Below, we cite some more players who lacked invitations to the combine but whose performances would have fit right in at Indianapolis. For a rundown of each drill’s specific requirements, take a gander at the NFL.com combine workouts page.
Dunn Da-Dunn Dunn! Just the facts: Utah wide receiver/returner Reggie Dunn (5-9, 178) was timed at 4.25 seconds in the 40. Had he been invited to the combine, Dunn’s time would have been the fastest this year and the quickest 40 since NFL running back Chris Johnson ran a 4.24 in 2008. Dunn also completed his 3-cone drill in 6.85 seconds. Perhaps most impressively, the diminutive Dunn benched 225 pounds 17 times.
Dunn returned four kickoffs for touchdowns in 2012, averaging over 51 yards per return in only 10 return opportunities. (Seriously: would you kick off to him?)
Flew, The Cooper: It appears Marcus Cooper (6-2, 192) did himself some good at Rutgers’ pro day. The cornerback took off for 39.5 inches on his vertical and 10-foot-9 inches on his broad jump. He added a respectable 4.45-second 40 and 6.89-second 3-cone drill. His 20 bench press reps make him a strong defensive backfield candidate.
Basketball Jones? If the game comes down to a jump ball, you might want this guy on your team. Safety Don Jones of Arkansas State (5-11, 191) levitated 42 inches on his vertical jump, which would have placed him second at the NFL combine. He ran the 40-yard dash in 4.40 seconds and also lifted 225 pounds 17 times on the bench press.
Polk The Buffalo, He Runs: Colorado safety Ray Polk (6-1, 219) ran the 40 in 4.40 seconds, leapt vertically 39 inches and jumped broadly 10-and-a-half feet. He also had 19 bench presses and had respectable quickness times (4.33 20-yard shuttle, 7.10 3-cone). Polk missed five games this past year with an ankle injury but averaged over six tackles per game.
Madam, I’m Adam. Replogle, I Elgolper: Defensive lineman Adam Replogle of Indiana (6-2, 299) ran an impressive 5.08-second 40-yard dash and benched 225 pounds 38 times. That bench number would have tied Replogle for highest at the NFL combine. He led Indiana with five sacks in 2012.
Nice At Any Brice: San Diego State receiver Brice Butler (6-3, 214) ran a 4.37-second 40 and a 6.70-second 3-cone drill. He also had a 10-foot-9 broad jump and 39-inch vertical. In his one year at SDSU (after transferring from Southern Cal), Butler averaged 14.5 yards per reception (24 for 347).
Fly Like An Eagle: Appalachian State running back Steven Miller (5-6, 172) had a vertical leap of 43 inches, tied with the combine’s best (Christine Michael, Texas A&M). He also completed 15 bench presses. Miller gained 1,368 yards rushing in 2012, averaging 5.7 yards per carry and scoring 11 touchdowns. He also had 34 receptions for the Mountaineers, four for TDs.
Air Jordan Gets Respect: After transferring to Towson State from Hofstra – which eliminated its football program – safety Jordan Dangerfield (5-11, 199) posted a 41.5-inch vertical and 10-5 broad jump. He also zipped through the 3-cone drill in 6.74 seconds.
C. J. … C. J. Run. Run, C. J., Run: Cornerback C. J. Wilson of North Carolina State ran the 40-yard dash in 4.34 seconds, which would have tied him for second at this year’s combine (with Tavon Austin of West Virginia). He also had a 10-6 broad jump, 4.19-second 20-yard shuttle, and 17 bench reps.
The Mite Of Mizzou: Smallish running back Kendial Lawrence (5-9, 194) of Missouri was timed at 4.33 seconds in the 40 (.01 faster than Austin) and had strong jumps (37-inch vertical, 10-foot-5 broad). He also zipped through the 3-cone drill in 6.95 seconds and had 19 bench presses. Lawrence led the Tigers with over 1,000 yards rushing in 2012 and had 18 receptions.
Hammond, Hines, Catch Up: Judging by the 3-cone drill times down in Florida (and Bill Belichick’s fondness for Gainesville), the Patriots could be feasting their eyes on some Gators with giddyup. Wide receiver Frankie Hammond (6-0, 190) had a 3-cone time of 6.57 seconds. Receiver/utility back Omarius Hines (6-1, 215) completed his in an astounding 6.45 seconds. (For comparison, Patriots running back Shane Vereen – not exactly an oaf – ran his 3-cone in 6.95 seconds.) Hammond had a 4.44-second 40, Hines a 4.50 40. If they’d been invited to the combine, Hines’ 3-cone time would have finished .07 of a second ahead of the top 2012 performer (Utah State’s Will Davis), while Hammond would have come in third overall.
In 2012, Hammond, a high-jumper on the Gator track team, had 22 catches totaling 295 yards. Hines snagged 23 passes for 242 yards while averaging almost eight yards per carry in a limited role as running back (20 totes for 159 yards).
The Running Of The Bull: South Florida cornerback George Baker (5-11, 183) sprinted a blistering 4.31 at the Bulls’ pro day, which would have placed him second overall at the NFL combine. Baker also had a 39.5-inch vertical and a 10-foot-1 broad jump.
A Leading Branden: Cornerback Branden Smith (5-10, 168) out of Georgia ran a 4.38-second 40 and leapt 10-8 in the broad jump. Smith had 25 tackles and nine pass breakups for the Bulldogs in 2012.
It’s Spelled Just Like It Sounds: Harvard fullback Kyle Juszczyk (6-1, 248) had a solid workout in Cambridge, jumping 37 inches vertically and 121 inches horizontally (hey, it’s the Ivies: do the math). He showed notable strength (24 bench reps) and surprising quickness for his size with a 4.19-second 20-yard shuttle and 6.93-second 3-cone.
Though he worked out as a fullback, Juczsyck Juzcyczzxk Kyle played tight end in 2012, leading the league with eight touchdown receptions (he had 52 grabs overall). Though not invited to the combine, he did play in the Senior Bowl.
Is This The End Of Rico? Not likely. Jackson State wide receiver Rico Richardson (6-0, 167) ran a 4.38-second 40, a 4.12-second 20-yard shuttle and a 6.77-second 3-cone. Richardson led the Southwestern Athletic Conference with 1,081 yards receiving (at 19.3 yards per reception) and 10 touchdown catches.
Look for Part III of the Combine Snub series after pro days end early next month.
You can email Chris Warner at [email protected]