Michigan’s NFL Combine Winners and Losers

Michigan’s NFL Combine Winners and Losers


March 7, 2017

Amara Darboh

Fourteen Michigan players participated in the 2017 NFL Draft Combine. Without being in the interview room, here’s my take on who gained ground, who’s treading water, and who had a less than stellar performance:

WINNERS

Jeremy Clark – CB
Measurements: 6’3″, 220 lbs., 32 7/8″ arms, 9 3/8″ hands
Skills: 20 bench press reps of 225 lbs.
Why is he a winner? Clark is a winner just by getting invited to the Combine, because he never started for a full season. He started for half of 2015 and then the first few games of 2016 before tearing his ACL. You can tell that teams are intrigued by his considerable size, or else he wouldn’t have been invited. Can he be a Richard Sherman-style cornerback? Is he a strong safety like Kam Chancellor? Or is he just a guy?

Amara Darboh – WR
Measurements: 
6’2″, 214 lbs., 32 5/8″ arms, 9 7/8″ hands
Skills: 4.45 forty, 36″ vertical, 12’4″ broad jump, 17 bench press reps of 225 lbs.
Why is he a winner? He didn’t test in all the agility drills, but his forty time was better than almost anyone expected, and his 36″ vertical was superb, too. Add in a respectable 17 reps on the bench, and he maybe seems like more than a possession guy. Teams also look at hand size for skills guys, and his hands are the same size as the 6’6″ Ben Braden.

Ben Gedeon – LB
Measurements: 
6’2″, 244 lbs., 32 5/8″ arms, 10″ hands
Skills: 4.75 forty, 34.5″ vertical, 9’11” broad jump, 27 bench press reps of 225 lbs., 6.98 three-cone drill, 4.13 twenty-yard shuttle, 11.58 sixty-yard shuttle
Why is he a winner? Michigan’s leading tackler was deemed by some to be a big, brawny guy with limited athleticism, but I really liked his all-around football skills coming out of high school. He’s a better athlete than a lot of people expect from a 6’2″, 244 lb. MIKE. His bench press and both shuttle times were top performer-worthy in his position group, and his 34.5″ vertical is significant. While the forty time isn’t great, it’s not necessarily a limiting factor for a true middle linebacker.

Delano Hill – S
Measurements:
6’1″, 216 lbs., 32 1/8″ arms, 9 3/8″ hands
Skills: 4.47 forty, 17 bench press reps of 225 lbs., 33.5″ vertical, 9’7″ broad jump, 6.96 three-cone drill, 4.27 twenty-yard shuttle
Why is he a winner? This is the type of situation where Hill shines. He hasn’t shown a ton of playmaking ability throughout his career, but he was always known as a workout warrior. That 4.47 forty put him in the top performer category for safeties, and his other numbers are solid, too. He ran that time at a solid 216 lbs., too. Hill probably isn’t a guy who’s in danger of breaking into the top half of the draft, but some teams might look at him and see a guy who can play special teams at the very least.

TREADING WATER

Ben Braden – OT
Measurements: 
6’6″, 329 lbs., 34″ arms, 9 7/8″ hands
Skills: 5.04 forty, 28″ vertical, 8’6″ broad jump, 25 bench press reps of 225 lbs., 7.85 three-cone drill, 4.90 twenty-yard shuttle
Why is he treading water? NFL teams are going to count on his game performance as much as anything, and they probably already knew that he was a good athlete. He’s been Michigan’s fastest – or one of the fastest – linemen for the last several years, and that 5.04 time in the forty is pretty darn good for a 6’6″, 329-pounder. Toss in his vertical and agility times, and the question isn’t about whether he’s an athlete or not. The question is about why he wasn’t a better performer on the field.

