How did the 21 Texas college players do at the NFL Combine? DCTF's Greg Tepper takes a look.
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It’s important to take the NFL Combine in perspective. This is not the end-all, be-all for college prospects. Many players have bombed at the Combine and gone on to great careers (Drew Brees, for example). Other players have been fantastic at the Combine and gone on to relative irrelevance (Darius Heyward-Bey, for example).
But it is an important step for players as they head toward the next part of their football careers – the one in which they actually get paid.
Over the past four days, 21 players from Texas colleges descended upon Indianapolis to prove to pro scouts that they’re worth spending a draft pick on. How did they do? As they did in Indy, let’s go to the tape.
TCU WR Josh Boyce
Results: 4.38 seconds in the 40-yard dash (5th among WRs), 22 bench press reps (2nd among WRs), 34-inch vertical, 131-inch broad jump (4th among WRs), 6.68 seconds in the cone drill (3rd among WRs), 4.10 seconds in the 20-yard shuttle, 11.26 seconds in the 60-yard shuttle (3rd among WRs)
Thoughts: Boyce quickly became one of the stars of the Combine, dazzling scouts with his top-end speed and overall skill set. When you run a sub-4.4 in the 40 and pump out 22 reps on the bench press, that turns heads.
West Texas A&M OL Manase Foketi
Results: 25 bench press reps, 23.5-inch vertical leap, 102-inch broad jump, 8.11 seconds in the cone drill, 5.06 seconds in the 20-yard shuttle
Thoughts: Foketi is right on the draft bubble – he could be a late round pick, or he could go undrafted – and he did OK, putting up respectable-if-non-earth-shattering numbers in almost all of the drills.
Texas WR Marquise Goodwin
Results: 4.27 seconds in the 40-yard dash (best overall), 13 bench press reps, 132-inch broad jump (3rd among WRs)
Thoughts: Zoooooooom. We knew that Goodwin, an Olympic-caliber sprinter, could fly, and he showed it in Indy, running the fastest 40 of the year and the fastest since Chris Johnson’s blazing 40 in 2008. The bench press was underwhelming, but that 40 is going to garner some interest.
Houston DB D.J. Hayden
Thoughts: Hayden is still recovering from a freak accident in practice that nearly took his life, but he showed up in Indianapolis to conduct interviews and talk with scouts. That’s going to win some friends, and have more people show up at his Pro Day in a couple week.
SMU DE Margus Hunt
Results: 4.60-second 40-yard dash (3rd among DLs), 38 bench press reps (most overall), 34.5-inch vertical leap, 121-inch broad jump, 7.07-second cone drill, 4.51-second 20-yard shuttle
Thoughts: Margus Hunt is a physical freak, and he showed it in Indianapolis, combining the most bench press reps of the weekend with a very quick 40-yard dash. Scouts are already drooling over the ultra-raw Hunt, and they have no reason to stop now.
Texas A&M OT Luke Joeckel
Results: 5.30-second 40-yard dash, 27 bench press reps, 28.5-inch vertical leap, 106-inch broad jump, 7.40-second cone drill (4th among OLs), 4.68-second 20-yard shuttle
Thoughts: There is a pretty good chance that Luke Joeckel is the No. 1 overall draft pick in April, and he’s a virtual lock for a spot in the Top 5. He was only OK at the Combine, but does it really matter? He was good, not great, but most importantly, he didn’t to anything to sabotage what is a very, very high draft stock.
SMU WR Darius Johnson
Results: 4.60-second 40-yard dash, 6 bench press reps, 32-inch vertical leap, 109-inch broad jump, 4.53-second cone drill
Thoughts: This just wasn’t Darius Johnson’s best showing. We’ve seen him be dynamic on the field, but he was only an also-ran in Indianapolis. He needed to turn heads to move from the draft bubble, and he didn’t do that.
SMU RB Zach Line
Results: 4.77-second 40-yard dash, 26 bench press reps, 30.5-inch vertical laep, 111-inch broad jump
Thoughts: A DCTF favorite, Line has a decent showing in Indianapolis, showing off his blend of strength (26 bench press reps is very respectable) and speed (though 4.77 in the 40 isn’t fantastic).
TCU DE Stansly Maponga
Results: 30 bench press reps
Thoughts: Maponga opted not to run at the Combine, which means scouts will have incomplete data on him, but what he did participate in, he excelled, pumping out 30 reps on the bench press. That’ll play in the NFL.
Rice TE Vance McDonald
Results: 4.69-second 40-yard dash, 31 bench press reps (most among TEs), 33.5-inch vertical leap, 119-inch broad jump (4th among TEs), 7.08-second cone drill (3rd among TEs), 4.53-second 20-yard shuttle, 11.73-second 60-yard shuttle (3rd among TEs)
Thoughts: McDonald’s stock has been rising ever since an impressive showing at the Senior Bowl, and this isn’t going to stop that momentum. His 31 bench press reps were far and away the best among TE prospects, and he showed impressive agility in the cone drill and 60-yard shuttle.
