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2006 NFL RB Draft Class
Version 6.0 - Final

As the top underclassmen usually don’t participate in all-star games, they typically are in a holding pattern until they have a chance to showcase themselves at the Combine. Then the event usually becomes one where underclassmen rise and some seniors fall by default. However, that was not the case this year. Redemption for seniors was a big theme for this RB class at the Combine. With the notable exception of DeAngelo Williams, many of the top rated senior prospects heading in to 2005 had disappointing seasons and several underclassmen quickly passed them up on draft boards. However, with all the top underclassmen choosing to not work out at the Combine, the spotlight went to several seniors who took advantage of the opportunity. Joseph Addai, Jerious Norwood, Leon Washington, and Jerome Harrison all built on very good all-star games to help themselves even more at the Combine. Wali Lundy came out of nowhere to resurrect his draft value. While they had fine seasons, Andre Hall, Quinton Ganther, and Wendell Mathis had been overlooked, but won’t be any longer. The net effect was this RB class is looking a lot deeper than originally perceived. The seemingly improved depth in this class could hurt the draft value of those slotted directly behind Bush, who remains the consensus first pick overall. Teams will think twice about reaching early for a RB when the difference between a number of candidates likely to be there a round or two later is not believed to be that great.

Here is a link to find the results of the physical tests at the Combine from two good sources.

Most of those who had a good showing at the Combine sat on their test results at Pro Days, but the big news was the redemption of two top underclassmen, the fall of another, and Bush. Brian Calhoun showed the expected speed he lacked at the Combine and the wait was worth it when Laurence Maroney finally worked out. On the other hand, LenDale White may have cost himself a first round pick. Despite not needing to, Reggie Bush provided the ridiculous numbers to back his status. Among the seniors, DeAngelo Williams wowed them, as well.

Here are links to find the results of Pro Days from three good sources:

While a fun activity, full mock drafts and trying to identify the specific round a player will go the deeper you go in the draft is an exercise in futility. So instead of a formal value board, I group an RB class in more general terms, under fairly self-explanatory headings. It’s important to note this is not a ranking of future value per se, just where I expect them to be drafted.

Key: Name (School - Class as of 2005) Height Weight Estimated 40

Blue Chips
Unfortunately the top RB prospects did not follow suit of their 2005 predecessors, who were not afraid to run and participate in drills at the Combine. So unlike last year, we left the Combine without a clear picture of what RBs are solidly locked in as first round picks. As the likely first pick overall, Bush remained a constant (and subsequently locked it up at his Pro Day), but the consensus pre-Combine next three (Maroney, L. White, and D. Williams) all had a lot riding on their Pro Days and individual workouts. Only White proceeded to disappoint.

Reggie Bush (Southern California - 3JR) 5’11” 200 4.45 - Career stats

While it has gotten ridiculous how many players chose to not participate at the Combine in physical tests and/or drills (sort of defeats the purpose – come on, NFL, stand together and do something about this), Bush’s decision is at least relatively understandable. As the consensus expected top pick overall, he had nothing to gain and millions to lose by taking part in the Senior Bowl and workouts at the Combine, especially if he was injured. Even just getting measured netted him a positive result, as he came in nearly 5’11” (actually was that flat at USC’s Pro Day), when some were certain he’d come in shorter. However, unlike teammate LenDale White, Bush saved his best for last, completely blowing scouts away at USC’s April 2nd Pro Day. He was reported to have run between a 4.33 and 4.41 40 yard dash on AstroTurf, making him possibly the fastest back in the draft. His 40 ½ inch vertical was the best by a RB and his 10’8½” broad jump and 24 reps were among the best recorded at the position as well. His measurements were right on target with his weight one pound heavier than at the Combine (202). Despite uninspired efforts from the Texans to appear still undecided, unless they are overwhelmed with a trade offer, their exercising a healthy bonus and contract extension on David Carr makes Bush more certain to not just go first overall on April 29th ,but to Houston (as opposed to someone trading in to the top spot), as well.

