The 2014 NFL Combine is finally complete, and we’ve seen some impressive performances, and some not-so impressive performances. So who has helped their 2014 NFL Draft stock out the most? We started at quarterback (here), and in my opinion Logan Thomas (Virginia Tech) improved his draft stock the most. What about running backs? Who helped themselves the most, and who hurt themselves?
It’s hard not to pick Dri Archer (Kent State) here, especially after his blistering 4.26 second 40-yard dash. Even though I’m not totally convinced Archer is going to be a RB in the NFL (cough, cough, slot receiver), he tested with the tailbacks so that’s where I’ll group him as well. Not far behind him, however, was Jerick McKinnon (Georgia Southern).
Archer has been a do-it-all-wunderkind for the Golden Flashes the past four seasons, racking up 3,536 total yards from scrimmage with 36 TD’s to go along with 4 special teams TD’s. His size is not exactly what you’re looking for in a RB/WR (5-foot 7 6/8”, 173-pounds), but considering the type of speed he possesses, there’s a role for him somewhere on the field. And he’s got a little bit of power on his diminutive frame as well, as evidenced by his 20 reps of 225 on the bench press (for comparison’s sake, Stanford OG David Yankey, a presumed 1st rounder, pumped out 22 reps while checking in at nearly 6-foot 6, 315-pounds).
Archer also impressed with the on-field drills and interviews further helping his draft stock, which has soared in recent days. Prior to the combine, I’d have predicted him falling to the 6th or 7th round, potentially going undrafted. Post-combine, It’s hard seeing him available at the top of round 4.
McKinnon was nearly as impressive, checking in at just about 5-foot 9, 209-pounds and clocking a 4.41 40, and put up a staggering 32 reps of 225. He also logged a 40.5 inch vertical and 11 foot broad jump. This guy is a freak athletically.
He played QB in an option-run based offense in college, so he’s making a position switch, but to a position he’s essentially been playing. He’s got some serious power and explosion, and is a natural downhill runner. As a bonus, I think McKinnon has the athleticism and physicality to play safety at the next level if toting the rock doesn’t work out. Like Archer, McKinnon likely improved his stock by a couple of rounds.
Some others who impressed were Bishop Sankey (Washington) and Henry Josey (Missouri). Some who disappointed were Ka’Deem Carey (Arizona), Carlos Hyde (Ohio State) and De’Anthony Thomas (Oregon). Sankey (4.49) and Josey (4.43) both ran better than expected, which can’t be said for Carey (4.7) and Hyde (4.66). Granted Hyde pulled up at the end with a pulled hammy, but even if he didn’t, he didn’t look like he was going to come near his predicted 4.4. Thomas wasn’t slow at 4.5, but he was expected to post a number like Archer’s. At the very same size (but far different reputations), Thomas was almost .25 seconds slower and only put up 8 reps. The Pro Day’s for these three guys are going to be very interesting to say the least.
Which wide receivers helped themselves the most at the 2014 NFL Combine?