Taco Charlton – DE
Measurements: 6’5 5/8″, 277 lbs., 34 1/4″ arms, 9 3/4″ hands
Skills: 4.92 forty, 33″ vertical, 9’8″ broad jump, 25 bench press reps of 225 lbs., 7.17 three cone drill, 4.39 twenty yard shuttle
Why is he treading water? Charlton is a riser since the beginning of his senior year, but he was already sliding up draft boards for his play during the second half of the year. Some mock drafts had him in the first round prior to the Combine. His numbers weren’t outstanding, but they’ll keep him in the conversation for the first round, maybe the second.

Jehu Chesson – WR
Measurements: 
6’3″, 204 lbs., 33 1/4″ arms, 9 1/8″ arms
Skills: 4.47 forty, 35.5″ vertical, 11′ broad jump, 10 bench press reps of 225 lbs., 4.09 twenty-yard shuttle, 6.7 three-cone drill
Why is he treading water? Chesson’s on-field performance was stellar during the second half of 2015 and mediocre in 2016. Chesson is another high-character kid, and he got a chance this week to explain to teams what happened to him during his senior year. According to interviews made public, he acknowledged that he was still struggling with his recovery from the knee injury he suffered in the bowl game against Florida at the end of 2015.

Ryan Glasgow – DT
Measurements:
6’3″, 302 lbs., 33 3/8″ arms, 9 5/8″ hands
Skills: 5.14 forty, 27.5″ vertical, 10’9″ broad jump, 20 bench press reps of 225 lbs., 7.55 three-cone drill, 4.5 twenty-yard shuttle
Why is he treading water? Glasgow didn’t light the world on fire, and his bench press was slightly disappointing for a guy who’s considered to be a strongman. But the tape doesn’t lie, and he has plenty of film showing himself standing up to double-teams, getting some penetration, and being a very solid interior lineman in a big-time conference. He wasn’t offered scholarships coming out of high school because he’s not a stellar athlete, but it’s a different story when he puts pads on.

Jourdan Lewis – CB
Measurements:
5’10”, 188 lbs., 31 5/8″ arms, 9 1/4″ hands
Skills: 4.54 forty, 15 bench press reps of 225 lbs., 34.5″ vertical, 10’1″ broad jump
Why is he treading water? Considering the times of other defensive backs at the Combine – or even just at Michigan – the 4.54 time in the forty wasn’t impressive. He’s never been known for his blazing speed, but he has shown good agility, playmaking skills, and physicality. That physical feistiness is backed up by his size (some thought he would be shorter) and strength. He’s a good player, if a bit undersized, and I don’t think his draft grade will be greatly affected by what he showed at the Combine.

Jabrill Peppers – S/LB
Measurements:
 5’10 7/8″ tall, 213 lbs., 30 3/4″ arms, 9 5/8″ hands
Skills: 4.46 forty, 19 bench press reps of 225 lbs., 10’8″ broad jump, 35.5″ vertical
Why is he treading water? He had nowhere to go but down since he was considered a potential first rounder, and he seemed to stay put. He worked out with both the linebackers and defensive backs, which occurred on the fly. He’s shorter than expected at a shade under 5’11”, and that might inhibit some people from thinking he could bulk up to be a full-time linebacker. His numbers weren’t off the charts, but it’s impressive how well rounded of an athlete he is. His agility might even be more impressive than the drills he participated in at the Combine, but teams are going to have to wait for his pro day to see him do some short-area drills.

LOSERS

Jake Butt – TE
Measurements: 
6’5″, 246 lbs., 32″ arms, 10″ hands
Skills: N/A
Why is he a loser? With the torn ACL he suffered in Michigan’s bowl game, he was unable to participate in the athleticism and field drills. And since it’s his second ACL tear, teams are probably questioning whether he can stay healthy. He’s a team captain and a high-character kid, but he couldn’t help himself much at the Combine.

