NFL Combine 2013: Prospects Who Have Already Improved Their Stock
The NFL combine just got underway and several prospects wasted no time in turning heads.
We must always take combine performances with a grain of salt, but doing well in these glorified workouts is never a bad thing. These four players have already taken advantage of their opportunity to shine.
Combine results from NFL.com.
Terron Armstead - OT, Arkansas Pine-Bluff; Lane Johnson - OT, Oklahoma
These two may be this year's example of NFL combine freak. Every year there is at least one player whose achievements at the combine make us say wow, and early on, Armstead and Johnson look like solid candidates.
As a 6'5", 306-pound offensive tackle, Armstead ran the 40-yard dash in a blistering 4.71 seconds.
Johnson wasn't far behind him. The converted tight end stands 6'6" and weighs 300 pounds; he ran the 40 in 4.72 seconds.
Johnson was also a solid performer in the 20-yard shuttle (4.52 seconds) and vertical jump (34").
I'm not entirely sure how well his vertical leap will serve him in the NFL, but I don't suppose it hurts him in any way.
Johnson was already considered a first-round selection by most draft prognosticators, but after this showing, he may have locked himself in.
Armstead was lesser known, but he has at least made himself an intriguing prospect for teams to consider.
Chris Gragg - TE, Arkansas
Clearly the best pure athlete at tight end is Gragg. He ran the fastest 40-yard dash (4.5 seconds) of any player at the position, and he also had the highest vertical leap (37.5") and broad jump (125").
At 6'3", 244 pounds, Gragg isn't a massive tight end, but his speed could be a great asset to a team. Durability will be a concern, though.
He missed seven games in 2012 and the entire 2009 season. As a relatively small tight end, many may have questions as to whether he can endure the rigors of playing the position in the NFL.
He did catch 22 passes for 289 yards and three touchdowns in his final year with the Razorbacks.
Perhaps he could be a solid pass-catching fullback or H-back in the mold of Frank Wycheck, Marcel Reese or even Delanie Walker.
Either way, teams have to be excited about such an awesome athlete.
Tyler Eifert - TE, Notre Dame
Who is the top tight end prospect in the draft?
Eifert's performance at the combine may have vaulted him ahead of Stanford's Zach Ertz as the top tight end in the 2013 NFL draft.
He wasn't quite on par with Gragg, but he more than proved he's a solid athlete.
At 6'5", 250 pounds, and hailing from a national powerhouse, Eifert already had ample attention coming into workouts. After posting a 4.68 40-yard dash, 22 reps in the bench press and a 35" vertical leap, it's clear he has the athleticism to succeed in the NFL.
Eifert only backed up the college production and ball skills he displayed at Notre Dame. He had 50 receptions for 685 yards and four touchdowns in 2012, and he will almost certainly be selected in the first round.
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