Two days from now, the NFL Scouting Combine will commence for the 2011 season. For some players, the combine can increase their stock, keep it the same or drastically diminish it—thus causing them to be drafted lower.
The unexpected players are usually the ones who get all the hype and those who are expected to excel usually are the ones to get bashed on. For example, Taylor Mays who ran a 4.43 40-yard dash time last year when he was predicted to run a 4.24.
But is it fair to determine how a player will perform during the season based on times and numbers? Some might think yes; that's why there is the combine, after all.
Regardless of who does well and who doesn't, here are some of the craziest numbers put up by college prospects in the past years.
This big defensive tackle set the record for the most reps of 225 pounds at the rack. Justin bench-pressed the bar an impressive 51 times back in the 1999 NFL Combine.
Was all that extra strain and effort worth it though?
Ernest stayed in the NFL for only a season with the New Orleans Saints after his four-year career at Eastern Kentucky. He went undrafted.
But his 51 reps of 225 remains—and will remain for a while—the record to beat for the bench press portion of the NFL Combine. Mike Kudla and Leif Larsen trail behind him with 45 reps each.
No, that isn't Rondel Melendez in the picture.
As a matter of fact, it's Denver Broncos running back Knowshon Moreno. He is a perfect example of players who excel in the Combine challenges that don't do squat in the NFL.
Ironically, another Eastern Kentucky prospect from the same year of '99—Rondel Melendez—is at the top of the 40-yard dash list, alongside Tennessee running back Chris Johnson, with a 4.24 forty time.
So why is this crazy considering Johnson did it as well?
It's crazy because this kid didn't go to the NFL. Well, he was drafted in the seventh round by the Atlanta Falcons but remained true and became a runner for the rest of his life.
Picture seems appropriate for the discussion, doesn't it?
Straight out of Linebacker U (Penn State University, for those of you who don't know), Wake is number two on the list for vertical leap—the only linebacker in the top 15.
A leap of 45.5" is just half an inch away from number one, which belongs to Dallas Cowboys safety Gerald Sensabaugh.
The crazy thing about this stat is that a linebacker who's 6'3", 250 pounds is still able to jump that high. Yes, he has the height advantage but his leap makes him get up in the air that much higher.
His hops didn't land him in the right area in the beginning of his NFL career. He signed with the New York Giants in April of 2005 but was released after two months in June. After two years in the CFL, he got another opportunity in the NFL and now plays for the Miami Dolphins.
Another leader in the bench press column. Only, this time it's a fullback?
Fullbacks are blockers so why shouldn't they be up there on the list with all the other (blocking) linemen? On the list for the top 25 bench press numbers, Norris is the only offensive player who can potentially touch the ball and form some offense.
Although his 37 reps of 225 pounds may not be a "crazy" number, it sure was eye-widening to see a fullback put the bar up and down that many times.
He has had a full NFL career, starting in 2001 and still going strong with the San Francisco 49ers.
His spin move is unblockable to the naive offensive tackle. Most have underestimated him in the past and have paid for it by letting their quarterback get sacked.
Dwight Freeney ran a very impressive 4.4 40-yard dash time, and he's a defensive end. For a football player that's 6'1" and 268 pounds, how is that possible?
I'm sure his teammates don't care how he does it and I'm sure he doesn't care how he does it. He just does it.
The helpfulness of his speed has chalked up 94 career sacks for the Syracuse Orangemen alumni along with 267 tackles. He remains to have one of the fastest 40-yard dash times by a defensive lineman.