De’Veon Smith – RB
Measurements:
5’11 1/8″, 223 lbs., 29 1/2″ hands, 9″ hands
Skills:
29″ vertical, 9′ broad jump, 22 bench press reps of 225 lbs., 11.75 sixty-yard shuttle, 4.56 twenty-yard shuttle, 7.30 three-cone drill
Why is he a loser? Smith is what he is, and there have been plenty of discussions regarding him on this blog and elsewhere. The biggest question mark about him is his speed, and he chose not to participate in the forty-yard dash. That seems to indicate that he himself has questions about his speed, and he didn’t take the opportunity to try to prove people wrong.

Channing Stribling – CB 
Measurements:
 6’1″, 188 lbs., 31.5″ arms, 8.5″ hands
Skills: 4.68 forty, 31.5″ vertical, 9’6″ broad jump, 6.94 three-cone drill, 4.56 twenty-yard shuttle, 5 bench press reps of 225 lbs.
Why is he a loser? Stribling tied for the fewest bench press reps (with SDSU running back Donnell Pumphrey) at the whole Combine, and the next fewest was 8, which a handful of wide receivers repped out. A few bigger teammates (244 lb. Ben Gedeon, 277 lb. Taco Charlton, 223 lb. De’Veon Smith) notched faster twenty-yard shuttle times than Stribling’s 4.56. His forty time wasn’t great for a cornerback, either. Add in that his arm length and hand size aren’t impressive, either, and you have to admire him for doing as well as he did at Michigan with such mediocre athletic gifts. He had a solid 2016 season, but this Combine wasn’t kind to him.

Chris Wormley – DE
Measurements:
6’5″, 298 lbs., 34 1/8″ arms, 10 1/2″ hands
Skills: 23 bench press reps of 225 lbs.
Why is he a loser? Wormley apparently suffered a lower body injury, though I’m not sure if it happened in training or during the Combine itself. Regardless, his bench press was solid and his measurements are impressive, but he didn’t get much of a chance to show off his athleticism. By all accounts, his speed and agility are considered to be strengths for a guy who’s 6’5″ and was listed at 304 lbs. during the season, so he missed out on an opportunity to wow the scouts.


Michigan’s pro day will be held on March 24.

30 comments

  1. Comments: 949
    Joined: 8/13/2015
    Roanman
    Mar 07, 2017 at 7:17 AM

    Peppers to the Pats would be huge fun.

    If I’m the Lions, I’m delighted to get any of Taco, Wormley, or Gedeon … not necessarily in that order … although … maybe, right after I got me a run stuffing horror for a tackle, if indeed there is one of those that’s a legit late first rounder. I haven’t been paying that much attention.

    If i’m anybody’s GM or Player Personnel guy with the authority, Jeremy Clark gets my first phone call after the draft.

    • Comments: 2227
      Joined: 7/13/2015
      Mar 07, 2017 at 8:08 AM

      It would be nice to see some more Michigan guys playing for the Lions.

      And yeah, Peppers to the Patriots would be outstanding.

      It’s funny how Jeremy Clark was 6’4″, 205 lbs. for most of his career…and now he’s 6’3″, 220 lbs. Maybe he’ll end up being an outside linebacker after all.

      • Lanknows
        Comments: 3600
        Joined: 8/11/2015
        Lanknows
        Mar 07, 2017 at 12:23 PM

        Always thought he would end up there, but I think CB is the right spot. His reactions and change of direction are not great, but he is physical, has good speed and size, and is well coached. Durkin moving him to CB was brilliant.

        Huge credit to him for splitting snaps with Stribling (an all conference player in 2016) for most of 2015, not to mention beating out Wayne Lyons ( a proven starter) also.

      • Comments: 949
        Joined: 8/13/2015
        Roanman
        Mar 07, 2017 at 5:37 PM

        I think Peppers is gonna do almost exactly what he did here. He’ll rotate between Safety, Nickel/Dime and Outside LB depending on down and distance and then he’ll flip the field on you, returning punts.

        I can’t imagine an NFL coach being so stupid as to hand him the ball or even toss it to him from the slot. And I’m not implying Harbaugh was stupid in handing him the ball here. The NFL is a whole nuther thing when it comes to destroying running back’s bodies.