Texas A&M RB Christine Michael
Results: 4.54-second 40-yard dash, 27 bench press reps (4th among RBs), 43-inch vertical leap (best overall), 125-inch broad jump (2nd among RBs), 6.69-second cone drill (best among RBs), 4.02-second 20-yard shuttle (best among RBs), 11.56-second 60-yard shuttle
Thoughts: One of two Aggies to truly stand out at the Combine, Michael was one of the most impressive running backs in Indianapolis. Aside from having the best vertical leap of anyone, he showed all sorts of impressive agility in the shuttles and strength in the bench. Strangely, the only bummer was a good-not-great showing in the 40-yard dash. Still, a fantastic outing for Michael.
Texas A&M DE Damontre Moore
Results: 4.95-second 40-yard dash, 12 bench press reps, 35.5-inch vertical jump (4th among DLs), 122-inch broad jump (4th among DLs)
Thoughts: A bit of a mixed bag for Moore, the state’s most dominant defender in 2012. He was too slow in the 40-yard dash and surprisingly very underwhelming in the bench press, but he showed his athleticism in the jumping drills. The bottom line is that teams liked Moore to begin with, so this probably won’t have too much of an effect on his draft stock. But still, a baffling showing for Moore.
Texas DE Alex Okafor
Results: 21 bench press reps
Thoughts: Like his DE counterpart Stansly Maponga, Okafor didn’t run in Indianapolis. Unlike Maponga, Okafor wasn’t sensational in the one drill he did participate in, notching just 21 reps in the bench press. That’s not a deal breaker – Okafor’s true value is in his quickness in space – but it’s not great.
Texas A&M LB Sean Porter
Results: 4.75-second 40-yard dash, 22 bench press reps, 35-inch vertical leap (5th among LBs), 119-inch broad jump
Thoughts: It’s a little surprising to me that Porter didn’t participate in the shuttle drills, which would show his biggest asset: quickness. Instead, we got some good results (bench press and vertical leap) and an only-OK 40-yard dash. Porter’s a late round guy, but if he shows well at his Pro Day, I wonder if he could jump into the first three rounds.
Baylor WR Lanear Sampson
Results: 4.46-second 40-yard dash, 20 bench press reps (3rd among WRs), 33.5-inch vertical leap, 119-inch broad jump, 7.10-second cone drill, 4.38-second 20-yard shuttle, 11.87-second 60-yard shuttle
Thoughts: Sampson is a guy who is on that bubble – he might get drafted, he might not – and maybe he’s moved closer to the last round than the first ones out with his showing. None of the individual drills blow you away, but between a pretty fast 40, a pretty good vertical jump, and pretty good agility drills, I think Sampson’s stock is creeping higher.
Texas A&M LB Jonathan Stewart
Results: 4.68-second 40-yard dash, 19 bench press reps, 31-inch vertical leap, 118-inch broad jump, 7.44-second cone drill, 4.53-second 20-yard shuttle
Thoughts: The book on Stewart is that he’s a late round guy if he gets drafted at all, and I’m not sure he necessarily helped himself in Indy. He needed to turn heads to guarantee a spot in the Draft, and I don’t think he did that.
Sam Houston State DB Daxton Swanson
Results: 4.56-second 40-yard dash, 15 bench press reps, 33-inch vertical leap, 122-inch broad jump
Thoughts: It was important that Swanson was in Indy, as this might’ve been the first good look that pro scouts got at him. He showed them some pretty good top-end speed, terrific athleticism in the leaps, and decent strength in the bench press. Overall, an OK showing for the Bearkat.
Texas A&M WR Ryan Swope
Results: 4.34-second 40-yard dash (2nd among WRs), 16 bench press reps, 37-inch vertical leap, 125-inch broad jump, 6.76-second cone drill, 4.25-second 20-yard shuttle
Thoughts: In my opinion, the star of the Combine for Texas college players is either Margus Hunt or Swope. His 40 was absolutely blazing, and the rest of his drills were good enough not to take away from that. He may have just moved up a round or two with his dynamite showing in Indianapolis.
TCU RB Matthew Tucker
Results: 4.55-second 40-yard dash, 17 bench press reps, 35.5-inch vertical leap, 118-inch broad jump
Thoughts: Tucker is, for better or worse, a member of a large glut of running backs who are slotted to be drafted in the late rounds, if at all. His 40-time was pretty good, but it’s a little disappointing that Tucker, the bruising running back for the Horned Frogs, had only an OK showing on the bench press.
Texas DB Kenny Vaccaro
Results: 4.63-second 40-yard dash, 15 bench press reps, 38-inch vertical leap, 121-inch broad jump, 6.78-second cone drill, 4.06-second 20-yard shuttle (best among DBs)
Thoughts: This just wasn’t a great showing for Vaccaro, considered to be one of the top safeties available in the draft. A 4.63 in the 40? There were five defensive linemen who ran faster 40s than that. The rest of the drills helped to save it, especially his shuttle drill, but I wonder if that 40-yard dash is going to give some teams pause.
Baylor WR Terrance Williams
Results: 4.52-second 40-yard dash, 11 bench press reps, 32.5-inch vertical leap, 119-inch broad jump, 7.01-second cone drill, 4.32-second 20-yard shuttle, 11.50-second 60-yard shuttle
Thoughts: Williams entered the Combine as one of the draft’s most highly sought wide receivers, and he didn’t do anything to change that thought. Now, he wasn’t spectacular by any means, but he was good enough to at least not change anyone’s minds.
Greg Tepper is the associate editor of Dave Campbell's Texas Football and TexasFootball.com.
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