On the NFL
February 28, 2013
The NFL scouting combine officially ended Tuesday, but some team executives, including those from the Bears, are sticking around in Indianapolis to digest everything they saw and heard over the previous six days.
Those executives will be discussing performances that stood out at the combine.
Here are the 10 biggest winners:
Ezekiel Ansah, Brigham Young DE: He impressed teams with his personality and his speed. Ansah ran a 4.63 40-yard dash at 271 pounds, making him almost a sure mid-first round pick.
Terron Armstead, Arkansas-Pine Bluff OT: He an a 4.71 40 but that doesn't matter a lick to offensive tackles. Still … the time speaks to Armstead's unusual quickness. He's now the No. 5 tackle and likely will be a high second round pick.
Tavon Austin, West Virginia WR: The question on him was speed in addition to quickness. Austin answered with a 4.34 40. He even might have sneaked into the first round.
Margus Hunt, Southern Methodist DE: Hunt had a lot to gain after an uneven impression at the Senior Bowl. He ran a 4.60 40 and bench pressed 225 pounds 38 times. That got NFL teams talking.
Lane Johnson, Oklahoma OT: His incredible, elite athleticism confirmed he is a rare prospect. He improved his stock to top 15 pick.
Vance McDonald, Rice TE: He was considered a mid-round pick a month ago; now he is a high second round pick behind only Tyler Eifert from Notre Dame and Zach Ertz from Stanford at his position. McDonald ran exceptionally well (4.69 40), caught the ball exceptionally well and showed outstanding strength (he had 31 reps in the bench press, or seven more than the next closest tight end).
Denard Robinson, Michigan WR: After Robinson's disappointing Senior Bowl performance, NFL teams were starting to doubt whether he could make the transition from quarterback to wide receiver. But Robinson redeemed himself catching and running a 4.43 40.
Darius Slay, Mississippi State CB: He gets the crown as the fastest defensive player at the combine with a 4.36 40, and NFL teams judge corners by the 40. Slay worked in the shadows of more highly acclaimed teammate Johnthan Banks in college, but he easily outperformed Banks.
Geno Smith, West Virginia QB: He probably cemented pick as the first quarterback. He needed a good combine including impressive interviews, and passed the tests.
Ryan Swope, Texas A&M WR: His performance, which included a 4.34 40 and a 37-inch vertical jump, was a huge surprise. NFL teams had him pegged as a "white possession receiver." Now they will have to go to the tape to see if Swope plays to his timed speed.
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