Over three hundred of the very best college football players were invited this past week to participate in the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis, Indiana. Top Executives, Coaching Staffs, Player Personnel Departments and Medical Personnel from all 32 NFL teams were on hand to evaluate the nation’s top college football players eligible for the upcoming 2017 NFL Draft. This intense, four-day job interview left some interesting headlines. Below are some of the top times and who to watch in this years upcoming NFL draft. I always like to keep up with the “buzz” and the “headlines”, so I can better participate in the conversation when out with the fellas. Hope this provides you with a bit of insight. If you would like to see actual video highlights and additional coverage from this years combine events visit HERE

 

  • History: The NFL Combine was started in 1982 when National Football Scouting, Inc. first conducted a camp for its member NFL clubs in Tampa, Florida. The inaugural NIC was attended by a total of 163 players and established a foundation for future expansion. During the first three years, two additional camps were held at different times to collect similar information for teams that did not belong to National Football Scouting. However, in 1985 all 28 NFL teams decided they would participate in future National Invitational Camps with the goal of sharing costs for the medical examinations of draft eligible players. After brief stints in New Orleans (1984, 1986) and Arizona (1985) the camp was moved to Indianapolis, Indiana where it has been operated since 1987.

    Going #1- Texas A&Ms 272-pound defensive end Myles Garrett arguably put up the most impressive overall combine numbers. He was the fastest of the big men running the 40 in 4.64 seconds; He was the second strongest of any defensive lineman benching 225 pounds 33 times; He also measured in with a 41-inch vertical jump, the best of any defensive lineman; His​ 10-foot, 8-inch broad jump was the second best of any defensive lineman. Many insiders have Garret picked to go #1 in the draft to the Cleveland Browns. The question is will the Browns keep Garret as the #1 or opt to pick a much needed QB?

  • Record Setting 40-Yard Dash: John Ross, a wide-receiver from Washington, blazed to an NFL scouting combine record of 4.22 seconds in the 40-yard dash. Corner-back Jalen Myrick form Minnesota ran a 4.28, which was the fastest time for a cornier-back in the past decade. I should also mention that heavy weight running-back Leonard Fournette, weighed in at 240-pounds, but covered the 40-yard dash in 4.51 seconds, the fastest 40 for a running back 240 plus pounds in the past decade. I should note there was talk that Bo Jackson ran a couple of sub-4.2 second 40-yard dashes back in 1986. If you are wondering, Deion Sanders ran a 4.28 back in 1989, and Chris Johnson a 4.24 back in 2008.

  • Strongest: Two players, defensive-end Carl Lawson and offensive-guard Asiata, both benched 225-pounds 35 times. Interestingly Asiata weighs 335-pounds, while Lawson weighs a much lighter 265 pounds. I thought it was extremely impressive to see running back Samaje Perine throw 30 reps when he only weighs 233-pounds. No other running back came within six reps of Perine’s 30. For what it’s worth, I heard a defensive tackle, Justin Earnest, out of Eastern Kentucky once put up 225 pounds 51 times.

  • Best Broad Jump and Vertical: Safety Obi Melifonwu jumped an amazing 11-feet-9-inches. Melifonwu’s 11 feet, 9 inches is the second-longest broad jump at the combine since 2006. Calvin Johnson jumped 11-feet-7-inches back in 2007. Melifonwu also won the vertical jump competition this year by jumping 44-inches. There’s been a few players jump 45 and 46 inches in the past.

  • Best 3-Cone Agility Drill: Corner-back Kevin King from Washington impressed the scouts with a winning time of 6.56 seconds. However he did not best Chris Rainey’s time of 6.50 seconds, set in 2012.

  • Tallest and Shortest: As usual the tallest players overall are the tackles. Offensive tackle Dan Skipper from Arkansas measured 6-foot-10. On the flip-side, as usual the running-backs are the shortest. Tracy Cohen from North Carolina measured just 5-foot-6. Several other running backs, including ones from Florida State and Georgia measured just 5-foot-7. Remember, Darren Sproles, who measures at 5-foot-6, was taken in the fourth round of the 2005 combine and made three Pro Bowls.

  • Kicked Out: The top linebacker from this years class, Alabama’s, Reuben Foster was removed from the NFL combine for what many call trying to “big time” a local hospital worker. The story I heard is that Foster grew impatient with long line for exams and pulled the “do you know who I am?” card. A male hospital employee, unimpressed, told him he would wait like everyone else. Things then supposedly escalated between the two and the NFL sent Foster home. Since then Foster sent a letter to all 32 teams apologizing for what he called “a misunderstanding here at the combine,” adding that he understood that being invited to Indianapolis was both a privilege and honor.

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