The 2013 NFL scouting combine is coming to a close, with only the defensive backs' drills remaining.
We've got the lowdown on which Big 12 players really wowed the scouts and analysts. Keep in mind that even if your favorite player isn't listed here doesn't necessarily mean he didn't impress—scouts and analysts may have already been impressed, meaning their outstanding showings were in line with their expectations.
Also, a player's with a lackluster 40-yard dash time, for example, may not reflect a hit to their overall stock depending only on their position, established strengths and playing style. As one NFL.com analyst said (paraphrasing): Just because a defender is fast doesn't mean much if the receiver is going to left and right, as opposed to the equally valuable ability to reach second-gear downfield. It's all about instincts and reactions.
That said, here are the Big 12 players who impressed me the most.
Landry Jones, quarterback, Oklahoma
Sure he's slow as molasses (5.11 in the 40) and was throwing without defenders in his face, but shouldn't he be perfect when working on the field? Not always—scouts look for good footwork, mechanics and zip on the ball and Jones did well in those facets of the passing game.
The question is if whether he can do the same in what NFL Network's Kurt Warner categorized as "big moments." I probably don't have to explain what "big moments" are to Sooner fans.
Geno Smith, quarterback, West Virginia
Geno Smith was his usual self, but I was surprised at his 40-speed: 4.59, the fastest among all quarterbacks participating in the drill. Because he didn't participate in the Senior Bowl, a good combine was important for Smith and he passed with flying colors.
Tavon Austin, receiver, West Virginia
Tavon Austin continued to wow onlookers when he posted a 4.34 in the 40. Austin didn't have a great vertical at 32." He also finishing second in the 20-yard shuttle and, weighing in at 174, managed to bench press (225 pounds) 14 times. From NFL.com's Daniel Jeremiah:
His time of 4.34 created quite a buzz in the building. Additionally, I loved his combination of explosiveness and preciseness as a route runner during the field workout.
Marquise Goodwin, receiver, Texas
Goodwin set the mark for the 2013 NFL combines when he ran an official 4.27 in the 40. According to CBS Sports, "Gil Brandt of NFL.com and Mike Mayock of NFL Network indicated Goodwin was timed in under 4.2 seconds," which would have been a record in Indy.
Josh Boyce, receiver, TCU
Josh Boyce ran a 4.38 in the 40, jumped over 10'9" in the broad jump, 34" in the vertical and ran a 6.68 in the cones. Boyce is an underdog against so many higher-profile receivers, but this kid could be a sleeper. Want proof? Here's what Optimum Scouting said about his speed:
Deep speed isn’t a special trait of Boyce’s either, as he’ll likely time in the mid-4.5’s or higher in the 40.
Lane Johnson, offensive lineman, Oklahoma
Lane Johnson ran a 4.72, jumped a 34 vertical and did 34 bench press reps. He's a complete stud. More from News OK:
His 4.72 40-yard dash was the second fastest ever run by an offensive lineman and his 1.61 10-yard split was quicker than anyone’s, which some scouts say is more important. He outran 10 of the 13 quarterbacks, including K-State Heisman finalist Collin Klein (4.78), and skill position players such as Nebraska’s Rex Burkhead (4.73) and Missouri’s T.J. Moe (4.74).
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