Of the five Virginia players invited to the 2009 NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis – OT Eugene Monroe, WR Kevin Ogletree, RB Cedric Peerman, TE John Phillips and LB Clint Sintim – four worked out over the weekend and were listed among the “top performers” at their positions for various drills by nfl.com:
Monroe posted the third best broad jump mark (9’2”) among offensive linemen at Lucas Oil Stadium. His arm- and hand-span measurements were impressive according those who chart such minutia, and he’s listed as the #2 tackle by NFL Network’s Mike Mayock. Most experts have him going in the first 15 picks.
Ogletree posted the top 20-yard shuttle time (4.08) among receivers, beating the likes of Percy Harvin, Darrius Heyward-Bey, and the eight others who ran sub-4.45 40’s. KO was also 4th in the 3-cone drill (6.67), and 9th in the broad jump (10’2”). In addition, he “looked good adjusting to the ball” in receiver drills, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. Less than two weeks ago draftnick Mel Kiper, Jr. summed up the consensus feeling among Virginia fans when he said “he’s not a first-round pick. So, I think he should have stayed.“
Peerman posted the best 40 time (4.45) among running backs who ran in Indy, besting – among others – Mayock’s #1, #2, and #3 backs Knowshon Moreno (4.62), Donald Brown (4.51), and Beanie Wells (4.59). Peerman also came in 2nd at his position in vertical jump (40.0), 4th in bench press (225 pounds 27 times), and 9th in 20-yard shuttle (4.29) and made a little noise among hard-core draft followers online. Definitely didn’t hurt his chances…
Phillips came in first among tight ends in the 3-cone drill (6.84), beating all of the projected high picks at the position. He also finished 4th in vertical jump (33.5), and 3rd in 20-yard (4.27) & 60-yard shuttle (11.77). Draft stock notwithstanding, it comes as no surprise that Phillips has had contact with the Patriots according to Patriots Football Weekly. Both Peerman & Phillips were mentioned in a weekend article on the Parisi Speed School, which also tutored Chris Long in preparation for last year’s Combine.
Sintim and the linebackers will work out today.
- 40-yard dash: The 40-yard dash is the marquee event at the combine. It’s kind of like the 100-meters at the Olympics: It’s all about speed, explosion and watching skilled athletes run great times. These athletes are timed at 10, 20 and 40-yard intervals. What the scouts are looking for is an explosion from a static start.
- Bench press: The bench press is a test of strength — 225 pounds, as many reps as the athlete can get. What the NFL scouts are also looking for is endurance. Anybody can do a max one time, but what the bench press tells the pro scouts is how often the athlete frequented his college weight room for the last 3-5 years.
- Vertical jump: The vertical jump is all about lower-body explosion and power. The athlete stands flat-footed and they measure his reach. It is important to accurately measure the reach, because the differential between the reach and the flag the athlete touches is his vertical jump measurement.
- Broad jump: The broad jump is like being in gym class back in junior high school. Basically, it is testing an athlete’s lower-body explosion and lower-body strength. The athlete starts out with a stance balanced and then he explodes out as far as he can. It tests explosion and balance, because he has to land without moving.
- 3 cone drill: The 3 cone drill tests an athlete’s ability to change directions at a high speed. Three cones in an L-shape. He starts from the starting line, goes 5 yards to the first cone and back. Then, he turns, runs around the second cone, runs a weave around the third cone, which is the high point of the L, changes directions, comes back around that second cone and finishes.
- Shuttle run: The short shuttle is the first of the cone drills. It is known as the 5-10-5. What it tests is the athlete’s lateral quickness and explosion in short areas. The athlete starts in the three-point stance, explodes out 5 yards to his right, touches the line, goes back 10 yards to his left, left hand touches the line, pivot, and he turns 5 more yards and finishes.