The NFL Scouting Combine is in the books and we begin the long trek to draft day. The next two months feel like two years as anticipation builds and we attempt to see our way through the smoke.
Before we jump into our winners and losers, we take a look at some general observations from Indianapolis.
The 2013 NFL Scouting Combine didn’t disappoint. For a ‘weak’ draft, it sure didn’t look like it from an athletic standpoint in Indianapolis. It seems that every year we get a mystery condition that pops up for one of the top prospects. The medicals in Indianapolis are one of the most valuable tools and this year was no exception. Utah DT Star Lotulelei was found to have a heart condition that would appear on the surface to be a fairly serious issues as his left ventricle is pumping at 44%. Not good news for a guy that was valued as a top 5-10 prospect. Without speculating on the condition, the common belief is that it will affect his draft positioning.
On the field there was plenty of intrigue. First, it would be negligent to not talk about speed right off the top. Twelve prospects went sub-4.4 in the 40. For some perspective 2009 saw 4 guys run sub-4.4, 2010 there was 4, 2011 gave us 7, and 2012 racked up 7 sub-4.4 times. The more impressive fact in the speed department was the size of some of the guys running really fast times. Guys like Margus Hunt, Lane Johnson, Ziggy Ansah, and Terron Armstead ran freaky fast for their size. The overall speed of this year’s event was impressive and is proof that the game is only getting faster and teams have to draft speed if they want to keep up.
Everyone was hoping to come out the Combine with a little more clarity on the first overall pick. The water only got murkier. Luke Joeckel appears to be the odds on favorite at this point but things are getting tighter behind. Central Michigan’s Eric Fisher continues to close the gap and there are quite a few people who believe Fisher is the superior prospect of the two. I don’t fall into that camp but Fisher is very close in my book. It seems that everyone around the league is under the impression that a quarterback won’t be the first player off the board. With news breaking that the San Francisco 49ers having a deal in place for Alex Smith, speculation led to the Chiefs. We won’t know until March 12 of who the mystery team is but chances are that Smith will be taking snaps for Andy Reid’s West Coast offense in 2013. Read the rest of this entry » «Putting a bow on the 2013 NFL Scouting Combine»