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NFL Combine Roundup

Matt Padavick |
March 1, 2013 | 10:23 a.m. PST

Staff Writer

Matt Barkley hopes to be drafted in the first round despite a poor season from USC. (Jerry Ting/NT)
Matt Barkley hopes to be drafted in the first round despite a poor season from USC. (Jerry Ting/NT)
The NFL Combine is an opportunity for athletes to show their entire skillset. It’s a chance for lesser known players to receive attention and move up the draft boards. It’s also a possibility for top players to drop in the draft due to poor performances or poor interview sessions. Let’s take a look at who performed well at each position in this year’s NFL Combine.


There wasn’t one particular quarterback that stood out at the NFL Combine. West Virginia's Geno Smith, considered one of the fastest quarterbacks in the nation, ran a 4.59 40-yard dash. Despite the slightly surprising performance in the 40, Smith showed that he has one of the strongest arms in the nation with a ton of accuracy. Former Trojan Matt Barkley decided not to throw at the combine, and many scouts have him as low as fourth at the quarterback position. Barkley hurt his stock this season with the poor play of USC and his sometime erratic accuracy. Tyler Wilson (Arkansas) is projected as a mid-second-round pick but after showing a strong arm at the Combine, his stock may be rising. Mike Glennon (North Carolina State) and Ryan Nassib (Syracuse) both proved to have strong, accurate arms, and may have leaped into the late first round with their performance at the combine.

Running Backs

This year’s running back class is just like the quarterback and wide receiver classes: a lot of depth with no stars. Eddie Lacy (Alabama), who was regarded as one of the best backs in the country, injured his hamstring and was unable to perform in the combine. South Carolina’s Marcus Lattimore was another back expected to go in the first round, but after a knee injury, was not able to perform at the combine. Montee Ball (Wisconsin) was one of the bigger names heading into the combine. Ball had a breakout season in 2011, when he was nominated for the Heisman Trophy but chose to return to school for his senior season. He was not able to put up the numbers that he did in 2011, and he looks to be a second- to third-round pick. Auburn’s Onterio McCalebb recorded a blazing 40 time at 4.34 seconds while Arkansas’ Knile Davis wasn’t far behind with a time of 4.37 seconds. UCLA’s Jonathan Franklin and LSU’s Michael Ford both had good showings in the 40-yard dash and 60-yard shuttle

Wide Receivers

Wide receivers performed the best of any position at the combine. They showed that they were extremely athletic, besting times in the 40-yard dash, broad jump and 60-yard shuttle. The fastest 40 times were Texas receiver Marquise Goodwin (4.27 seconds) and WVU wideout Tavon Austin (4.34 seconds). Austin, standing at only 5-foot-8 and 174 pounds improved his draft stock dramatically with his performance at the combine. He proved that he is one of the quickest receivers in the draft and left an impression on scouts with his ability to catch the ball. Two Tennessee receivers proved that they are ready for the NFL at this year’s combine. Codarrelle Patterson looks to be the best prospect at the receiver position; he ran a 4.42 40 and proved his athleticism with a 37 inch performance in the vertical leap. With a 6-foot-2 frame and strong body (216 pounds), Patterson proved at the combine that he is the number one receiver. Justin Hunter showed that he was not far behind his teammate. He performed better in the vertical leap (39.5 inches) and lead all receivers in the broad jump with 11-feet-four-inches.  He was only 0.02 seconds behind Patterson in the 40 and with his 6’4” frame and leaping ability -- he looks to be another top pick in the draft.

Cornelius Washington (83) impressed scouts at the combine. (Daaka2/Flickr)
Cornelius Washington (83) impressed scouts at the combine. (Daaka2/Flickr)

Like the receivers, linebackers had a good showing at the combine. Missouri’s Zaviar Gooden recorded the fastest 40 time for linebackers with a 4.47 time. His bench press mark of 27 was top-five at the position as well. The combine featured many big linebackers recording extremely fast times for their weight. At 245 pounds, Florida’s Jon Bostic ran a 4.61 40 and looked quick on the field during his pass-rushing and coverage drills. Bostic now leaves the combine as the top performing inside linebacker. Cornelius Washington of Georgia may have been the most impressive linebacker at the combine.  With his 265 pound frame, Washington was able to run a 4.55 40 and his 36 reps on the bench was the most for linebackers (the next closest guy was Connecticut’s Sio Moore with 29 reps). Moore ran a 4.65 40, which was top-five for LBs. He showed outstanding footwork and displayed a great amount of speed. Manti Te’o (Notre Dame) had a lot on his mind at the combine. After a day of the press badgering him about the hoax, Te’o ran a 4.82 40 and only posted a 33-inch vertical. He did not participate in the bench press but looked quick during drills. With his performance this season, Te’o’s draft stock shouldn’t fall dramatically due to the combine, but he also didn’t make a case to move up in the draft.

Despite sitting out a year, Tyrann Mathieu picked up right where he left off. (Prospect-Central/Flickr)
Despite sitting out a year, Tyrann Mathieu picked up right where he left off. (Prospect-Central/Flickr)
Defensive Backs

Dee Milliner (Alabama) and Xavier Rhodes (Florida State) were two of the best defensive back performers at the combine. Milliner made a case for a top-ten pick this week, as he ran a 4.39 40 and recorded a 36-inch vertical and 10-foot-seven-inch broad jump. The other corner who could take Milliner’s top-ten pick is Florida State’s Xavier Rhodes. Rhodes was among the top performer in the 40-yard dash (4.43), vertical jump (40-feet-five-inches) and broad jump (11 feet). Other top 40 times at the cornerback spot were Mississippi State’s Darius Slay (4.36), Boise State’s Jamar Taylor (4.39), Southeastern Louisiana’s Robert Alford (4.39) and Miami’s Brandon McGee (4.40). As far as the safety position is concerned, there wasn’t one standout performer. This draft class provides numerous NFL starters at the safety position. Kenny Vaccaro of Texas ran a 4.63 40 and recorded a 38-inch vertical with a 10-foot-one-inch broad jump. Vaccaro looked to be the best safety at the combine, although Syracuse’s Shamarko Thomas led all safeties in multiple workouts including the 40-yard dash (4.42), bench press (28) and vertical leap (40.5 inches). Both Vaccaro and Thomas put on great performances, but Vaccaro out-shined Thomas in the on the field drills. His ball-skills and recovery time in the shuttle bested Thomas. Former LSU Tiger Tyrann Mathieu also performed well at the combine. Despite Mathieu’s off-the-field troubles, he ran a 4.50 40 and had a 34-inch vertical and nine-foot-nine-inch broad jump. The Honey Badger showed outstanding ball-skills despite not playing in over a year -- don’t forget he was once an All-American. Mathieu made a case that he is still a first-round pick. We’ll see how much his off the field troubles impact his draft stock.

The 2013 NFL Draft class is a very even and balanced draft class that looks to provide many starters in the NFL and each position. Each position is very deep in skilled players with only a few exhibiting number one star players. Look out for our upcoming NFL Mock Draft and check out the NFL Draft, from Thursday, April 25 to Saturday, April 27.


Reach Staff Writer Matt Padavick here or follow him on Twitter here.



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