It’s combine time, the male version of a swimsuit calendar shoot. But don’t get too high or too low about this stuff. Like my friend Bill Smith says, “beware the workout warrior.” The site of the past Super Bowl, Indianapolis is also hosting the 2012 NFL Draft Scouting Combine. Let’s take a look at who’s draft stock is trading higher and who’s trading lower after the workouts.
LaMichael James, Oregon Ducks
Ran a 4.39 which was to be expected; not shocking. However, some players play faster in reality (Kendall Wright of Baylor) than on paper or vice versa. James is exceedingly fast on both and could be the third or fourth back taken. At just 5-8, 194 he has to test well on speed, and pass-catching. And he did very well in the pass-catching drills. He’ll be expected to do a lot of safety valve, as well as designed screen patterns at the next level.
By putting up the best vertical and broad jump of any running back in Indy, supplemented by his very impressive showing in the catching drills and 40 yard dash, Wilson might be the second back taken after Alabama’s Trent Richardson, who wisely didn’t run in Indianapolis. According to Walter Football.com Wilson, “reportedly was the only prospect to show up in a suit (Armani, to boot) to all of his meetings, while most of his peers wore sweats. He was a professional both on and off the field this weekend.”
Chris Rainey, Florida Gators
Had that great 40, but did little else. If he’s projected as a return specialist first, and running back second…then that 40 isn’t all that great after all. Certainly a weekend guy, he won’t go Thursday or Friday.
Really looked bad on the bench press which should have been his strength; both literally and figuratively. Perhaps the bigger issue is the fact that fullbacks don’t matter as much anymore in the NFL. You can be the #1 FB, and you can make a case for Ewing deserving that designation, but where does it get you? Late rounds at best. It’s almost relegated to long snapper category now.
Paul M. Banks is CEO of The Sports Bank.net, an official Google News site generating millions of unique visitors. He’s also a regular contributor to Chicago Now, Walter Football.com, Yardbarker, and Fox Sports
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