2012 NFL Draft: Combine Review

Dontari Poe 2012 NFL Draft

Poe's athleticism for his size might have made him the biggest winner at this year's NFL Scouting Combine.

NEPD Editor: Doug Kyed

The 2012 NFL Combine has come to a close and that means one thing, we have eight weeks to sit and wait for the most anticipated three day event of the year.

No, not the Santee Birding and Nature Festival, the NFL Draft.

It’s a long two months to wait, but it also gives us plenty of time to review the tape, reorder our rankings and be fully prepared for anything that may be thrown at us in April. There was plenty of movement over the last week due to the Combine and I’m going to go position by position to tell you who made out best in Indianapolis.


Robert Griffin III, Baylor
Griffin may have elected not to throw, but he did go through the workouts and measured among the most athletic QBs that have ever participated in the combine.

Griffin ranked first among QBs in his 40 (4.41), first in the vertical jump (39”) and third in the broad jump (120”). He didn’t participate in the rest of the QB workouts or drills, but that was frankly enough for me. Griffin also shined in his media interviews.

All his performance might have done is confirmed what we already knew about Griffin, but there were projections for his speed in the 4.5s. While it was at least possible that Griffin would fall to the 3rd pick in the draft before the combine, I don’t see any chance he falls past two now.

Brandon Weeden: The only QB in the consensus top four to throw, was by far the best passer of the bunch. Didn’t participate in any workouts, and likely won’t at his pro day either.

Kirk Cousins: Was the second most impressive passer during drills behind Weeden. Cousins won’t shine in any one particular aspect of the game, but he’s a good all around player.

Who hurt their stock:

Darron Thomas: Had a very pedestrian time of 4.80 in the 40 and delivered perhaps the worst throw of the combine when he under threw a deep ball by a good twenty yards.


LaMichael James, Oregon
James started his combine experience on a positive note when he weighed in at 194 pounds, about 10 pounds above his listed weight. He ran an official 4.45 40 time, good for second among RBs and finished third in the short shuttle, third in the 3 cone and second in the broad jump.

We all knew James was athletic, but he proved to be just as athletic as Chris Rainey, who’s 15 pounds lighter. James will likely pan out as a third down back, but he’s worth the risk with that chance that he could become a between the tackles runner, something he wasn’t expected to do much of at Oregon.

Chris Rainey: Measured out just as well as James and showed off some nice fluidity running. Rainey still needs to work on his hands if a team hopes to make him transition to slot receiver.

David Wilson: A potential every down back, Wilson ran  a 4.4 40 time, while jumping out of the building in his vertical and broad jumps.

Doug Martin: Another player who performed well in workouts, while also having one of the strongest performances in RB drills.

Who hurt their stock:

Dan Herron: I thought Herron performed well at the Senior Bowl, but leading up to Mobile I had never been impressed with Herron thinking that he didn’t do any one thing very special. He projects to me as a third string back. Herron didn’t help himself with his 40 time, but he did have a decent showing in his 3 cone and short shuttle.


Chris Givens, Wake Forest
It was difficult to pick one player that helped himself the most among WRs, but Givens was the one who moved furthest up my board. He showed off nice hands, crisp routes and importantly top end straight line speed. Givens ran an official 4.41 40, which was something I did not expect from him. The Patriots love WRs who can run, and Givens showed the speed necessary to be drafted by New England.

Stephen Hill: Hill was the most highly publicised participant among the WRs after he ran a hand timed 4.30 40 time. Hill definitley helped himself, but I actually expected him to run that time and it was disappointing to see him run the slowest short shuttle by far.

Marvin Jones: Despite a poor showing in his jumps, Jones had impressive times in his 40, 3 cone and short shuttle. Jones also showed off the crisp routes and strong hands he displayed all year at CAL. Jones lead all WRs with 22 reps on the bench, which I was a bit surprised by.

Junior Hemingway: Hemingway did everything well at the combine with strong showings in every workout. He has nice size and could move up to the 5th or 6th round after showing off his athleticism.

Kashif Moore: Moore was another one that had a great overall showing at the combine. There were already so many strong WRs in this class and strong performances by Moore and Hemingway make the class even deeper.

Michael Floyd: Another WR who turned in a surprising 40 time, if Floyd’s trainers got him in shape that he can sustain and made him faster, watch out NFL.

Who hurt their stock:

Alshon Jeffery: No one will ever be able to explain to me why you would lose weight for the combine, then not participate in any workouts or drills.


LaDarius Green, Louisiana-Lafayette
Green was the big surprise for me during the combine, I thought he would probably clock in with speed in the 4.6 or 4.7s and he ran a hand timed 4.48. If I were an NFL team, I’d draft Green at WR and not even try to bother working on his blocking skills. He has enough work to do with his hands and route running.

Michael Egnew: Egnew showed impressive athleticism turning in great measurements and times all around. He could work on catching the ball further away from his body, but overall he had a very solid showing.

Who hurt their stock:

Corey Harkey: Disappointed with his speed with an offensive lineman-esque 5.11 and didn’t show much muscle mass only benching 13 reps with 32 inch arms.


Cordy Glenn, Georgia
Glenn ran a shocking 5.15 official 40 time at 345 pounds on Saturday and impressed just as much with a 1.76 ten yard split. Glenn still showed off questionable technique bending at the waist rather than dropping his hips and bending at the knees, but it’s something that worked for him at Georgia, and it will especially work if he moves to guard at the pros.

Tom Compton: Compton was a lesser known prospect coming in out of South Dakota and really flashed athleticism and flexibility in workouts and drills.

Ryan Miller: I wasn’t sure what to expect from Miller and thought that the combine might not be the best place to showcase his skills. I wound up being very wrong and Miller showed off really impressive fluidity despite his 6’7” frame.

