Today was pretty disappointing.
Injury news, players not working out, bad results.
Today had the lot.
Let’s start with the big headline of the day.
Cyrus Kouandjio had a rough outing to put it mildly, looking totally unprepared for the drills and running a 5.59 forty yard dash.
All the positivity over his size and frame washed away in a nightmarish session.
But the work outs weren’t the worst part.
Bad news for #Bama OT Cyrus Kouandjio. I’m told several teams have failed him on his physical. Arthritic knee from failed surgery. “Ugly.”
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) February 22, 2014
This is going to hammer his stock I’m afraid.
A guy who was once considered a first round lock will end up being little more than an after thought.
You have to feel for the player, but any hopes he had of going in round one are now surely a distant memory. We could be talking about a Jesse Williams-style fall here.
He wasn’t the only injury story of the day.
Austin Seferian-Jenkins didn’t work out at all because of a fractured foot. Tony Pauline is reporting he’s unlikely to be healthy enough to fit in a pro-day before the draft.
ASJ did a live interview with NFL.com (you can see it here) and he revealed he hadn’t been medically cleared to work out.
The medical checks are the most underrated part of the combine. Nobody knew about Kouandjio’s knee issue, not even Seferian-Jenkins himself knew he had a foot injury.
This is a significant blow for a player who had a lot to gain this weekend. His stock is a complete mystery now.
How serious is the issue?
How does he compare athletically to the other players in this group?
Is he a first, second or even third rounder?
We have no answers.
It kind of sums up what ended up being a pretty miserable day for the big name tight ends.
Jace Amaro ran an official 4.74 forty and an average 7.42 three cone drill. He just didn’t look like a great athlete.
In fact Amaro’s athleticism was comparable to C.J. Fiedorowicz — a limited player who is expected to be a mid-round pick.
We’ve seen only three tight ends drafted in round one since 2009. Nothing about Amaro’s display today made me believe he was going to add to that list — especially in a deep draft like this.
The one positive with Amaro is the 28 reps he managed on the bench press despite his 34 inch arms. That was a pleasant surprise yesterday.
It was extremely disappointing, if not surprising, that Troy Niklas didn’t run the forty. He complained about a vague ‘strain’ on Thursday and we should’ve known that was a big fat hint towards a limited work out.
He said he was “80%” and that’s why he didn’t run.
Strangely enough he still completed the other drills — recording the worst three cone drill (7.57) and the second worst short shuttle (4.55).
Either the strain is a real killer, or he’s just not that great an athlete after all.
Mayock says he was disappointed by the tight ends today. Particularly, Amaro, Lyerla, Niklas. — Patrick Crawley (@pecrawleynfl) February 22, 2014
There’s every chance Eric Ebron will be the only tight end drafted in the first round. He managed an official 4.60 at 250lbs before shutting it down due to a minor injury issue.
This position carried some momentum going into the combine, but a lot of that has evaporated in the space of one day.
I will say this about Niklas though — Seattle likes size just as much as brilliant athleticism. His bloodline attachment to the Matthews family is also intriguing. He carries almost no body fat at 6-6 and 270lbs. Today was a disappointment with him not running, but he’s got to remain on the radar.
Before we move onto the good news, a couple of other notes on the offensive lineman work outs…
– Antonio Richardson looked sluggish and clumsy. He ran a 5.30 and challenged Kouandjio for the worst performance during drills. Great size, but this was a bit of a reality check. The mirror drills were cringeworthy.
– David Yankey is another player who just looked so limited today. He ran a 5.48 despite being 20lbs lighter than Richardson. A lack of athleticism here follows an average bench press performance (22 reps). He’s got mid-round pick written all over him.
– I wasn’t blown away by Morgan Moses today. He looked OK. That’s it.
So what about the positives then? Let’s have some good news.
– Greg Robinson should be the #2 overall pick at worst. He ran a 4.92 at 332lbs with a 10-yard split of 1.68. Add that to the 32 reps on the bench press yesterday with his long 35 inch arms. In the drills he looked stunning — flashing superb footwork and mobility. Robinson is a superstar in the making.
