Offensive winners and losers at the Combine
For the combine's defensive winners and losers, click here.
Note: When I say a player finished "first" or "top-five" in a particular drill, I mean first amongst his position group.
Geno Smith: Smith took advantage of an overall average performance out of the entire group of quarterbacks. While he blended in during the throwing drills (as did all of the other quarterbacks), he stood out in other areas. Many people already had Smith ranked atop their quarterback draft boards, and he proved at the combine that he is perhaps the most athletic of the bunch as well. He finished with the best marks in two of the three drills he participated in.
The rest of the quarterbacks were pretty much all losers at the combine. They all had opportunities to showcase great throws amongst an abundance of mediocrity, but no one stood out. Players like Blaine Gabbert and Ryan Tannehill took advantage of the combine to boost their draft stock in recent years, but no one did that this past weekend.
Knile Davis: Big winner here. Davis showed an exceptional combination of speed and strength by running a 4.37 forty-yard dash and putting up 31 bench reps (both second best among running backs). He's still likely to be a mid- to late-round pick, but he definitely got some teams interested.
Le'Veon Bell: There has been a lot of concern around Bell as to whether or not he can be more than a goal line bulldozer. He boosted his stock at the combine with a 4.60 forty, which topped other highly touted backs such as Andre Ellington, Montee Ball, and Stepfan Taylor. Bell also excelled in the three-cone drill and was above average in the twenty-yard shuttle run.
Michael Ford: One of the top performers in the forty, vertical jump, broad jump, and sixty-yard shuttle, Ford showed the explosiveness that could make him a viable NFL running back.
Stepfan Taylor: The biggest loser of the running back group. His 4.76 forty was closer to Manti Te'o than it was to the standout running backs. His 17 bench reps were very underwhelming. His vertical and broad jumps were both third from the bottom of the running back group, showing a lack of explosiveness.
Christine Michael: Here we have our only winner/loser combination. Michael was sensational in the drills. He ran a solid 4.54 forty, then was amongst the leaders in bench press, vertical and broad jump, three-cone drill, and twenty-yard shuttle. He even set the record for running backs in the vertical jump at 43 inches. He hurt his stock, however, by reportedly sleeping through two interviews. His off-field concerns date back to college, so teams will consider that a significant red flag.