The NFL Combine comes to a close today, and now the 330 participants head home to continue preparing for pro days and the NFL Draft.
The Combine gave teams, analysts, and fans an idea as to how athletic the invited players are, heading into the NFL draft. Some drills are important, such as the 3 cone drill for defensive ends to test their bend and speed put together. Some other drills, such as the bench press, are relatively meaningless in determining a players’ athleticism, besides maybe an offensive lineman’s strength, but even that is iffy considering differing arm length’s and power coming from the core of the lineman’s body.
But, all in all, who improved their draft stock in having themselves a stellar combine?
Myles Garrett, EDGE rusher, Texas A&M
I didn’t think Garrett would be able to improve his stock going into the Combine, as he is already labeled as the consensus best player in this draft, and boy did he prove me wrong.
Garrett ran a 4.64 second 40 yard dash (88th percentile among one gap defensive ends, per MockDraftable.com), had a 41 inch vertical jump (98th percentile), 128 inch broad jump (96th percentile), 33 bench press reps (94th percentile), and also impressed with his arm length: 35 1⁄4 inches (92 percentile).
Yeah, he’s going first overall...
Solomon Thomas, DL, Stanford
His traits speak defensive tackle to me, but it’s impossible for me to say he didn’t test like a defensive end at the Combine... an incredibly athletic defensive end, that is.
Thomas, measuring at 6-2 5/8, 273 lbs, shot his draft stock through the roof at the Combine. He ran a 4.69 second 40 yard dash (83rd percentile among one gap defensive ends), had a 35 inch vertical jump (74th percentile) and ran a 6.95 second 3 cone drill (88th percentile).
Solomon Thomas was likely already in consideration for the Jaguars wit hthe fourth overall pick. His combine results only make that pick smarter.
Obi Melifonwu, S, Connecticut
The 6-4 (98th percentile among safeties), 224 lb (96th percentile) safety is very athletic as it is, but no one expected him to put up the numbers he did at the Combine.
It’s too early for percentiles on Melifonwu, as his testing is still going on, but he ran a 4.4 second 40 yard dash and a 1.51 second 10 yard split, jumped 141 inches on the broad jump, and also posted a 44 inch vertical. These numbers are insane for a 6-4, 220 lb safety, and he left analysts, scouts, and fans’ heads spinning.
For comparisons sake...
-Larry Fitzgerald: 6-3
- 10 yard split
-Melifonwu: 1.51 seconds
-Darren Sproles: 1.52 seconds
- 40 yard dash
-Melifonwu: 4.4 seconds
-Devin Hester: 4.43 seconds
- Vertical jump
-Melifonwu: 44 inches
-Odell Beckham Jr.: 38 1⁄2 inches
Melifonwu was projected as a day two draft pick before the combine. After his combine performance, don’t be surprised if he’s drafted in the first round.
Alvin Kamara, RB, Tennessee
Kamara wasn’t expected to post great numbers at the combine, with most draftnik’s, including myself, projecting his 40 yard dash time to hover around 4.65-4.7 seconds.
He proved us wrong.
Kamara, the 5-10, 214 lb running back, posted a 4.56 40 yard dash. Although that’s about average vs. all running backs in MockDraftable.com’s database (47th percentile), that tenth of a second better than his projection did him wonders, ending questions to his potential lack of breakaway speed. He also had a 131 inch broad jump (97th percentile). His 32 3/4 inch arms rank in the 94th percentile.
Who impressed you at the NFL Combine?