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.
Tavon Austin: We all knew that Austin was incredibly quick and explosive in small areas, making him a Wes Welker type prospect. What many people didn't know, however, was that Austin was capable of running a 4.34 forty-yard dash, the second best among receivers.
Marquise Goodwin: The only player to beat Austin in the forty was this former Olympian. Goodwin was expected to tear up the combine, and as a raw prospect, he couldn't afford to let scouts down. All he did was run a ridiculous 4.27 forty, finish second among receivers in broad jump, and finish in the middle of the pack in bench press (which is solid for a speed receiver).
Josh Boyce: Boyce was sort of the Knile Davis of the receiver group - he showed the best speed/strength combination of the bunch with the fourth fastest forty and second most bench reps. He was also one of the top performers in broad jump, three-cone drill, and sixty-yard shuttle.
Da'Rick Rogers: With off-field issues from his college days, Rogers really needed to impress at the combine to get teams interested in him. His forty time of 4.52 was good for a powerful receiver, and he finished first in vertical jump and second in broad jump. He also finished top-five in the three-cone drill and both shuttle runs.
Ace Sanders: At only 5'7'' and 173 pounds, Sanders needed to prove he was fast and quick at the combine. His 4.58 forty was poor for a player his size, and he couldn't crack the top-eight in the three-cone drill or twenty-yard shuttle.
Terrance Williams: He didn't have a terrible combine, but he didn't stand out in any drills either. There is question as to whether or not his size and speed - which he used to dominate at the college level - will translate to the NFL. After Williams' mediocre combine showing, teams are still asking that question.
Tyler Eifert: A lot of people were split as to who the top tight end in this year's draft should be - Eifert or Zach Ertz? Anyone who believes in the combine as a scouting tool left this weekend with Eifert as the top player at his position. He topped Ertz in every drill besides bench press (lost by two reps), and was the top tight end in the three-cone drill.
Terron Armstead: Broke the forty-yard dash record for a lineman with a 4.71. Also finished first in vertical jump and fourth in broad jump. He's propelled himself to an intriguing day-two prospect.
Lane Johnson: Armstead may have broken the forty-yard dash record, but Johnson was right behind him with a 4.72. Johnson was also more impressive than Armstead in the other drills. He finished second and first in vertical and broad jump, respectively. He also finished top-five in the three-cone drill and twenty-yard shuttle, displaying that great footwork required to handle quick pass rushers on the outside.
Larry Warford: One of the top guard prospects in this draft, Warford simply showed nothing to get scouts excited about his potential. He participated in all six lineman drills, and didn't stand out in any of them.
For defensive prospects who stood out at the combine, click here.