The big news out of the NFL combine so far is Terron Armstead from Arkansas-Pine Bluff. At 305 pounds and 6’5 he ran a blazing fast 4.71 40 yd dash officially. He posted an unofficial 4.65.
So what does this all mean? Well, if NFL teams have learned anything it means nothing at all. I have no doubt that Terron Armstead can play football at a decently high level but the question is how high?
Every year there are a few guys who show up at the combine and become mesh short all stars. They are the guys who couldn’t quite string together any type of consistency at the college level or who come from a small school.
They look great in shorts and a t-shirt but never really make it happen on the field. The most famous case is Mike Mamula, the defensive end out of Boston College. Then there was Derrius Hayward-Bay, who after posting a 4.3 40 yard dash, found himself getting drafted in the top 10 and securing a lottery contract.
So how does this happen? The most obvious answer is arrogance and pride. Most coaches think if they have a nice lump of clay that they can mold it into a piece of art. In other words, they can coach the player up to their level.
Well, there is a reason these guys performed like they did or ended up at the schools they did. Terron Armstead will get drafted but I have a feeling teams have somewhat learned their lesson. If he goes any higher than the 3rd round of the draft then it’s a complete waste of a pick. He’s worth a 3rd round pick because you’ll obviously have to develop his skill set for a few years. The 1st and 2nd round are usually used for immediate impact players, not developmental prospects.
Manti Te’o: Ok. Te’o got catfished. He’s moved on now it’s time for us to do so as well. I’d be willing to bet a lot of people have been catfished and that it’s more common than most people are willing to admit.
That doesn’t take away the fact that the guy can play football and play it well. I think he’s handled the situation amazingly well. I think that will help him when he steps into a new locker room full of veterans who will no doubt tear into him for being foolish.
He is worth a mid to late round draft pick in my eyes, despite the fact that he played poorly against the Crimson Tide offense. Some might say thats evidence that he can’t hold up against NFL caliber lines. Well, everyone has a bad game but I’m sure Te’o will have NFL caliber defensive tackles holding the point of attack for him and also NFL caliber defensive coordinators putting him in better position to succeed.
Te’o has all the tools to be a big time middle linebacker and the way he’s handled all this bad press and publicity will only help him perform in high pressure situations on Sunday’s.
Speaking of the Crimson Tide offensive line, Chance Warmack, who is considered one of the highest rated interior line prospects of the last 10-15 years, posted a very slow 5.4 40 yd dash.
The reaction is who cares? His game tape doesn’t lie and when is Chance Warmack going to run 40 yds untouched down the field on Sundays? Probably never. He will run straight into linebackers and safeties blowing them up but he will probably never have to run a 40 yd dash in shorts and a t-shirt again.
D.J. Fluker, his linemate, ran a similarly disapointing 40yd dash but his makes a lot more sense. Fluker is known for having “lead feat” and it shows in a big way on his game tape. His time just confirmed worries in war rooms around the league. He didn’t look particularly nimble in other drills so it will be interesting to see how this effects his draft status.
It essentially pins him to 2 positions the rest of his career: right tackle and right guard. Versatility is one of the biggest ways to shoot up the draft boards. It sounds like D.J. Fluker cost himself some money.
Now that we have the boring positions out of the way I’m excited to see how some top flight defensive talent performs. I am itching to see how some of the cornerbacks test out as well as every position on the defensive line. It’s always interesting to see a defensive end come out of no where with a blistering 40 yard dash and out of this worl vertical jump.