NFL Draft 2012: 7 Things the Scouting Combine Didn't Tell Us

Wes StueveContributor IIIMarch 16, 2012

NFL Draft 2012: 7 Things the Scouting Combine Didn't Tell Us

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    The NFL Scouting Combine is a huge part of the evaluation process.

    It tells us how fast a player is, how athletic he is, how strong he is. It can even tell us how well a player interviews.

    The problem isn't with what the combine tells us, but what it doesn't. The combine tells us only so much about actual football skills, which, in the end, is what matters.

    What didn't the combine tell us this year?

How Explosive Justin Blackmon Is

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    Justin Blackmon has a huge fanbase. The 6'1", 207-pounder was insanely productive at Oklahoma State, and he is well-known throughout the country.

    Blackmon is great running with the ball in his hands, and he is an absolute force underneath. His explosiveness is a bit of an issue, though.

    He doesn't necessarily struggle to separate, but he isn't great at it either. Odds are Blackmon will never be a great deep threat, but we don't know quite how limited he will be. 

Whether Robert Griffin Can Stand Strong in the Pocket

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    Now that the Redskins own the No. 2 pick, we know where Robert Griffin will be going. The Heisman winner is a terrific prospect with incredible athleticism.

    Griffin's physical ability is undeniable. He's one of the most talented quarterbacks in football—professional or otherwise.

    However, Griffin sometimes looks jittery in the pocket, and his height is a bit of a concern. He is a pass-first quarterback, but he needs to remain poised under pressure. 

If Ryan Tannehill Can Consistently Make Sound Decisions

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    A former wide receiver, Ryan Tannehill is a fantastic athlete. The 6'4", 221-pounder possesses a rocket arm, and he can run too. Physically, he is an elite prospect.

    At Texas A&M, though, Tannehill threw far too many stupid throws. He often seemed too late in deciding where to go with the ball, and sometimes he simply threw into coverage.

    Some of this can certainly be attributed to his lack of experience, and Tannehill will probably improve. How much he will improve remains up for debate. 

How Fluid Nick Perry Is

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    At the combine, Nick Perry weighed in at 6'3", 271 pounds and ran an unofficial 4.5 40-yard dash, while also putting up 35 bench reps of 225 pounds.

    Impressive, to say the least.

    Perry is a physical specimen, certainly, but is he as good of a football player?

    At USC, Perry produced reasonably well, but he never looked smooth off the edge. He seemed tight-hipped, and he struggled to bend and make plays towards the quarterback.

    Maybe Perry is more flexible than we give him credit for, but the combine didn't show it. 

Why Dontari Poe Didn't Produce at Memphis

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    At 6'4", 346 pounds, Dontari Poe is a large man. His 4.87 unofficial 40-time and 44 bench reps make him an insanely athletic one too.

    Based purely on talent, Poe is one of the best players in the draft, and he will almost certainly be a Top-11 pick. But is Poe really that good of a player?

    At Memphis, Poe constantly underachieved. His numbers were lackluster, and his ability didn't really show up on tape. Why was this? Was it coaching and surrounding talent?

    Or was it simple lack of motivation and skill? 

How Good of a Pass-Rusher Quinton Coples Is

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    Quinton Coples is known more for his athleticism than his actual football skill. The 6'6", 284-pounder has played both defensive tackle and end, and his physical ability is impressive.

    Coples is solid against the run, and he could play defensive end in a 4-3 or 3-4 scheme. Coples' pass-rushing ability is more of a question.

    The North Carolina defensive end is certainly powerful, but he lacks a great first step. He was still productive, though, and it's possible he can get by without elite explosiveness. 

If Janoris Jenkins Can Be Trusted

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    At Florida, Janoris Jenkins was one of college football's best cornerbacks. However, he was arrested multiple times and was eventually kicked off Florida's team.

    No one doubts Jenkins' physical ability. He is a great athlete with excellent physical skills. On the field, Jenkins is, at worst, a Top-15 pick.

    Jenkins' off-the-field issues are serious, though. He claims to have quit smoking marijuana, but no one really knows if this is true or if he will continue to stay out of trouble.