NFL head coaches and GM’s recently got a nice look at the top prospects from the 2013 NFL Draft class. And as usual, certain players shined at the 2013 NFL Combine while others hurt their stock with disappointing performances. That said, let’s check out some players who excelled and those who failed to impress at this year’s NFL Combine.
1. Manti Te’o provides more Questions than Answers with 40 Time
To nobody’s surprise, Manti Te’o was the biggest story of the Combine because of the press conference/interview he underwent. And Te’o did a solid job of answering all of the questions about the online girlfriend hoax surrounding him. Unfortunately, he left plenty of answers on the field after running a slower-than-expected 4.82 forty-yard dash. Entering this year, many people expected Te’o to be a top 10 pick. But following the uninspiring 40 time, it’s debatable as to if he’ll be selected in the second round.
2. Injured CB Dee Milliner comes though at the Combine
Nobody would’ve blamed Alabama cornerback Dee Milliner for not running the 40-yard dash. After all, he has a torn labrum that needs surgery, and it couldn’t be comfortable sprinting with this kind of shoulder pain. Nevertheless, he came out and ran a 4.37 forty, which tied him for sixth place. What’s more is that he should easily be the first cornerback taken as well as a top five overall pick.
One of the most notable exclusions from the 2013 Combine activities was Star Lotulelei. The Utah defensive tackle’s stock had been rapidly propelling in recent weeks, and some experts thought that he might end up being among the top five picks. However, Lotulelei’s world came crashing down when an echocardiogram revealed that his left ventricle wasn’t pumping enough blood. The question now is if this is a serious issue, or just a minor heart problem arising from extreme weight loss over the past few days.
4. Running Backs and Quarterbacks fail to impress
Every year, there’s an emphasis on running backs and QB’s for the obvious reason that these are major impact positions. However, the 2013 NFL Draft class is particularly weak at these spots, and there’ll be few first rounders among football’s two marquee positions. Running back is especially thin, where Wisconsin’s Montee Ball (4.63 forty), Oklahoma State’s Joseph Randle (4.63 forty) and Giovani Bernard (4.53 forty) didn’t exactly show breakaway speed. As for quarterbacks, West Virginia’s Geno Smith figures to be a mid-first rounder while NC State’s Mike Glennon may be the only other first round QB pick.
5. The Number One Overall Pick is Anybody’s Guess
Outside of Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III, there wasn’t much debate about who the top players were in last year’s draft. However, it’s anybody’s guess as to who will be called up to the podium first in April. Many thought that Texas A&M OT Luke Joeckel could be selected number one by the Chiefs; however, his sorry 5.3 forty time leaves some doubts. Alabama guard Chance Warmack is also in this position because a 5.41 forty hasn’t done him much justice. Other potential top picks include Oklahoma OT Lane Johnson, Alabama CB Dee Milliner, Brigham Young DE Ziggy Ansah, Oregon DE Dion Jordan and LSU DT Sheldon Richardson.
Come April 25th, we’ll finally get some answers to burning questions like where Te’o will be drafted, who the number one pick is going to be, and if the QB’s and running backs will have any significant impact in the 2013 Draft.