1) Henry is a stellar athlete
When you’re the Heisman Trophy winner, there’s going to be plenty attention on you at the Combine. And Alabama running back Derrick Henry did not disappoint when he hit the field on Friday.
Keep in mind that Henry checked in at 6-foot-3 and 247 pounds this week. On Friday, he ran a 4.54-second 40-yard dash, put up a 37-inch vertical jump, and a 130-inch (or 10-foot, 10-inch) broad jump. Those are some serious numbers, which Rotoworld’s Josh Norris effectively pointd out on Twitter.
Last year's top SPARQ RB, Ameer Abdullah, posted a 10'10" broad jump at 205 lbs.— Josh Norris (@JoshNorris) February 26, 2016
Derrick Henry posted a 10'10" at 247 lbs.
Based on his remarkable season -- 395 carries, 2,219 yards, 28 touchdowns -- Henry didn’t have much to prove on Friday. But he certainly still did look impressive.
2) Elliott is one serious competitor
If there was one thing that became clear from listening to running back Ezekiel Elliott, it’s his competitiveness. Yes, the back helped lead Ohio State to a National Championship for the 2014 season. And yes, he’s amassed over 4,000 yards from scrimmage and 41 touchdowns over the last two years. But to him, the most important element of his game may be his pass blocking.
He also had a strong on-field day at the Combine, solidifying himself as one of the top-two backs available in this year’s draft. He recorded a 32.5-inch vertical, a 118-inch broad jump, and ran a 4.47 40.
For more on Elliott, check out our therams.com feature on him here.
3) Run fast, jump high, etc.
Henry and Elliott may be the consensus top two picks, but two other running backs were arguably the top performers in the agility drills.
Daniel Lasco of Cal was in the top four of running backs with a 4.46 40, a 41.5-inch vertical, and a 135-inch broad jump. He had some injury issues in 2015, but could be a nice pickup for a team.
Tyler Ervin of San Jose St. had a similar day recording a 4.41 40, a 39-inch vertical, and a 130-inch broad jump. He had a nice final collegiate season, rushing for 1,469 yards and 13 touchdowns.
But when it comes to the 40 times, Keith Marshall of Georgia was the fastest on Friday, running a blazing 4.31. After a strong freshman year, Marshall suffered a torn ACL in his sophomore season and was essentially passed over the rest of his collegiate career. But Nick Chubb’s injury in 2015 did allow Marshall some opportunities later in the season. He’ll be an intriguing prospect to monitor not only through the draft process, but also in the 2016 season.
AROUND THE TWITTERVERSE
A few of my favorite Tweets from Day 3 at the Combine…
Alabama LB Reggie Ragland promised he'd come down from 259 (Senior Bowl). Did just that. Weighed 247 in Indy. Dropped 12 in only a month.— Chase Goodbread (@ChaseGoodbread) February 26, 2016
DeForest Buckner on his huge 11 3/4 hands: "Growing up my siblings would make fun of me for em.When I got here, I was shooting for that 12."— Bruce Feldman (@BruceFeldmanCFB) February 26, 2016
#LetsGetWeird with Joey Bosa. Future son to be a 1st Rd pick?— Myles Simmons (@MylesASimmons) February 26, 2016
"I guess I'll have to marry a tall, athletic girl to breed football players."
I’ll admit, it’s narcissistic to put my own Tweet in there, but I thought this was pretty funny. For some background: Ohio State defensive end Joey Bosa is likely to get picked high in the first round. The Dolphins picked his father, John Bosa, in the first round of the 1987 draft. So a reporter asked Bosa how he could keep the family streak going, resulting in that quote.
Let’s get weird, indeed.
“I would say that would be a mistake if they did that. Like I said, I plan on doing my pro day, so if they feel like there’s a red flag or anything, that’s my job to go out there and get rid of it. So that would be a big mistake if they did that and they slept on me.”
—UCLA LB Myles Jack on if team doctors may think he’s too risky to select with a high draft pick.
—Ole Miss DT Robert Nkemdiche on the on-field improvements he has to make heading into his rookie year.
“Definitely. Just because of being in the shotgun, and I know a lot of teams in the NFL -- basically all of them -- are under-center teams. But there have been some coaches spitting some facts to me -- about 61 percent percent of snaps were out of the shotgun this year. I think the game is kind of going that way. But, obviously, it’s still not fully that way. So I have to get used to those three-step, five-step, and seven-step drops. But that’s all I’ve been doing, so I’m very confident in that.”
—Memphis QB Paxton Lynch on if his footwork may be the aspect of his game that needs the most work.
It’s the day we’ve all been waiting for, as the quarterbacks, wide receivers, and tight ends will have their on-field workouts. That means we’ll get to see the top QBs like Jared Goff, Carson Wentz, and Paxton Lynch throw one right after the other. Stay tuned, because it should be a pretty interesting day.