NFL Draft 2014: First-Round Prospects Who Helped Stock with Combine Performances

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NFL Draft 2014: First-Round Prospects Who Helped Stock with Combine Performances
Michael Conroy/Associated Press

With the NFL Scouting Combine wrapping up at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis on Tuesday, there have been a few first-round prospects who have helped boost their draft stock with strong workouts.

While the NFL combine is just a small factor in the scouting process, a prospect that comes in, has a strong workout, is healthy and has a great interview can help separate himself from a few other prospects to move up different teams' boards. Given what some did this year, it's safe to say teams will be making some changes on their big boards.

Let's take a look at a few prospects who did just that at the combine this year.

Note: All combine results courtesy of NFL.com's results tracker.

 

Mike Evans, WR, Texas A&M

There was no denying that Mike Evans was a big and physical receiver coming out of Texas A&M, but some scouts were worried that he might not have the straight-line speed of some of the other receivers coming into the league. Given his size, Evans was able to show just that during the 40-yard dash.

At 6'4'' and 225 pounds, Evans was still able to run the 40-yard dash in 4.53 seconds. ESPN's Josina Anderson felt like Evans is faster than his 40-yard dash indicated.

Heading into the combine, Evans was considered to be more of a red-zone threat than anything for a team, where he would possibly get all of his targets. Instead, now that he's proven that he can still be a pretty surprisingly quick receiver, a team like the Detroit Lions with the No. 10 pick might have a much harder time taking a player at a different position over him.

If that ends up being the case, a wide receiver duo of Evans and Calvin Johnson could end up becoming one of the more frightening in the NFL.

 

Greg Robinson, OT, Auburn

If scouts didn't know that Greg Robinson was one of the best athletes in this year's group of offensive tackles before the combine, they do now.

Robinson is not a small offensive tackle, heading into the combine at 6'5'' and 325 pounds. However, that didn't keep him from posting a 40-yard-dash time of just 4.92 seconds, which was second behind Michigan's Taylor Lewan for the fastest time among offensive linemen. Meanwhile, Robinson also recorded 32 reps on bench press and had a broad jump of 113 inches.

Greg Robinson Combine Results
Drill Result
40-Yard Dash 4.92 seconds
Bench Press 32 reps
Vertical Jump 28.5 inches
Broad Jump 113.0 inches
3-Cone Drill 7.80 seconds
20-Yard Shuttle 4.86 seconds

NFL.com

As a redshirt sophomore on the left side of the best running offense in the FBS, Robinson's strength was never in question, as he is probably the best run-blocking tackle in this class. However, given how little the Tigers passed the ball, we never got a look at how quickly Robinson could keep in front of speedy pass-rushers. 

A strong combine workout might have just helped Robinson solidify himself as this year's top offensive tackle over Jake Matthews out of Texas A&M, but things could definitely change before the draft, all the way in May.

 

Jadeveon Clowney, DE, South Carolina

It looks like former South Carolina defensive end Jadaveon Clowney is refusing to accept anything less than the No. 1 overall pick, as he continues to impress in nearly anything he does while on the field.

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Among defensive ends, Clowney posted the fastest 40-yard-dash time at 4.53 seconds as well as the second-highest vertical jump at 37.5 inches and tied for the second-highest broad jump at 10'4''.

Before the draft order was initially set, the talk was mostly about why Clowney would be the No. 1 overall pick due to the fact that he's the most talented player in this draft. However, after the Houston Texans got the top pick and changed coaching staffs, it seemed obvious that Bill O'Brien would be looking for a day-one starter at QB to replace Matt Schaub or Case Keenum.

However, with a strong combine from Clowney, the Texans may have to think about taking the freak athlete at defensive end over a quarterback like Teddy Bridgewater, Blake Bortles or Johnny Manziel.

If the Texans do plan to take Clowney, they would have to think about which second-tier QB like Derek Carr, Zach Mettenberger or maybe even Jimmy Garoppolo or AJ McCarron they would want to possibly take in the second round.

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