The 2011 NFL Combine is in the books. The Chiefs and the rest of the NFL have returned to their bunkers to continue work on their respective big boards. The drills were fairly boring, but that’s not the big value for NFL teams. The big value for teams is in the medical exams and the player interviews. For fans, the drills helped us get closer to where the scouts probably are in their evaluations.
Last week, I looked at a few prospects that I was curious about. Let’s go through them and see how they rate after the Combine.
Cecil Shorts III, WR Mount Union
Shorts showed well on most measurables at the Combine. While I am not a huge measurables guy, it’s more important for a prospect coming from a lower division of football. Shorts ran a bit slower than projected, but showed good strength and agility. He impressed the Ravens in their interview. He has the character and leadership that could be very appealing to the Chiefs as a round five or thereabouts draft choice.
Ricky Stanzi QB Iowa
Last week, I was a major curmudgeon and wished for Stanzi to tank at the Combine. Always the gentleman, Ricky was more than happy to oblige. He showed a lack of arm strength and erratic accuracy. Accuracy is tricky for quarterbacks at the Combine. They are throwing to receivers that they don’t really know. I still have my eye on Stanzi. It will be interesting to see if the Chiefs attend his pro-day (almost a lock, considering Iowa is a good producer of NFL talent) and if they work Stanzi out privately. I would like to see him available in round five.
Demarcus Love, OT, Arkansas
Last week, I was hoping that Love would show some potential to be a right tackle in the NFL. Love did nothing of the sort. He showed a lack of flexibility and footwork. To have a shot at the NFL, he would have to move inside to guard. In short, he is off my draft radar.
Sione Fua, NT Stanford
Fua made a strange decision, in my mind, by focusing his Combine training on agility. For someone who projects as a NT, it was odd. He showed strength, but I think he could have helped himself more if he performed as he performed at a higher weight, say 315 lbs.
Tim Barnes, C/G Missouri
For some reason, Barnes was not invited to the Combine. It just doesn’t make sense. Obviously, this did not change my evaluation of Barnes. Like Stanzi, it will be interesting to see how things play out with the pro-day and if he is invited for a private workout.
There were other players that impressed me at the Combine.
Phil Taylor, NT Baylor
I have been resistant to the idea of Taylor in round one. He keeps plugging away, losing weight and impressing. If they Chiefs are convinced that he has turned the corner and is conditioned enough to be more than a two down player, he just might be a first round option.
Leonard Hankerson, WR Miami
I like Hankerson, but my concerns with him have been that he is too similar to Dwayne Bowe. The Chiefs need someone to stretch the field. Hankerson ran a 4.45 forty yard dash, a bit faster than I thought he would run. Hankerson will probably not last until the Chiefs pick in round two, but he is an option if he is available.
Stefen Wisniewski, C/G Penn State
The big knock on Stefen has been that he is undersized and lacks strength to handle NFL caliber nose/defensive tackles. Stefen checked in at 313 lbs and pushed 30 reps on the bench press. He is still a legitimate first round option for the Chiefs.