The 2009 NFL Combine is over and debate the results as much as you like, they do provide a good foundation for a player's athletic profile. Yes, tenths of seconds matter. Tenths of a second matter because the level of competition is just that high. Consider that Usain Bolt scorched his competition at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, setting a world record in the 100 meter. It was a laugher. The final ten meters looked like this:
Bolt beat silver medalist Richard Thompson by just 2 tenths of a second. An athlete is not a football player, but, as a measure of athleticism, the NFL Combine provides important information. Because if being a great football player was enough, Mike Hass would be dominating the league as a Bear rather than struggling for a roster spot with the Seahawks.
If you've paid any attention, you know the top performers in the forty. Here's some less reported stats that piqued my interest.
Top Five Stumps (Prospects with underwhelming reach)
5. Mike Mayock's fourth ranked center A.Q. Shipley: 29 ¾"
4. Future Argonaut Chase Daniel: 28 ¾"
3. "Sleeper" Outside linebacker Kaluka Maiava: 30 ½"
2. The chink in Brian Robiskie's armor: 31 ½"
1. Consensus first ranked defensive tackle B.J. Raji: 32" (third shortest among defensive tackles)
Top Five Wings (Prospects with extraordinary reach)
5. Defensive Tackle Vance Walker: 35" (first among all defensive tackles)
4. Tight End Jared Cook: 35 ¾"
3. Duke Robinson: 34 ¾" (tied second among all guards)
2. Tools messiah defensive end Jarron Gilbert: 36 ¾" (Combine best)
1. Michael Crabtree: 34 ¼" (third among all wide receivers
Top overall performance in the three cone drill:
Flip those hips Malcolm Jenkins: 6.59 seconds
Some think he's slow:
Patrick Chung: 4.47 forty
Seattle interviewed him twice:
Darius Butler: 43" vert
And with that, I say goodnight to the NFL Combine and hello to actual scouting.