Laurence Maroney (Minnesota - 3JR) 5’11” 210 4.51 - Career stats

The only positive thing for Maroney at the Combine was his measurements. He looked good at the weigh-in and at 5’11” exactly and 217 pounds has good size for a feature back. Other than that, a slight strain to his lower left hamstring injured in January while training for the Combine prevented him from helping himself there. He planned to run at the Combine, but two days before, after testing the hamstring, he decided to decline participating in any workouts, apparently on the advice of doctors and his agent. He also spent a while under the MRI machine at the Combine checking the hamstring and an old Achilles’ tendon sprain that kept him out of the MSU game during the season. Despite expecting to be healthy for Minnesota’s Pro Day on March 6th, he again refrained from performing physical tests due to the hamstring. He redeemed himself at an individual workout at Minnesota on March 23rd. He ran one sub-4.50 40 (reports range from 4.46 - 4.49) on FieldTurf (same surface as was run on at the Combine), but did not run a second due to the hamstring acting up. That also prevented him from completing the agility tests. His weight was 216, a pound less than at the Combine, so the additional weight he put on since the end of the season took away none of his speed, another good sign. He was impressive in most of the other test, including putting up 21 reps on the bench and having a 35 ½ inch vertical. Equally important, he showed competence as a receiver, another question mark about him. While it is a bit worrisome the hamstring was still an issue, he erased a lot of doubts about his value. Star Tribune writer Sid Hartman reported most scouts he talked to at the workout felt he locked up a first round pick. After not performing at the Combine or at the Gophers’ scheduled Pro Day, he had a bit of pressure on him, but he came through well. He remains in the hunt to be the second RB selected overall.

DeAngelo Williams (Memphis - 4SR) 5’9” 209 4.53 - Career stats

After getting measured at the Senior Bowl, his height was no surprise (he actually gained a half inch), and he was a solid 214 pounds. While he did no running drills, he performed well in the others, including an outstanding 25 reps on the bench, displaying incredible upper body strength. He did everything else March 24th at the Memphis Pro Day, catching the ball very well and putting up extremely impressive test numbers. He had a wind-aided 4.40 on a rubber track and 4.48 against the wind. He also had showed great quickness and athleticism with a 4.10 short shuttle, 6.57 cone drill, 10’9” broad jump, and 34 ½ inch vertical. The first three numbers would have been best among RBs at the Combine. His size remains a bit of a concern, which wasn’t helped when his weight at the Pro Day showed he actually dropped seven pounds since the Combine, which probably reflects more accurately what his playing weight will be. Already having shown incredible running skills on a mediocre team, he has now proven to be an elite physical specimen, as well.

Joseph Addai (LSU - 5SR) 5’11” 210 4.44 - Career stats

After an outstanding showing at the Combine, it is impossible to allow my personal doubts about what he has proven to bias the mounting evidence that Addai will be one of the top backs selected in the draft. He measured in a bit shorter than advertised, but still very good size for a feature back, and tied for the second fastest 40-yard dash time. He also had the best vertical jump of all running backs (38 ½ inches), which is noteworthy because some Scouts value this as an excellent indicator of overall explosiveness, and put up a respectable (for a RB) 18 reps in the bench press. He looked good running and catching the ball in the drills, as well. Considering none of the players ranked ahead of him worked out, he was arguably the most impressive RB to perform at the Combine. Not surprisingly, he chose to sit on his terrific Combine numbers and only participated in drills at the LSU Pro Day. I still think his scattered resume and injury history could prevent teams from considering him a sure thing. However, he is now locked in as a Day One pick and has to be considered a dark horse to go as high as the first round. It appears the Colts have been significantly interested, which would likely mean they would have to be targeting him in the first round. The amount of publicity surrounding their interest is a bit unusual, teams usually like to hold their cards a little closer to the vest, which could mean it is propaganda to throw people off the true RB they are targeting. On the other hand, his pass catching ability is probably second to only Bush, which is obviously valued by the Colts.

Likely Day One
I already feel the four guys above are a lock to be early picks, with the top three having first round upside. After that, you have White who may have literally grown himself out of the first round and Norwood, who remains an enigma.

