Day two Of The Combine Is The First Day That There Is Any Real Overlap Between Position Groups.
The quarterbacks, wide receivers, and tight ends measure up tomorrow. They also get their medicals, and interview with teams. The place kickers and punters will also work out. They, along with offensive linemen, will also begin their psychological testing, team meetings, and media appearances.
The Offensive line will also perform their bench press reps tomorrow. We’re still not at the point where anything is televised, unsurprisingly watching kickers run their 40 times doesn’t draw the level of viewership that the NFL network is looking for.
The Important Measurements for Quarterbacks
Height matters for quarterbacks. Russell wilson is the exception, and not the rule. Similarly the league’s history for QB’s taller than 6’5 or so is not great, but being too tall isn’t going to stop a player from getting drafted. Being under 6′ tall is a terminal illness for the career of a quarterback.
So is having small hands. A quarterback with small hands is more likely to fumble, the causation has been proven over time. When a 275lb man swings his arm down on a QB’s forearm mid-wind up, having a huge set of mits keeps the ball from squirting out. Small hands is another career killer for NFL QB hopefuls.
Weight is also important for Quarterbacks. They take some brutal hits, and end up in wierd positions when they get hit. Scrawny quarterbacks sustain more injuries in the minds of executives. It doesn’t matter quite as much as the first two, unless it gets to an extreme level, but it is another factor.
Important Measurements For Wide Receivers & Tight Ends
“All of them” is the easy answer. Height, weight, arm length, hand size, skull thickness, finger diameter….. well OK, I made those last two up, but you get the idea. Wide receivers are a collection of measurables to some people, and I am not just talking about fans. NFL GM’s tend to group guys in to roles based on their measurables. Under 6′ means a player is likely only a slot receiver. Under 190 lbs means a player is likely going to be too fragile for a long and productive career. Longer arms means a better catch radius. Bigger hands catch and hold on to balls better.
Tight ends are even more defined by their weight. A tight end who comes in to the combine below 240lbs has likely removed himself from the draft board of many teams. They are not going to believe he can contribute early in his career unless he has wide receiver level of athleticism.
Offensive Line and Running Back Bench Press
These guys do not want a low score on this one. Bench press is more of a barometer for effort than functional strength. A few running backs will outperform half of the offensive line group. A player who puts up a number less than say 25 has hurt his stock. The interior linemen, with their stubby little arms, are expected to have bigger numbers. It is easier for them to move the bar a shorter distance. The key here is to hit a minimum, not to set a new record. One or two of these will get sprinkled in to the televised coverage, as a few of the hogs are going to put up really impressive numbers. The Lions in particular are more likely to be looking for dancing bears rather than the worlds strongest men.
A Few Names to Watch at the Combine Tomorrow
OJ Howard will be an interesting weight to look for. If he shows up with some more mass than his 249 senior bowl mark and still looks like the athlete he did at the senior bowl, the question of number one tight end is answered.
Jake Butt will measure up and interview with teams. It will be interesting to hear the buzz that comes off him in the aftermath of the combine.
Every wide receiver or quarterback who is hovering around six feet. Vernon Adams is not in the NFL because of this, and Kendall Wright played in the slot receiver role despite a 1300+ yard season as an outside receiver because they were under the magic number. This is the most important measurement for half the players at today’s combine weigh ins.