INDIANAPOLIS -- Workouts at the 2017 NFL Scouting Combine kicked off Friday as the offensive linemen and running backs took to the field at Lucas Oil Stadium. There were several outstanding performances from both groups, and a number of players improved their draft stock.
1. T Garett Bolles: Bolles departed the Combine as he arrived - as the premier left tackle in the draft. The junior may have cemented himself as a top-12 selection by showcasing his athleticism. Bolles broke five seconds in the 40-yard dash, reached 9-7 in the broad jump, and clocked 7.29 seconds during the 3-cone drill. He looked terrific in position drills, especially simulating pass protection. He displayed smooth and fluid footwork off the edge as well as the ability to cover a good amount of area.
2. OL Forrest Lamp: Despite struggling with an ear infection, Lamp turned in one of the better performances among the offensive linemen. His testing numbers were impressive and included 34 reps on the bench, under five seconds in the 40, and 9-3 in the broad jump. He looked equally as athletic during position drills, easily moving about the field. Lamp leaves the Combine now graded as the top guard prospect in the draft by a number of teams.
3. RB Christian McCaffrey: McCaffrey's testing numbers were not all that great, as he timed 4.48 seconds in the 40, touched 37.5 inches in the vertical jump, and completed just 10 reps on the bench press. His position work, on the other hand, was flawless. McCaffrey showed incredibly quick feet, changing direction on a dime without losing momentum or balance. He looked natural catching the ball in the deep field and displayed a great deal of versatility all day.
4. RB De'Veon Smith: Smith didn't run the 40, which was disappointing, but like McCaffrey he looked terrific in position drills. He quickly moved his 223-pound frame through the cones, showing the balance and body control to change direction without slowing down or gathering himself. He also caught the ball well. From the Shrine Game to the Senior Bowl and now the Combine, Smith has continued to impress teams during the pre-draft process.
5. RB Alvin Kamara: Kamara tested well then looked equally effective during position work. His 40 time clocked in the low 4.5-second range and he touched 39.5 inches in the vertical jump, and was just one inch shy of 11 feet in the broad jump. Kamara practiced to those athletic numbers during drills, showing a terrific amount of quickness as well as a burst of speed whenever he lined up to display his skills. He also caught the ball extremely well, something he did all last season at Tennessee.
6. T Cam Robinson: Robinson's testing numbers were nothing extraordinary, but he was better than expected during position drills. He showed none of the stiffness or rigidity scouts feared, and looked much more athletic and nimble than on game film.
- Tony Pauline
Inside The Numbers: Running Back
1. The number everyone was focused on to start the day belonged to Leonard Fournette and his vertical jump at 28.5 inches. How low is that number? No running back drafted in the last five years posted one that low (Kenny Hilliard was the 18th runner drafted, coincidentally from LSU, back in 2015 with a 29-inch vertical.
2. The broad jump number that was even less impressive than Fournette's belonged to Matt Dayes, who jumped 28 inches. You may say, "Well, that's just a half-inch less than Fournette!" The difference is that the LSU star checked in at 240 pounds. Dayes, on the other hand, weighed in at 205, a startling difference. Corey Clement turned in the same vertical as Fournette, and he did his at 220 pounds. Many teams have formulas that incorporate a prospect's weight when stacking him against his peers. Dayes and Clement will both be hurt by that number in those kinds of scenarios.
3. A player who opened eyes with his jumps was Alvin Kamara, who jumped out of the gym with a 39.5-inch vertical leap and a nearly 11-foot broad jump, weighing in at 214 pounds. It should be noted that only six running backs drafted in the last five years have bested that broad jump number, and none have truly gone on to have great NFL careers yet - David Wilson, Jerick McKinnon, Darius Jackson, Lache Seastrunk, Daryl Richardson, and Daniel Lasco.
4. Fournette's time in the 40-yard dash at 4.51 seconds was very impressive taking into account his size. Fournette saved his shuttle times for his Pro Day, but you got to see the big man move in the open field. The fact that Dalvin Cook, who most analysts see as the more explosive back, ran a 4.50 weighing in 20 pounds lighter gives you a sense of just how impressive Fournette is athletically.
5. Only one running back drafted since 2012 posted a better laser-timed 40-yard dash than T.J. Logan (4.37 seconds), and that player was Keith Marshall last year (4.31).
6. Kareem Hunt was a bit disappointing in the 40-yard dash, turning in an unofficial time of 4.62 seconds. With above-average size at 5-10, 216 pounds, and giant 9 5/8-inch hands, Hunt looks the part and on the field he is a very good player. However, he left wanting teams wanting a bit more. One of the biggest knocks on him was his speed in the open field, which is just another example of why the eye in the sky never lies!
- Fran Duffy
Inside The Numbers: Offensive Line
1. The most impressive overall workout belonged to Garett Bolles, who turned in a truly awesome performance as noted above, though keep in mind he weighed in under 300 pounds. That is much lighter than you want for a prospect up front, only one tackle prospect drafted in the last five years weighed less.
2. Guard Nico Siragusa impressed with his overall performance as well. His short shuttle (4.56 seconds) and broad jump (110 inches) were well above average, while his 32-inch vertical jump was better than 126 of the 137 tackles and guards drafted since 2012. Impressive feat (and feet)!
3. Some impressive numbers from Pitt guard Dorian Johnson, who posted a 114-inch broad jump (91st percentile amongst tackles and guards drafted in the last five years).
4. Only five tackles and guards ran a better 3-cone time than Temple's Dion Dawkins, who impressed with a 7.30-second showing, displaying the quickness that gives him flexibility at either position in the NFL.
- Fran Duffy