Now that all the drills in the 2013 Nfl Combine are finished, kids measured, prodded, and Rich Eisen’s 40-yard dash (it was a 6.03 – exact same as last year by the way), what does the settling dust reveal? Who excelled and who “felled?”
Obviously from the news coverage, much-ballyhooed rookie linebacker Manti T’eo ran more slowly than anticipated. I saw one of the drills that tests lateral agility and he was flopping his upper arms like a chicken’s. Clearly, the weight he’s recently lost get this – in order to be quicker at the combine – obviously didn’t help him.
T’eo weighed in at only 241 pounds and won’t play inside linebacker that light, and his workout in general may have raised more questions than answers. He didn’t do the bench press and ran only a 4.82 40-yard dash. We’ll have to wait for him to gather himself for USC’s Pro Day. Remember, this is just one stage.
As for the guy who may well have helped himself the most, other than maybe Alabama’s Dee Milliner, is SMU’s Margus Hunt. Cleverly Nicknamed “The Eastern Bloc[k]” because of his Estonian roots, the defensive lineman has my vote for the Leon Sandcastle award.
Hunt is 6’8″ tall, 277 pounds, and ran an insanely fast-for-size 4.60 40-yard dash. He showed great strength with 38 reps on the bench and had a good 34.5 inch vertical leap.
Just as eyebrow-raising was that a 6’8″ man could run the 20-yard “short” shuttle in 4.27 seconds and the 3-cone in 7.07 seconds.
BYU’s Ziggy Ansah at 6’5″ and 271 pounds is the best comparison. A lot of people were looking forward to his numbers coming in, so let’s compare:
Ansah ran a 4.63, had a 33-inch vertical, 4.26 short shuttle and 7.11 3-cone time with 21 bench reps. Don’t read all that much into those bench reps as Ansah has longer arms than does Hunt, while being 3 inches shorter. The angles are a lot more difficult with rangy body types so the talent evaluators know to take that into account.
Both men have very similar strengths and weaknesses. They’re both elite athletically but raw in football experience. They both are a little bit of a project like Jason Pierre-Paul of the Giants. They both have similarly high ceilings, but whoever takes them will have to realize they won’t be seeing their full potential for three or four years.
As for Manti T’eo, he actually did the other drills on the field pretty well, so it wasn’t a horrible showing. He needs to run in the low-4.7′s at his Pro Day and see a lot more drills before the book is closed on him, and he should go anywhere from #20 overall to somewhere into the middle of the second round and isn’t a player the Panthers are interested in with Luke Kuechly’s arrival last year.
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