Cyrus Kouandjio’s health issues could affect draft stock
Ian Rapoport of NFL.com reports that several teams failed Kouandjio on the physical due to issues stemming from an arthritic knee. Kouandjio tore his ACL in the midst of the 2011 season. He later recovered to start 27 consecutive games for Alabama.
Although Kouandjio began the 2013 season as a top offensive line NFL draft prospect, the season did not pan out well for him and was topped by a dreadful performance in the Sugar Bowl. Kouandjio also struggled during the Scouting Combine and his all-around performance in Saturday’s workouts was so terribly disappointing that it had the draft analysts questioning whether the former first-team All-SEC selection truly merits first round consideration. The 21-year-old put in just 21 reps at 225 pounds on the bench press. But Kouandjio delivered his worst performance of the Scouting Combine on the 40-yard dash with an unofficial time of 5.59 seconds, the lowest numbers of the drill among the participating offensive lineman. Kouandjio’s numbers in the 20-yard shuttle, three-cone drill and broad jump landed him in the bottom half of the competition.
The 6-7, 322-pounder failed to make the most of his size during blocking drills as well. He seemed to lack power in his blocks and appeared stiff during turns. Tony Pauline of Draft Insider best described Kouandjio’s Scouting Combine performance as “sluggish, slow & totally unprepared.”
Kouandjio might have already known that he could struggle in workouts after feeling the burden of the physical tests. However, Kouandjio still tried to play it light on Friday.
"I felt like a taco," Kouandjio said. "I got some sleep. That first night we get, like, two or three hours of sleep, so I got a good two hours and 30 minutes in the taco."
Despite the health concerns, it unlikely that such issues can completely push Kouandjio out of the draft. However, it’s his performance at the Scouting Combine could account for a potential fall to the second-round or even later in May’s draft.