Auditioning for NFL _: the Canes’ Combine Performance
~ The following article was contributed by beloved Eye of the Hurricane blogger, Esteban ~
Eight Canes recently participated at the 2012 NFL Combine. Some Canes came away looking like they boosted their stock while others need to show more at the Pro Day coming up on March 8th. Let’s take a look at how each Cane did.
In alphabetical order:
WR/KR/PR – Travis Benjamin. In the preview of the combine I said Benjamin needed to run 4.3 and at least look strong. Well, he ran an official 4.36 which placed him tied for the fastest time among WRs. He also did 14 reps at 225 lbs which had most Cane fans surprised and probably surprised a lot of NFL scouts as well considering he weighed in at 172 lb. Outside of the gauntlet he looked strong in the drills and I think helped boost his stock. He looked quicker than most of the other WRs and was obviously faster. Benjamin also had a 38 inch vertical so that should make up for some of his lack in stature. Overall, he did what he needed to do to help his stock.
DT – Marcus Forston. I said for Forston, it was 80% medical report and those results won’t be released just yet, so I’m not really sure whether he helped or hurt himself. He measured in at 6’1 and just over 300 lb, and showed his strength in the bench press. Overall his work out numbers were very similar to Jerel Worthy, a DT who fits in the same type of mold as Forston. While very similar, Worthy’s numbers are better in each category outside of the bench press. Forston needed to be better than the guys who fit that same penetrating DT class he’s a part of.
QB – Jacory Harris. Jacory did the 1st thing I said he needed to do – meaning he weighed in at over 200 lb (203). I don’t know how he did in interviews, but considering some the comments about him being a very intelligent QB, I assume they went well. He did well in his work outs also. His vertical jump was 2nd only to RGIII’s and of course that’s the drill most likely to predict greatness in the NFL, so Jacory should feel good about his chances. Ultimately it looks like Jacory probably helped himself. He still may go undrafted, but he shouldn’t be waiting very long before some team signs him as a rookie free agent if that’s the case.
RB – Lamar Miller. Miller came in as a fringe 1st round prospect and seems to have helped himself making it more likely that he receives a phone call on draft day from a team picking in the 20s. Teams knew he was fast and he showed just how fast by having the best 40 time of all the RBs who participated. He didn’t do field drills since he’s still recovering from shoulder surgery, but just from reactions of the former personnel men who are part of the NFL Network team, he didn’t hurt himself any by skipping them. Again, we don’t know how his medical test went so that’s something that will greatly affect his stock. Based purely on the combine, it looks like Miller helped his cause and should now feel good about potentially going in the 1st round.
LB – Sean Spence. Spence did everything he needed to, but one thing – he forgot that being able to bench press 225 lb was expected of him. He had 12 reps and that stood out as a big red mark on his resume. Otherwise it was a solid combine. He ran well and tested well in other areas, but not good enough in any of them to erase those 12 reps from the minds of fans and probably not from the minds of the NFL people in attendance. Overall, his stock probably is about the same with a new red flag added to it. Teams will be paying more attention to if he looks weak on the field then before when looking at his footage.
WR – Tommy Streeter. Streeter did everything he needed to in order to shoot up the draft boards. He measured in at barely under 6’5, and weighed 219 lb. He ran one of the fastest 40 times and overall tested very well. The one thing that didn’t go in his favor was another 6’4, 215 lb WR being the combine freak at WR in Georgia Tech’s Stephen Hill. Hill stole Streeter’s thunder. Otherwise he probably would have been the talk of the WR group. He still received plenty of praise and probably gave his stock a strong boost.
DE/OLB – Olivier Vernon. I said Vernon needed to put on a work out warrior performance and he didn’t. He didn’t test out poorly, just poorly for what was expected, and he really couldn’t afford that. His stock seems like it had to take at least a slight hit. His work out numbers just didn’t exceed those of other DE/OLB prospects that were in attendance – some of which weren’t looked at as being overly athletic.
OG/OT Brandon Washington. First off BWash measured in at just below 6’3. So any thoughts of potentially having some team think he can play RT were BWashed away with that. But still Washington came in looking like he was in good shape – even while weighing 320 lb. Washington was generally rated as the #3 OG in the draft and might have moved into the #2 spot by default. Cordy Glenn, who was considered the #2 OG prospect, showed enough at the combine that some teams may be looking at him as a RT or even LT prospect now. And top OG prospect David DeCastro helped his stock as well. Trickle down effect is that BWash might find himself going a little higher strictly due to the fact that the guards in front of him will probably gone sooner. Any team that wants a top notch OG but doesn’t want to use a 1st round pick on one will probably be eyeing Washington in round 2. He looks like he boosted his stock – with help – into solid 2nd rounder territory.