Washington running back Chris Polk weighed in lighter and ran faster at UW's pro day on Thursday than he previously recorded during pre-draft workouts, further increasing his stock as the 2012 NFL Draft draws closer.
Weighing a slim 213 pounds, Polk ran the electronically-timed 40-yard dash in just 4.49 seconds. According to Danny O'Neil of the Seattle Times, Polk has lost 13 pounds since the Senior Bowl in January while also slashing nearly a tenth of a second off his 40 time since the NFL combine (4.57).
O'Neil also reported that Polk did 16 reps on the 225-pound bench press and looked smooth in the receiving drills.
A solid top-50 pick in April's draft, Polk is considered by some a fringe first-round selection with a trend upwards. His performance at UW's pro day did nothing to stop that momentum.
Depending on what kind of back teams at the end of the first round are looking for, Polk could be the second player at his position to hear his name called. Alabama's Trent Richardson is a lock to be the first running back selected, but it's wide open for the No. 2 slot.
Miami's Lamar Miller, Virginia Tech's David Wilson, Boise State's Doug Martin and Oregon's LaMichael James can also make a claim to being the draft's second-best running back.
Given what he has accomplished leading up to the draft, it would be hard to tell Polk that he's not capable of being a three-down, impact running back early on at the next level. When drafting a running back in the early rounds, that's all you can really ask for.
While I still give Miller a slight edge over Polk on the "home-run factor," Polk has closed the gap considerably. It wouldn't surprise many if Polk were the second overall running back selected in April over Miller.
Picking Polk early in the second round makes a lot of sense for a team like the Cleveland Browns or Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
2012 NFL Mock Draft
1. Indianapolis Colts – Andrew Luck, QB, Stanford
3. Minnesota Vikings – Matt Kalil, OT, USC
4. St. Louis Rams – Justin Blackmon, WR, Oklahoma State (via trade with Cleveland Browns)
5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Morris Claiborne, CB, LSU
6. Washington Redskins – Michael Floyd, WR, Notre Dame
7. Jacksonville Jaguars – Melvin Ingram, DE, South Carolina
8. Miami Dolphins – Courtney Upshaw, OLB/DE, Alabama
9. Carolina Panthers – Michael Brockers, DT, LSU
10. Buffalo Bills – Quinton Coples, DE, North Carolina
11. Kansas City Chiefs – Trent Richardson, RB, Alabama
12. Seattle Seahawks – Nick Perry, DE, USC
13. Arizona Cardinals – Riley Reiff, OT, Iowa
14. Dallas Cowboys – Dre Kirkpatrick, CB, Alabama
15. Philadelphia Eagles – Luke Kuechly, LB, Boston College
16. New York Jets – Mark Barron, S, Alabama
17. Cincinnati Bengals – David DeCastro, G, Stanford
18. San Diego Chargers – Alshon Jeffery, WR, South Carolina
19. Chicago Bears – Jonathan Martin, OT, Stanford
20. Tennessee Titans – Cordy Glenn, G, Georgia
21. Cincinnati Bengals – Lamar Miller, RB, Miami
22. St. Louis Rams – Fletcher Cox, DT, Mississippi State
23. Detroit Lions – Stephon Gilmore, CB, South Carolina
24. Pittsburgh Steelers – Dontari Poe, NT, Memphis
25. Denver Broncos – Devon Still, DT, Penn State
26. Houston Texans – Kendall Wright, WR, Baylor
27. New England Patriots – Harrison Smith, S, Notre Dame
28. Green Bay Packers – Whitney Mercilus, DE/OLB, Illinois
29. Baltimore Ravens – Peter Konz, C, Wisconsin
30. San Francisco 49ers – Mohamed Sanu, WR, Rutgers
31. New England Patriots – Rueben Randle, WR, LSU
32. New York Giants – Dont'a Hightower, LB, Alabama