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Blog Entry

2012 NFL Combine: Weekend winners and losers

Posted on: February 26, 2012 6:40 pm
Edited on: February 26, 2012 6:41 pm
 
Brockers stock is climbing quickly, and he hasn't even worked out yet. (US Presswire)
By Will Brinson

INDIANAPOLIS -- We broke down the winners and losers from Thursday and Friday's action -- primarily media work, -- already. Check them here.

Now let's make some knee-jerk reactions to what happened on Saturday and Sunday at the combine, when actual drills that may not actually determine whether or not someone's good at football took place.

Winners

Michael Brockers: Brockers isn't the number one defensive tackle on Devon Still's list, but Still isn't the guy evaluating the talent and making the picks in the upcoming draft. And the people who are evaluating the talent and making the picks are starting to fall in love with Brockers as a high-end talent with a ton of upside. (The NFL Network's Mike Mayock called him "special" and believes he'll end up being a "top 10-to-12 pick.") Clark Judge wrote on Saturday that Brockers is the next boom-or-bust draftee and we tend to agree with him. (The theory is he can be the next Jason Pierre-Paul; if you want to see prescience at work, check out this Prisco piece from 2010.) He's gained 80 (!) pounds since he was a freshman in college, and it's all "good" weight. He's a physical freak. And the possibility of boom is going to ramp up his draft stock.

Matt Flynn: Mike McCarthy said of Flynn: "It's his time to play." And word on the street is that the Packers won't be using their franchise tag on Flynn, primarily because it goes against the spirit of the franchise-tag rule (you're not supposed to use it with the intention of trading it). So it appears that Flynn will hit the open market and be free to sign with whatever team can't make a move up to grab Robert Griffin III with the Rams No. 2 pick.

Stephen Hill: The gigantic (6'4") Georgia Tech wide receiver wasn't even a top-five wide receiver in this class heading into the combine. And he's still behind guys like Justin Blackmon and Kendall Wright. But his stock is climbing, and it's climbing quickly. Hill looked good on pass-catching drills, and he ran the fastest 40-time of any offensive player at the combine (4.36 seconds). Hill's stock was low primarily because he played college in Paul Johnson's offense, which netted him a whopping 59 catches. In his college career! Of course, 28 of those came in 2011, when he averaged a mind-blowing 29.3 yards per catch.

Andrew Luck: It's not that Luck needed to boost his stock in the eyes of anyone. He's Andrew Luck and everyone knows he's good. But he beat out Robert Griffin III in the broad jump and he displayed a lot of athleticism that many folks forgot he had in the wake of the swooning over the 2011 Heisman winner out of Baylor. The combine represented a lot of potential downside for Luck, simply because the expectations are already so jacked up. Luck's 4.59 unofficial 40 time might sound familiar, since it's the exact same time that Cam Newton posted last year.

Kirk Cousins -- Cousins is one of the many outsiders looking in when it comes to a quarterback class that really revolves around Luck and Griffin. That's understandable. And the Michigan State grad didn't exactly make a mark as the lock-job third guy in the class over the weekend, as that honor still belongs to Ryan Tannehill. But he did make a great impression on everyone in Indy, looking sharp in the throwing drills and sounding like a 10-year NFL veteran in interviews.

Losers

Tight Ends: No one truly dominated the tight-end workouts on Saturday, but here's the thing: the potential draft picks actually have upside. You know who doesn't have upside? The list of guys on our colleague Josh Katzowitz' free-agent tight-end rankings. Many teams already have talented tight ends. But given the way that the NFL's going -- it's the year of the tight end! -- teams are going to want and land the next difference-making tight end. Is that guy in this group, which Mayock called "a bad class"? Ehhhhh. But as Pete Prisco recently wrote guys like Clemson's Dwayne Allen, Stanford's Coby Fleener and Georgia's Orson Charles will be "in demand" come draft day anyway.

Arizona State: First there was Brock Osweiler (we prefer the nickname "Brockweiler") not throwing and not running and generally not doing much. He did talk to the press and say that he gets stereotyped for being 6'7" quarterback, which, if you play at ASU, is like being stereotyped for being a billionaire. Or Jon Hamm. Then there's Vontaze Burflict, who declared himself the best linebacker in the draft ... right before he threw his coaches under the bus by saying they "messed [him] up."

