Top-Five Losers of NFL Draft Combine
Posted by RichieZ23 on March 5, 2010
We already discussed the five winners of the combine, now lets take a look at the five that came into the combine with higher expectations, and saw their draft stock take a dip due to their performance.
1.) Joe Haden – Considered by many pre-combine to be the first corner taken off the board, Haden performed horribly at the combine, and will need an excellent pro-day to redeem himself. While it is doubtful he falls out of the first round, Haden most likely cost himself millions, falling from the top of the first-round, to mid or bottom first. Haden was clocked officially at 4.58 in the 40, and although game tape shows a shutdown corner, that 4.58 is going to scare off certain teams. A true number one needs to be able to run with the elite receivers down the field, and this puts a huge hole in Haden’s stock. Haden does have great recovery speed though, and is extremely physical and a great tackler (sounds an awful lot like a current shut-down corner playing in New York). This may be an instance of what wins out — game tape, or the combine? There’s no doubt Haden will be a player at the next level, but the difference between a number one corner, and a number two, is millions of dollars.
2.) Dezmon Briscoe — Briscoe has the prototypical size you want in a wide receiver as he stands six-feet two, 207 pounds. However, character issues, combined with an awful combine will most likely drop Briscoe considerably down many draft boards. Briscoe ran just a 4.61 for his 40, and put up just nine reps for his bench press. Poor work ethic and character issues can be overlooked by general managers if the player puts on a physical showcase, but in Briscoe’s case, the opposite happened. While he still will get drafted due to having pretty good potential, a high pick is most likely not going to be invested in a disinterested, slow wide receiver who also much weaker than expected in the bench press. While Briscoe did catch the ball well in drills, Briscoe did nothing to help his draft stock.
3.) Chad Jones – Jones did little to dispel the myth that he was not passionate about football and might not ever live up to his potential. His interview was described as one of the worst of the 60 interview candidates that each team is given. The interviews are considered by many general managers across the league (sans Al Davis of course) who believe the interviewing process is the most important element. Jones had already professed that baseball was his first love, and his combine numbers of a high 4.5 40-time, and only nine reps on the bench press will likely slide Jones down the draft boards even further. Originally slotted as a second-rounder by some, Jones may slide as far as the fourth or possibly fifth round due to his combine performance.
4.) LeGarrette Blount – Blount already came into the draft with red marks all over his character issues. Blount was suspended several times from the University of Oregon, the final time after punching an opposing player after the first game of the season. He was eventually reinstated, and Oregon was clearly a better team with him on the field as he provided the Ducks with a talented bruiser at tailback who had a nose for the endzone. While running a 4.6 40 isn’t terrible for someone his size (it’s not good by any means), only putting up 18 reps on the bench press is shocking. He was out-lifted by five-feet nine, 172 pound Dexter McCluster. Not only that, Blount appeared out of shape which is only going to create more red marks about his character. A team may take a chance on him in the third-round, but a poor combine and several character issues may have slid Blount all the way to the fourth or fifth round.
5.) Jonathan Dwyer — It’s hard enough to come into the NFL after playing in a triple-option offense in college, but when you do little to impress at the combine, you’re facing an uphill battle. Similar to Blount, Dwyer ran a 4.59 in his 40, and then followed that up with only 15 reps on the bench press. Dwyer runs hard, and although he did little to impress in the loss to Iowa in the Orange Bowl, has good vision as well. He likely won’t dip too far, but he could slide as far as the middle of the secound-round, after originally being slotted as high as the middle of the first round.