The NFL scouting combine ended on Feb. 26 in Indianapolis as fans and coaches alike were treated to a sneak peek of the future stars of the NFL. The combine gave the chance for some of the lesser-known players to make a statement and for the well-known college stars to prove they can live up to the pressure of NFL Sundays.
The first scouting combine took place in 1982. The purpose in holding the combine was to evaluate athletic ability and to ascertain medical information on the top draft prospects in college football. The scouting combine found it’s home in Indianapolis in 1987; every NFL team sends it’s representatives to Indy every year.
Athletes involved also participate in psychological tests and formal interviews with scouts and executives from all 32 teams. The four-day event is not only a physically challenging audition but a job interview as well.
With the draft looming, team scouts, coaches and executives alike converged in Indianapolis to get a head start on the 2013 season in hopes of achieving Super Bowl aspirations. Check out the list to view some of the top stories to happen at this year’s scouting combine.
Manti Te’o’s 40 time may have hurt his draft value more than his fake girlfriend
Te’o seemed to be well prepared for the interview session, making it seem as if the fake girlfriend incident wouldn’t effect his first round status, but his 40 time may have secured his way out of the first round. Running 40 yards in 4.82 seconds was a disappointment considering his tenacity while at Notre Dame could have landed him in the early first round. Te’o still has a chance to improve his 40 time before the draft begins on April 25.
Margus Hunt emerges as an elite talent
Margus Hunt slipped under the radar prior to the NFL combine, accumulating eight sacks and 11.5 tackles for losses last season while playing defensive lineman at SMU. Standing at 6’8” and 277 pounds, Hunt emerged as a beast at this week’s combine; he ran a 4.6 second 40, bench-pressed 225 lbs. 38 times and jumped a 38-inch vertical jump. Quarterbacks beware, Margus Hunt could be the next big thing.
Wide receivers show no signs of slowing down
There is no lack of speed in this year’s wide receiver class. There were at least 15 players of the position to run a 4.5 second 40 yard dash or faster. Marquise Goodwin proved to be the fastest of the group’ clocking in at 4.27 seconds, Goodwin’s 40 time was three hundredths of a second slower than the combine record set by Titans’ running back Chris Johnson in 2008.
Star Lutolelei’s heart condition comes forth
The defensive end from Utah entered the combine as a top five prospect, quite possibly the highest rated DE at this year’s combine. An echocardiogram performed on Feb. 25 revealed Lutolelei’s heart performing at only 44 percent and doctors did not allow him to work out. Doctors are undergoing tests to see if this will be a debilitating condition or a result of rapid weight loss prior to the start of the combine. College teams do not perform such tests due to cost, NFL teams do not spare such cost at potential investments.
Running backs may have to wait until the second round
Many teams are in need of help in the backfield in the upcoming season, and there weren’t many players at the position to impress the scouts. Only five running backs ran 40 times faster than 4.5 seconds. To add insult to injury, offensive lineman, Lane Johnson from Oklahoma, ran a 4.72 40, that’s faster than nine of the participating running backs. Alabama’s Eddie Lacy (pictured) was considered the top running back of this draft class, but was forced to skip the combine due to a torn hamstring.
The first female is invited to perform at the combine
Lauren Silberman has become the first female to earn a tryout at an NFL regional combine as a kicker. Although she knows her chances of playing in the NFL are slim, Silberman’s invitation alone has broken down barriers in the most masculine sport on the planet. This proves that anything is possible!
Due to no fair-use photo existing of Silberman nor a female kicker, this photo of David Akers will have to make due.
Tyrann Mathieu: Talent on the field, trouble off the field
Tyrann Mathieu of LSU has the talent of a first round pick, though his off-field incidences of the past are drawing trust issues from some of the teams interested in acquiring his services. An arrest from drug related incidences led to Mathieu to get kicked off the team at LSU. Mathieu insists his disciplinary issues are a thing of the past, citing players Patrick Peterson, Darrelle Revis, Morris Claiborne and Corey Webster taking him under their wings.
Scouts inquire about player’s sexual orientation
According to multiple sources, participants at the combine were asked such questions as “Do you have a girlfriend?” “Are you married?” “Do you like girls?” Nick Kasa, a tight end from the University of Colorado, confirmed this in a radio interview.
There remains to be a clear top pick
It remains unclear who will be selected by the Chiefs with the top overall pick. This year’s draft class lacks the Andrew Lucks and RGIIIs of yesteryear, there are a plethora of offensive lineman that have the size, but lack certain athletic abilities to be named the clear number one choice. The draft is still eight weeks away, Kansas City has nothing but time.