Beware of the Workout Warrior: 2009 NFL Draft Edition

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Beware of the Workout Warrior: 2009 NFL Draft Edition

It's well-documented in the annals of NFL Draft history that the Combine matters. Every year, numerous prospects head to Indianapolis in "make or break" mode.

Run a good 40 time, and your stock is sure to be inflated (Right, Michael Bennett?). Fail the Wonderlic test, and prepare for a combination of plummeting stock and public scrutiny (Can you confirm this, Vince Young?)

However, the first player to really earn the title "workout warrior" was the immortal Michael Brian Mamula. An undersized junior defensive end out of Boston College, Mamula was viewed as a third rounder at best by most scouts despite his 17 sacks in his last collegiate campaign.

He walked into the Combine an average prospect and walked out as the next coming of Reggie White. Running a 4.63 40, the defensive end was faster than many linebackers in the draft.

This was a plus in itself, but his bench press was just icing on the cake. After putting up 225 lbs more times than many offensive linemen, teams began to salivate. Eventually, the Eagles traded with the Bucaneers so they could take the phenom who ended his career with a measly 31.5 sacks.

Oh, and the guys Tampa Bay took in the first round? Some guys named Warren Sapp and Derrick Brooks. Maybe you've heard of them.

The moral of the story is that every year, a player inflates his draft stock based on drills that have relatively little to do with their actually football ability. And this year should be no different.

With a plethora of speedsters and freak athletes participating in this year's combine, there will surely be more than a few disappointed GMs a few years down the road. Here are five guys who will probably con teams into drafting them well above their skill level.

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