LenDale White (Southern California - 3JR) 6’2” 235 4.51 - Career stats

The media made much ado about his comments at the Combine that he played in the Rose Bowl at over 245 pounds. What was apparently forgotten is how well he played, outshining Reggie Bush and Matt Leinart in the game. He weighed in exactly at his listed playing weight, but there have been questions in the past about his dedication and effort. In front of a full house of reps from every NFL team, White gave all the wrong answers to those questions when he showed up at 244 pounds at USC on April 2nd and did no other test besides a disappointing 15 reps on the bench. Further reports indicate he does have a partially torn hamstring, but he did not help himself admitting his work ethic is something he needs to improve (his actions pretty much left that without saying). Theories that he purposely sabotaged his workout to fall to a better team in the first round, apparently with the guidance of some of these teams (most notably by NFL Network correspondent/Bronco mouth-piece Adam Schefter) are absurd. White is claiming he will run in individual workouts before the draft, but despite the injury being proven legit, I don’t think his draft value is completed regain. There are still questions he hasn’t answered. I no longer consider him a lock to be first round pick, but it is easy to see a team not wanting to pass on a player with the potential to be the next Jamal Lewis.

Jerious Norwood (Mississippi State - 4SR) 6’0” 204 4.41 - Career stats

Built on his momentum of a fine Senior Bowl with another impressive performance at the Combine. In addition to tying for the second fastest 40 time, he performed well in most of the physical tests and RB drills, particularly in demonstrating good hands. He sat on most of his numbers at his Pro Day, but did put the bar up 18 times (compared to 15 reps at the Combine) and did drills. He was down four pounds at his Pro Day, as well. No RB has helped himself more since the season ended. The steady climb he and Addai have displayed in the post-season are reminiscent of Julius Jones and Tatum Bell two years ago.

Borderline Day One
This group has the potential to be Day One picks, but they have some concerns in one or more areas regarding measurables, durability, or character. Their collegiate achievement and/or measurables are not enough at this point to guarantee an early pick. Round Three is always murky territory. One or two surprises show up by teams that are really in love with a guy and don’t want to end Day One without having secured him. So while I feel these guys have the potential to be chosen by then, only so many RBs get drafted Day One and any of these could be victimized by the numbers.

Jerome Harrison (Washington State - 4SR) 5’9” 199 4.50 - Career stats

Another player who continued to build on the momentum of a solid Senior Bowl performance. His vertical was about the only disappointing facet of his physical tests, the rest were very impressive. Any questions about his speed were erased with sub-4.5 times. In an RB class with less depth, I think he’d be a lock for a Day One pick, but some bigger backs have helped themselves, as well, and he still carries the stigma of the perception of being undersized. I’d be equally unsurprised to see him be the sixth back drafted on Day One or fall to Day Two.

Maurice Drew (UCLA - 3JR) 5’8” 205 4.41 - Career stats

My lasting memory of Drew at the Combine will be his massive thighs. They helped propel him to the best 40 time among RBs and offset some concerns about his height, the second shortest among the RB group. He stood on his Combine numbers, but participated in drills at the UCLA Pro Day. He still faces an uphill battle to get a feature back opportunity at the next level, but his elite speed and return skills will prevent teams from waiting too long to pick him.

Brian Calhoun (Wisconsin - 4JR) 5’9” 194 4.41 - Career stats

After a two tremendously disappointing 40 times at the Combine, Calhoun’s stock was dropping fast. However, he did perform well in drills and definitely turned things around at Wisconsin’s Pro Day. He reportedly turned in a fantastic 4.38 time and, depending on how accurate it is, keeps him solidly in the Day One picture. In fact, he improved on all his physical tests at their Pro Day. His weight was at 204, a couple of pounds heavier then his Combine weight, which was already better than expected. Calhoun attributed his slow times at the Combine to a sore Achilles’ tendon and felt he had alleviated scouts concerns after his Pro Day. However, it is noteworthy that he never mentioned the injury in his Combine press conference. He commented about being eager to run and expecting a low 4.4 /high 4.3 time. He ran on AstroTurf at Wisconsin.

Day Two
Questions or weaknesses slightly overshadow the strengths enough that these guys could miss being the early picks they have the skills to be. Upside is limited by one or more of measurables, accomplishments, durability, or character.

