opened some eyes with his sub 5.0 second 40-yard dash (4.91 - 2nd). He also had top ten performances in the 3-Cone drill (7.59 - 8th), the broad jump (8'8" - 8th), and the vertical leap (29" - 8th).
Yamon Figurs - The man who comes away with the distinction of this year's fastest man at the Combine deserves some recognition. He also had the ninth fastest 20-yard shuttle (4.21), the seventh fastest 3-Cone drill (6.85), and the tenth best broad jump (10'3"). He did enough to move into the first day of picks, and will be an enticing receiver because of his return skills.
Antwan Barnes - Florida International's program got a media injection when linebacker Antwan Barnes screamed down the track for a 4.40 forty time after posting an impressive 31 bench press repetitions. Barnes came in hoping to prove that he should be Florida International's first ever NFL draft pick; and he succeeded.
Honorable mentions: LB Tim Shaw, PK Nick Folk, DLTurk McBride, OL Allen Barbre
Could Have Stayed Home
Daymeion Hughes - A first round cornerback that runs a 4.7 forty? Not likely.
Dwayne Jarrett - A first round wide receiver that runs a 4.7 forty? Not likely. Jarrett didn't workout at all at the Combine, but speculation is that it was because he has been testing slow, and not because of a hamstring injury; subsequently, his draft stock is falling.
Troy Smith - Smith didn't do the measurable workouts because he said he wasn't in proper shape due to being on the awards circuit. Fair enough, but why opt to do the position-specific drills? He shouldn't have; his timing was off, and he under threw a few passes.
Zach Miller - The tight end picked the wrong time to have a sub-par performance at the side of Greg Olsen's great one. A pedestrian 4.78 forty and some dropped passes in drills for Miller, will likely mean he doesn't hear his name called until the second round.
Others: CB Kamichael Hall, DE Quentin Moses, QB Brady Quinn, QB Jamarcus Russell
Be sure to check THN's exclusive NFL Draft section and 2007 NFL Combine page.
This article was released on 2007-03-01.
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