The 2014 NFL Scouting Combine, jokingly referred to as “The Underwear Olympics,” finished up on Feb. 25. Cornerbacks and safeties, the last line of defense, comprised the final group of players who showcased their talents.
Prior to the festivities, Mike Mayock felt this was the “the deepest and best draft class I’ve seen in probably ten years.” The depth of this talent pool generated more “likes” during the course of the NFL Network’s coverage than Rihanna’s Facebook page.
Kurt Warner really “liked (Alabama quarterback) A.J. McCarron’s understanding of the game.” Shaun O’Hara said he “liked (Florida State nose tackle) Timmy Jernigan. I thought he helped himself out a lot.” When it came to the talent waiting outside the locker room, some scouts must have really liked (Central Florida quarterback) Blake Bortle’s girlfriend Lindsey Duke enough to ask him “If we come to town, will she be there for dinner?”
What took place at Lucas Oil Stadium lifted some boats and sunk some others. The unofficial 4.47 time in the 40-yard dash by Jadeveon Clowney was treated like a tsunami, even though he was just backing up his own prediction to run that fast. Michael Sam followed his groundbreaking announcement as the sport's first openly gay athlete with a disappointing combine showing.
The draft analysts at the headquarters of the Houston Texans could not have been surprised that Clowney turned his brag into fact. It was certainly not enough to divert their attention from the Johnny Manziel-Teddy Bridgewater-Bortles evaluation.
They should be spending most of the time figuring out what to do throughout the rest of the draft. Outside linebacker, inside linebacker, nose tackle, right tackle, safety and running back are all positions requiring attention.
With hundreds of players to consider, the order in which this situation will be addressed offers an abundance of possible outcomes. This is just one scenario on how it might turn out.