Te'o and Jones Fall While Others Rise in Monday's Combine
As Monday came to a close there continues to be increased chatter about Jarvis Jones’ falling draft stock. Teams are reportedly very concerned with the health of Jones, who did not work out Monday, and the spinal stenosis injury he obtained at USC.
As Jones falls, there are plenty of elite prospects ready to rise in his place. Dion Jordan (Oregon) and Ezekiel Ansah (BYU) may have already passed Jones on many draft boards. The 6’7” Jordan ran a blazing 4.6 forty yard dash while Ansah, checking in at over 270lbs., ran slightly behind at 4.63. Both players also performed well in drills. Barkevious Mingo (LSU) ran even faster at 4.58.
Sharrif Floyd (Florida) may have cemented top 10 status by running a 4.92 in the forty. This is a strong showing for the massive defensive tackle who could also benefit from Star Lotulelei’s health concerns.
Regarding Lotuelei, we have to chalk his health up to a significant question mark at this point. Doctors have come up with numerous explanations including dehydration and speculation regarding his long term health and his draft stock should be delayed until we know all the facts.
Other players who boosted their draft stock include SMU defensive end Margus Hunt who stands 6’8” yet ran a 4.6 forty and had an impressive 38 reps of 225lbs on the bench press. Auburn’s Corey Lemonier, Southern Miss’ Jamie Collins, and Florida’s Jon Bostic, all posted strong forties and raised their draft status. Collins also had the best leap of the day with a 41.5” vertical.
Despite the standouts, the middle linebacker position certainly did not have a good day. In a year where a number of teams including desirable franchises like the Bears, Steelers, and Ravens need help, the class of linebackers seem eager to play a game of who can be least worthy of a first round pick. Manti Te’o carries significant baggage and had a poor day with a 4.82 forty and a lackluster performance in other drills. He was also lighter than expected, and I continue to hold to my belief that he has fallen outside the first round. Meanwhile, Georgia’s Alec Ogletree ran a solid but unspectacular 4.7 forty, performed poorly in drills, and has numerous off the field issues. LSU’s Kevin Minter ran a sub-par 4.81 forty.
Other NFL news includes the effort of the Jets to restructure deal with Santonio Holmes. Conceivably, this could make Cordarelle Patterson or Keenan Allen a factor for them in the first round if Holmes refuses and is cut, however, the pick is still more than likely to be a defender.