As the interview room was more lively than ever today, it was also the first day of on-the-field workouts for the 2017 NFL Combine. Running backs and offensive linemen took the field in Lucas Oil Stadium today, and with all the drills run and all the number official, here are five players who helped themselves and five players whose stock probably dropped following the day’s events.
STANFORD RB CHRISTIAN MCCAFFREY
McCaffrey solidified himself as a first rounder today. He looked incredibly natural during drills, and tested very well athletically to make up for a low bench rep number on Thursday. He had a broad jump of 10-feet one-inch, a vertical jump of 37.5 inches and an official 40-yard dash time of 4.48. He also had a 6.57 3-cone, which was the second best by a running back since 2003.
UTAH OT GARETT BOLLES
In an offensive line class that has a bad narrative, Garett Bolles showed why he should be considered to be near or at the top of the tackle class, and why that shouldn’t be a worry. His 9-foot, 5-inch broad jump was the most of any offensive lineman, and his 4.95 official 40-yard dash time was right at the top of the group.
TENNESSEE RB ALVIN KAMARA
Kamara had arguably the best day of all of the running backs. He posted an insane 39.5-inch vertical jump and a 10-feet, 6-inch broad jump as well. His 4.56 40-yard dash time wasn’t blazing, but that’s not where he wins anyways. He made money today.
WESTERN KENTUCKY OT/OG FORREST LAMP
Lamp came into the combine as the most versatile offensive lineman in the class because his stock is high as both a tackle and a guard. He’ll most likely play guard in the NFL, and if that’s the case, his athletic scores today translate very well. His 5-flat 40-yard dash time with a 1.75 10-yard split checks the box for a lineman of his size. Plus, his 34 reps on the bench press were second-most form the offensive line group.
ALABAMA OT CAM ROBINSON
The narrative on Cam Robinson has been all over the place this season, but during his combine workouts he reminded people of why he was considered to be a first round pick back in the preseason. His 5.16 40-yard dash time with a 1.78 10-yard split was great for a tackle, and he showed he was light on his feet during drills. He has a shot to be the top offensive tackle taken.
WISCONSIN RB COREY CLEMENT
Clement had a pretty had a pretty bad day athletically. His 4.68 official 40-yard dash was one of the slowest of all running backs. He also only jumped 28.5 inches in the vertical jump, and jumped as far as offensive lineman Garett Bolles in the broad jump (9-feet, 6-inches). Not a good day for him.
OKLAHOMA RB SAMAJE PERINE
Samaje Perine was never going to be a fast guy, but I still wouldn’t say his 4.65 40-yard dash was a great time to have. His vertical jump of 33 inches still shows he has some explosiveness for his size (which is big). His numbers confirmed what we thought of him, but part of me hoped he’d be faster – which would have solidified himself as a Top 5 back in this class.
FLORIDA OT DAVID SHARPE
Sharpe’s 5.44 40-yard dash was not great, along with his 1.90 10-yard split, especially when other players in the class are putting up numbers much less than that. Even more disappointing than that was his 20.5 inch vertical jump. He’s a tackle, and tackles are big boys, but these players have to stay in front of some of the most athletic freaks in the world in NFL pass rushers. You’d like to see more athleticism to mirror.
USC OG DAVID MAMA
David Mama’s 5.84 40-yard dash time was the slowest out of the entire offensive linemen group. His 5.38 short shuttle was also the slowest of the bunch. The Combine isn’t exactly complimenting to these kinds of players, but it’s not good when your athleticism is exposed that badly compared to your peers.
LSU RB LEONARD FOURNETTE
Let me start by saying this: Fournette did not have a bad day. However, when you try to compare him to Adrian Peterson, yes, his day was bad. At 240 pounds, Fournette running a 4.51 is fine – though him jumping only 28 inches in the vertical jump is worrisome to some no matter the weight. He’s quite athletic for a man his size, but he is no generational talent athletically. For that, his stock is down to a realistic level after Friday, however it is doubtful it affects where he end up selected in April. Most boards are set by game film, not vertical jumping measurements.
Trevor Sikkema is the Tampa Bay Buccaneers beat reporter and NFL Draft analyst for PewterReport.com. Sikkema, an alumnus of the University of Florida, has covered both college and professional football for much of his career. As a native of the Sunshine State, when he's not buried in social media, Sikkema can be found out and active, attempting to be the best athlete he never was. Sikkema can be reached at: [email protected]
The crew on The NFL Network, including Mayock raved about Fournette’s performance. Said only concern was what weight will he come into camp carrying. You got to admit a 240 lb. back who can run a 4.51 40 and who has some very impressive stats and film from his college career is going to attract a lot of attention for some teams. Like Mayock commented “he won’t bee jumping over defenders, he will be running through them.”