– Jake Matthews had a good day to keep his name in the mix for a top-ten spot. His work out performance was a big improvement on Luke Joeckel last year. He ran a solid 5.07 forty with a 1.70 split. For me Robinson and Matthews are going to be the top two tackles off the board.
– Third on the list will be Taylor Lewan. Somehow, he managed a 4.87 forty and a stunning 1.64 split. Known as a terrific run blocker, I’m not sure anybody expected to see this show of athleticism from Lewan. He can book a place in the top-12.
– I thought Florida center Jonotthan Harrison really looked the part today. He looks ripped, he’s technically sound on tape and he moved around very well today. He’s also a big time leader and worth tracking in the mid or late rounds.
– Seantrel Henderson struggled to earn a start in college, had major character red flags and was a complete headache for the coaches in Miami. Yet today’s performance made you think, ‘what a waste’. He looked incredibly agile and did all the drills well. The character and attitude problems are a concern, but he’ll make a nice project for someone. He could be anything — mid rounder, UDFA.
– Xavier Su’a-Filo, as expected, showed a ton of upside. He’s the best pure guard in this class and it’s not even close. He’s a bundle of potential. It was no surprise at all to see people jumping off the Yankey bandwagon today and leaping swiftly onto the Su’a-Filo cart. The tape told you everything you needed to know.
For all of today’s combine numbers, check out Walter Football.
Defensive linemen/linebacker measurements
Here are some of the headlines. Remember, length and speed are key here when it comes to Seattle. You can see a full list of the defensive line measurements here.
– Demarcus Lawrence, a player we touted for Seattle at #32 this week, has 33 3/4 inch arms and is listed at 6-3 and 251lbs. This is prototype LEO stuff we’re talking about here. Let’s see how he runs on Monday. Lawrence is a player we have to take seriously.
– You just know Pete Carroll would love to coach Jadeveon Clowney. 6-5, 266lbs and 34 1/2 inch arms. Majestic. He’s also dropped a few pounds to record a dynamite forty time. He reckons he can crack 4.4 — but a solid 4.5 would still be beastly.
– Aaron Donald is 6-1, 285lbs and has 32 5/8 inch arms. He could’ve been tagged at 5-7 and 125lbs for all I care — the guy can play.
– Stephon Tuitt needed to lose weight before the combine and he managed it. He’s 6-5 and 304lbs with long 34 3/4 inch arms. He’ll be one of the more fascinating players to watch on Monday. If he runs well at that size, he’ll be back in the first round mix.
– Brent Urban has Seattle-size at 6-7 and 295bs with 34 1/4 inch arms. Some teams will be turned off by his personality, but physically he’s exactly what NFL teams should be looking for.
– Kaleb Ramsey is one to monitor out of Boston College. He’s had a horrendous injury record but he’s going pro and is undoubtedly talented. He came in at 6-3 and 293lbs.
– Dee Ford has actually added weight (9lbs) since the Senior Bowl. He’s now 252lbs. He clearly wants to try and prove he can stay at defensive end, but will this have a negative impact on his forty time?
– Louis Nix, at 6-2 and 331lbs, was both shorter and fatter than expected.
– When I looked down the list of linebackers today, I was pretty underwhelmed. We’ll keep an eye out for the fast, depth guys as usual.
Brandon Coleman benches well…
We’re still waiting for the full list of receiver bench press numbers, but Brandon Coleman put up some impressive reps today…
Rutgers’ Brandon Coleman benched 21 reps with 34-inch arms. That’s pretty good.
— Doug Kyed (@DougKyedNESN) February 22, 2014
And if you want to get your hopes up…
Mike Evans said he’s met with several teams, including Ravens, Lions, Seahawks — Aaron Wilson (@RavensInsider) February 22, 2014
Tomorrow I’ll be live blogging throughout the drills and forty runs. Join us from 6am PST.