Now that the 2010 NFL Combine is behind us, it's time to look forward to the draft and determine who is riding a good workout to an early berth and who is grasping straws to remain in contention.
Offensive linemen are the big uglies of the game and their individual athleticism is very important in determining how effective they will be.
Perhaps we will look back on this draft and see future pro bowlers and franchise tackles. Here's a look at a few guys who had up-and-down performances at the combine.
1.Bruce Campbell (Maryland)
40-Yard Dash (4.85) Bench Press (34) Vertical Jump (32.0) 3-Cone Drill (7.58)
20-Yard Shuttle (4.69) Broad Jump (8'05")
Campbell came into the combine as one of the more electric tackle prospects and he did not disappoint. He was fast, strong, and smart throughout the day. He posted strong numbers across the board and could be the first tackle taken in April.
He keeps a low center of gravity, has a great initial pop off the line of scrimmage, and has the speed to pull effectively and cut off the outside rush.
2.Trent Williams (Oklahoma)
40-Yard Dash (4.88) Bench Press (23) Vertical Jump (34.0) 20-Yard Shuttle (4.63)
Broad Jump (9'05")
Williams was another lineman with elite potential who showed up big at the combine. He was easily one of the fastest tackles there and, while he didn't look overly impressive at the bench, he showed excellent lower body strength at both jump stations.
The former Sooner has all of the physical tangibles you look for in an NFL-ready lineman without the production. He doesn't have a deep history of injuries so durability isn't a primary concern. He can be an immediate contributor at the next level and has the potential to be the best rookie tackle by next year's end.
3.Marshall Newhouse (TCU)
40-Yard Dash (5.00) Bench Press (25) 3-Cone Drill (7.40) 20-Yard Shuttle (4.60)
Broad Jump (7'10")
Newhouse was the decided captain of a strong TCU offensive line for nearly his entire career there. He has the speed to play tackle and the strength to play guard. He was one of the few linemen there that worked well in tight spaces, turning on his edges like a backfield defender.
Virtually unknown before the combine, the former Horned Frog has boosted his draft stock in ways that wouldn't be possible without events like the NFL combine.
4.Mitch Petrus (Arkansas)
40-Yard Dash (5.29) Bench Press (45)
Petrus was easily the strongest lineman at the combine, and for a guy with that much bulk, he sure moved fast. The former Razorback was recruited at tight end, raised at fullback, and, after three years on an offensive line that saw enormous success in the SEC, Petrus is ready to make his NFL debut.
The Arkansas native has great athleticism and physicality. He could stand to be a little faster off the snap, but once he's in motion, he's a bull. He showed up big at the combine and could see a quicker exit off the board in April.
5.Jared Veldheer (Hillsdale)
40-Yard Dash (5.09) Bench Press (32) Vertical Jump (33.0) 3-Cone Drill (7.40)
20-Yard Shuttle (4.51) Broad Jump (9'01")
Veldheer has a refreshing attitude towards the game. He is an absolute team player at heart and he has the mean streak to boot. The former Colt is a well-balanced athlete who also made an impression at the bench. He's fast, quick, however you want to put it, and he has more upside than you'd expect.
Veldheer is a victim of the common rule where players from small school go largely overlooked; the combine is one of the few places where those who would otherwise go unnoticed, get a chance to prove themselves.
1.Eric Cook (New Mexico)
Bench Press (19) Vertical Jump (25.0) Broad Jump (7'10")
Cook came into the combine as a relatively unknown player and that's how he'll leave. There wasn't anything impressive about his numbers and nothing stood out in the position-specific drills.
The former Lobo has his upside and his tape shows a lineman with good size and quick feet. He pulls well and has a fast kick step in pass protection. He'll still have a chance to show his stuff at New Mexico's pro day, but until then, he's still just another number.
2.Ciron Black (LSU)
40-Yard Dash (5.49) Bench Press (23) Vertical Jump (25.5) Broad Jump (7'07")
Black was on his way to becoming the first Tiger taken in the 2010 draft until he showed up to Indianapolis. The former LSU lineman posted nothing special across the board and was uninterested in his interviews and position-specific drills.
Black has the potential to be good; perhaps it was only the wear and tear of a stringent combine schedule that seems to excel at placing young players outside of their comfort zone. At LSU's pro day, though, we should see a better player with quicker feet and a better disposition.
3.Kyle Calloway (Iowa)
40-Yard Dash (5.51) Bench Press (22) Vertical Jump (23.5) Broad Jump (7'08")
Calloway doesn't carry the same weight in the draft as his fellow teammate, Bryan Baluaga, does. He has better size and, arguably, quicker feet, but his technique still needs a large amount of work.
He doesn't utilize his hands at the line effectively and he struggles at keeping his composure against larger defenders in pass protection. He still has some upside, though, and will likely see an exit off the board sometime early on day two of the draft.
4.Kyle Jolly (North Carolina)
40-Yard Dash (5.43) Bench Press (20) Broad Jump (7'05")
Jolly was one of the few consistencies Tarheel fans saw in their team last year. The lineman has the size to play inside and the speed to be effective on the outside. It wasn't completely clear where Jolly might end up before the combine but, after his performance, he may not end up anywhere.
The Tarheel showed a sluggish side of him that we haven't seen since his sophomore season. One of the features that make Jolly special on the field was his fiery attitude and, without that, he's just another big ugly without a memorable name.
5.Chris Scott (Tennessee)
40-Yard Dash (5.49) Bench Press (19) Broad Jump (7'06")
Scott may have had the worst time at the combine than any other lineman. His numbers were poor and there were several drills in which the former Volunteer had to repeat.
After ending his season under fire against Virginia Tech, Scott received another chance to shine in the East-West Shrine game and, while he may have made an impression there, he flopped at the combine. Scott had a shot at becoming the second Vol to be taken, Eric Berry is a unanimous top ten pick, but not he may not see a berth until very late.
Find more from Zack Nally over at NFL Soup.
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