        • Comments: 2227
          Joined: 7/13/2015
          Mar 07, 2017 at 5:45 PM

          I think that’s what you have to do with a safety like him. I mean, really, it’s not often where a safety just plays the deep middle of the field on every play. And the Tampa 2 defense where safeties play a deep half all the time isn’t prevalent anymore, either. They’re going to move Peppers around. But I don’t think he’ll be used as a linebacker like he was at Michigan. There were times when he was straight-up playing off the tight end, and I just don’t think an NFL team can get away with that. They’ll run at him every time.

        • Lanknows
          Comments: 3600
          Joined: 8/11/2015
          Lanknows
          Mar 07, 2017 at 8:53 PM

          I’m inclined to agree with Thunder here. Peppers is going to have to move back off the line a bit and is likely to be more of nickel/safety hybrid than a LB-corner hybrid that he was at Michigan. Closer to Durkin’s usage than Brown’s.

          As for the offense comments – care to elaborate Roanman? Peppers is going to be raw at any position really. What is so ‘stupid’ about putting him at slot or RB?

  2. DonAZ
    Comments: 338
    Joined: 8/12/2015
    DonAZ
    Mar 07, 2017 at 9:43 AM

    Peppers is the interesting NFL draft case … and I have no idea where he’ll go.

    He is clearly not the hottest thing in the draft. You would not have him under “Treading Water” if he was. He’s an interesting “peg” that doesn’t have an obvious hole where he fits. He will either (a) be drafted by an un-creative team that tries to fit him into a hole he may not be the best at; or (b) be drafted by a creative team like the Patriots. (Some say Peppers will never get past the Patriots, but I’m not so sure. Maybe, but I’m not so sure.)

    My *guess* is it’ll end up being (a) — some team hurting on defense will draft him and try to fit him into a CB or S position. But as you’ve noted elsewhere, he’s best against the run and only so-so reading pass plays and providing coverage. I suspect there’s more than a few GMs out there looking at him and thinking, “Well, he’s damn interesting, but I’m not sure exactly how we’d use him so we’d better use our early picks on safe bets.”

    • Lanknows
      Comments: 3600
      Joined: 8/11/2015
      Lanknows
      Mar 07, 2017 at 12:27 PM

      You could be right about all this Don, but I think the positional fit issue is a bigger concern for fans and pundits than NFL teams. I think SOME are worried about it, but I would guess the majority of teams know that there is room for the hybrid DB on their rosters.

      That doesn’t mean he’s going in the 1st round, where you have to get immediate contributions and sure things.

      In other words I think most teams would LOVE to have him, but he’s unproven enough at any single position that a 1st round selection might be in doubt. If he had tested off the charts in athleticism teams could look past it. Instead he was just very good.

  3. Lanknows
    Comments: 3600
    Joined: 8/11/2015
    Lanknows
    Mar 07, 2017 at 10:46 AM

    This is a great summary of combine results but the logic applied is wildly inconsistent. With some guys it’s about what they are doing in the combine to move up or down, while with others it’s what they did in college, and some it boils to preconceptions (e.g., Smith is what he is, but somehow he’s a “loser”). Some guys are dinged for injuries others are raised up by them. At the very least Butt should be treading water.

    “NFL teams are going to count on his game performance as much as anything” is untrue. NFL teams are entirely concerned with what a guy WILL DO not what a guy did. If it was about past performance, Braden doesn’t get an invite.

    • Comments: 2227
      Joined: 7/13/2015
      Mar 07, 2017 at 11:17 AM

      I mean, there’s not one blanket rule to cover everyone. It’s a mixture of factors. I’m not going to put Clark in the loser category, because it was at least a little surprising that he got invited to the Combine at all. He’s doing well for himself just to get a chance to interview, do the bench, and get measured.

      That’s not the case with Butt. He would have been invited all along. He probably would have excelled in the field drills, if not the pure athleticism drills (vertical, 40, etc.). But he can’t do any of those things except interview.

