2009 NFL Combine Studs and Duds

John LorgeSenior Writer IFebruary 25, 2009

The 2009 NFL Scouting Combine has come and gone.  As scouts prepare to fly all over the country for individual workouts let’s recap the studs and duds of this year’s combine.


Pat White, QB/WR, West Virginia - Most are pressuring White to make the switch to WR he was by far the most impressive QB at the combine.  Only Stephen McGee was close to his 4.55 forty and he had the top vertical leap at 35 inches.  White's competitiveness oozes out of him and he was more than competitive in throwing drills.  The return of Slash is coming.

Darrius Heyward-Bey, WR, Maryland - Everyone knew DH-B was fast but a 4.30 forty is extremely fast.  He was at the top of the pack for the rest of the tests and may have snuck into the first round with this impressive showing.

Mike Thomas, WR, Arizona - It's hard to find a prospect who wants to be NFL player more than Thomas, who participated in both post-season bowls. A 4.40 forty, 40 inch vert, 10"6' broad jump, and 6.65 3-cone drill speak volumes about his work ethic.

Cedric Peerman, RB, Virginia - The only back to break both the sub-4.5 forty and 40 inch vert mark also put up 27 reps in the bench.

Ian Johnson, RB, Bosie State - Considered an average athlete in-pads, Johnson shined with a 4.46 forty, 4.18 shuttle, and 26 reps in the bench press.

Donald Brown, RB, Connecticut - Had the best forty of top tier backs with a 4.51 and he jumped a RB-best 41.5 inches, second best in the broad jump.

Jared Cook, TE, South Carolina - By far the most athletic TE at the combine with a 4.50 forty, 41 inch vert, and 23 reps on the bench.

Lydon Murtha, OL, Nebraska - The only lineman to break the 5 second mark (4.89), was also tops in the shuttle and 3-cone drill and second in the broad and vertical jumps. 

Jamon Meredith, OL, South Carolina - The Second best forty (5.03) and 31 reps on the bench may have put Meredith in the first round.

Jason Smith, OL, Baylor - A 5.22 forty is respectable while 33 reps on the bench put other elite tackle prospects to shame.

Brian Orakpo, DE/LB, Texas - The 4.70 forty shows he has the speed, 31 reps on the bench shows he has the strength, and 39.5 inches in the vert shows he has the explosion.  The total package.

Connor Barwin, DE/LB, Cincinnati - Set the bar for the D-line in the vert (40.5), broad jump (10"8'), shuttle (4.18), and 3-cone (6.87).  The former TE's workout was better than most LBs including a 4.66 forty.

Jarron Gilbert, DT, San Jose State - Followed up his infamous pool jump with a 4.87 forty and 35.5 inch vertical leap.

Aaron Curry, OLB, Wake Forest - Head of the class with his 4.56 forty and 37 inch vert while pumping out 25 reps in the bench.

Brain Cushing, OLB, Southern California - Top performer in every test, placed first in the bench (30 reps) and 3-cone drill (6.84).  His 4.74 forty means he can play up or down. 

Marcus Freeman, LB, Ohio State - Tied Cushing with 30 reps on the bench and forty at 4.74.  Explosive vert at 37 inches and a group-best shuttle time of 4.12 seconds.

Donald Washington, CB/S, Ohio State - Combine-best 45 inch vertical leap, jumping out of teammate Malcolm Jenkins' shadow for a moment.

David Buehler, K, Southern California - A 4.54 forty and 25 reps on the bench are very impressive.  Is he the next Todd Sauerbrun?


Shonn Greene, RB, Iowa - Ran a 4.62 forty and wasn't especially strong with 19 reps on the bench.  Nobody was expecting stud numbers but he needed to be more competitive.

Derrick Williams, WR, Penn State - Needed to break 4.6 (4.62) and only put up 15 reps.  Didn't shine in drills either.

Brandon Pettigrew, TE, Oklahoma State – Extra pounds since the senior bowl may have impacted his 4.83 forty time.

Andre Smith, OT, Alabama - Not only did Smith not participate in drills, he left the combine early without notifying any NFL personnel raising more character concerns.

Michael Oher, OT, Mississippi - Didn't do great in any tests or drills and his 21 reps were shocking for such a massive player.

Rey Maualuga, MLB, Southern California - Blew his hamstring at the end of his first forty and was unable to participate in any position specific drills.

James Laurinits, MLB, Ohio State - Great on film but could not break 4.8 on his forty and 22 reps on the bench were not as strong as some suggested.

Vontae Davis, CB, Illinois
- A 4.49 forty and 25 reps on the bench are not slouch numbers but he couldn't best his brother Vernon Davis' combine.  This above-average showing will allow more accomplished on-field corners to jump ahead of him.