By Ryan Mayer
The big uglies get their chance to make an impression on scouts today as they will go through the underwear Olympics. We profiled the top performances in recent years by running backs, now it’s time to do the same with the men who will possibly be protecting your favorite QB come next season. As a refresher, we’ll be using the NFL’s official site for top performers.
40-yard dash – Terron Armstead, OT, Arkansas-Pine Bluff (2013): Armstead coming from a small college like DII Pine Bluff is exactly the kind of prospect who can wow scouts at the combine. He did just that running a 4.71 40-yard dash. For reference, that was a faster time than Jordan Reed (4.72), Zach Ertz (4.76) and Gavin Escobar (4.84) who are all tight ends. Armstead’s showing got him drafted in the 3rd round (75th overall) by the New Orleans Saints and has been a starter on their offensive line the last two years.
Bench Press – Mitch Petrus, OL, Arkansas (2010): There must be something in that Arkansas water. Petrus set the mark for offensive lineman with 45 reps on the bench, but didn’t participate in any of the other drills. He was still taken in the 5th round (147th overall) by the Giants playing parts of three seasons with them, the Titans and the Patriots.
Vertical Jump – Travis Bright, OL, BYU (2009): Bright’s 33.5-inch vertical along with his performance in the other drills wasn’t enough to get him drafted. He’s bounced around practice squads since then.
Broad Jump – Lane Johnson, OT, Oklahoma (2013): Johnson’s athleticism comes from being a high school QB and he showed it at the combine posting the record for lineman with a 9’10” broad jump, combined with a 4.72 second 40-yard time (just 0.01 off Terron Armstead’s record). Johnson was taken 4th overall by the Eagles and recently signed the richest contract for a right tackle at six years, $63 million dollars with $35.5 million guaranteed.
3-cone drill – Lydon Murtha, OT, Nebraska (2009): Murtha posted a 7.06 second 3-cone drill, which still stands as the record for the position group. He was taken in the 7th round (228th overall) by the Jets and traded to the Lions with DeAndre Levy. Murtha never appeared for the Lions but did catch on for three seasons with the Dolphins in Miami, playing nine games and making four starts.
20-yard shuttle – Jason Kelce, OL, Cincinnati (2011): Kelce wasn’t projected to be much more than a reserve offensive lineman after his combine performance, despite his position best 4.14 in this drill. After being drafted in the 6th round (191st overall) by the Ravens, he was traded to the Eagles and has been the starting center for the team ever since, going to a Pro Bowl in 2013.
Ryan Mayer is an Associate Producer for CBS Local Sports. Ryan lives in NY but comes from Philly and life as a Philly sports fan has made him cynical. Anywhere sports are being discussed, that’s where you’ll find him.