Chris Rainey: Rainey's a burner, no question. That was evident when he ran the second-fastest time 40 time for running backs at the combine. Except his time was 4.45, which more than three-tenths of a second slower than Rainey said he'd run. And that's not a lot of time. But Rainey said he would "definitely" get in the 4.1 range. Nevermind that it's really hard to do that, what does it say about a guy when he's already whiffing on guarantees, before he even gets in the NFL?

Janoris Jenkins: Honesty is a good thing, especially with NFL teams who will find out about players no matter what. But that doesn't mean that Jenkins looked good when he told reporters that he has three arrests on his records and four kids at the age of 23. And even though he said he's done with marijuana "forever," there are going to be a lot more questions coming his way from teams. At least those that still even have him on their draft board.

Wideouts: It wasn't a good weekend for the wideouts, Hill excepted. Justin Blackmon didn't work out, Kendall Wright looked slow and/or was just asked about RG3, and while Michael Floyd addressed his off-field issues, it's not like he looked so sharp that everyone simply forgot about them.  This might help the Bears and teams that are actually looking for a wideout, but it's looking a lot more risky to invest an early first-round pick in a wide receiver this year.

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Comments

Since: Mar 1, 2012
Posted on: March 1, 2012 12:06 pm
 

2012 NFL Combine: Weekend winners and losers

Just curious if anyone is gonna give Junior Hemmingway some props. If you take all of the drills into consideration then he had one of the best if not the best overall performances. He is 6'1 225. Not the talest but the thickest and one of the strongest (21 reps  22 was most) Top cone drill 6.59 ( 1 tenth faster then second) 3.89 in shuttle (tied for 1st) and at his size had a solid 40 time 4.53. I realize the combine doesn't automatically make you an nfl certainty. But I think he deserves some props and def is now a climber! He had a qb who couldn't get him the ball in college, and at his huge size, good hands, and amazing quickness and agility he could be a great Boldin or bigger stronger Victor Cruz. It never ceases to amaze me how ignorant ( uneducated) some of the writers are for CBS and can't believe some of these scouts can year in and year out keep there jobs with such horrible ability to evaluate players for there teams. Every year I have 10 or 15 players I pick that are over looked or underated. And each year they go to 5 or 6 teams and contribute. Looks like the other teams need to worry about the scouts as much as there coaches and GMs.



Since: Sep 8, 2006
Posted on: February 28, 2012 1:42 am
 

2012 NFL Combine: Weekend winners and losers

Squibulator,

After seeing Burfict's combine scores today, I assume you will be apologizing to me for my mocking him.  I accept in advance.  We all make mistakes. 



Since: Mar 25, 2009
Posted on: February 27, 2012 8:13 pm
 

2012 NFL Combine: Weekend winners and losers

mea, i totally agree with you that listing him as a winner of the combine with mediocre numbers is a bit premature, but i guess i would consider him a winner in the sense that his draft stock is rising by not doing much at all, it seems like every year, especially on the defensive line, certain players will get over-hyped going into the draft and they end up being drafted higher than they should, tyson jackson is one name that comes to mind, as well as gerald mccoy, both could still turn it around but up until this point they have both been average at best, certainly not worth the #3 overall pick, im an LSU fan and i hope brockers does well, i think he would have benefited from another year in school, but when your projected in the 1st round, you cant really blame him, i think he should be drafted between the mid to late first round, but i can see a team like carolina who is looking to strengthen their d-line in the draft to reach for him at #9



Since: Feb 16, 2008
Posted on: February 27, 2012 2:35 pm
 

2012 NFL Combine: Weekend winners and losers

USMEAGLE-

I definitely agree with you that there isn't too much to take away from the combine, especially for Brockers since he did not plan to run and workout but did anyway.  I just don't really understand the article.  Brockers is classified as a physical freak before his workout and then puts up mediocre numbers.  The article seems premature since Brockers is considered a combine winner even though his workouts could end up hurting his stock (or at least slowing down its momentum).  And Jenkins hurt himself by telling teams he has 4 kids and 3 arrests.  Wouldn't teams eventually learn this anyway since they will inevitably thoroughly investigate his background?  If he isn't 100% honest and transparent, it looks like he is trying to hide things and that will hurt his stock.  Maybe I'm nitpicking but it annoys me that Brinson writes something that seems to be rushed and poorly thought out.



