With the NFL Scouting Combine comes a ton of new information.
It only makes sense. NFL executives are surrounded by the media, and we are learning new things about draft prospects too. Of course information is going to surface.
It could be something small about a low-level free agent. Or it could be something huge about one of the draft's best players.
Some of the news we learn is expected. Some of it, though, is completely unexpected.
Not all of these are mind-blowing, but we weren't exactly predicting them all either.
It's easy to see both sides of this.
On one hand, Peyton Manning is one of the best quarterbacks to ever play the game. On the other end of the spectrum, though, is the fact that Manning is almost 36 years old and coming off multiple neck surgeries.
If Manning's recovery were believe to be going well, this would be a no-brainer. It really isn't, though. The NFL legend is medically cleared, but he isn't yet throwing the ball all that well.
Regardless, we expected a few teams to be interested in Manning. It's more than a few, though. It sounds like half the NFL wants Manning as their quarterback in 2012.
The Jets, Cardinals, Redskins, Dolphins, Chiefs and even the Texans have been linked.
Before the combine, we expected Robert Griffin would be the No. 2 pick.
Now, it is all but guaranteed.
The Washington Redskins are reportedly offering a bounty for the Heisman winner, and the Cleveland Browns and Miami Dolphins are also interested.
Griffin wowed everyone at the combine. He was charming, intelligent and funny in his press conference, and his workouts were simply outstanding. There's nothing not to like.
The Rams are hoping for an Eli Manning package for Griffin, and they just might get it.
During the 2011 season, Alshon Jeffery looked slow and fat. The South Carolina wideout was rumored to weigh 240 pounds, but that wasn't exactly true.
In fact, Jeffery weighed in at 216 pounds.
Few wide receivers have as much potential as Jeffery does. At this weight, Jeffery could be picked in the top 15 or higher.
Though Jeffery did not run the 40-yard dash, this was a terrific—and unexpected—combine for him.
Analysts pegged Dontari Poe as a sensational athlete, but was he really as good as the hype suggested?
The answer is yes, as it turns out.
Poe weighed in at 6'4", 346 pounds and ran an unofficial 4.87 40-yard dash. The Memphis star also put up an impressive 44 reps in the bench, giving him an unbelievable combine performance.
So what does this mean?
Dontari Poe will be drafted in the top 11. There is almost no way the nose tackle falls past the Kansas City Chiefs, who have made it known they need to upgrade in the front seven.
Poe is too talented to fall any further.
Vontaze Burfict's stock took a beating during the 2011 season. He went from a possible top-10 pick to a late first-rounder. Now, Burfict isn't even sniffing the first day.
Analysts were concerned about Burfict's character, but mostly his aggression on the field. The Arizona State linebacker did nothing to silence the doubts when he blamed his coaches for his rough season.
However, Burfict weighed in at 248 pounds and seemed primed for a good combine.
Then he actually worked out.
Burfict ran the 40-yard dash in 4.93 seconds and jumped just 30" in the vertical leap.
This shows not only a possible lack of speed, but a lack of work ethic.
The once-prized prospect could be headed for the third day of the draft.
Many seemed to be under the impression that Andrew Luck wasn't surrounded by talent at Stanford. At the scouting combine, Chris Owusu showed how untrue that is.
The 6'0", 196-pounder ran a 4.36 40-yard dash and showed off a 40.5" vertical.
This is the wide receiver who gained just 376 yards in 2011.
Now, Owusu did have concussion issues, but no one realized just how talented the wideout was. Luck was not only not throwing to stiffs, he was actually throwing to some pretty insane players.