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Top 10: Best bets to put on combine freak show

Posted on: February 21, 2012 2:17 pm
Edited on: February 22, 2012 12:29 pm
The NFL combine kicks off this week, meaning it's time for the league's annual freak show. This week's Top 10: The former college players with the best shot of lighting up Indy with their testing numbers. (Note: A few guys I had considered for this list, such as Stanford TE Coby Fleener, I didn't include because it has been reported that he is not working out in Indy. In Fleener's case that is due to an ankle injury.)

1-Robert Griffin III, Baylor, QB: The 2011 Heisman Trophy winner proved over the past year he's a lot more than just a guy who happens to have world class speed as a hurdler. RG3's exploits as a college QB are now well-documented. Griffin not only blossomed as a quarterback, often doing his damage as a pocket passer but he also has filled out quite a bit since coming to Waco and is a solid 6-2, 220. However, he still has wheels like few others at any position. QBs, especially ones with arms like Griffin has, almost never run sub-4.6s in Indy, RG3 should blow that away. Earlier this week RG3 told Dan Patrick there's a possibility he will go sub-4.4. Given his track credentials, it'll be surprising if he doesn't.

2-Zach Brown, UNC, OLB:
There will be many bigger linebackers in Indy but none faster than the Tar Heel. Brown is amazing athlete. Before arriving in Chapel Hill he had a 29-0 record as a prep wrestler with 17 pins. He also ran for over 1,500 yards as a high school senior. In his first time running the 40 as a Tar Heel, he started coaches by clocking a 4.28.

Brown has spent the past six weeks in South Florida working out with trainer Tony Villiani, who says the Tar Heel "will be bigger than people think he is. He's not going to be that small weakside linebacker. The goal is for him to be low 4.4s or under. People know about his speed but normally guys who are that fast hey may not be as agile too. People who watched him at the Senior Bowl know he's both."

3-Trent Richardson, Alabama, RB: The former 'Bama star has it all: size, power, moves and sprinter's speed. Pound-for-pound Richardson, who has benched almost 500 pounds and cleaned almost 400, might just be the strongest player in Indy. Don't be too surprised if he also proves to be one of the fastest and most explosive too.

4-Tommy Streeter, Miami, WR: After a few years of teasing 'Canes staff with his potential, the 6-5, 216-pound junior had a breakout season in 2011. Streeter opted to leave early after his one big year, and with his size and exceptional speed, he has the chance to shoot up draft board this week. Scouts don't expect to see a guy his height so fast, but remember he's been one of the fastest men in a very fast program from the day he arrived in Coral Gables. (Two other UM speeders, Lamar Miller and Travis Benjamin also could've made this list.) Those close to the UM program are expecting some big things this week from Streeter, who has a chance to shock scouts with just how fast he actually is. Last year's fastest man in Indy, DeMarcus VanDyke, a former Cane CB who got drafted by  the Raiders after he blazed the fastest 40-time at the Combine, told me a few weeks back that Streeter could duplicate his showing this year.

5-Janzen Jackson, McNeese State, DB: The former five-star recruit had some great moments as a Vol, but also was plagued by off-field issues at Tennessee. No one ever doubt his athleticism though. He finished his college career back in Louisiana at McNeese and will be looking to get back in scouts good graces with a big showing in Indy. Jackson's pre-combine workouts in Louisiana have impressed his trainer, former NFL player Wyatt Harris:
"I have trained some great athletes here at Sonic Boom. People like Marques Colston, Robert Meachem, Tracy Porter, Jacoby Jones and Devery Henderson, and I have never had an athlete like him here," Harris told Houma Today. "He is the best athlete that's ever trained at Sonic Boom. His athleticism is freakish and his speed, quickness and ease of movement are at the very top of the athletic ladder. He applies all that athletic ability to the football field. He is just not a great athlete, but he can play a high level of football also. He is going to knock the socks off of these other safeties he tests against at the combine."

