Only three Michigan players were invited to the NFL Combine this winter, but all three had pretty good showings that seemed to meet or exceed expectations. Here are their results, with the top performer in their position and category listed in parentheses.
WR Jeremy Gallon: Gallon measured in at 5’7″ and 185 lbs. with an arm length of 29.5″ and a hand size of 9 3/8″. He ran an official time of 4.49 in the forty yard dash (Oregon State’s Brandin Cooks, 4.33). He also put up 15 reps on the 225 lb. bench, which tied him for 13th (Indiana’s Cody Latimer, 23). NFL.com rates Gallon as a 5.02, which means he has “a better than average chance to make an NFL roster.”
OT Taylor Lewan: Lewan measured in at 6’7″ and 309 lbs. with an arm length of 33 7/8″ and a hand size of 9 1/4″. He ran an official time of 4.87 in the forty yard dash, which made him the fastest offensive lineman at the Combine, and his broad jump of 117″ was #1 in his position group. His 4.49 shuttle time placed him 9th (Oklahoma’s Gabe Ikard, 4.37), and his . He did 29 reps on the 225 lb. bench (North Carolina’s Russell Bodine, 42). Lewan had a vertical jump of 30.5″ (Boston College’s Matt Patchan, 33″), which tied him for 3rd. NFL.com rates Lewan as a 6.18, which means that he “should become an instant starter” in the NFL.
OT Michael Schofield: Schofield measured in at 6’6″ and 301 lbs. with an arm length of 34″ and a hand width of 9 5/8″. He was 6th in his position group with a 5.01 time in the forty. He was #11 in the 20-yard shuttle with a 4.57 time, and he was #13 in the three-cone drill with a time of 7.62. He also had a 24″ vertical and a 93″ broad jump. NFL.com pegs Schofield as a 5.2, which suggests he’ll be a backup player.
I think the biggest surprise of the weekend was Gallon, whose time of 4.49 in the forty outstripped what most expected. The thing about Gallon’s speed is that he has always had good acceleration, but on long runs, he frequently seemed to tire or at least lose his running form, which allowed defenders to catch up to him. A 4.49 isn’t blazing speed, but it’s scootin’ pretty fast; I would probably be more surprised if he turned in a top-notch time in the 100 meters. Also notable is his hand size, which is nearly as big as 6’6″ offensive tackle Schofield and bigger than All-American tackle Lewan.
Lewan’s mobility has always been one of his biggest assets (the other being his nasty disposition), and I remember watching film of him at Scottsdale (AZ) Chaparral and being impressed with how well he moved. He put up solid numbers all around, but nothing else was as impressive as that forty time, which looked pretty smooth on video.
The wild card is Schofield, whose time in the forty was pretty solid, but otherwise, he doesn’t stick out in regard to measurables or on film. I think all three of these guys will get drafted, with Lewan going in the top 20 picks and Gallon going somewhere around the 4th or 5th round. Schofield, however, could end up anywhere from the tail end of the 2nd round to the 6th, from what I’ve read.