2012 NFL Combine: Day Four Wrap

2012 NFL Scouting Combine

Day four is in the books at the NFL Combine.

NEPD Editor: Mike Loyko

Today in Indianapolis we saw the offensive skill position players hit the field. The WRs, QBs, and RBs all took part in position and agility drills. In this wrap-up I break down all the happenings of Day Four and who impressed the scouts today.

Observations

* NOTE: All times that I am using and recorded are the hand times and “unofficial times”, these are the times that NFL teams use as they consider them a more accurate representation of a players speed.

-Let’s get this out of the way first. Robert Griffin III stole the show running a 4.38 forty. It’s a blazing fast time, but it’s not unexpected. Griffin is an Olympic quality hurdler and anything slower than low 4.4 would have been considered a disappointment. What is even more impressive is that Andrew Luck ended up running the same time, 4.59 as Cam Newton did last year. Luck’s athleticism is an overlooked aspect of this game and he put it out there today for all to see.

- If one player helped their stock most today it had to be Georgia Tech WR Stephen Hill. Hill posted the fastest 40 yard dash time today at 4.30. Hill also vertical jumped 39.5″ and broad jumped 11’1″. He is someone who is big and obviously athletic. Coming into the combine he was a player I wasn’t really too high on because of his limited route running experience. He really was only asked to do one thing in the Georgia Tech offense and that was to run deep. He is someone I’m going to have to go back and re-evaluate.

- Michael Floyd really, really helped himself today as well. He is someone who was already a first round pick, but scouts had questions about his speed. Floyd posted a 4.42 which seemed to answer all questions about straight line speed and put the issue to rest for the remainder of this process. It now appears to be a three man race for the number one WR spot with Justin Blackmon, Michael Floyd and Kendall Wright.

- I will say this about the combine, the forty yard dash and it’s importance as it relates to a prospects value. I’m not putting much stock on who ran a slower than expected time and who ran faster than expected time. Players like Kendall Wright, Joe Adams and Jarius Wright all ran slower times than I expected. However if you turn on the game tape each one of those players plays much much faster than players like Marvin McNutt who ran a faster 40 today.

- Mohamed Sanu did not run a fast time 4.65, but he looked really solid running routes and catching the ball all day. He also put up some of the best numbers in the other drills, such as a 6.88 3 Cone. His game isn’t built on speed so, his slow time means nothing to me today.

- Other wide receivers who stood out today were Michigan State WR Keshawn Martin, who showed that he can be an explosive deep threat. Cal’s Marvin Jones who continued his solid post season and looked solid in all the drills. App. State’s Brian Quick rebounded off a lackluster Senior Bowl and showed really good hands and route running ability. AJ Jenkins who is much faster than I anticipated him being and also displayed pretty good hands and Arkansas’ Greg Childs who showed he is fully recovered from the devastating leg injury, posting good times all around.

- A couple wide receivers who did not impress me at all were North Carolina’s Dwight Jones who ran a couple of wrong routes, and Mike Mayock singled him out for giving up on a deep ball. Marquis Maze also struggled more than anyone to catch the ball. Maze will is now a long shot to be drafted in my opinion, it was that bad.

- The running backs were the last group to take the field today and I was excited to see LaMichael James back up his game speed with a blazing 4.37 forty. James is someone I am higher on than most people and think he is an explosive player who teams will use to create mismatches. He helped his stock a lot today.

- Miami(FL) Lamar Miller and Virginia Tech’s David Wilson came into the combine essentially tied on my board. Both ran great forty times, right around 4.40. However, I thought Wilson looked more fluid and explosive in position drills and also displayed really solid hands. Wilson right now is the #2 rated RB on my board.

- Utah State’s Robert Turbin is ranked #8 on my running back board and I was happy to see him perform so well today. He’s a player who has had to overcome a lot of struggles in his life so I am rooting for him. Turbin out of all the running backs is the most “rocked up”, as his arms look like Popeye’s. Posting a time in the 4.4s at 228 lbs., made it a very good day for Turbin.

- Finally Doug Martin did nothing to detract from the perception that outside of Trent Richardson he is the next best everydown back in the draft. He ran a 4.47 forty, did 28 reps on the bench and displayed natural pass catching ability. Now that all the numbers are in it’s really remarkable to see how good of a day Martin had. He was in the top 3-5 of the bench press, 3 cone, vertical jump and broad jump. He is someone to really watch in the mid to early second round in April.

- Next up are the defensive linemen and the linebackers. Watching them run and go through position drills is my favorite part of the combine each year.

Tags: 2012 NFL Combine, 2012 NFL Draft, Robert Griffin

16 Responses to “2012 NFL Combine: Day Four Wrap”

  1. Jim R says:

    The validation of this draft is that there is going to be a many valuable role players thru the end of round 3. Guys like Kendricks -Cal and McClellin-Boise could end up being taken late 2nd and be as productive as top 20 guys. Rainey and James (RB’s) 3rd round will have a huge impact on third downs. OL there are potential starters in the 3rd round Brewster and Jones. Patriots are sitting pretty.

