Offensive tackles are always a hot commodity in the NFL draft, and the 2014 NFL Scouting Combine features a handful of prospects who entered Indianapolis with first-round grades.
At least one of those young men didn't do himself any favors.
Kouandjio was among the first group of offensive linemen to work out Saturday, and the 6'7", 322-pounder stood out for all the wrong reasons.
First, Kouandjio struggled in the bench press, managing only 21 reps at 225 pounds. It's a painfully low number, especially given his size.
Then Kouandjio ran a woefully slow 40-yard dash time of 5.59 seconds, according to NFL.com.
As Rotoworld's Josh Norris pointed out, Kouandjio's 10-yard split time (indicative of a lineman's burst) wasn't any better:
Cyrus Kouandjio second "unofficial" forty: 5.53. 10 yd of 1.87— Josh Norris (@JoshNorris) February 22, 2014
Bleacher Report's Ian Kenyon sees it as a concern, enough to question Kouandjio's ability to play tackle in the NFL:
Cyrus looked so slow. I'd be nervous putting him outside. Would put him inside and just let him maul people.— Ian Kenyon (@IanKenyonNFL) February 22, 2014
He wasn't alone.
Kouandjio's 40 time is more evidence that he's a best fit RT or G at the next level. slow, heavy feet. mauler-type OT.— Chris Dougherty (@CDoughertyNFL) February 22, 2014
Group 1 then moved on to blocking and agility drills.
Things did not improve.
Cyrus Kouandjio having a rough one. Completely stopped his feet and lost balance blocking the bag.— Darren Page (@DarrenPage15) February 22, 2014
Kouandjio was slow out of breaks, stiff when turning his hips and lacked both power in his blocks and quickness in his movements.
Former NFL player and analyst Anthony Becht saw a player who showed up in Indy out of shape:
Cyrus Kouandjio looks tired and out of shape to me. Hitting bags w/ out power and leg drive.Biggest interview of his life. #NFLCombine— Anthony Becht (@Anthony_Becht) February 22, 2014
It was just an awful all-around performance, one that had at least one draftnik questioning whether Kouandjio truly merits first-round consideration:
Echoing others, Cyrus Kouandjio has to be considered the Combine's biggest disappointment so far. No way he's a 1st round worthy talent.— Jeff Risdon (@JeffRisdon) February 22, 2014
In fact, Tony Pauline of Draft Insider tweeted Kouandjio may have cost himself more than a little money:
Back from combine workout. Bills scout commented earlier, "Cyrus Kouandjio say goodbye to round one"...sluggish, slow & totally unprepared.— Tony Pauline (@TonyPauline) February 22, 2014
It's a fair criticism. Granted, Kouandjio has, as Miller put it, "incredible raw tools." However, Miller also thought pre-combine that "worst-case scenario, he's a d----d-good right tackle for a long time. Best-case scenario, he's your blindside protector for more than a decade."
Is Cyrus Kouandjio a first-round talent?
On a day where players like Taylor Lewan and Greg Robinson glided across the track, Kouandjio's lumbering performance certainly casts doubt over his ability to play left tackle at the professional level.
Fortunately, it appears as though Kouandjio won't have a problem if a team wants to shift him to the right side. In an interview with the The Charlotte Observer, he stated, "I actually played right tackle all of my high school career, and I played left tackle all college career, so it doesn’t make any difference to me."
As Ian Rapoport of NFL.com reports, the news just got worse as Saturday wore on:
Bad news for #Bama OT Cyrus Kouandjio. I’m told several teams have failed him on his physical. Arthritic knee from failed surgery. “Ugly.”— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) February 22, 2014
However, all is not lost. After all, there's loads of tape of Kouandjio's successful 2013 season in Tuscaloosa for NFL teams to pore over.
As Scott Wright of Draft Countdown reminded us, one bad combine does not a player make:
Alabama OT Cyrus Kouandjio reminds me more and more of Anthony Davis (49ers), who didn't exactly light it up at the Scouting Combine either.— Scott Wright (@DraftCountdown) February 22, 2014
The problem is, after a dismal combine showing like the one Kouandjio had on Saturday, teams like the Arizona Cardinals, who have both a need at tackle and a pick in the second half of Round 1, will now be viewing that tape from a different perspective.
A much more critical one.