Here are some of the winners and losers of the 2007 NFL Combine:
HELPED THEMSELVES THE MOST
1. Greg Olsen, TE/Miami: He's now uncontested at the top of this year's TE group. I've had Zach Miller ahead of him all along, because of his superior blocking ability. Most thought Miller and Olsen were about equal in terms of athleticism, but when Miller ran a 4.8 and Olsen ran a 4.5, the gap between them grew very fast.
2. Chris Houston, CB/Arkansas: With Darrelle Revis choosing not to work out, Houston took full advantage, posting the fastest time (4.32) and most bench reps (27) of all DB's. One scout even mentioned he thought Houston could be "top 10 when it's all said and done".
3. Brian Leonard, RB/Rutgers: He's not been shy about his desire to play RB in the NFL, and after impressing at the Senior Bowl, he impressed even more this week. After notching 28 bench reps, he posted some quality times in the 3cone and shuttle, and then ran a 4.5. The race to get that #3 RB spot has finally cleared up.
4. Leon Hall, CB/Michigan: Many, including me, questioned his top end speed, and I even dropped him from my top 32. After proving all his doubters wrong (he ran a 4.39), he's now moved into that #2 CB spot on my board. He was also helped greatly by Revis' decision to sit out. (What does Darrelle have to hide?)
5. Justin Blalock, OG/Texas: He reportedly showed up at the Senior Bowl looking a little out of shape and "flabby". I had Ben Grubbs, Arron Sears, and then him at 1,2,3 in my pre-combine OG rankings, but they were very close. After posting the 2nd best bench of all (40), he ran a surprising 5.10 40, and took back that top spot.
1. Jason Hill, WR/Washington St: Many thought his main weakness was his lack of top end speed. Then he ran a 4.32. Now, he's put himself right behind that top group of WRs. In a normal year, he'd be a first rounder, but he should go early 2nd.
2. Chris Henry, RB/Arizona: None of the second tier RBs are really separating themselves, with the exception of Brian Leonard, but Henry showed up at a ripped 230lbs and ran a 4.4. He wasn't extremely productive at Arizona, but I doubt many could have succeeded behind their OL. He has a chance to be 1st day now, will probably be the 6th or 7th RB off the board.
3. Brian Robison, DE/Texas: A lot of people labeled him as an "overachiever" that won't have great workouts but is smart and aggressive. After great practices at the East-West Shrine Game, Robison showed his stuff in Indy, even running some LB drills with fluidity. The first thing most scouts notice when looking at linemen is the 10 yard split, which measures explosiveness and short area burst. Robison lead all DLs with a 1.49. The fastest time of all was a 1.43, which was ran by 198lb WR Aundrae Allison.
4. Allen Barbre, OT/Missouri S St: Maybe it's just me, but I honestly can't remember the last time an offensive tackle ran in the 4.8 range. Barbre is very versatile, experienced, productive, and, obviously, athletic. He's got a chance to go 1st day.
5. Yamon Figurs, WR/Kansas St: I hate to sound like a know-it-all, but I guessed that Yamon Figurs would run the fastest 40 time. He did (4.30). His ability on special teams should get him a lot of looks, as he was a very productive gunner and kick/punt returner. Anyone who watched k-state's win against Texas knows what this guy brings to the table.
6. Kenny Scott, CB/Georgia Tech: Scott had a troubled career at Ga Tech, facing several suspensions and benchings. Scouts wanted to make sure those days are behind him, and although that is yet to be seen, his athleticism should get him drafted. His 10'7" broad jump, 4.39 forty, and 40" vert should only help, along with the fact that he's a 6'1" CB.
7. Tim Shaw, LB/Penn St: Shaw is an interesting story. He was a big-time RB before being moved to LB for unexplained reasons. He also was a state champ in the 100 meter dash in high school. At the combine, he looked very smooth in drills and ran a 4.51 forty. This significantly boosts his stock to more of a late 1st/early 2nd day type.
8. Turk McBride, DE/DT/Tennessee: In my opinion, he's one of the most underrated prospects in this year's draft. He has the look of a 3-4 DE, but he's been a DT his whole career and some thought he might lack the overall athleticism to move outside. I think he's changed many doubters minds with his performance this week, running a 4.51 forty, posting 26 reps, and running some impressive shuttle/3-cone times.
9. Zak DeOssie, LB/Brown: Very big for a LB (6'5" 250), but there is definitely no shortage of athleticism. He ran a 4.58 forty, 6.89 3 cone drill, which are both among the top times for LBs. His dad played in the NFL, so he should be ready mentally.
10. Eric Wright, CB/UNLV: Another talented corner with a troubled past, Wright might have impressed even more people at the combine. Some could say that it was sort of expected though. Nobody has ever doubted his athleticism, and he looked like the top DB of all in cover drills. Look for a team to take him possibly as high as 2nd round, hoping he's put his legal problems behind him.
COULD HAVE DONE BETTER
Daymeion Hughes, CB/Cal: Not many CBs make it to the NFL with a 4.68 forty and a 28.5" vertical. It's just that simple. Had 8 ints this past year and his instincts are second to none, but his first day chances are now severely limited.
Gary Russell, RB/Minnesota: Played around 210-215lbs at Minnesota 2 seasons ago, then got kicked out because of academic problems. He had a less-than-stellar performance at the Texas vs. the Nation Game, then followed that by showing up at a out of shape looking 229lbs and posting a 4.8 forty at the combine.
Reggie Ball, WR/Georgia Tech: College QB is too small to make it at quarterback, way too slow (4.76) to make it at WR. Not a good place to be.
Palauni Ma Sun, OG/Oregon: 5.86. ouch. Well, at least he's one of the stronger linemen. Nevermind, he posted 22 reps of bench when the average OL posted around 26. Well, at least he looked big.
Chaz Williams, CB/La-Monroe: After running a very pedestrian 40 (4.72), Williams stumbled through agility drills, and even tripped over his own foot and fell flat on his face at one point.