  2. Dan says:

    Two things that have bothered me the last few months while surfing all these mock drafts: Burfict going in the 1st & Poe not being mentioned at all (until very recently).
    Watching film on Youtube Burfict looked terrible, and now he’s really put a nail in his coffin; he’ll be lucky to go in the 3rd, and I’ll go out on a limb and say he’s taken in the 5th.
    Poe will go in the top 10 where he belongs, and I’d be shocked if he slipped to 15.

  3. Ken W says:

    The more I see and read the more I like DE Flether Cox in the 1st and OLB Ronnell Lewis in the 2nd. Lewis is also a special teams dynimo so you know that will catch Bills eye. Looks pretty explosive off the edge and think he could help the Pats out.

    Also I am on the WR Marvin Jones band wagon like NE Patriots Draft writers are. Think he would be great value late 2nd, early 3rd.

    • Dan says:

      A lot of players took a nose dive the past few days, but with that comes the rise of others. Sadly, Cox will not be there for the Pats at 27. I’d be shocked.
      The cream of the crop is shaking out and he’s in that group…top 20, most likely top 15. He’s just too big and athletic to pass on.
      If there’s one rule to the NFL draft that seems to be written in stone is that the very large, strong, athletic dudes get drafted high….very few are around long. BB has said this several times, and I think he’ll say it again this year…he’ll get someone that falls down to them.

  4. AM says:

    I’d like nothing better than for Sanu and Wright to drop because of those low 40 times. Either one would be tremendous for the Pats.

    • Dan says:

      I was thinking the same thing yesterday. No way Sanu is in the first round now and he’ll probably be there when the Pats pick in the middle of the 2nd.
      Wright could easily slip to them at 27 or 31 now if he’s a burner who can’t burn; but we’ll have to see how he recovers at his pro day (or uncovers a mistake made by the NFL timing system). He sure plays fast…
      Even if he did slip I’m not sure they’d take him…I think they want that big body on defense or D-back, but you never know.

      • AM says:

        I’d think that if Wright were available, they would have to jump on him, but I thought that about Cameron Jordan last year, so that shows what I know. Fortunately, this draft is so deep in wide receivers of all types that the Patriots can afford to wait until Round 2 or beyond before pouncing.

        Presuming that they trade away one of the firsts for a second and other assets, a top four class of Sanu or Wright, Chase Minnifield, Shea McClellin and Jared Crick or Kendall Reyes would go a long way towards fixing what ails the team.

      • AM says:

        And, of course, a Brandon Lloyd signing would nicely round out the group.

    • Phil says:

      Sanu is not what the Pats need. Sanu’s longest reception in the last 3 seasons is about 30 yards. He is a possession receiver and not at all the x factor on offense that this team needs. Kendall Wright on the other hand, I would love for his stick to drop down to the Pats. I just don’t think even with his terrible 40 time that he will drop down for the Pats to snag him.

      • AM says:

        While Sanu might not fix all of the issues in the passing game (and let’s keep some perspective-at least 25 other teams would love to have such problems), that doesn’t mean he wouldn’t be worth the pick. I see him as a taller, stronger, younger Deion Branch, and as a successor to that role in the offense. Also, he gives Brady a tall target who can out-muscle receivers. I say draft him, and sign Brandon Lloyd to be the speed-plus guy.

  5. Bruschi54 says:

    If the Pats have decided to part ways with BJGE do you think it is possible that they take a look at LaMichael James in round 2 if he is there?

    • Dan says:

      No, we have Vereen sitting there waiting to get time, and he’s got similar abilities. If they decide to go after (him, or another talent) for pure return ability then that would be in the later rounds. BB doesn’t seem to like to carry specialists, but if they drop a QB this year (Hoyer?) that will open up a roster spot. But, again, I doubt he’d use it on someone who was purely a specialist. Unless he saw that specialist as someone who could develop into a contributor elsewhere.

  6. Jim R says:

    Great for Hill, he is an outside the numbers guy who can block too. He helped himself since the last 2 stud Wr’s from GT. Have done pretty good in the pro’s.
    I am also pulling for the kid from Utah State (Turbin).

  7. Dan says:

    this timing issue has been going on for years now and it’s time (no pun) to correct it; they are hurting careers…it’s pathetic.
    They have all this talk going on…one side show after another and they can’t even tell us (in writing at the least) who is running a drill in the background. I know they have numbers, but they can’t always be seen.

  8. MJP says:

    Thank you for confirming what I’ve always thought, that the Combine 40 times are junk if you let the NFL’s electronic system do the work.

    There’s no chance in hell that Kendall Wright runs a 4.6, no friggin way, he could stumble and still break that mark.

    It’s good to know that teams use the hand times.

    Prediction; Nick Perry, Andre Branch and Ronnell Lewis steal the show at the DE/OLB position….while Fletcher Cox and Malik Jackson do the same for the 5-techs.



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