6-Mike Martin, Michigan, DT:
The former standout high school wrestler and shot putter has talked recently about besting Stephen Paea's 49 reps of 225 in the bench in Indy. Given Martin's rep in the weight room, it wouldn't be a shock if he did. Going into last season, he'd already put up impressive marks of benching 505, squatting over 700, power cleaning 430, hang cleaning 475 and run the 40 in the 4.9s.

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7-David Wilson, Va. Tech, RB: Everyone around Blacksburg has been raving about this guy's explosiveness for years. Some of that burst as well as his determination was evident in the 205-pounder breaking some 150 would-be tackles en route to rolling up almost 1000 yards after contact in regular season play in 2011. In training at Tech he's been clocked in the 40 at 4.29 and vertical jumped 40.5-inches, according to the school. Those kinds of jaw-dropping numbers often draw skepticism, but keep in mind this is also a guy who earned All-American honors in the triple jump. It's rare to see a guy broad jump over 11-feet in Indy, you'd have to think Wilson is primed to go long here.

8-Dontari Poe, Memphis, DT:
Another serious contender to put on a show when he gets on the bench press. Poe is a mammoth inside presence with surprisingly good agility, the 6-5, 350-pounder is a powerhouse in the weight room, having power cleaned over 400 pounds, benched 500 and squatted over 700 pounds.

9-(tie) Jarius Wright, Arkansas, WR:
The fastest Hog was also one of the most underrated receivers in the country. He has a good chance to create some more buzz if he can come close to the 4.27 40 time the Arkansas coaches say he clocked last spring. His times in the shuttles also could be head-turning.

9-(tie) Bruce Irvin, WVU, OLB-DE:
A pass-rushing specialist Irvin plays super fast. According to some of his teammates, he also times that way too. They swear he can run a sub-4.4 at 235 pounds. The question is how much heavier will he been in Indy and has he retained that speed?


Since: Jan 17, 2008
Posted on: February 24, 2012 1:38 pm

Top 10: Best bets to put on combine freak show



Since: Dec 22, 2011
Posted on: February 23, 2012 11:34 am

Top 10: Best bets to put on combine freak show

Will Richardson's stock drop now?

Since: Jan 24, 2007
Posted on: February 23, 2012 9:03 am

Top 10: Best bets to put on combine freak show

Gonna be tough for Richardson to run a 4.4 considering he's not runnung it.

Since: Mar 9, 2009
Posted on: February 23, 2012 8:27 am

Top 10: Best bets to put on combine freak show

'cept Robert Griffith ain't 6'2". 
6'1" at best.  It is going to be  a problem.

Since: Sep 29, 2006
Posted on: February 22, 2012 9:27 pm

Top 10: Best bets to put on combine freak show



Since: Jan 27, 2007
Posted on: February 22, 2012 8:01 pm

Top 10: Best bets to put on combine freak show

David Wilson will put up some crazy numbers at the combine, no doubt, still not sure he is a first round back tho....Ryan Williams didn't go until round two last year and he was more pro ready imo, but Wilson is an awesome ko returner, so he will provide a team a boost on special teams!!
I could see a team like Pitt, NE, or Cincy late in the first round grabbing him, or maybe St Louis early in round 2.

Since: Nov 10, 2010
Posted on: February 22, 2012 4:51 pm

Top 10: Best bets to put on combine freak show

A-Rodg, how bout Brees hes 5'11" 

Since: Jan 22, 2007
Posted on: February 22, 2012 1:37 pm

Top 10: Best bets to put on combine freak show

At "6-2," RGIII is short for an NFL QB. 
Tell that to Aaron Rodgers.

Since: Mar 18, 2008
Posted on: February 22, 2012 11:46 am

Top 10: Best bets to put on combine freak show

is this fact?  or rumor?  i was a big Paul Harris fan at SU and i always said his body looked more like a football player than a bball player.  i hope he's the next bballer turned unstoppable TE....gmen should give'em a shot.

Since: Jan 16, 2011
Posted on: February 22, 2012 11:43 am

Top 10: Best bets to put on combine freak show

Mike Martin is a beast.  I get so happy when I put up 225 ten times.  If he can do it 49 times, then there's no reason I can't do it 11 times.  Thanks for the motivation Mike; Go Blue!!!  Good luck in the NFL.  

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