Two 2010 NFL Scouting Combine sensations prove that teams do not simply go off of numbers when setting their draft boards.
Maryland offensive tackle Bruce Campbell was the event superstar -- 4.78 40, 7.59 three-cone at 6-6, 314 -- and Pittsburgh HB/TE Dorin Dickerson (4.4 40, 43½-inch vertical) looked like Superman in his workout.
Campbell was picked in the fourth round by Oakland. He was available that late because of largely inconsistent play for the Terrapins, and Dickerson was drafted in the seventh round by the Texans because of his inconsistent hands and questions about what role he could fill on a regular basis in an NFL offense.
|Bruce Campbell was a star in Indianapolis last season, but he fell to the fourth round in the draft. (Getty Images)|
His six-interception rookie season helped fans understand why Browns team president Mike Holmgren decided to draft Haden with the seventh overall selection despite not having prototypical speed.
The 10 players listed below will probably outperform their college game film or underperform athletically when measured against the expectations of the general populace, but their final evaluation won't be overly altered by this week's performance.
Buyer beware: Be cautious of great 40 times and other numbers for these players; their play on the field has not been consistently good enough to count on them to be NFL stars.
DE Allen Bailey (Miami, Fla.) Bailey looks like a first-round pick without pads on and should put up outstanding combine workout numbers. But his inability to get off blocks outside and lack of girth inside (weighed in at just 278 pounds in Mobile) make him a classic 'tweener prospect likely to land in the mid-second to early-third rounds.
DE/OLB Dontay Moch (Nevada) His junior day workout last spring caused ripples through the scouting community, when he allegedly ran the 40 in the mid-to-high 4.2-second range. And although Moch's quickness is undeniable when watching his tape, scouts wonder about his motor, pass-rush moves and ability in coverage as a stand-up 3-4 linebacker. A team might reach for him in the second round, but it is not unreasonable to believe he could still be available in the fourth.
FS Rahim Moore (UCLA) Moore's athleticism is unquestionable, and his foot quickness and straight-line speed should earn accolades in Indy. Scouts believe his lack of instincts and inconsistent tackling technique does not inspire a top 40 grade.
RB Brandon Saine (Ohio State)
Saine is solid physically and should run a sub-4.5 40 at 230 pounds. Something always prevented him from being "the guy" at OSU, whether it was ball security or tougher running by Daniel "Boom" Herron. Maybe the fresh start in the NFL as a late-round pick or free agent can help push his game to a new level. Then again, maybe it won't.
WR Ricardo Lockette (Fort Valley State)
Lockette won a Division II national championship in the 200 meters in 2008, and could challenge the 4.3 mark in his 40. That speed and quickness generally translates to the field, but his inexperience, multiple transfers, and extremely inconsistent hands might prevent him from utilizing that speed to its fullest. A mid-round prospect in theory could end up undrafted because of those factors.
No stopwatch -- just watch the tape: If you have questions about the ability of these prospects to play at the next level after the combine, do what teams do: go back to the tape.
CB Prince Amukamara (Nebraska)
Scouts understand that he had some rough spots, but so has every other corner. Amukamara's size, short-area quickness and ball skills make him a top 10 pick even if he runs in the low-to-mid 4.5 range as Joe Haden did in 2010. It's possible his future employer could prefer him at safety if the cornerback thing doesn't work out for him, a la Antrel Rolle or Malcolm Jenkins.
DE Ryan Kerrigan (Purdue)
Bailey and other defensive ends will put up great size/speed numbers, but Kerrigan was exceedingly more productive on a defense with far fewer playmakers around him. If he is average in his 40 and agility numbers, just look at the impact of similarly-skilled NFL stars Aaron Kampman and Kyle Vanden Bosch. And if anyone doubts his ability to move to a 3-4 linebacker spot, just think how much more productive he could be than very solid Green Bay Packer Frank Zombo.
OG Rodney Hudson (Florida State)
Hudson probably won't add much to the 6-foot-2, 291-pound build and average-sized arms he displayed at the Senior Bowl, and he might not run the fastest 40 among offensive linemen. I suspect his agility drills will be very good, and the film shows he is a solid top 50 pick because he uses consistent technique in-line and in space, and plays very strong despite a relatively light frame.
OG/OT James Carpenter (Alabama)
"Carpenter" is an appropriate surname for the Tide two-year starting left tackle. His hard work on the field impresses scouts much more than any numbers he'll produce in Indianapolis. Lined at guard or tackle at the next level, his strength at the point of attack and consistent effort make him a legitimate third-round pick.
TE Luke Stocker (Tennessee)
He might not have one of the top five combine workouts among tight ends in this class, but Stocker's reliable hands, route-running and in-line blocking give him a chance to be one of the top two players off the board at his position.
WR Julio Jones (Alabama)
It is possible Georgia's A.J. Green and Jones could both disappoint with their workout numbers because neither is a pure burner. But neither will drop out of the top dozen picks because of their skill sets (silky smooth running and excellent hands for Green, absolute power for Jones) and a huge drop in value from the top two to the rest of the WR class.
Chad Reuter is a Senior Analyst for NFLDraftScout.com, distributed by The Sports Xchange. Follow him on Twitter at @ChadReuter.