NFL Combine 2012: Robert Griffin III and the Biggest Winners

Ryan Phillips@@RumorsandRantsContributor IIIFebruary 29, 2012

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - FEBRUARY 26: Quarterback Robert Griffin III of Baylor runs the 40-yard dash during the 2012 NFL Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium on February 26, 2012 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
Joe Robbins/Getty Images

The 2012 NFL Scouting Combine is in the rear-view mirror, and as we bid farewell to the league's annual cattle call, it is time to look back and see who were the most impressive guys at this year's event.

As I see it, three guys earned themselves a ton of money thanks to how they performed in Indianapolis. Here is a list of the combine's biggest winners.


Robert Griffin III, Quarterback, Baylor

What more can be said about what Griffin did at the combine? He showed up with concerns about his size dogging him and measured in at 6'2" and 223 pounds. Then he ran a blistering 4.41-second 40-yard dash (official time) and followed that up with a 39-inch vertical. 

Griffin elected not to throw at the event—he will save that for his pro day—but still, he came, he saw and he conquered. 

With news that the St. Louis Rams are looking to trade the No. 2 overall pick, it's a safe bet that Griffin will be the guy selected in that spot if someone trades up to get him. He answered virtually all the questions about him at the combine, and his pro day should just be icing on the cake.


Nick Perry, Defensive End/Outside Linebacker, USC

Perry has been a fast riser over the past few weeks, but the pass-rushing specialist showed up and impressed at the combine, which probably solidified him as a mid first-round pick. 

The Michigan native ran a 4.64-second 40-yard dash, a 7.25-second three-cone drill and a 4.66-second 20-yard shuttle. Those numbers were all indicative of the kind of burst Perry has off the edge. The USC product then posted 35 reps on the bench press, unleashed a 38.5-inch vertical leap and a 124-inch broad jump. 

After measuring in at 6'3" and a solid 271 pounds, that kind of athleticism was incredibly impressive. Perry showed that he has the versatility and speed to be an end in a 4-3 scheme, while he could probably manage a switch to outside linebacker in a 3-4 defense.

Having seen a ton of tape on Perry before this week, I'm more convinced than ever that he will be an absolute terror in the NFL as an edge rusher.


Dontari Poe, Defensive Tackle, Memphis

I have said this before, but no player earned himself more money at this year's combine than Poe. After measuring in at a massive 6'4" and 346 pounds, the Memphis product wowed those in attendance with his superior athleticism.

Poe threw up a combine-high 44 bench press reps, then ran a 4.98-second 40-yard dash, recorded a 29.5-inch vertical leap, a 105-inch broad jump and then busted out a 7.9-second time in the three-cone drill and a 4.56-second time in the 20-yard shuttle.

For a guy at his size, that kind of athleticism is just plain freaky. Poe went from being a top-five defensive tackle in this class and possible back end of the first-round guy, to almost certainly being one of the first defensive players selected. 

His best fit would be as a nose tackle in a 3-4 defense, and dominant guys at that spot are hard to find. He will be a highly sought-after player on draft day.