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February 28, 2010 @ 7:40 am
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Combine Coverage: Sunday

Written by Charlie
Campbell
Charlie Campbell

Charlie
Campbell

Editor-In-Chief E-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
Who impressed at the NFL Scouting Combine on Sunday with the quarterbacks, running backs, and wide receivers working out? Who had a disappointing showing? Find out Pewter Report's analysis of the draft prospects in Indianapolis.
The annual NFL Scouting Combine is under way in Indianapolis, IN. On Sunday the quarterbacks, running backs, and wide receivers worked out. Pewter Report highlights the impressive and disappointing performers. NFL Network provided the following stats regarding the players.

WHO IMPRESSED

Stanford running back Toby Gerhart (6-0, 231)

Gerhart opened up eyes when he ran the 40-yard dash in with an unofficial times of 4.53 and 4.58, the official time is probably around 4.6. The power back Gerhart had a lot of questions on if he had enough speed to be an NFL running back. Gerhart's 40 time was better than optimistic projections. Unsurprisingly, Gerhart was fourth in running backs on the bench press with 22 reps. He was in the top 10 in the board jump and vertical jump of the running backs. Some felt that Gerhart had the most important sprint of any player in the 40-yard dash, and the Stanford standout made the most of it.

Tennessee running back Montario Hardesty (6-0, 225)
The Volunteers back had a fabulous showing at the scouting combine. Hardesty led all running backs in the vertical jump and board jump. That was after Hardesty had the fifth fastest 40-yard dash time for a running back at 4.49 seconds. Hardesty was sixth in the bench press with 21 reps. It was an excellent all-around combine that could cause a lot of NFL teams to re-evaluate Hardesty, who was projected to be a mid-rounder. Hardesty was a backup for most of his career. Tennessee running backs have had a lot success in the NFL, and last year Arian Foster went undrafted but still had a significant impact as a rookie in 2009. Don't be surprised if Hardesty starts to rise.

Ole Miss running back Dexter McCluster (5-9, 172)

Since the Senior Bowl McCluster has added seven pounds, and it looks like all of it is muscle. Despite his small size, McCluster finished seventh among running backs in the 225-pound bench press with 20 reps. Like Gerhart, McCluster also was in the top 10 performers at the board jump and the vertical jump. Those reps were better than some bigger power backs like Georgia Tech's Jonathan Dwyer (5-11, 229) and Mississippi State Anthony Dixon (6-1, 233) who both had 15 reps. The Largo, FL product has fabulous speed, but that couldn't be seen on his first 40-yard dash when he stumbled early on and ran an official time of 4.58.

Illinois wide receiver Arrelious Benn (6-1, 219)

Benn was in need of a good combine. His junior season he was hampered by some injuries and poor quarterback play. In limited opportunities in college Benn showed a nice combination of size and speed. At the combine Benn showed his skill set.  He tied for the lead on the bench press among wide receivers with 20. Benn followed that up with a quality 40-yard dash time. The unofficial time was 4.48 seconds, so the official time was in the 4.5 range. On the pass catching drills Benn did a good job of running routes and catching passes. The combine performance shows teams that Benn put in the work to be ready, and excel in a pressure packed environment.

Clemson wide receiver Jacoby Ford (5-9, 186)
Ford had one of the fastest 40-yard dash times with a blistering time of 4.28, and Ford had 13 reps on the bench press. In the receiving drills Ford looked solid. For Clemson Ford showed some game breaking speed at times, and he was a track champion in college. However, at the Senior Bowl Ford did not burn defensive backs regularly with that speed and there are legitimate concerns about if that speed will translate to the football field in the NFL. Still a great 40 time helped propel former Buccaneer Dexter Jackson into the second round, and teams that place a high value on track speed, like the Oakland Raiders, will be intrigued by Ford after his great sprint in Indianapolis.

Notre Dame wide receiver Golden Tate (5-10, 199)

The Fighting Irish standout had an excellent combine that should help his draft status. Tate is a speed receiver and does not have good height or bulk. Thus, it was important for Tate to showcase excellent speed to help his draft status. Tate did just that in the 40-yard dash when he had an official time of 4.42. It was the fourth best time for the wide receivers. Tate also was seventh for wide receivers in the bench press with 17 reps. It wasn't all perfect for Tate as he dropped three passes in the gauntlet drill. Still, the combine performance from Tate should help him, and could solidify him as a late first-round pick.

BIGGEST DISAPPOINTMENT


Kansas wide receiver Dezmon Briscoe (6-2, 207)
The Jayhawks standout who had some character concerns had a rough combine showing. His 40-yard dash time of 4.61 was slower than expected. Briscoe also had a poor showing on the bench press with only nine reps. In the pass receiving drills Briscoe had a bad dropped pass. The lackluster combine performance from Briscoe won't ease the concerns about his work ethic and character. With the importance of the combine Briscoe gave teams a red flag about his preparation skills.
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