      It’s not inconsistent logic unless you assume one rule fits everyone, even though they have different experiences, health situations, etc.

      • Lanknows
        Comments: 3600
        Joined: 8/11/2015
        Lanknows
        Mar 07, 2017 at 12:51 PM

        Clark was a co-starer in 2015 and started 2016 before getting hurt. Both were elite defenses. He is a 6’3 CB with good speed. He was going to be “invited all along”, just like Butt. The combine isn’t just for the first 2 rounds.

        Clark and Butt are in the same boat – they are invited because teams want to talk with them. They will move up or down based on their character interviews.

        ————————

        Some of the guys, I would say most, did what they were supposed to at the combine. In some cases that was considered “treading water” – like Charlton. In others it is “winning” – like Clark. In others it is “losing” like Smith.

        Some performances don’t matter because on-field results (Lewis) while some matter a lot despite on-field results (Stribling).

        The combine performance doesn’t change what they did in the past. For some guys past performance played a big role in the their assessments and others it didn’t.

        This kind of stuff is inconsistent.

        ——————–

        I get what you are saying from the perspective that a marginal guy is different than a guy who was a lock to go in the first 4 rounds, but those guys are still showing up to the combine for a reason. They still move up or down relative to where they were pegged before the draft.

        • Comments: 2227
          Joined: 7/13/2015
          Mar 07, 2017 at 1:19 PM

          Erik Magnuson and Kyle Kalis were multi-year starters on Michigan’s offensive line. Neither one got invited. I’m sorry, but Mackey Award winner Jake Butt and part-time starter Jeremy Clark are not “in the same boat” when it comes to certainty of getting invited. That’s kind of delusional.

          De’Veon Smith wasn’t “supposed to” skip running the 40. Thus the loser tag. Stribling could have followed up a solid season with a solid 40 time, bench press, shuttle, etc., but he didn’t do so after months of training. Thus the loser tag. I didn’t expect Stribling to light the world on fire, but that vertical is barely more than 329 lb. Ben Braden’s and lower than 244 lb. Ben Gedeon’s. His shuttle time is on par with De’Veon Smith, who’s not only a 223 lb. running back, but a fairly slow 223 lb. running back. There’s no other way to define Stribling’s performance at the Combine. If his performance matched his performance on the field, then hooray – he would have run a 4.53 forty, put up 10 reps on the bench, etc. and had himself a nice little day.

          • Lanknows
            Comments: 3600
            Joined: 8/11/2015
            Lanknows
            Mar 07, 2017 at 1:34 PM

            Our OL was bad. Our defense was great. Big difference.

            Regardless, both Butt and Clark were invited to the combine. They’re in the same boat now – trying to improve their draft stock while being hurt. They either did that or they didn’t.

            You seem to be arguing that higher rated guys have less at stake than lower rated guys. I don’t agree. Certainly dollar-wise there are more direct consequences to guys going in the top 3 rounds than the bottom rounds vs undrafted FAs.

            • Comments: 2227
              Joined: 7/13/2015
              Mar 07, 2017 at 1:37 PM

              Right. Our defense was great…so why wasn’t Dymonte Thomas invited to the Combine?

              Clark showed up at 6’3″, 220 lbs. and did 20 reps on the bench. Is that not mildly impressive when he has long arms, is a defensive back, and was supposedly around 205 lbs. for the last two or three years? I’d say it is. I guess you disagree. And that’s okay.

              • Lanknows
                Comments: 3600
                Joined: 8/11/2015
                Lanknows
                Mar 07, 2017 at 1:50 PM

                No idea on Thomas. It’s a mystery. I suspect because he screwed up too often (?).

                If I’m an NFL team I am concerned by Clark’s weight gain. I wouldn’t assume it’s a positive that he is so far from his playing weight. May mean a longer road to recovery.