Mccaffery looked so fluid on those passing drills. It was beautiful. His feet are also lighting quick. He’s impressive and I’m all for it we make a move back at all. Fournette running a 4.51 is pretty damn impressive for his size and he solidified himself as the firts back off of the board no doubt. I keep seeing Mocks with Cook falling to Tampa. Now that would be just too sweet.
Looking forward to the TE’s and Wide outs. that’s some real talent there. Especially the TE group. I Think we would be wise to snag up say Ingram from Ole miss in the second round. He’s a natural pass catcher and could add a few pounds to become a better blocker.
Trev,you can’t compare any of the backs I saw today to Peterson. To put him in the down column because he only jumped 28 inches is crazy. You do realize he’s entering the NFL draft, not the NBA draft! If he was a receiver I’d be troubled, but at 240, built like brick S house, and running 4.5, I’ll take that all day. The kids a beast, and his tape against SEC teams speaks for itself.
The other day Licht remarked that one of the backs “stood out like a sore thumb”. In more ways than the most obvious it was McCaffrey. For those who might see his 202 pound, 5′-11″ frame as small; he’s bigger than Warrick Dunn. Perhaps we can find another complementary big back like Mike Alstott and resurrect the days of WD40. McCaffrey is just so versatile I’d love to see how many ways Koetter could use this “joker” as Gruden might call him. He’s a RB, WR, KR and PR all rolled into one. I wonder if the youngster can throw the option pass…………….or kick field goals and extra points. One stop shopping if he’s there at #19!
How come it’s so hard to find another guy like Alstott? Not just the Bucs either.
Sure miss him.
I’m not sure if he is worth a 19 spot pick.
I suppose we have to go through this Combine commentary and analysis drill every year, because this is what we have to look at as fans. However, Jason Licht made it very clear in his interview with PR earlier this week that his draft board is already set, and he doesn’t really care about the numbers generated at the Combine, because compared to game tape it’s virtually meaningless. As Jason said, any athlete can train to impress at the meat market for a day, but the game tape doesn’t lie.
The principal value of the Combine for Licht is the interview process.
The final tweaks to the draft board will be much more influenced by the private workouts to come.
I hear you. I have never been a high level of interest in the combine. Only year I was interested was when Winston and Mariota had their combine year. I was on the fence about those qb’s with a lean towards preferring Winston. The major selling point on Mariota was his athletic ability and I wanted to see how Winston would stack up. I think it is safe to say both TB and TN walked away happy with that draft.
I agree that most evaluations are basically finished but the Combine results can certainly cause some adjustments. One need only remember DE Mike Mamula who put up a great Combine showing, elevated his Draft position into the top 10 mostly on that mystical thing called potential. Bill Parcels described as ” A French word that means you haven’t done spit yet.” There will always be GM’s enamored with speed, strength and athleticism in hopes that can teach him to play. You can bet the record setting 40 by John Ross caused some to rethink their ranking or WR’s.
I’m glad Licht takes the Waren Sapp “watch the tape” approach when selecting players.
As for Ross, everybody already knew he was the fastest WR in the draft this year, most often referred to as a “burner”. However, recording the fastest 40 yard dash time in Combine history sure puts an exclamation point on his potential! It also will tend to quite critics who point to his knee injury a couple years ago .. it’s pretty obvious that if you actually run the fastest 40 time in Combine history, his knees are fully healed.
Ross is not known so much for his route-running, though, and I expect that if Jason Licht invites Ross to One Buc Place for a private workout, he’ll want to test his coachability in that regard.
When I watched Fournett the thought ran through my that this guy reminds me of Eric Dickerson.
McCaffrey looked pretty awesome, but I still think he get creamed in the NFL.
Forrest Lamp will be a Pro Bowl lineman, Not worth our #19, but I want this dude on the BUCS.
Looking forward to WR’s.
Why do you think McCaffrey will “get creamed” any more than Warrick Dunn?
McCaffery is a more talented Danny Woodhead a do it all type of back and if you think he is to small for the NFL than I question if you even know the NFL with guys like Dunn, Sproles, Woodhead, Joe Morris, Dave Meggitt, Lionel James and so on
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