I have never been one to place too much importance on the work outs and exercises performed at the Combine, instead choosing to look at each player's performance on the field as a better indicator of that player's future potential, but a player's performance at the Combine has nonetheless proven to have a fairly significant impact on players' draft stocks. Each day throughout the NFL Scouting Combine (February 24 to March 1) I'll be breaking down the day's risers and fallers. Enjoy.
Marvin Austin, DT, North Carolina Tar Heels: Austin looked good on the bench press yesterday (not that lifting players from his back will do him much good in the NFL) and ran very well today. He showed great burst and displayed some nice power in position drills.
Dontay Moch, DE/OLB, Nevada Wolf Pack: Moch is yet another Nevada alum to put together an impressive workout in Indy. Moch was the top performer among defensive linemen in the forty (4.44), broad jump (10'8") and vertical jump (42.0"). He demonstrated good explosion all day and would excel as a pass rusher in a 4-3 alignment as an end or a 3-4 alignment as an outside linebacker.
Marcell Dareus, DT, Alabama Crimson Tide: Dareus made perhaps the biggest strides of any player today, and he woke up this morning as one of the two best players at his position. Dareus demonstrated great footwork and athleticism and some now consider him in the company of Nick Fairley, Da'Quan Bowers and Von Miller as candidates for the top overall selection.
Cam Jordan, DE, California Golden Bears: One of the most impressive players in the position drills, Jordan showed how well he can change direction and explode out of his stance.
Brooks Reed, DE/OLB, Arizona Wildcats: Liked what I saw during position drills. Fluid movements and change of direction.
Martez Wilson, ILB, Illinois Fighting Illini: Wilson never really lived up to the expectations that the Illini had for him when they brought him in, but his raw athleticism has many hoping that an NFL team can get more production out of him. He ran a 4.49 forty, tops among linebackers, and looked very good when participating in position drills. He looked good in the three-cone drill, too.
Von Miller, OLB, Texas A&M Aggies: All but cemented his stock as a potential top-five overall selection with a great day. He showed amazing explosion and speed and demonstrated great agility during position drills.
Nick Fairley, DT, Auburn Tigers:: Generally considered the best defensive tackle prospect in this year's class (more on that below), Fairley showed off his athleticism and somewhat surprising agility. I don't really care that he measured one inch shorter than was anticipated.
Nick Fairley, DT, Auburn Tigers: Fairley is both a riser and a faller today, but he isn't falling because of anything he did or did not do. Fairley had been considered the unquestioned top defensive tackle prospect in this year's draft (at least by the media), but Dareus' performance Monday called that into question. For that reason alone, Fairley could be in a much tighter race for the top defensive tackle spot than many had previously anticipated.
Akeem Ayers, OLB, UCLA Bruins: In the end, it probably won't have much of an impact on his overall draft stock, but most expected Ayers to run faster than a 4.80 forty. Any perceived lack of explosion, which is important for a pass rusher like Ayers, could influence teams' opinion of the Bruins product. To be fair to Ayers, he looked much faster in drills and on tape, and in the end that is what influences teams most about a prospect.
Jeremy Beal, DE, Oklahoma Sooners: Beal ran a 5.12 forty amidst concerns over his athleticism. The 5.0+ second forty did not help his stock at all.
Orie Lemon, ILB, Oklahoma State Cowboys: Lemon is another Sooner State defender whose forty time could hurt his stock. He ran 4.99 at the Combine, not much better than Beal. Neither Beal (262 lbs) nor Lemon (242 lbs) breaks 265-pounds, so it isn't like they're carrying a relatively large amount of body weight.
Danny Hobrock, a sports journalist covering NCAA Football and MLB is the editor of our college football content. His work for Xtra Point Football has garnered national attention and is critically acclaimed. You may email Danny directly @ [email protected] or follow him on Twitter @ DannyHobrock
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