Blog Entry

Scouts identify 5 underrated Combine performers

Posted on: March 4, 2012 4:20 pm
Edited on: March 4, 2012 4:21 pm

Now that we've had a few days to fully digest the information overload that is the annual Scouting Combine, there are a few players who haven't received enough attention for strong efforts, according to my conversations with league personnel. 

Every Combine conversation I've had with scouts has started with the obvious workout warriors -- Memphis defensive tackle Dontari Poe, Georgia Tech wideout Stephen Hill, Central Florida cornerback Josh Robinson and other, similarly well-publicized athletes. Considering their spectacular performances, it isn't surprising to see their stocks get a bump.

According to scouts. there are plenty of others flying under the national radar whose workouts helped solidify their grades. These are five who were mentioned multiple times. 

ILB Tank Carder, TCU: Much like Boston College's Luke Kuechly, Carder has been type-cast as an instinctive, high-motor defender throughout his career but the two-time defending Mountain West Conference Defensive Player of the Year proved to be a much better all-around athlete at the Combine than anyone expected. The 6-2, 236 pound Carder clocked in a sub 4.70 time in the 40-yard dash (4.69 seconds officially) and demonstrated his agility in the three-cone (6.89) and short-shuttle drills (4.18) that some teams place a great deal of value in when scouting linebackers. 

QB Austin Davis, Southern Miss: With's top four-rated quarterbacks either unable to unwilling to throw passes at the Combine, I thought one of the more fascinating elements of this year's workout would be to see which of the so-called second or third-tier passers would be able to take advantage of the extra attention. Having been one of a limited number of media members allowed inside the Lucas Oil Stadium workout for the QB workouts this year, I saw Davis pass the ball well to all levels of the field, showing surprising zip on intermediate routes and as impressive accuracy on the deep ball (a knock on his game entering the Combine) as any passer on the field.

OLB Shea McClellin, Boise State: Generally speaking, I agree with how the NFL identifies players when assigning them positions at the Combine. Several so-called 'tweeners like McClellin were asked to work out as defensive linemen. After being stunned with McClellin's progress in playing linebacker at the Senior Bowl, I was disappointed he wasn't identified as such at the Combine. His workout certainly showed off the straight-line speed (4.63) and change-of-direction skills (7.07 seconds in the three-cone drills) to handle this conversion. McClellin's speed, in fact, would have ranked him fourth among the 29 linebackers tested at the Combine -- and this is after measuring in at 6-3, 260 pounds.

RB Bernard Pierce, Temple: Pierce is one of the more interesting backs in the 2012 draft class because he's more of a finesse, zone-read back than the power option that his 6-0, 220 pound frame and school record 53 rushing touchdowns would indicate. The junior helped prove his unique athleticism with an underrated all-around performance at the Combine in which he measured in faster (4.49), quicker (7.07 seconds in the three-cone) and more explosive (123" broad jump) than some of the more highly regarded backs of this class.

CB Trevin Wade, Arizona: While officially credited with just a 4.59 time in the 40-yard dash, Wade was surprisingly cited by several league sources as having a strong Combine workout. Scouts mentioned Wade's fluidity in timed drills (4.0 seconds in the short shuttle) and position drills as more important indicators of his underrated cover-corner skills than his time in 40-yard dash. Wade was inconsistent at Arizona but finished his career on a high note with a strong senior campaign and is rated by some scouts among the top 100 prospects in the draft. 


Since: Aug 30, 2006
Posted on: March 5, 2012 4:20 pm

Scouts identify 5 underrated Combine performers

Way to go, Wade!

Since: Mar 13, 2011
Posted on: March 5, 2012 3:05 pm

Scouts identify 5 underrated Combine performers

watch for this kid dominque gaise out of a small school (w.washington) ran a 4.3 40,great skills at corner

Since: Jan 22, 2012
Posted on: March 5, 2012 9:26 am

Scouts identify 5 underrated Combine performers

Also, speed isn't Irvin's problem going into the draft. NFL teams question his ability to fight off blocks and get pressure once engaged.  Speed rushing is great, but you need to be able to show more diverse talents, and that is why his stock is so low.  And by low, do understand he's expected to go in round 3 or 4.  I wouldn't exactly call that "not on the radar".  Maybe not dead center, but teams are aware of him.

Since: Jan 22, 2012
Posted on: March 5, 2012 9:20 am

Scouts identify 5 underrated Combine performers

Other than he ran a 4.50 according to's combine report.

Since: Nov 29, 2006
Posted on: March 5, 2012 8:08 am

Scouts identify 5 underrated Combine performers

West Virginia DE Bruce Irvin wasn't on anybody's radar going into the combine, and at 245 lbs. stunned everyone with a 4.43 in the forty. You think that opened a few eyes for teams searching for linebackers? 

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