2006 NFL Scouting Combine Recap
Combine Coverage: 2/23 | 2/24 | 2/25 | 2/26 | 2/27 | 2/28 | Blog | Discussion
It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. Charles Dickens didn’t write that famous line about the NFL Combine, but he might as well have. The debate will continue to rage for weeks about whose stock went up and whose went down at this year’s annual gathering. One thing though is sure, millions of dollars were made and millions more were lost over these past six days.
Vernon Davis, TE Maryland – No player made a bigger splash this year than Davis. He ran the fastest 40 time of any tight end in the history of the combine (4.38) and was extremely impressive in each of the on field drills including the blocking drills that may have been the only question to date about his game. The 6’3 ¾” 254 pounder literally leaped (42 inch vertical and 10’8” broad jump) into being a top ten lock and will most likely hear his name called within the top six or seven picks.
Jay Cutler, QB Vanderbilt – Just a few short weeks ago the debate was whether Matt Leinart of Vince Young was the top quarterback prospect in this draft. After the combine, the question now is whether or not Jay Cutler will be drafted before either of those guys. Cutler showed scouts his big arm and that he can make every throw. He ran a very respectable time in the 40 (4.77), showed zip on his passes (60 mph) and put up 225 pounds an impressive 23 times. While Leinart and Young were busy resting on their reputations, Cutler was busy making the quarterback race a three way discussion.
Manny Lawson, DE North Carolina St. – While Mario Williams came out of the combine still the top ranked pass rusher in this draft, Manny Lawson showed his former teammate that he may have to share some of the spotlight. Considered a good fit as a 3-4 linebacker, Lawson probably earned himself a first round bonus with his 4.43 40-yard dash and 39 ½” vertical. Lawson is just the type of defensive playmaker that teams can’t wait to get their hands on.
Maurice Drew, RB UCLA – Believe it or not, Drew actually measured in a bit taller than expected (5’6 ¾”) and although that may scare some teams away from considering him an every down back, Drew is steadfast in his belief that he can be just that for the team that drafts him. Drew’s top asset is speed and he didn’t disappoint at the combine breezing across the tape in 4.39 seconds. Drew has the lower body of a linebacker and he plays all out which may just convince a team to take gamble on him.
Tamba Hali, DE Penn St. – Everyone knew what Hali could do on the field and he showed why he was one of the top defensive linemen in the nation this past season with some very strong combine numbers. But it was the impression that Hali made off the field. Apparently Hali left a lasting memory on those that interviewed him this week. Hali escaped a war in his native Liberia and his efforts to get his mother out of there as well. With character being such an issue for NFL personnel men these days, Hali is the type of low risk, high reward player that every team wishes they had more of.
Vince Young, QB Texas – Regardless of the true score on his Wonderlic test, Young obviously came to the combine unprepared for a test he knew he would have to take. Unfortunately for the national championship game winning MVP, it is the only impression he made on the NFL people in attendance. Young’s refusal to take part in any of the drills may have been, in retrospect, a bad decision. But, there is always the Texas pro day where an impressive performance could get Young back in the good graces of NFL teams.
Michael Robinson, QB/WR Penn St. – While it’s admirable that Robinson wants his shot in the NFL to come at the quarterback position it just doesn’t look like scouts view his the same way. Robinson came to combine as more of a wide receiver prospect than anything, but he didn’t even work out at all this week leaving teams to wonder how serious he is about trying to make a switch that is more than likely viewed as necessary if he is to have any future in the NFL. Robinson had better show that he can run a pass pattern and catch a football at his pro day or his stock may just slip even further than it already has.
Chad Greenway, LB Iowa – Considered by any to be a top fifteen pick, Greenway had just short of a disastrous combine. A lackluster 4.74 time in the 40 coupled with a pathetic sixteen reps in the bench press could move Greenway closer to the bottom of the first round. Greenway was to work at safety for scouts and some may view him as a better prospect there. Either way, Greenway is still a fine football player but his performance shows how quickly a players stock can fluctuate during this process.
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