Since: Feb 16, 2008
Posted on: February 27, 2012 2:34 pm
 

2012 NFL Combine: Weekend winners and losers

USMEAGLE-

I definitely agree with you that there isn't too much to take away from the combine, especially for Brockers since he did not plan to run and workout but did anyway.  I just don't really understand the article.  Brockers is classified as a physical freak before his workout and then puts up mediocre numbers.  The article seems premature since Brockers is considered a combine winner even though his workouts could end up hurting his stock (or at least slowing down its momentum).  And Jenkins hurt himself by telling teams he has 4 kids and 3 arrests.  Wouldn't teams eventually learn this anyway since they will inevitably thoroughly investigate his background?  If he isn't 100% honest and transparent, it looks like he is trying to hide things and that will hurt his stock.  Maybe I'm nitpicking but it annoys me that Brinson writes something that seems to be rushed and poorly thought out . 



Since: Mar 25, 2009
Posted on: February 27, 2012 1:29 pm
 

2012 NFL Combine: Weekend winners and losers

mea, i understand fully where you are coming from, but one of the main reasons teams are falling in love with brockers is because of how he has progressed over the past year or 2, along with weight gained, muscle gained etc..  couple that with the fact that he is barely 21 years old and many teams expect him to blossom even more over the next couple of years, i agree totally that he is a boom or bust player, if he keeps progressing the way he has he could be an all pro defensive lineman within 4-5 years, he is a run stopper who is 6-5 322 so i wouldnt worry too much about his forty time, the combine is very deceptive in that you really never know who is giving 100% and who isnt, brockers came into the combine and said he wouldnt run the 40 (not sure his reason) but it doesnt sound like he came prepared is all, many players have done it in the past and it hasnt effected their future play nor their draft stock, andre smith being one that comes to mind who has developed into a pretty solid right tackle for the bengals



Since: Feb 16, 2008
Posted on: February 27, 2012 11:57 am
 

2012 NFL Combine: Weekend winners and losers

Can we really classify Brockers as a winner just yet?  Yes, he is big and apparently not big in a bad way (fat).  But, he only benched 225 19 and now he ran a 5.33 40.  Considering Brinson calls him a physical freak and Prisco compared him to JPP, I find these numbers to be very disappointing.  Dontari Poe and Nick Perry appear to much closer to the JPP level of physical freak.  Poe is 346 lbs, benched 225 44 time, and ran a 4.87 40.  Perry is 270 lbs, benched 225 35 times, and ran a 4.5 40.   Those numbers seem much more "freakish" than 322 lbs, 19 reps of 225, and 5.33 40.



Since: Aug 26, 2006
Posted on: February 27, 2012 11:28 am
 

2012 NFL Combine: Weekend winners and losers

Someone needs to tell the NFL network we are watching the combine(as hard as that is to understand in itself) to see who does good at the NFL combine.  Please do not tell us about players who are not participating.  Please what the workouts and comment on how the players on the field are doing.  Then, when no one is working out, take all the time you want to discuss if Luck should go over RG3.  It was lke watching a playoff game and the guys were talking about who would win the superbowl.   Really hard to watch.




Since: Feb 8, 2008
Posted on: February 27, 2012 11:16 am
 

2012 NFL Combine: Weekend winners and losers

Absolutely ridiculous listings!  As we've seen the last few years, the combine doesn't really pick the players who end up being great in the NFL.  I have no doubt that RGIII will be good in the NFL but the QB choices are sorely lacking here.  Where is Ryan Tannehill or Case Keenum in the QB list?  I'd pick Tannehill over Luck for staying power in the NFL!



Since: Mar 25, 2009
Posted on: February 27, 2012 10:47 am
 

2012 NFL Combine: Weekend winners and losers

Does Michael Brockers have a school affiliation? A college perhaps? It would have been nice to know, Mr Author.

redshirt sophmore out of LSU, another QB that most dont know alot about that i feel will make an impact down the line in the NFL would be Austin Davis, he has great accuracy, a nice deep ball, and smart to boot, not to mention he beat out QB's like luck, weeden, and keenum at the Mannings accuracy camp this past summer, ive watched him for the past 4 years, if you had, you would know why he broke all of Brett Favre's records as well, someone will take a chance on him late and it should pay off nicely


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