Montee Ball didn't impress enough during the 2013 NFL Scouting Combine to raise his draft status.
Prior to the event, Ball was a third- or fourth-rounder in a running back class with few capable of sneaking into Round 1. So, there was an opportunity to shine on a key stage of the draft process.
Instead, Ball fumbled the chance away on certain drills.
Now he did not put a dent his draft stock, because we know what this guy is capable of on the field. As for the combine, though, Ball clocked at 4.66 seconds on the 40-yard dash and was among the weakest backs with just 15 reps on the bench press.
Ball also managed only 32 inches on the vertical leap and 4.40 seconds on the 20-yard shuttle.
An NFL scout who was at the combine and has evaluated Ball agreed to provide his analysis, on the condition of anonymity.
"For the teams that place a lot of emphasis on the combine, it certainly will hurt (Ball)," the scout said. "Unfortunately for him, that number is going to stick out on draft boards and probably make him fall in the draft.
Great time at the combine! Will continue to grind for our pro day! Need to improve on a few things but all in all my film speaks for itself.— Montee Ball (@M_Ball28) February 25, 2013
For certain, there is good news as well, though.
He hit 6.88 seconds on the three-cone drill, which reveals the balance and body control to maintain quickness and keep a low center of gravity. This is where Ball provides teams as a competitive advantage, because his size frame of 5'10", 214 pounds will blast the gut of a defense.
When will Montee Ball get drafted?
Factor in the 2011 and 2012 campaigns that combined for 4,131 total yard and 61 scores, and clearly, he knows how to rack up yards and find the end zone.
Not presenting that immediate breakaway speed and acceleration, however, is what will cost Ball on draft weekend. Pro football is a league driven by explosive offenses with lightning-fast running backs and laser-armed quarterbacks.
Nevertheless, his reliable ball-carrier vision and ability to make plays out of the backfield will get him an opportunity in the NFL: Because what happens on the field on game day is the only production that counts.