From Indianapolis, Indiana
It comes minute after minute and it never seems to stop. With professional football headquartered here for the NFL Scouting Combine, it’s the biggest collection of players, agents, coaches, scouts, general manager and administrators together in one zip code.
All those people together produce an information overload. Through the first three days of the Combine, I’ve taken part in 74 interviews, whether they were with the media horde, or one-on-one. Those are just the ones that were committed to a recording. There’s probably another 30 to 40 off-the-record conversations on top of that with people at different levels of the NFL pipeline, as we prod and probe for information on free agents and the draft.
And then, on Saturday the players finally reached the field for actual physical activity on the playing surface of Lucas Oil Stadium.
Should you be lucky enough to have the NFL Network on your cable system, then there was the opportunity to watch the tight ends, offensive linemen and specialists. As they go through the drills, they produce more information. At the end of this post will be some of the top numbers that were produced on Saturday. Whether any of these numbers actually mean anything in the long run is a matter of debate at all levels of the league.
They must matter, because the league sure goes to a lot of time and expense to get them done. They are but snapshots in a long line of pictures that display a player’s physical abilities. Other snapshots tell us how intelligent players are, or define their emotional stability. While the Wonderlic test results of intelligence usually become public, all the other scores are seldom seen outside the draft rooms of the 32 teams.
Based on the numbers we know, here are the players that helped themselves on Saturday;
G David DeCastro, Stanford β Watch Stanford game tape and DeCastro’s skills are evident. Coming into the Combine, he figured to be a top half of the first-round pick, if only because guards are seldom selected that high. But DeCastro was able to put on quite a show in the testing, enough that he may elevate himself into the No. 2 offensive line position in the draft. His 40-time was average (5.43 seconds) and his 34 reps of 225 pounds in the bench press was good. But it was his 7.3-second time in the 3-cone drill and 4.56 second in the 20-yard shuttle that sealed the deal. That’s foot quickness that a man with his size (6-5, 316 pounds) should not have.
G/OT Bobby Massie, Mississippi β He didn’t play in the Shrine Game or the Senior Bowl. The big tackle from Ole Miss was in danger of being forgotten. But he never gave up and eventually ended up at LeCharles Bentley’s workout camp in Cleveland where the former NFL center worked on Massie’s foot quickness. His time of 5.23 seconds in the 40-yard dash was a pretty good performance for a guy at player at 6-6, 316 pounds. He also has nice long arms (35 inches). He was an impressive 7.7 seconds in the 3-cone drill and hit the 20-yard shuttle in 4.95 seconds. That shows a great deal of athletic ability that some teams may have doubted before his visit to Indy. This was all important because Massie did not take part in the Senior Bowl.
TE Michael Egnew, Missouri β His week in Mobile, Alabama for the Senior Bowl back in January proved to be something less than what the Mizzou tight end was looking to show the NFL. He got the chance to change that at the Combine and did a nice job. His foot quickness and leaping abilities were very impressive, showing there is explosion and quickness in those legs. However, his 40-yard dash time of 4.62 was good not great and his 21 reps in the bench press was not good. When they went to the position drills, Egnew caught everything thrown his way and left some of the scouts convinced that he’s No. 1 or 2 on the TE list. If his interviews and meeting went well it was a very successful week for Egnew.
TE Ladarius Green, Louisiana-Lafayette β At the Senior Bowl, Green was oh so impressive, with outstanding physical tools, intelligence and the ability to catch the ball. He’s 6-6, 238 pounds with arms that are 35.5 inches long. On Saturday, Green ran the 40 in 4.53 seconds, and showed outstanding foot quickness I n the 3-cone drill and 20-yard shuttle. The only area where he did not stand out was with his 16 reps in the bench press. He is a big receiver playing tight end and will have to be used that way. But Green showed enough at Lucas Oil to push up draft boards around the league.
OT Matt Kalil, Southern Cal β Sometimes at the Combine it’s not the surprise numbers that are memorable, but the expected numbers that come through among the best players. That’s the case with Kalil, who came to Indy as likely the first non-QB choice in the 2012 Draft. He leaves in the same position β the 6-7, 306-pound California native will be among the first three players drafted. His physical skills were especially evident in his 4.99 seconds in the 40-yard dash and his 7.33 seconds in the 3-cone drill. That’s quickness and explosion with 30 reps in the bench press and 34.5-inch arms with 10 3/8-inch hands.
Here are the gold-silver-bronze medal winners in seven eight testing categories the players went through on Saturday. There were no Combine records broken:
- Gold β 4.49 seconds, TE James Hanna, Oklahoma.
- Silver β 4.53 seconds, TE Ladarius Green, Louisiana-Lafayette.
- Bronze β 4.58 seconds, TE Evan Rodriguez, Temple.
- Gold β 41 reps, OL David Molk, Michigan.
- Silver β 35 reps, TE Orson Charles, Georgia.
- Bronze β 34 reps, G David DeCastro, Stanford.
- Gold β (tie) 36 inches, TE Michael Egnew, Missouri; TE James Hanna, Oklahoma; TE DeAngelo Peterson, LSU; TE Evan Rodriguez, Temple.
- Gold β 10’11″, TE Michael Egnew, Missouri’
- Silver β 10’4″, TE Ladarius Green, Louisana Lafayette.
- Bronze β 10’2″, TE James Hanna, Oklahoma.
- Gold β 6.73 seconds, TE Drake Dunsmore, Northwestern.
- Silver β 6.76 seconds, TE James Hanna, Oklahoma.
- Bronze β 6.94 seconds, TE Evan Rodriguez, Temple.
- Gold β 4.03, TE Drake Dunsmore, Northwestern.
- Silver β 4.11, TE James Hanna, Oklahoma.
- Bronze β 4.28, TE Evan Rodriguez, Temple.
- Gold β (tie) 11.43 seconds, TE James Hanna, Oklahoma; TE Evan Rodriquez, Temple.
- Bronze β 11.47 seconds, TE Drake Dunsmore, Northwestern.