It’s NFL Combine time, otherwise called the Underwear Olympics (I always loved that name). It’s time for NFL scouts to judge players based on their speed, agility and for the media to fight over the Wonderlic scores being released and what they mean.
The NFL Meat Market, a.k.a. NFL Combine started Monday in Indianapolis.
I think of it like the third quarter for college players, you can’t win the game and secure the bag at the NFL Combine, but you can certainly lose it with a bad performance. Coaches and GMs will talk about all the players they see (but never reveal who they really like).
More and more top prospects skip the NFL Combine preferring to run at their school’s “Pro Day” when pro scouts come. They prefer the homefield advantage.
We’ve looked back at how many of the current, and recently former Los Angeles Rams did at the NFL Combine (if/when they went). Some of the numbers will surprise you.
Combine numbers: Stafford measured at 6-foor-2 and a quarter, with a hand size of 10 inches (hand size has become a big thing for quarterbacks). He scored a 38 on the Wonderlic intelligence test, but that is open to interpretation. He ran the 40-yard dash in 4.81 seconds and his vertical was 30.5.
Combine analysis: NFLCombine.com gave Stafford a rating of D, because of his poor speed and agility. He was comparable to Drew Stanton.
Was it Legit? Stafford says take your D and kiss my Super Bowl ring.
Combine numbers: Kupp measured just under 6-foot-2, and ran the 40-yard dash in 4.62 seconds, which isn’t that fast for a wide receiver. His vertical jump was 31 inches. His Wonderlic score was a 27.
Combine analysis: Another D. Too slow.
Was it Legit? Kupp has a Super Bowl MVP. It is of note that his best performance was the 20-yard shuttle run, which underscores Kupp’s quickness.
Combine numbers: AD measured just under 6-foot-1 with hand size of 9.88 inches. He ran the 40-yard dash in 4.68 seconds (remember that). He did 35 bench press reps of 225. He did not take the Wonderlic test. Donald’s time in the 20-yard shuttle run and 10-yard dash are each among the top 100 ever.
Combine analysis: Donald’s 40-yard dash time is the third fastest of all time of any defensive tackle. Want an amazing trivia question? Erwin Grabisna (Case Western) in 1988 and Donald Evans (Winston Salem State) in 1987 were each faster. Grabisna was drafted by the Raiders, but never played in the NFL. Evans played for the Rams as a running back.
Was it Legit? Donald graded out an A, and he’s the rare mix of a player who brings his athletic gifts to the field and uses them. A unicorn he is.
Combine numbers: Ramsey ran the 40-yard dash in 4.41 and skied 41.5 inches in the vertical leap (anything over 40 is freak of nature). He did not take the Wonderlic, and he broad jumped 135 inches.
Combine analysis: Ramsey got a B grade. His 135-inch broad jump is fifth longest ever for a free safety. The world record (yes, world record) was set at the NFL Combine in 2015 by Bryon Jones, 12-foot-3.
Was It Legit? Ramsey has been as good as advertised.
Combine numbers: Now let’s talk about a big offensive tackle. Noteboom came out of TCU measuring 6-foot-5, 309 pounds. He ran the 40-yard dash in 4.96 seconds and jumped 24 inches in the vertical. He bench pressed 225 pounds 27 times (the record is 51)
Combine analysis: Noteboom’s 4.96 is actually one of the fastest for an offensive lineman. But do you really need fast offensive linemen? Noteboom graded out a B.
Was It Legit? The Rams have always praised Noteboom’s athleticism and this may be why. But his performance on the field hasn’t matched.
Combine numbers: I thought it would be fun to look back at the Rams great OT who came out in 2006. Whitworth measured 6-foot-7, 334 pounds (beef) and ran the 40-yard dash in 5.17. His vertical was 30.5, in other words, the man can Dunk! He did the bench press 28 times.
Combine analysis: Whitworth graded out a B. Mainly for his size.
Was It Legit? Whitworth is likely heading to the Hall of Fame.
Combine numbers: This is proof that guys don’t do the Combine like they used to. Jones did his Pro Day at South Carolina in 2021. He ran the 40 in 4.72 and did a 38.5 inch vertical.
Combine analysis: His grade was incomplete because he wasn’t at the official NFL Combine, but his numbers are strong.
Was It Legit? The Rams just released Bobby Wagner at linebacker. Jones has shown good athleticism for his position.
Combine numbers: He was a Rams draft pick in 2022. He measured 5-foot-9 and 180 pounds. He ran the 40 in 4.38 seconds.
Combine analysis: Durant’s game is all speed. He had moments as a rookie, but man he’s not big. How would Durant cover DK Metcalf?
Was It Legit? We will have to see.
Odell Beckham Jr.
Combine numbers: In 2014, Beckham Jr. measured just under six feet. His hands were huge (10 inches). He ran the 40 in 4.43, and the 20-yard shuttle in 3.94 seconds. He did the three-cone drill (up, backwards and then sprint) in 6.69. He only benched 225 pounds seven times, which is kind of sad.
Combine analysis: OBJ’s 20-yard shuttle time was the third fastest in his class. Another former Ram, Brandin Cooks, is first. Beckham Jr. got a B grade.
Was It Legit? Maybe the weakness in the bench press is a sign he would get hurt, but Beckham Jr. remains an electric player.
Combine numbers: In 2020, Akers weighed in at 217 and just under 5-foot-11. He ran the 40 in 4.47 seconds (the all-time fastest 40-yard dash at the NFL Combine is Trindon Holliday out of LSU. He ran back kicks for the Broncos). Akers did 20 reps on the bench, most for his class.
Combine analysis: Akers was given a C grade, because his numbers were solid, but not spectacular.
Was It Legit? Pretty much. Akers has been injured during his Ram career, but has had some moments.