By Sean Jackson
The 2014 NFL Combine took place from February 22 through February 25, 2014, in Indianapolis, Indiana. It featured some of college football’s most promising pro prospects such as wide receiver Sammy Watkins, cornerback Justin Gilbert and quarterback Johnny Manziel. The combine consists of seven events where athletes can showcase their strength, agility and speed along with position specific drills, interviews and other tests such as The Wonderlic. Here is a look at the results and the top performers.
The draft is a great way for athletes to separate themselves from the rest of the pack. Here is a look at five players that had stellar combine performances.
- Dri Archer (RB): Dri had an outstanding draft where he ran a smoking 4.26 second 40-yard dash, posting the best time in the combine and coming just shy of clinching Calvin Johnson’s best time of 4.24 in 2008. Archer also showed his unique skill set with his 38-inch vertical jump and 4.06-second 20-yard shuttle time.
- Brandis Cook (WR): Brandis showed his explosive speed by posting a 4.33 time in the 40-yard dash. He also flourished in the 20-yard shuttle, where his dynamic speed and agility helped him post a combine best time of 3.81 seconds.
- John Brown (WR): John enhanced his resume with an excellent showing in the 40-yard dash. The three-time AP little All-American ran a 4.34. His time beat promising wide receiver prospects from other draft classes such as Cordarrelle Patterson and DeSean Jackson.
- Justin Gilbert (CB): Justin displayed amazing strength and speed during his combine performance. He bench pressed 225 pounds 20 times and ran the 40-yard dash in an impressive 4.37 seconds.
- Phillip Gaines (DB): Phillip’s speed raised his profile. He ran a 4.38-second 40-yard dash and 4.04-second 20-yard shuttle.
40-yard dash times
In what is arguably the most talked about event in the combine, this year’s class didn’t disappoint when it came to speed. The top speedster was Dri Archer whose time of 4.26 was the second best ran since 2006. Here’s a look at the top five times:
- Dri Archer (RB): 4.26
- Brandin Cooks (WR): 4.33
- John Brown (WR): 4.34
- Justin Gilbert (CB): 4.37
- Phillip Gaines (CB): 4.38
Top Performances in Each Event
While there were many good performances throughout the combine, certain prospects were able to separate themselves from the rest of the competition. Here are the best performances in each combine event:
- Bench press: Russell Bodine – Center (Bench pressed 225 pounds an impressive 42 times)
- Vertical jump: Ryan Shazier – Outside linebacker (42.0 inch)
- Broad jump: Lache Seastrunk – Running back (134.0 inch)
- 3 cone drill: Daniel Sorensen – Free safety (6.47 seconds)
- 20-yard shuttle: Brandin Cooks – Wide receiver (3.81 seconds)
- 60-yard shuttle: Bradin Cooks – Wide receiver (10.72 seconds)
While the NFL Combine alone doesn’t determine which are the best players at each position, it can help scouts determine where a player is physically compared to others at their position. With this in mind, here are the players that performed the best at their positions and which events they excelled at.
- Quarterback: Logan Thomas (4.61 40-yard dash time, 118.0-inch broad jump)
- Running back: Dri Archer (4.26 40-yard dash time, 38.0-inch vertical jump)
- Wide receiver: Brandin Cooks (Top combine times in the 20 and 60-yard shuttles)
- Tight end: A.C. Leonard (4.50 40-yard dash, 128.0-inch broad jump)
- Fullback: Trey Millard (4.65 40-yard dash)
- Offensive tackle: Taylor Lewan (4.87 40-yard dash, 7.39-second time in 3 cone drill)
- Offensive guard: Trai Turner (4.93 40-yard time, 28.0-inch vertical jump)
- Center: Gabe Ikard (7.30-second time in 3 cone drill, 4.37-second 20-yard shuttle time)
- Defensive tackle: Aaron Donald (4.68 40-yard dash time, 35 reps on the bench press)
- Defensive end: Jadeveon Clowney (4.53 40-yard dash, 124.0-inch broad jump)
- Inside linebacker: Avery Williamson (4.66 40-yard dash, 4.07-second 20-yard shuttle)
- Outside linebacker: Ryan Shazier (42.0-inch vertical jump, 130.0-inch broad jump)
- Cornerback: Justin Gilbert (4.37 40-yard dash, 20 bench press reps)
- Safety: Brock Vereen (25 bench press reps, 4.07-second 20-yard shuttle)
The 2014 NFL Combine featured a great class of wide receivers and cornerbacks that possess explosive speed and agility. Overall, the best performer was arguably wide receiver Brandin Cooks, who posted the combine’s second best 40-yard dash time and the combine’s best times in the 20 and 60-yard shuttles.
The 2014 NFL Combine produced plenty of stellar performances and interesting story lines. Here are a few interesting tidbits from the combine.
- Three players from this year’s combine posted three of the five fastest times in the 60-yard shuttle since 2006.
- Brandin Cooks’ time of 1.72 seconds makes his the fastest while Daniel Sorensen’s 10.80 and Damian Copeland’s 10.84 makes them the fourth and fifth fastest times respectively.
- Speaking of Brandin Cooks, his time of 3.81 seconds in the 20-yard shuttle ties Jason Allen’s time as the best among combine participants since 2006.
- Only one skill player, running back Jerick McKinnon made the top ten in the bench press. He benched pressed 225 pounds an impressive 32 times tying him for 10th among prospects.
- Since 2006, only four players have eclipsed an under 4.30 40-yard dash time. Dri Archer’s time of 4.26 is seventh fastest since 2000 according to CBS Sports.
- This year’s combine featured a record 102 underclassmen.
Three players that may have boosted their draft stock
There are always players that emerge with strong performances from the NFL Combine to bolster their impressive resumes. Of the many great performances in this year’s combine, three players had big performances that may enhance their draft statuses.
- Aaron Donald (Defensive tackle) : Projected by many as a first-round draft pick, Donald’s performance throughout the combine illustrated the tremendous potential he has. He ran the 40-yard dash in 4.62 seconds and bench pressed 225 pounds 35 times.
- Jerick McKinnon (Running back) : McKinnon emerged from the combine with a well-rounded performance. He displayed his quickness with a 4.41-second 40-yard dash time, his power by bench pressing 225 pounds 35 times and his agility in the three-cone drill where he posted a time of 6.83 seconds.
- Terrence Brooks (Safety): Brooks flew under the radar coming into the combine, as his teammate Lamarcus Joyner received most of the attention. It didn’t stop Terrence from having an awesome combine where he ran a 4.42 40-yard dash and had a 38-inch vertical jump.
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