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March 2, 2010
That's a wrap for this year's NFL Combine
If the National Football League is looking to make a few more dollars, and as we all know it always is, the massive marketing department may want to consider "I survived the NFL Combine" t-shirts for next year.
While there's only so many times a person can watch the 40-yard dash being run, even if it is NFL Network host Rich Eisen, seven days of shuttle runs, bench presses and stopwatches is a little much for even the most die-hard fan.
Forget the salary cap, there needs to be a limit on NFL promos over a 24-hour period, never mind the endless numbers of times fans tuning in had to put up with all the different ways Alyssa Milano can put a team logo on clothing. We get it.
Nevertheless, while teams and draft experts will spend weeks going over all the data and film from the combine before updating their draft boards, and every piece of information including the Wonderlic test is over-analyzed, he's an initial look at how the 10 former University of Alabama players fared in Indianapolis:
Javier Arenas: Needed to run in the 4.5 range and did just that before injuring a hamstring. Arenas told an NFL Network reporter that he'll be ready for Alabama's Pro Day on March 10. Didn't bench press. Combined with his Senior Bowl performance might have earned his way into the second round.
Terrence Cody: After weighing in at 354 pounds it didn't matter too much what he did, and now he needs to stay around that weight through any individual workouts requested by teams. Didn't bench press, but was impressive with his punch during drills. His 40 time was irrelevant except for his burst at the start. Could be a first-round pick.
Brandon Deaderick: It's still nearly impossible to get an accurate read on him because the defensive lineman didn't play in any all-star games nor go through drills. He weighed in at 314 pounds after being listed at 287 at Alabama. His Pro Day could be crucial.
Kareem Jackson: Officially timed 4.48, which was only .03 seconds slower than the fastest time recorded by a cornerback. The 15 reps on the bench should answer any questions about his shoulder. Combined with his experience in the Southeastern Conference the combine might have made him a first-round selection, especially with there now being speed questions regarding Florida's Joe Haden. However, Jackson's still caught in a numbers game at his position with a lot of quality cornerbacks expected to be drafted in the second round.
Mike Johnson: Didn't bench or blow anyone away in any of the field drills, but was also competing with tackles so no one really expected him to. Johnson appears to have maintained his position as a potential second-round pick, but probable third.
Rolando McClain: Didn't run the 40 due to a hamstring injury that wasn't previously known, but should be ready for Pro Day. He did 24 reps on the bench, which isn't bad considering his long arms. With Florida's Brandon Spikes looking stiff when he ran drills, McClain locked down his hold on being the draft's top interior linebacker and is still a solid first-round pick, probably between 10-15.
Colin Peek: He showed up, had impressive interviews despite not feeling well, benched 19 reps and then missed the rest of the combine due to the flu. His Pro Day will fill in whatever gaps are left. The guess here is he has fourth-round potential if it goes really well, fifth round if it doesn't.
Leigh Tiffin: Showed good distance but little hang time while having the top performance among the few kickers at the combine. That's enough to convince us that if any kickers are selected in the draft it'll probably be Tiffin.
Lorenzo Washington: Washington did 25 reps, ran the 40 in the 5.1-range and had an 8-11 broad jump, none of which was a top score among ends. In a very deep class of defensive linemen he appears to be a borderline draft pick on paper, yet his versatility and experience are big plusses.
Justin Woodall: No one doubts the former baseball standout's athleticism, but he ran the 40 in 4.6 and did just 13 reps on the bench, the fewest of any of the 10 strong safeties at the combine. Even with a better showing Pro Day he's probably a sixth-round pick.