VT Football: Complete NFL Combine Grades, Analysis and Results for Former Hokies

Bryan Manning@bdmanning4Featured ColumnistFebruary 26, 2014

VT Football: Complete NFL Combine Grades, Analysis and Results for Former Hokies

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    Logan Thomas
    Logan ThomasMichael Conroy/Associated Press

    The NFL Scouting Combine is now in the books, and, as expected, the Virginia Tech Hokies' contingent fared quite well.

    The Hokies were represented by Logan Thomas, James Gayle, Antone Exum and Kyle Fuller. Each of the four players competed in every position-specific drill.

    It remains to be seen how each player's stock will be affected by their performance at the combine, but, as of now, it appears each player may have helped themselves to a degree.

    Which player stood out the most?

    Here is a look at the results from each player, some analysis and individual grades for all four former Hokies at the combine. 

    All results and rankings are courtesy of NFL.com and their Scouting Combine Tracker

Quarterback Logan Thomas

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    Logan Thomas
    Logan ThomasMichael Conroy/Associated Press

    Logan Thomas (6'6", 248 lbs)

    While Thomas may not be considered one of the NFL draft's top five quarterbacks in 2014, he stole the show in Indianapolis over the weekend. Thomas displayed the immense talent and raw athleticism that will lead one general manager to believe his team can get the most out of Thomas. 

    Here is a look at some of Thomas' numbers from the weekend:

    • 40-yard dash—4.61 (first among quarterbacks)
    • Vertical jump—35.5 inches (first)
    • Broad jump—118 inches (first)
    • 20-yard shuttle—4.18 (second)
    • 3-cone drill—7.05 (fourth)

    Thomas participated in all throwing drills and, as was the case at Virginia Tech, he was outstanding at times, underwhelming at others.

    Overall Grade: A-

Defensive End James Gayle

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    James Gayle
    James GayleWinslow Townson/Associated Press

    James Gayle (6'4", 259 lbs)

    Gayle helped himself this weekend with solid workout numbers across the board. A college defensive end, Gayle did defensive end drills as well as outside linebacker drills at the combine. 

    The linebacker drills were designed to see if Gayle was capable of dropping into coverage or is strictly a 4-3 defensive end. 

    Gayle's workout numbers:

    • 40-yard dash—4.7 (seventh among defensive linemen)
    • 10-yard split—1.6 
    • Broad jump—122.0 inches (seventh)
    • Vertical jump—37.0 inches (third)
    • Bench—26 reps
    • 3-cone drill—7.19 (tied for sixth)

    Gayle was outstanding in several drills. The 10-yard split is especially important as it measures a pass-rusher's explosiveness, and 1.6 or less is considered the optimal number, which is right where Gayle landed. 

    James Gayle, Jackson Jeffcoat, Jadaveon Clowney and Aaron Donald all turned in 1.60 or better 10 yard splits. Excellent "get off" burst.

    — Joe Marino (@TheJoeMarino) February 24, 2014

    Overall Grade: A

Cornerback Kyle Fuller

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    Kyle Fuller
    Kyle FullerPeter Casey-USA TODAY Sports

    Kyle Fuller (6'0", 190 lbs)

    The tape doesn't lie: Kyle Fuller is a terrific football player. But in order to get in the first round of the NFL draft, Fuller needed to have a strong combine.

    He did just that.

    While he wasn't the fastest defensive back, he posted a very good time. Fuller is known for his physicality and tackling, so he needed to show he had the speed to catch receivers downfield if he's beaten off the line of scrimmage.

    Here are some of Fuller's numbers:

    • 40-yard dash—4.49 (tied for 13th among defensive backs)
    • 3-cone drill—6.9 (tied for 12th)
    • 20-yard shuttle—4.19
    • Broad jump—128.0 inches (tied for third)
    • Vertical jump—38.5 inches (tied for sixth)

    Fuller wasn't the best in any one drill but very consistent in all. That bodes well for Fuller as he looks to get into the first round of May's draft. 

    Overall Grade: A-

Safety/Cornerback Antone Exum

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    Antone Exum
    Antone ExumPeter Casey-USA TODAY Sports

    Antone Exum (6'0", 213 lbs)

    Much like Fuller, all you need to do is watch a Virginia Tech game from the 2011 or 2012 seasons to see how good of a football player Exum is.

    Unfortunately for Exum, though, a torn ACL cost him most of his senior season, and he will likely face a battery of medical tests to prove he is 100 percent healthy. If there is any doubt, he could slide down draft boards.

    Here is how Exum stacked up on Tuesday:

    • 40-yard dash—4.59
    • 20-yard shuttle—4.13 (10th among defensive backs)
    • Vertical jump—35.0 inches
    • Broad jump—117.0 inches
    • Bench—17 reps

    Exum's numbers weren't as good as Fuller's, but they weren't expected to be. In the drills, he looked more like a safety than a cornerback. He played safety his first two seasons as a Hokie. Exum is thickly built and a good tackler.

    With the NFL placing a premium on safeties that can cover, Exum may be in a good position come May's draft.

    Overall Grade: B-