Few recent combine stars have become productive NFL players
ESPN.com analyzed the 25 best combine performers in six key categories since 2000. The performances show how important -- and unimportant -- raw ability can be.
|Top Combine Performances|
|Want to see the best numbers in various combine drills since 2000? ESPN.com researcher Ryan McCrystal has the breakdowns.|
The best of the bestNine players rank first or tied for first since 2000 among all combine participants in the six categories.
Gym dandies (since 2000)
According to nfldraftscout.com, these are the nine combine performers who rank first or tied for first in the 40-yard dash, 225-pound bench press, three-cone agility drills, 20-yard shuttle drill, vertical jump and 10-yard split:
|Jerome Mathis||WR||Hampton||2005||40-yard dash||4.28 sec.|
|Leif Larsen||DT||UTEP||2000||Bench press||45 reps|
|*Mike Kudla||DE||Ohio State||2006||Bench press||45 reps|
|*Sedrick Curry||CB||Texas A&M||2000||Three-cone drill||6.45 sec.|
|Kevin Kasper||WR||Iowa||2001||20-yard shuttle||3.73 sec.|
|Gerald Sensabaugh||FS||UNC||2005||Vertical jump||46 inches|
|Aundrae Allison||WR||East Carolina||2007||10-yd. split||1.43 sec.|
|Marcus McCauley||CB||Fresno St.||2007||10-yd. split||1.43 sec.|
|Eric Weddle||S||Utah||2007||10-yd. split||1.43 sec.|
Defensive backs lead the way
Of the 128 players who provided the 25 best performances since 2000, 53 were defensive backs. Thirty-one were receivers. Twelve were defensive linemen.Running backs and offensive linemen accounted for 10 apiece. Nine were linebackers. Two were quarterbacks (Randy Fasani and Josh McCown account for two of the top 25 performances in the 20-yard shuttle).
Davis, whose 42-inch vertical jump helped him get drafted sixth overall by San Francisco in 2006, is the only tight end.
Two players since 2000 rank among the top 25 in three categories. The Denver Broncos drafted both of them.
Former Maryland cornerback Domonique Foxworth, chosen 97th overall in 2005, ranks 18th in the 20-yard shuttle (3.89), 20th in the 40-yard dash (4.34) and 21st in the 10-yard split (1.48). He has started 18 games in three seasons, picking off three passes.
Former Iowa receiver Kevin Kasper, chosen 190th overall in 2001, ranks first in the 20-yard shuttle (3.73), fifth in vertical jump (43 ½ inches) and seventh in the three-cone agility drill (6.56). He has started nine NFL games but has struggled to hold down a roster spot.
The 65 percent clubTwenty-two of the top 128 combine performers since 2000 have started more than 65 percent of their possible regular-season games since their performances in Indianapolis.
The Pro Bowlers
Former Iowa safety Bob Sanders, chosen 44th overall by Indianapolis in 2004, ranks tied for 22nd with a 41½-inch vertical jump.Wilfork, chosen 24th overall by New England in 2004, made his Pro Bowl debut this month.
We leave you with the 17 players who went undrafted despite posting combine marks that still rank among the 25 best since 2000:Mike Kudla, DE, Ohio State (2006) Skinny: He cranked out 45 reps in the bench press at the 2006 combine, more than anyone since 2000, but he has never played in a regular-season NFL game. Sedrick Curry, CB, Texas A&M (2000) Skinny: He finished the three-cone drill in 6.45 seconds, a mark no one has topped in seven subsequent combines, but Curry never played in a regular-season NFL game. Derek Wake, OLB, Penn State (2005) Skinny: His 45 ½-inch vertical leap ranks second, but he never played in a regular-season NFL game. Chris McKenzie, CB, Arizona State (2005) Skinny: His 45-inch vertical is tied for third-best. McKenzie also owns the ninth-best 40 time (4.32), but he never started a game and was out of the NFL in 2007. Anthony Arline, CB, Baylor (2007) Skinny: His 10-yard time (1.46) ranks tied for fifth-best, but he has not appeared in a regular-season game. Kenny Scott, CB, Georgia Tech (2007) Skinny: He also needed only 1.46 seconds to cover 10 yards, but his next NFL game will be his first. Trent Gamble, FS, Wyoming (2000) Skinny: His 6.6-second time in the three-cone drill stands tied for ninth. He also needed only 3.9 seconds to finish the 20-yard shuttle, tied for 21st. Gamble started one NFL game in four seasons with the Dolphins. Jason Hebert, FS, Rice (2002) Skinny: His 20-yard shuttle time (3.86) is tied for 12th-best since 2000. Hebert never played in a regular-season game. Kendrick Starling, WR, San Jose State (2004) Skinny: He owns the 15th-best time in the 20-yard shuttle (3.88), but no NFL starts. Starling was out of the league in 2007. Ryan Tolhurst, WR, Richmond (2002) Skinny: He holds the 15th-best time in the 20-yard shuttle (3.88) and the 24th-best time in the three-cone drill (6.65), but Tolhurst never played in a regular-season game. Ketric Sanford, RB, Houston (2000) Skinny: His three-cone time (6.63) is tied for 17th-best since 2000, but Sanford never played in an NFL game. Liam Ezekiel, LB, Northeastern (2005) Skinny: He impressed with 36 repetitions of 225 pounds in the bench press, but Ezekiel played in only two NFL games. Matt Farmer, WR, Air Force (2000) Skinny: His three-cone time (6.63) is tied for the 17th-best at combine since 2000, but Farmer never played in the NFL. Keith Brown, RB, UCLA (2000) Skinny: His three-cone time (6.64) is tied for 20th, but he never played in the NFL. Tony Fisher, RB, Notre Dame (2002) Skinny: His 41 ½-inch vertical leap tied for 22nd-best. Fisher started five games, but he is out of the league. Tim Bulman, DT, Boston College (2005) Skinny: His 35 reps in the bench press are tied for 23rd-best. Bulman has started one game and remains on Houston's roster. Will Bartholomew, FB, Tennessee (2002) Skinny: His 35 bench-press reps are tied for 23rd, but Bartholomew never played in the NFL. Mike Sando covers the NFL for ESPN.com.
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