                I kind of doubt there’s a great deal of correlation between bench pressing and success at CB. It’s useful information (as an indicator of strength) but far more important at other positions.

                If you’re an NFL scout looking at Strib and seeing struggles in the run game on tape – would you rather see a guy putting up 20 presses or 5? Which one is more likely an area you think you can improve as a professional? Which is more indicative of untapped upside?

                • Comments: 2227
                  Joined: 7/13/2015
                  Mar 07, 2017 at 2:08 PM

                  Clark’s weight gain may mean that teams have talked to him about bulking up to play safety, so he went ahead and added the weight.

                  Untapped potential at this point is hogwash, IMO. I don’t want to see untapped potential from a 21- or 22-year-old kid who can only do 5 reps, the worst out of 300+ invitees. That potential should have been tapped at a big school with an NFL coach and an NFL strength and conditioning coordinator. I’m sorry, but that untapped potential argument is weak sauce at this point. If I’m an NFL general manager, I don’t have room on my roster for a guy who might have functional strength in another four years. This isn’t baseball, where I can stash a weak kid in the minors for four years. It’s not basketball, where I can send him to the D-League. It’s the NFL. You’ve got 53 roster spots and a crapload of guys vying for those spots.

                • Lanknows
                  Comments: 3600
                  Joined: 8/11/2015
                  Lanknows
                  Mar 07, 2017 at 3:32 PM

                  The issue there is that Clark wasn’t very good as a safety, in part because of some physical limitations that bulking up isn’t going to fix. Maybe you are right though…

                  Potential is what all these guys are drafted on. You can call that hogwash if you want but it’s reality. It won’t matter one bit what you did in college come summer camp.

                  Guys get drafted to play positions they’ve never played before. Guys get drafted if they can play special teams and maybe have upside to be something more down the line. Guys get drafted to be players in 2 or 3 years – This is particularly true at QB and in later rounds. Only a minority of players after round 3 are expected to be instant contributors – usually special teamers. Most are expected to improve dramatically and the extent to which that will happen is based on their potential.

          • Lanknows
            Comments: 3600
            Joined: 8/11/2015
            Lanknows
            Mar 07, 2017 at 1:45 PM

            You’ve repeatedly argued that Stribling isn’t a great athlete. When the combine shows he isn’t a great athlete – he’s a loser.

            You’ve repeatedly argued that Smith is slow. When the combine shows he is slow (indirectly) – he’s a loser.

            Meanwhile Lewis, who is supposed to be top 2 round pick, but didn’t play as well as Stribling (at least per PFF) tests with mediocre to bad results for a supposedly elite player. According to you he is staying where he was projected, because of his play during the season. (but not so for Strib?)

            You are holding some guys to one standard (need to show me better than you showed on the field) and others to another (meh it’s fine if you don’t test as well as you played no big deal). Some guys are winners just for getting invited (here’s your participation trophy Jeremy!) others are losers (Stribling).

            There is another way to look at it. I’ve described it repeatedly. Stribling didn’t move his stock up, but in his case it’s good to be invited, and his athleticism tested as respectable. His strength was woeful and probably explains some of his run game woes. That’s something the NFL might view as fixable though.

            Again, his stock only moved down if you expected more out of him. If you had low expectations to begin with – as you clearly did – it shouldn’t be disappointing.

            • Comments: 2227
              Joined: 7/13/2015
              Mar 07, 2017 at 2:03 PM

              Maybe this is why we’re two ships passing in the night:

              I’m not speaking from my perspective. I knew Stribling was slow for a cornerback. I knew Smith was slow for a running back. If you asked me ahead of time, I would have pegged Stribling to run in the 4.6’s. Just a few days ago, I was thinking to myself that I figured he might end up running a time like Donovan Warren’s (who ran anywhere from a 4.62 to a 4.73, depending on whom you trust). Now I’m not smarter than the NFL GMs who are watching and recording the times, but they don’t read my blog. For all I know, they might have thought he’d be in the 4.5s somewhere.

