The first full day of combine workouts are underway and we’re just getting started. One top rated tight end has already been injured during medical drills and no one will be driving away in a Porsche.
I posted several tweets last week over Adidas canceling the Porsche promotion for the three fastest forty times at the combine for athletes they sponsor. Several sources initially informed me of this Monday then a few more chimed in with the same information yesterday. Just about every source told me Adidas will substitute cash for cars. What caused the cancellation? I don’t know if we’ll ever get the entire story but a number of people have put forth the theory the league pressured Adidas to pull the promotion as Porsche is not an official sponsor of the combine. That has left a lot of people shaking there heads.
As posted earlier on twitter, Rutgers tight end Tyler Kroft had his ankle injured during combine medicals. Yesterday I reported Kroft was expected to run the forty in the 4.6s despite suffering the remnants of an ankle injury suffered during the season. I’m told doctors during the medicals pulled and twisted Kroft’s ankle to test the integrity of the joint and they stretched it a bit to much. Player getting injured during combine medicals is nothing new. I remember hearing a similar story years ago on Penn State linebacker Dan Connor who had to pull out of the combine workout after straining his knee when doctors pulled and twisted his leg to test the joint. Combine workouts can be a hazard as doctors will tug and pulls leg and other joints, especially if medical history shows a prior injury. The end result could be a combine participant who leaves the medical room worse for the where.
Keep a close eye on Cody Fajardo of Nevada tomorrow. Since the Senior Bowl there’s been talk of Fajardo making the move from quarterback to receiver. He’s a sensational athlete but his passing, specifically his accuracy, leaves a lot to be desired. Though there’s been no official word to date it’ll be interesting to see if Fajardo is put through receiver drills at the end of the quarterback practice session. Note- it was brought to our attention and must be stated Fajardo’s intention and primary focus is playing quarterback at the next level.
The same intrigue surrounds Devin Funchess of Michigan and Georgia Tech’s Darren Waller; will they be asked to participate in alternate position drills, specifically at the tight end position?
I’ve heard nothing on Funchess, who I presently grade as my number one tight end. On the other hand Waller is ready to complete tight end drills if asked and I’m told he’s also willing to workout at both positions during his pro-day.
There’s always one receiver who runs faster than expected or jumps higher than anticipated. This year it could be Chris Conley of Georgia who could break into the 4.3’s (listed as a 4.55s forty by scouts entering the season) and later jump north of 42-inches in the vertical.
Don’t expect a blistering forty time from Justin Hardy as he’ll clock around 4.5-seconds. I’m told Hardy has been running exceptional three cone times in training and could make run at the combine record. That represents his route running and separation skills.
I’m told Titus Davis of Central Michigan, who missed time in 2014 with a knee injury, is a 100% fit for his combine workout.
If receiver Devin Smith runs as well as expected the comparisons to Torrey Smith will begin.
Cameron Artis-Payne is riding high after a terrific 2014 campaign then a good performance at the Senior Bowl. While he should run in the mid 4.4’s scouts want him to stand out in pass catching drills on Saturday. The results could be the difference of Artis-Payne sliding into the draft’s initial 100 picks.
Defensive tackle Ahtyba Rubin hits the free agent marked after spending his entire career with the Cleveland Browns. Will Rubin remain a Brown? The overriding belief is Rubin has achieved all he can with the Browns and its time to move on.