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.


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.


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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Since: Jan 16, 2007
Posted on: February 27, 2012 10:32 am

2012 NFL Combine: Weekend winners and losers

Way to go Crispy, sitting in a glass house throwing stones.  Spell Wonderlic for us again please.

Since: Oct 31, 2006
Posted on: February 27, 2012 10:24 am
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Since: Sep 5, 2011
Posted on: February 27, 2012 9:42 am

2012 NFL Combine: Weekend winners and losers

Painting ASU with such a broad brush is what is stupid.  Im not from ASU land, but I watched some ASU games, and Burfict is an aggressive player, but I saw a lot of very borderline calls that might not even have been called late hits in the NFL.  I wouldnt write this kid off by any means.  The question is, can he play in space?  If he can, and he shows the rest of his abilities he demonstrated in college, he will be a solid NFL player.  Cmpring him to Lawrence Phillips?  Really?

Since: Feb 27, 2012
Posted on: February 27, 2012 9:23 am
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Since: Feb 27, 2012
Posted on: February 27, 2012 8:44 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.

Since: Jun 24, 2007
Posted on: February 27, 2012 8:04 am

2012 NFL Combine: Weekend winners and losers

Gotta agree with on that, I don't think he's the brightest bulb in the pack. Hope my Lions pass on him!

Since: Aug 20, 2006
Posted on: February 27, 2012 4:31 am

2012 NFL Combine: Weekend winners and losers

Matt Flynn = Matt Cassell.  Plugged into a great team, winning system, OL giving him tons of time, underrated WRs, of course he's going to win games.  Doesn't mean he'll do it for a mediocre team.

"The reason I mention this is can anyone name an offensive skill position player in NFL history who was faster, outside of Bob Hayes and Renaldo Nehemiah, with the ball in his hands than Rice?"

Ok, that's a bit of an exaggeration.  Rice was fast, but he wasn't top 3 (or even top 10) fast - his game was as much as about great hands and reading the D as it was his very high athletic ability.  Chris Johnson is faster than Rice - yes, on the field.  So is Devin Hester (who is a WR even though he's known mostly for his return skills).  Doesn't mean either guy is a better player, obviously.   Deion Sanders played some receiver for San Fran and he was faster than Jerry was.  I get your general point, though - 40 times measured in full pads would be more accurate of game speed.  To make it really accurate, a guy should have do to the 40 yard dash a few dozen times, each one half a minute after each other, and take the average of all them to get the true speed.

Since: Jan 17, 2010
Posted on: February 27, 2012 1:38 am

2012 NFL Combine: Weekend winners and losers

Alright can someone PLEASE!!! tell me why everyone has an UNOFICIAL TIME and then an OFFICIAL TIME where they always add at least a half a tenth second sometimes a full tenth second or more????????? If it's all electronically timed the time should be the time, how could the time not be the time??????

Since: Sep 14, 2009
Posted on: February 27, 2012 1:29 am

2012 NFL Combine: Weekend winners and losers

Streeter from Miami ran a 4.3 today and that definitely did not translate to game speed.

Nicks and Cruz are both 4.5 guys but shred defenses.

Since: Oct 11, 2009
Posted on: February 27, 2012 12:53 am

2012 NFL Combine: Weekend winners and losers

40 times are definitely an overrated measurement. I was watching NFL32 on ESPN last week with Mark Schlereth and Jerry Rice as panelists. Rice himself said he ran in the 4.5 range. The reason I mention this is can anyone name an offensive skill position player in NFL history who was faster, outside of Bob Hayes and Renaldo Nehemiah, with the ball in his hands than Rice?

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