              So it’s not about me. It’s about the GMs who decided to invite Stribling to the Combine. In their minds, I imagine he’s going in a negative direction…which is why he got the loser tag.

              • Lanknows
                Comments: 3600
                Joined: 8/11/2015
                Lanknows
                Mar 07, 2017 at 2:18 PM

                Fair enough but l think if that’s your approach then a guy like Charlton (who tested like a 1st or 2nd rounder) shouldn’t be in the same group as Lewis (who didn’t). And why does Hill move up as a winner but not Peppers when they have similar testing results?

                Again, useful information I just don’t think the winners/losers stuff was very consistent in how it was applied. No great tragedy but I think my criticism on that point is valid.

                I do think it’s subjective since we probably would not agree (nor would NFL scouts) on exactly what expectations for a given player are. e.g., Maybe some NFL scouts were expecting a 4.5 from Stribling. Maybe some NFL scouts were not expecting Lewis to be very fast. But, if you go by the general draft projections and you look at the NFL.com player profiles there is some consensus expectations available.

                • Comments: 2227
                  Joined: 7/13/2015
                  Mar 07, 2017 at 2:23 PM

                  Charlton and Lewis were both considered to be potential first or second round guys, and they tested like it. So I don’t see them trending up. I see them as treading water. The only knock on Lewis from the Combine is that he ran a 4.55 forty, but that’s not a death knell for his draft status.

                  Hill moves up because he wasn’t a great player, but his testing numbers help. Peppers treads water because he put up solid numbers and had a solid career. He was expected to be a low first rounder or maybe early second rounder, and nothing changed. These are all very easily explainable.

                • Lanknows
                  Comments: 3600
                  Joined: 8/11/2015
                  Lanknows
                  Mar 07, 2017 at 3:25 PM

                  In the comment above you are saying you are taking the perspective of an NFL exec who might not have background info (e.g., Stribling isn’t a burner). But then in this comment you are saying there is a foundation of expectations. That’s an example of the inconsistency I’m talking about.

                  I don’t agree Lewis tested like a first or second rounder. He measured at 5’10 and his 40 time was far from elite. His other things were OK but he wasn’t a top performer in anything.

                  I don’t think that makes or breaks him but being well off elite hurts his stock. (which was elite). Stribling’s doesn’t really because his stock was already late round. He tested to his projection (not above it). Lewis tested below his.

                  There’s a few spots were Lewis significantly beat out Stribling in the combine but not size or speed. It’s past performance that puts Lewis significantly higher in the draft not bench presses.

                • Comments: 2227
                  Joined: 7/13/2015
                  Mar 07, 2017 at 5:42 PM

                  The baseline of expectations for me (as a blogger) are different than the baseline expectations for an NFL general manager who’s looking at Stribling for the first time-ish. I’ve been watching Stribling since he was in high school. For the most part, these NFL GMs have probably just become aware of Stribling in the last year or so.

                  Sure, Lewis tested like a first or second rounder. Yes, he measured in at 5’10”, but we’ve known that. That’s been his size all along. When he was getting first round draft grades for the past year (after all, he was an All-American in 2016), people have known he’s 5’10”. Why would that change anything? But I’ll give you an example. Xavien Howard went in the 2nd round last year to the Dolphins. He ran a 4.58 (worse than Lewis), had shorter arms, has the same size hands, did fewer reps on the bench, and had a worse vertical. Mackenzie Alexander was a 2nd round pick last year, and the two things he had on Lewis are a faster 40 (by 0.07 seconds) and a better vertical (37.5″ to 34.5″), while they were almost identical in size. No, Lewis didn’t test like a 1st rounder, necessarily, but he sure as hell has some comparables in the 2nd round.

                  Ummm…Lewis beat Stribling in literally every category they were tested except height. Oh, and they were tied for weight (188 lbs.), despite the fact that Stribling is three inches taller. Lewis is faster, jumped higher, jumped farther, has longer arms, has bigger hands, etc.

