Leonard Fournette’s dismal vertical jump was the talk of the media room around lunchtime. The LSU running back, who measured in at just over 6 feet tall and 240 pounds, posted a vertical of just 29.5”. That’s lower than some offensive linemen who outweigh him by 80 pounds.
Fournette subsequently opted to not participate in the broad jump, a move viewed with derision from several NFL execs. Then came the 40-yard dash, and pretty much all was forgiven. His 40-time was outstanding for a player his size:
In the span of about 45 minutes, Fournette went from being overweight and sluggish to incredibly fast and dynamic just by doing different workouts in his tights. His draft stock swung from top 15 to 2nd round and now top 10 lock just from Friday’s workout. Really. Consider his draft floor the Bengals at No. 9, and you’re going to see a predominance of post-Combine mock drafts with Fournette to the Panthers at No. 8 overall.
Florida State’s Dalvin Cook didn’t exactly light up his workout. At 5’10” and 210 pounds, Cook leapt just 30.5” on his vertical. That’s not impressive, and given the context of explosiveness it’s even worse. He barely beat Fournette in the 40, clocking a fairly pedestrian (in the context) 4.49. Cook failed to back up the dynamic force from his Seminoles game tape, also looking shaky in receiving drills.
Cook did get a win with his medical examination earlier in the week. He’s had three separate shoulder surgeries, but the word is he passed the test for most teams.
The same cannot be said for Alabama defensive lineman Jonathan Allen. He was diagnosed with “moderare” arthritis in his shoulders. He then measured in both shorter (6’2”) and lighter (286) than anticipated. It’s not unusual for prospects to drop weight in an attempt to fare better in the on-field workouts, but that also puts more pressure on Allen to shine when the DL hit the field on Saturday. If he doesn’t have a great workout, it’s not unrealistic for Allen, a presumptive top 5 talent, to fall well into the 20s.
Texas RB D’Onta Foreman was cleared from working out due to a stress fracture in his foot. Foreman weighed in at 233 pounds, which is lighter than his Longhorns playing weight.
Other things which caught my eye:
Western Michigan offensive tackle ran his short shuttle in 4.58 seconds and a broad jump of 9’10”, both of which are outstanding for a 319-pound behemoth. One of my biggest criticisms in watching him in person for the Broncos was he could be heavy-legged, but Moton has obviously been working on that. Expect him to be a second-round pick. He’s played all over the line but his best NFL position should be right tackle.
Another WMU prospect, wide receiver Corey Davis is here and doing interviews but will not work out. He’s recovering from an ankle injury. Davis, my top WR in the class, also confirmed he will not run at Western Michigan’s pro day in March.
Utah left tackle Garett Bolles is a great story, a former drug addict who go this life together. He’s also a fantastic athlete at 6’5” and 297 who performed quite well in the metric drills. He’s 25 years old and only played a year of big-time football, both of which are very legitimate flags, but it’s hard to not root for Bolles.
I don’t normally get involved in the player interview sessions, but I made an exception today. After standing with the throng for both Mitch Trubisky and Patrick Mahomes, I recorded Ohio State wideout Curtis Samuel at the podium.
Curtis Samuel at Combine https://t.co/0TPA8Ps2V4— Jeff Risdon (@JeffRisdon) March 3, 2017
Churning the rumor mill…
- I have yet to talk to anyone, be it media or in the NFL, who does not think Myles Garrett will be the No. 1 pick. You might as well order your Browns jersey with his name on it. Anyone shopping alternate scenarios is being used, perhaps with complicity.
- The Jimmy Garoppolo trade talks are tough to discern. Adam Schefter is one of the best in the info business, but his insistence the Patriots are not going to trade the backup QB goes contrary to both common sense and what many others with good connections are reporting. If he does get dealt, and this is just my guess, Chicago has to be the leading contender.
- It’s a little surprising the New York Jets are getting rid of pretty much every Jets player most fans can name. Nick Mangold, Brandon Marshall, Darrelle Revis and now several veterans have been informed they’re on the way out. The Jets know they weren’t going to win with those guys, and they’ve gone into cost-saving mode. They will be the odds-on favorite to capture the No. 1 pick in the 2018 NFL draft.