The 2013 NFL combine was a huge success for some hopeful draftees, but others hurt their stock and still have a lot to prove at their pro days prior to April’s draft.
We’re here to focus on that latter group, as some of the most intriguing prospects in this crop of talent didn’t perform up to the lofty expectations set for them coming into the Indianapolis-based event.
Let’s take a look at some of this year’s worst combine performances and point out what these young men must do to get improve their position on the big boards.
All combine stats and measurements courtesy of NFL.com
1: Damontre Moore, DE, Texas A&M
Weight: 250 lbs.
40-Yard Dash: 4.95 seconds
Bench Press: 12 reps
Vertical Jump: 35.5"
Broad Jump: 122"
This Aggies star had possibly the most damaging combine of any player, even going so far as admitting (per NFL.com's Dan Hanzus) that he was disappointed in his outing, pointing out that it was nowhere near the results he was achieving in training.
While that may or may not be damage control, the simple fact is this defensive end’s stock is plummeting, and rapidly. Perhaps the only thing that can save it is a complete 180 workout at his pro day in College Station.
Moore is going to need to speed up his sluggish 40 and bench more than a paltry 12 reps if scouts are going to start believing in this kid as an athlete.
His jumping ability was a small saving grace, as his broad and vertical leaps put him near the top of all DEs who participated. However, those aren’t critical drills for the position, as strength and speed are more of a focus when evaluating a D-lineman.
Unless Moore drastically changes his tune and gets better results in some final workouts, expect him to drop down from the pre-combine, early first-round projections.
2: Stepfan Taylor, RB, Stanford
Weight: 214 lbs.
40-Yard Dash: 4.76 seconds
Bench Press: 17 reps
Vertical Jump: 30"
Broad Jump: 110"
3 Cone: 7.13 seconds
20-Yard Shuttle: 4.50 seconds
60-Yard Shuttle: 12.06 seconds
Taylor didn’t do himself any favors in Indy, as the Cardinal running back was a mediocre prospect to begin with and has now sunk even lower in status.
While he’s never been a back that blew observers away with blazing speed or incredible athleticism, Taylor just proved that he’s simply not an athlete whatsoever with these underwhelming drills.
Had he been able to at least show that he possesses decent strength or agility, the Stanford RB would have lived up to expectations and kept his stock steady. Instead, Taylor’s appearance this weekend did nothing but make him a look foolish.
He has to hope GMs use more tape from his in-game performances rather than combine workouts when evaluating him as a prospect.
3: Manti Te’o, LB, Notre Dame
Weight: 241 lbs.
40-Yard Dash: 4.82 seconds
Vertical Jump: 33"
Broad Jump: 113"
3 Cone: 7.13 seconds
20-Yard Shuttle: 4.27 seconds
Te’o needed to come into the combine and absolutely dominate in order to deflect criticism and prove that he belongs in the heart of the first round.
Instead, the opposite happened. He ran a sluggish 40-yard dash, the most concerning issue, and was rather mediocre in the rest of his drills.
The Notre Dame linebacker apparently lost weight (per NFL Draft Scout), slimming down to 241 lbs. from his playing weight of 255 lbs. in order to clock a better speed in the sprint, but instead came off looking rather slow.
Combine that with the fact that he avoided the bench press—an area he may have excelled in if not for the shed pounds—and we have an incomplete grade for Te’o.
Ideally, Te’o will get back up near his playing weight in time for the Fighting Irish’s pro day, improve his 40 time and blow scouts away with a solid bench press showing.
If he can accomplish this, there’s still hope that the controversial linebacker is drafted early.