It's always fun to watch the linemen run the 40, but the best TV day of the Combine is always Saturday, when the offensive skill players go through the typical battery of athletic tests. Saturday is when Calvin Johnson ran the 4.3 in someone else's shoes, when Chris Johnson blazed a 4.24, and when Chris Conley
took over the world won the Combine.
You can see all scores at Mike Loyko's excellent google doc, where QB, WR, and RB times are fully updated. The OL and TE groups tested yesterday, and defensive players will participate on Sunday and Monday, for anyone wondering about the future schedule.
I wrote about the top 5 SPARQ athletes from both the WRs and RBs over at my blog and will add some more comprehensive SPARQ analysis over the next few days.
--Chris Conley (WR, Georgia) destroyed the world today with what was looking like of the all-time great performances for most of the day. A few sub-par agility drills caused him to fall just short of the truly elite athletes, but he still had the best showing of anyone in Indianapolis. Jared Stanger expressed disappointment in Conley's tape at WR, leading me to dream about a positional switch.
--The top 5 SPARQ running backs feature two running backs from the Dakotas and zero from the SEC, Pac-12, Big 12, or ACC. Northern Iowa, South Dakota State, North Dakota State and Boise State. The Combine is weird sometimes.
--It was mentioned on the broadcast that Zach Zenner was probably last in every roll call of his life. I feel your pain, Zach.
--Nebraska had two players in the top 5 SPARQ lists with RB Ameer Abdullah and WR Kenny Bell. Bell probably had one of the best days at the Combine, answering any questions about his athleticism with a 4.42 40, excellent agility drills, and a 41" vertical/10'9" broad jump profile.
Ameer is a personal favorite of mine. Field Gulls Editor-In-Chief and Very Important Person Dan/Daniel/Danny Kelly informs me that Ameer means "Prince." Ameer Abdullah, SPARQPrince, take a bow.
--The RB class was running with their feet in concrete blocks today. This tweet from Arif Hasan makes me think something with the surface may have been at fault. It's incredibly unlikely for every single player to fall short of expectations in the ten-yard split (i.e., every back got off to a poor start).
--A number of RB prospects didn't have great showings. Melvin Gordon tested out as an only slightly above-average NFL running back. Duke Johnson, Josh Robinson, Mike Davis, and Matt Jones all tested between the 10th and 35th percentile. If the 40 may have been artificially depressed by the surface, though, we'll likely see most of the scores improve in pro day season.
The defensive linemen and linebackers will get started bright and early tomorrow morning. Make sure to brush up on Jared's great preview pieces (EDGE and DT) before tuning in.
For further reading, I'll be doing some player breakdowns and get the SPARQ rolling in the coming days at 3sigmaathlete.com.