Combine Combustion: Notes & Outtakes

Posted: February 28, 2011 by The Cheap Seat Fan in NFL
Tags: , , , , , ,

Top of the morning all, 

There’s a ton of everything going on right now in the world of sports. Major League Baseball spring training, the NBA real-life fantasy draft taking the floor finally, NCAA basketball continuing to be as shook up as a snow globe, and now the NFL poke, prod & hype festival is in the mix as well, the Combine. All of these elements, in addition to reading Bill Simmon’s “Book of Basketball” have contributed to me being on sports knowledge overload.

At this point a decent dosage of ritalin may do me more good than any more ESPN. Or a clone to help me write all of this, either works for me.

I digress, watching & listening to the Combine results weekend, now checking out some reviews from the great thinkers of the process, has me doing two things concerning stage one of the NFL’s version of freshman Rush Week:

– 1) Giving a few outtakes/opinions on what took place on the practice fields this weekend.

– 2) Creating more hype from an event that is as based in creating more hype as it is in player grading. (This will be done by me listing my Top 7’s at every position update. Except kicker/punter, I’ll save that for the CHEAP SEATS soccer expert. When I hire one. Or decide to act like one myself. Go with the safe money & don’t bet on either happening.)

Here’s the first part, my takes:

Quarterback Fiasco: I just called it that so that it didn’t single out Cam Newton too much, because he’s doing such a great job of doing it himself, I don’t want to get in his way. After his much discussed “Entertainer & Icon” statement brought his already sterling reputation & judgement (wait….) into question, he decided to jump the shark even further & actually THROW at the Combine. No, no, no….this was a bad call. Everybody knows that the Combine is “Opposite Day” for top 10 QB prospects, you run a bit, talk some more & smile constantly. You’re running for office, not for TDs.

At any rate, no matter what he said, he still had his undeniable football skills to fall back on. But by throwing early, he apparently show cased some accuracy that could both bring his football ability into question now too. Cam, stop while you’re ahead….oh wait, you aren’t. And you basically made sure the guy that is, Blaine Gabbert, will stay there now.

In other news, a few big names big names had some eye opening numbers. The two biggest in my book coming from Alabama, in Julio Jones & Mark Ingram. For Rams fans, the hope for WR salvation has been the focus of this draft (I’ve made no secret of how much I disagree with this), and by running a 4.3 in the 40, Jones may have ran himself safely into the top 10. Speed, or lack off it, was one of the big questions on him, and that’s over now. He won’t pass up A.J. Green, but after he’s gone (likely in the top 5), Jones will become quite attractive to Cleveland (#6) & Tennessee (#8). For a long while, the Combine was supposed to be his coming out party, and that may have come true now. Him lasting to #14 seems to be a stretch at best.

Mark Ingram is the other Bama guy that put up a head turning number…of a different sort. He ran a 40 time of just over 4.6 seconds, which in the “magic number” world of 4.4’s, is looked at as slow. If you’ve ever seen him run, you know he’s anything but that. Agility drills mean way more, and he’s got that still. He also has the benefit of still being the only back that should be a #1. That didn’t change, and Miami is still waiting to get on the clock here.

Before I go, let me quickly discuss the absolute most ridiculously hilarious event in sports, that the NFL Combine blesses us with every year: the offensive lineman 40 yard dash.

I’ve watched a lot of football in my life. While I hold out hope every game for the chance for a 330 pound guy to pick up a ball & run down field with it for the ultimate big man glory, the touchdown, lets be real about this. We only get such comedic “RUN BIG FELLA RUN” blessings a few times times a year if we say our prayers & eat all our vegetables. Nowhere near enough to gauge how effective of a lineman the guy can be at the Combine.

While I continue to thank NFL talent scouts for giving us the laugh of these guys bent over looking like the Grim Reaper was holding the stopwatch, lets not take too much stock in this everybody. A lineman running a 4.8 40 has as much use as a new set of soup forks.

Be back later with my Top 7 at each position & maybe some words on the NBA too.


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