by Chris Warner, Patriots Daily Staff
With under a week left until the draft, we thought we’d look at some less-heralded members of this year’s crop in a different light. Below are the Superlative Awards for the class of 2009.
If you know of a better candidate for any of the categories, please let me know in the comments below.
The Roadrunner Award – Fastest
This goes to Darrius Heyward-Bey for his 4.25 blazer at the combine. You can take a look at it on NFL.com and dream of what it would be like to run like a deer trying to catch a bus.
Not my best simile. Anyway…
The Brobdingnagian Award – Biggest Overall
This reference to one of the few classes I remember from college arrives on behalf of 6-foot-8, 332-pound Phil Loadholt of Oklahoma. Though not the most fleet of foot, he deserves credit considering how difficult it is to move when he’s the size of an apartment.
The Newton Award – Heaviest
Whether alluding to retired NFL tackle Nate or gravity discoverer Isaac, the 2009 Newton goes to Morgan State offensive tackle Dakarai Grimsley – all 356 pounds of him. Grimsley must have squared off against Morgan State defender Lonnie Harvey in practice. Harvey weighs about 330. Bodies colliding, indeed.
Redwood Award – Tallest
This one also goes to Loadholt, so maybe it should be called the Sequoia Award. What with him being such a thick dude and all.
The Napoleon Award – Shortest
He conquered all that came before him: running back Jerry Seymour of Glenville State brought new meaning to the term Little All-American, measuring 5-foot-5-and-three-eighths inches.With the frame of a mailbox (216 pounds), Seymour had 2,282 yards rushing last season to lead Division II. You can watch highlights of 2008 (and a nasty counter-action play that defenses couldn’t cover) online.
The Forrest Gump Award – Best Bench
The bench press event is like a box of chocolates – the more you have, the better. Ian Hoskins of Marshall put up 225 pounds 50 times on his pro day, as seen on YouTube. The 6-2, 268-pound defensive end could look to make a transition to outside linebacker in a 3-4 defense.
Or, he could go into accounting. Maybe he’s a multi-faceted human being. Don’t judge, people.
The Red Balloon Award – Lightest
This award (named after a short film starring a boy and his helium-filled friend) goes to receiver Dario Walker of Norfolk State – all 165 pounds of him. He demonstrates the expected quickness of someone who weighs only slightly more than a Bullmastiff in his grainy, rainy, highlight video.
The Best Imitation Of A Pencil Award – Thinnest
At 6-7, 200, receiver Thomas Breaux of Towson makes cornstalks feel self-conscious. Breaux led the Tigers with a 14.7 yards-per-catch average, along with six touchdowns.
Dude’s got over a 35-inch vertical. Did someone say “jump ball”?
The George Orwell Award – Big Brother
With big brother Rashard ready to break out in the NFL, Walter Mendenhall of Illinois State has something to live up to. Walter may have done the right thing by transferring out of Illinois – he averaged 6.3 yards per carry for the ISU Redbirds and scored 11 touchdowns.
The Butter On A Hot Skillet Award – Quickest
At the combine, the best three-cone drill time came from Notre Dame safety David Bruton, who scrambled through the L-shaped formation in 6.60-seconds.
The Moon Landing Award – Vertical Jump
Cornerback Donald Washington from Ohio State took a giant leap for mankind with his 45-inch journey into space. Add to that an 11-foot, 3-inch broad jump for good measure. Literally. Good measure. Get it?
Oh, I crack myself up sometimes. It’s a little sad, really.
The Mosi Tatupu Award – Potential Fan Favorite
Named after the inspiration for the fan group Mosi’s Mooses, this goes to another hard-plugging runner, UNLV’s Frank Summers. “The Tank” (5-9, 241) not only fights for yardage, he catches the ball out of the backfield (both talents can be seen in his highlight reel).
Thanks for coming to the show and get home safe, folks. Keep an eye out for our wrap-up next week, including our Pats-centric draft boards.
Kudos to ESPN’s Draftracker and NFL Draft Scout for all their online info. Chris Warner can be reached at email@example.com