I’m no fan of the NFL Scouting Combine. In fact, the combine and college football’s National Signing Day are the least appealing football events in existence, but the Pro Bowl is gaining quickly.
While I understand the need for the combine, I don’t put much stock in it when it comes to assessing a player’s potential to succeed in the NFL. Stopwatches and barbells can only tell you so much about how a player’s skills will translate to the professional level.
Two BYU products participated in the 2012 combine, neither of which participated in each of the seven drills.
First up was offensive lineman Matt Reynolds, who took part in the 40-yard dash and endurance bench press on Saturday in Indianapolis. Reynolds’ 5.37-second 40-yard dash time and 25-rep bench pressing of 225 lbs. did not rank him among the position’s top performances.
Reynolds’ pre-combine scouting grade places him in the upper region of the “Draftable Player” category, which, according to the combine’s website, could potentially lead to a long-term career as a backup in the league.
Classifying defensive lineman Hebron “Loni” Fangupo as a BYU product is a stretch, given the fact he played only one season in Provo. He played two seasons of junior college ball at Mt. San Antonio College in southern California and a season at USC.
Fangupo turned in a second-best defensive lineman performance in the endurance bench press event on Monday. Fangupo’s 36 reps were second to Memphis’ Dontari Poe’s 44 reps.
Fangupo also ran the 40 in 5.18 seconds, the three-cone drill in 7.94 seconds and the 20-yard shuffle in 4.62 seconds. The 323-lb. specimen also leaped 31.5 inches in the vertical jump and 99 inches in the broad jump.
Based on their pre-combine scouting assessments, both players are projected to go in the fourth to seventh rounds of the upcoming NFL draft on April 26-28.
Prior to the 2010 season, Reynolds was projected as a first-round choice in the 2011 draft by ESPN’s Todd McShay. Instead of chasing the bright lights of the NFL, Reynolds opted to return for his senior season in 2011.
It will be interesting to see where these former Cougars land in the draft, but BYU fans should probably not expect them to go very early.