              • Comments: 949
                Joined: 8/13/2015
                Roanman
                Mar 07, 2017 at 6:24 PM

                There are significantly more quality CBs this year than last year. I think Lewis goes third round at best and somebody gets themselves just an outstanding value.

                • Lanknows
                  Comments: 3600
                  Joined: 8/11/2015
                  Lanknows
                  Mar 07, 2017 at 9:07 PM

                  Lewis could be one helluva nickelback.

            • Lanknows
              Comments: 3600
              Joined: 8/11/2015
              Lanknows
              Mar 07, 2017 at 9:06 PM

              A GM is reading scouting reports. The scouts are paying attention and the strengths and limitations of these guys are as well known to them. Those scouts may not put in as much time over the years into it but they have more expertise (no offense) and access to analytics tools, all 22 tape, etc. That we amateurs don’t. That’s how somebody like Clark gets invited to the combine.

              My point was not that Stribling was better than Lewis it was that neither was a combine standout. Yes, Lewis beat Stribling in most drills, but that’s missing the point when we are talking about a maybe 1st rounder vs a fringe pick. Lewis didn’t beat guys like Conley, Lattimore, King, Witherspoon that show up as top performers in multiple drills. I don’t think Lewis was a top 10 guy in any drill. For a first or second round pick that’s a red flag.

              I’m not saying he won’t get drafted in Round 1 or 2, but if it does it will be because people look past the athletic limitations his combine results indicated and choose to focus on his college production, character, etc. If Stribling get’s drafted it’ll be by the same rationale on a lower level (with height being the only big differentiation for Stribling).

          • Lanknows
            Comments: 3600
            Joined: 8/11/2015
            Lanknows
            Mar 07, 2017 at 2:07 PM

            I think you make a valid point about Smith. Not even running the 40 is an admission. I don’t know if he’s better off running a slow time or not running at all. I don’t think it’s necessarily a stock falling issue (because nobody thought Smith was fast), but passing on a chance to prove people wrong is a negative.

  4. Lanknows
    Comments: 3600
    Joined: 8/11/2015
    Lanknows
    Mar 07, 2017 at 10:54 AM

    My take is different:

    Winners: Darboh, Hill, Gedeon
    Losers: Lewis, Peppers, Stribling

    Everyone else pretty much did what was expected or were hurt. Lewis’ numbers hurt his stock and probably drop him out of Round 1. Peppers athleticism was good but probably not quite as elite as was hoped. It’s eye of the beholder with him – if you think he’s a legit LB he’s an elite athlete if you think he’s a Safety he’s nothing extraordinary, on top of being raw. Someone will probably think he’s a football player and not worry about it but for a guy struggling to stick in Round 1 this wasn’t what he wanted – and he reportedly voiced his frustrations with his 40 time himself.

    As for Stribling, either you thought he was a pretty good athlete and this was disappointing or you thought he wasn’t and this isn’t. I’m in the former camp and I think if he gets drafted it’ll be pretty late. Great performance in college but ultimately the NFL teams are drafting on the future.

  5. Comments: 35
    Joined: 2/24/2017
    Mike Knapp
    Mar 07, 2017 at 11:29 AM

    I’m interested in Delano Hill as an NFL prospect. He has really become an excellent open field tackler, which I would think the NFL would value (especially with the proliferation of the passing spread teams). That ability should at least translate into some playing time on special teams, which you mentioned above.

    • Lanknows
      Comments: 3600
      Joined: 8/11/2015
      Lanknows
      Mar 07, 2017 at 12:54 PM

      Before the season I thought all our rotation DBs would have a shot at getting drafted. Only Thomas didn’t get invited to the combine, which remains a huge shock to me.

      I think with this combine performance (not unexpected for those of us familiar with Hill), Hill will likely get drafted. I agree that he offers an enticing combo of size, athleticism, sure-tackling and ability to cover.

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