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ATM: As the Combine Begins, Some Players & Positions to Watch

| February 26th, 2019

Here are a few players and positions to watch at the 2019 NFL combine, which begins today in Indianapolis:

Players

David Montgomery, RB, Iowa State

The popular comparison for Montgomery has been Kareem Hunt, but there’s one major issue when I watch Montgomery: speed.

Montgomery backers are quick to point out that Hunt only ran a 4.62 40-yard dash, but I’ve never watched Hunt and thought he looked slow whereas Montgomery’s lack of burst is clear. He’s even gotten caught from behind a few times.

The Iowa State star’s game is breaking tackles, but it’s a heck of a lot easier to break tackles in the Big 12 than in the NFL. If he’s clocking in the 4.7s in the 40-yard dash and his vertical jump is in the low-30s, it’s a clear sign that he doesn’t just look slow, he is slow.

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Rodney Anderson, RB, Oklahoma

Anderson tore his ACL early in the season so it’ll be interesting to see if he’s able to do all of the drills.

Even if he isn’t, Bears fans should keep an ear (or eye) for reports on his medical condition. Anderson has had several major injuries in college but is clearly a Round 1 talent. Although they’re different positions, Anderson’s story isn’t unlike  that of Eddie Jackson.


Positions

Tight Ends

Because of where the Bears picks are, it’s hard to pinpoint an exact prospect here.

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Building a Measurable Profile for the Andy Reid/Matt Nagy Running Back

| February 25th, 2019

The Combine starts soon, which means NFL coverage will be obsessed with 40 times, bench press reps, and various other physical metrics leading up to the draft.

Like I did last year at wide receiver (with pretty good success), I want to cut through the noise to see if I can figure out which numbers matter when it comes to running backs for Chicago’s offense. This is a variation of the offense Andy Reid runs in Kansas City, so I looked at the Combine stats of all the running backs the Chiefs have acquired since Reid showed up in 2012 to see if there were any trends. This can help us identify what running backs at the Combine – and in free agency – might makes sense for the Bears if they look to re-shape the position this offseason.

Building the Profile

There were 5 Chiefs RBs identified that were drafted by them, signed to a substantial deal in free agency or earned a meaningful role with the team as an undrafted free agent since Reid took over in 2012. These players were Knile Davis, Kareem Hunt, Spencer Ware, Damien Williams, and Charcandrick West. I used Mock Draftable to look up their Combine data (or found data from their pro day when the Combine was not available) in every category I could find, and compared it to the average RB mark in each of these categories that Mock Draftable has compiled. Full data can be seen here.

Many of the measurables didn’t show any clear pattern, but I identified five which did: height, weight, 10 yard split, vertical jump, and broad jump.

  • 4 of the 5 were below the average height, meaning they were 5’10” or shorter (the 5th was 5’11”)
  • 4 of the 5 were above the average weight of 214 pounds
  • 4 of the 4 measured (the 5th doesn’t have a reported time) had an average or faster first 10 yards of the 40 yard dash (1.59 seconds or less)
  • 4 of the 5 had an above-average vertical jump (35″ or more)
  • 5 of the 5 had an above-average broad jump (118″ or more)

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What to Watch for At 2017 Combine

| March 1st, 2017

The NFL’s annual meat market kicks off this week and here are a few things to watch for:

The Quarterbacks

In case you haven’t noticed around here, this off-season is about one thing: finding a quarterback. This week is going to be the Bears first real chance to sit down and talk football with the top four guys: Deshaun Watson, DeShone Kizer, Mitch Trubisky and Pat Mahomes.

The Bears know who Brian Hoyer is, have a good feeling about Jimmy Garoppolo and are at least relatively familiar with all of the other veteran options. Their pro personnel department has done their work. They don’t know the quarterbacks in the draft simply because they haven’t had the opportunity to study them beyond their game tape.

Does Watson have enough meat on his bones? What does Kizer attribute his inconsistency to? Is Trubisky really short?  Does Mahomes have any clue when it comes to reading coverage? These are some of the questions the Bears need to ask.

The most important part is going to be the interview process. The Bears need to find out what makes these guys tick. They won’t publicly broadcast that information, but we’ll hear the buzz. The Bears could fall in love with a quarterback here and that could change everything.

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Why I Hate the Combine (Part One of Three Hundred)

| February 26th, 2016

combineharvester

I hate the Combine.

Hate it.

Pure, unadulterated hate.

Why?

Three reasons.

  • It’s stupid. Football has become overcomplicated to an insane level I can’t stomach. Does a man’s hand size equate to his being a better thrower of the football? Perhaps. But the truth is I simply don’t care. If there was no Combine and the players were selected based purely upon their performance on the college football field (you know, like it was when Walter Payton got drafted), you trying to tell me teams would do a worse job of talent evaluation? Teams are shitty at it now and there’s three months of evaluation!
  • A collection of wealthy, overwhelmingly white men sit and evaluate the physical attributes of a collection of unemployed, overwhelmingly black men. They are trying to determine whether their physical abilities suit the needs of the labor force. Do they pay the men? Absolutely. But if you don’t see the similarities between the Combine and slave auctions it’s because you don’t want to see them.
  • This stupid event gives credence to the inanity of people like Mike Mayock, who will cite a player’s measurables exhaustingly when he’s ACTUALLY CALLING A GAME. The Draft Industrial Complex is the biggest waste of money and resources in the sports world.

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