USA TODAY Sports
The NFL invited six Razorbacks to participate in the NFL Combine this week.
What's better than older men getting excited by watching recent college graduates run around in what amounts to Man Spanx? This is the product of no football to watch--at least until spring football starts--for another six months. I found myself mesmerized watching in what looked like the same drill run 18 identical times because I do not have the keen eye of the NFL Network's Mike Mayock. I know it is his job, but the sheer number of players (college and pro) he can identify is unreal.
Towards the end of the combine I was finding myself being able to identify "tight hips" more frequently and I knew it was a good thing the week was coming to an end. The 40-yard dash is the sexiest of all the drills and deficiencies in other measurables, like your broad jump and bench press, are more easily to point out, the most ridiculous of them all is "hand size." Why is this measuring not shown? Can't you imagine the grimace and pain quarterbacks put themselves through to prove their hands are bigger than 49ers quarterback Alex Smith. Which leads me to...
- Tyler Wilson- Because of the dismal season last year, Wilson's stock has fallen, but scouts and draft experts have taken a liking to his toughness. Of course, we who endured horrid offensive possession after another know that WIlson is a special kid who will give his all to a team and its city. As for his hands, they are small, and this was one of the big takeaways from the quarterbacks. Measuring in at a 8.75 in, they were the smallest of any quarterback. However, his interviews were raved about, and NFL.com says his league comparison is Brett Favre. Good company. The website also says Wilson will ultimately be a top-15 pick because teams are desperate for quarterbacks.
- Knile Davis- Again, the rest of the nation saw what we have known all along, Davis is a gym rat and will do his best to not be beat in competition in the weightroom. He had the second-best 40-yard dash (4.37) and bench press (31 reps of 225-pounds) of all the running backs. Davis had the best 40 time and bench press combination ever for a back over 220 pounds. He was a freak out there, like he had never missed a beat after the ankle injury which led him to miss a season after being the SEC's second-leading rusher as a sophomore. He was 15th in his shuttle time and this lack of burst showed this season in the form of runs to the outside. If he can improve these numbers some experts have him going as high as the third round. Maybe UA's own Jerry Jones brings him to Dallas with DeMarco Murray struggling.
- Chris Gragg- It sure would have been nice to have him around for the last month of the season. Never was this more evident when the Warren native showcased his athleticism this week. He has hops, as he finished as a top performer in the broad and vertical jumps. Gragg fits the new mold of a tight end; and while he does lack in blocking ability, he makes up for it with his pass-catching skills. Had he had a full season more in a finely tuned Petrino offense, Gragg could be looking at going in the first round. He still may go late second because the tight end position, especially with his big frame, is becoming a premium offensive weapon (i.e. Rob Gronkowski, Tony Gonzalez, Jimmy Graham).
- Cobi Hamilton- There are usually winners and losers at the NFL combine and experts today will be happy to tell you which prospects were what today. If there is a tie, then Hamilton fills that role. He did nothing--on tape--that stood out. Because he lacks the speed, though possesses the size, of some of the NFL's top wide receivers, Hamilton has to prove on his pro day that he can move fluidly running routes. He is a projected third to fourth round pick, whose stock has room to rise.
- Alvin Bailey- The only Arkansas junior invited to the combine did not do a whole lot to improve where he will go in April's draft. He, like Hamilton, will need impressive pro days to move up, even more because there is very little tape of the Hogs' offensive line doing good last season. Scouts say he does have the necessary quick jump after the ball is hiked, but lacks a lot of lateral mobility and the ability to move defenders off their feet. In good news, NFL.com said this about him, the best description of any player: "Bailey is blessed with a natural anchor to limit his opposition's momentum."
- Dylan Breeding- The two-time All-SEC Second Team punter was one of six punters invited to participate. NFL.com says he lacks the "average athleticism for the position," he is still more athletic than you and me. He tied for the fastest 40-yard dash with a 4.74 among specialists which means you can tell everyone Arkansas had the fastest special teams player at the combine. Did you know he's from Hoover?
In case you haven't heard, UAPB's Terron Armstead ran a 4.71 40-yard dash, a record for offensive linemen. He weighs a beefy 306-pounds and is faster than 99% of people reading this.
A native of Arkansas now calling the Hogs from yonder in Georgia, you can follow Graham on Twitter @grahamreaves