by Chris Warner, Patriots Daily Staff
As someone who has pored over combine and pro-day results over the past month, it’s worth taking a closer look at the impact of those numbers.
Let’s say, for example, you want the Patriots to draft a player like Alabama’s Mark Ingram.
I give you a prolific SEC running back, 5-11, 219 pounds, who ran a 40 in the 4.5-second range and bench pressed 225 pounds 24 times.
Sounds great. Except I just described BenJarvus Green-Ellis. Compare results from Green-Ellis’ combine to those of Ingram. Green-Ellis is over an inch taller and four pounds heavier. They have similar 40 times and bench press results (Green-Ellis tallied four more reps). Green-Ellis has a quicker shuttle time; Ingram wins the 3-cone drill.
Yet Green-Ellis never got drafted. By contrast, Ingram should get picked in the first round.
You can do this with most young New England players.
Look at Miami receiver Leonard Hankerson’s numbers and compare them to the results of Taylor Price. Exact same 40 time (4.40). Off by one-hundredth of a second in the 10- and 20- yard dashes. Minimal differences in all other results.
Coming out of a weak passing school in the MAC, Price played one game for New England in 2010. We expect Hankerson to put in significant minutes right away, but it’s not because he’s faster or quicker.
When it comes to putting too much credence in testing, I declare myself as guilty as anyone. Last year, a 46-inch vertical leap compelled me to interview Kent State tight end Jameson Konz.
Measuring 6-2, 209 pounds and running a 4.40 40 were enough to get me chasing Northwestern State receiver Dudley Guice for an interview in 2009 (one of my favorites, by the way).
Testing will cause teams to draft athletic freak Justin Houston too high while overlooking tenacious defenders like Central Florida’s Bruce Miller or Boston College’s Mark Herzlich.
Watch any highlight reel of those players and tell me whom you’d want on your team.
(Miller and Herzlich, that’s who. What, you’re not paying attention?)
We’ll continue comparing and contrasting combine and pro day results to get some kind of feel for who’s coming to Foxboro. That’s what we do.
Just please keep that in mind when our sleeper picks end up playing for the UFL next season.
Email Chris Warner at email@example.com
Does Ingram have the natural feel for the game, during actual game time on field, that green-ellis did/does? You know, that innate ability….