OL who hurt their stock:

Andrew Datko and Zebrie Sanders: I was down on Sanders and hesitant on Datko coming in and now I can officially say I’m down on both. Datko needed to show off better technique, as he’s probably got the worst of any top 20 tackle prospect. Sanders needed to show off better athleticism for his supposed upside.



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14 Responses to “2012 NFL Draft: Combine Review”

  1. Dan says:

    I’m amazed that so many “experts” and mock draft people forget what a talent Canon is, or can be. He has position flexibility, and it is a large, athletic talent. People are acting like he’s not there and wasn’t playing quality snaps….after a battle with cancer, which he won.
    I say if Waters retires he steps right in, but I’m hoping he gets another year, and is there to add depth, and learn.
    This guy was a late first-high second talent before his late diagnosis…we were the only team with the luxury (picks) to grab him later on…brilliant move.

    • AM says:

      Definitely a great pick, but I wonder if he wouldn’t be a better fit at tackle. he looked good, if raw, late last year, and Vollmer’s back is worrying. I’d rather take a chance with developing an inside lineman (or maybe changing over at center and trying Connolly at guard), and working with Cannon as a known quantity at tackle.

      Of course, if David DeCastro somehow slips to #27, I think the question is answered.

  2. Jim R says:

    Cox,Glenn,Curry,Givens, Johnson. Addresses a lot of needs. Sign me up for those picks.

  3. Tom says:

    Good article as always Doug. The Santee Birding Festival sounds good. Maybe there will be a sighting of the wounded duck that Darron Thomas threw……

  4. MJP says:

    What about Harrison Smith? I know Mayock has some serious man love of the kid but to hear Deion Sanders give him high praise time and again for having smooth footwork and transitions, that stuck out to me. Both guys seem to think he can play FS….he is very disciplined, has decent speed and can tackle, that’s better than Big Bang Clock ever was.

    THANK YOU for knocking Brockers, I’ve been petitioning people on every board to watch his tape against Miss St and Georgia, he’s a big tree stump, almost a complete non-factor….I wouldn’t take him in the 1st round, way too much Tyson Jackson in his game.

    What do you know about Sean Robinson from Vandy (think I got that name right)…besides his numbers he looked pretty smooth and athletic for a SS, I see some FS potential.

    I also would like your opinion on Brandon Taylor, I know he’s another projected FS but his speed and fluidity seemed to be there, I could see him challenging for the starting job at FS in N.E. by the middle of the season….I’d take him at the end of round-2.

    P.S. I have a man crush on Michyl Kendricks, he’s Mayo with coverage ability….I’d move Spikes to strong-side OLB on early downs and put Kendricks at ILB….If he falls into the late 2nd I wouldn’t complain one bit… he’s just a player I want….add someone like Andre Branch in the 1st and change this defense for good!

    • MJP says:

      Taylor is projected SS, not FS…..my point was that he could very well play FS.

      • qwerty says:

        they say he can play both FS and SS. I was very impressed by his combine workout. i just don’t know if his film confirms it. if it does, i would like to see patriots get him second round.

      • qwerty says:

        oops … i was talking about harrison smith.

        • Dan says:

          I think his speed (and good hands) showed that he will have that flexibility to play FS. That was the big question, and it’s the obvious huge need we have.
          The only way to find out how BB feels about the kid’s talents is if he’s there and we pass, especially in the mid-second round…without having done anything to solve the safety problem via free agency, trade, or prior draft pick. We won’t know about McCourty’s future until camp.
          Maybe they do reach for him at 31 and problem solved…over pay a bit, but have a guy to plug a giant hole.

      • Dan says:

        I like the idea of getting Smith in the 2nd also, but I’m not sure about the first round. Mayock is quickly losing his objectivity with me…first he’s hyping the Senior Bowl and ranting about why players aren’t there like Dick Vitale sounding stupid when kids leave the NCAA (more specifically the ACC). Now, he’s raving, shamelessly, over a Notre Dame player (who looks like a nice player, and also another BC player. This has been going on for a few years and it’s getting to the point of having to question his objectivity.
        I understand why he likes these players, Kuekly is easy; Smith showed well, but calm down already and talk about some other players, we get the point.

  5. AM says:

    If BJGE doesn’t resign, David Wilson would be a great fit. It would definitely provide superb depth and potential at the RB spot, and I can see Belichick making that pick in a “best player available” mode. And Hemingway would be a great pick in the late rounds if such a pick comes the Patriots’s way–he absolutel killed the 3-cone drill, which the team tends to value very highly in WRs.

    • DWE 2012 says:

      Although I’d like to see it if we can get the right swap for him, be it a player or a pick, Re-signing BJ-GE is a major priority for the Pat’s. He does not fumble, Ridley seem’s O.K., but not seen and proven “enough” for sure & Vereen a round higher pick still hasn’t been really seen or heard from yet either.
      Re-signing The Law Firm is an absolute no brainer, the Pat’s CANNOT really afford to let the only tride and true RB they have go, until BOTH Ridley AND Vereen step up.

      • AM says:

        I agree in principle–I love the Firm. The straight-ahead style is a great tone-setter, and a good complement to the fast-paced passing game (not to mention Woodhead’s shiftier running). Combine that with the ball security, the up-from-the-practice-squad work ethic and humility, and he is an absolutely perfect fit for the Patriots.

        That said, if the Chiefs (for example) come in with a top of the line offer for him, a la David Givens back in the day, I’m not sure how much we can overextend. Fortunately, the team is well under the cap, with few high-priced free agents on the rolls (pretty much just Welker and BJGE, I think). Hopefully, they can come in at a solid compromise offer (maybe 4 years, $18 million, $6-7 million guaranteed).

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