Leon Washington (Florida State - 4SR) 5’8” 210 4.50 - Career stats

Talented, but undersized, all-purpose back in a year with an abundance of them hurts his value. A poor regular season hurt him more. However, since the season ended, he has done nothing but impress, from the Senior Bowl to the Combine. He tested out well in all the drills and the physical tests involving running or agility and always ran out the whole drill, regardless of the result. I also believe he did nothing but help himself in interviews. He presents himself well and projects a very positive and motivated image of himself. He stuck with his Combine numbers at FSU’s Pro Day and had added four pounds at the weigh in. I think he has done enough to overcome his disappointing performance in his final season, but also think he is definitely only being viewed as a third down back and special teams player. This will make it a stretch for a team to reach for him on Day One.

Andre Hall (South Florida - 4SR) 5’9” 205 4.52 - Career stats

A true sleeper, he continues to be overlooked by the media, but after his 40 time, scouts took notice. He stood by his 40 and most of his physical tests from the Combine, doing mostly just the drills at USF’s Pro Day. If he came from a top program and was two inches taller, I’d say he’d be a strong Day One candidate, but I still think he slips to the fourth round where he’ll be a steal for someone like the Broncos. He’s neck-and-neck with Leon Washington at the top of the Day Two tier, with a slight advantage to Washington for his versatility, but Hall has the better running game.

Wali Lundy (Virginia - 4SR) 5’10” 214 4.61 - Career stats

After disappearing from the Shrine Game, I viewed Lundy as more likely to go undrafted than have his name called. However, he bounced back from his freefall in a huge way at the Combine, posting some great numbers in the physical tests, led by a shocking 40 time and strong vertical. Not surprisingly, he stood on all his Combine numbers at Virginia’s Pro Day, just doing positional drills. I still think there are some serious questions about his ball security, durability, and motivation that will scare teams off, but his multi-purpose skills and tremendous nose for the end zone, combined with his impressive testing, should mean someone drafts him.

Borderline Day Two
This group has the upside that indicates they should be drafted, but they have concerns in one or more areas regarding measurables, durability, or character, as well as face getting caught in a numbers game – only so many RBs get drafted.

Mike Bell (Arizona - 5SR) 6’0” 215 4.56 - Career stats

As expected, he demonstrated lack of both elite quickness and breakaway speed in the running tests. He was a bit slower at Arizona’s Pro Day, but improved on a couple of physical tests, including 21 reps on the bench. He does bring ideal size for a feature back and helped himself with solid performance in the drills. I think his effort and intangibles will find him drafted, but he doesn’t have the upside to hold a workhorse job for long if he ever gets the chance.

Wendell Mathis (Fresno State - 5SR) 6’0” 211 4.58 - Career stats

An all-star game snub, Mathis forced his way in the picture with an excellent Combine. He demonstrated better quickness and speed than expected in the Combine, with very good results in all the running tests. He hasn’t gotten much recognition, but most teams were present at FSU’s Pro Day, where he stood on his 40 time, but was successful again in the other tests, improving most of his Combine results, and looked good in drills. He looks like a late riser.

Quinton Ganther (Utah - 4SR) 5’10” 216 4.57 - Career stats

Previously overlooked, Ganther got noticed at the Combine with a very good 40 and an extremely impressive bench (29 reps), as well as solid performance in other tests. Although shorter than desired, he is an impressive physical specimen and his strength was expected to test well, but his speed was a surprise. His lack of recognition and sparse resume makes him hard to gauge, but his name will be in circulation in the late rounds.

Gerald Riggs Jr. (Tennessee - 4SR) 6’0” 218 4.55 - Career stats

He was unable to do any activities at the Combine as he still recovers from his severe right ankle injury, which required surgery he had on Halloween for a fracture and torn ligament to the ankle. The fact he was not ready for the Combine was alarming, but he alleviated no concerns in his press conference there when he offered the conflicting reports that he was still 3-4 weeks away from being able to run on it, but would do everything at Tennessee’s March 15th Pro Day. Not only did the math not work for him to even be ready on the Pro Day, but it gives him no time to train for it. So the only thing he could do at the Combine was get measured and weighed. Even that didn’t go well. He came in shorter than advertised and well over his playing weight, he didn’t appear in good shape. However, he redeemed himself a bit in that he was, in fact, ready for their Pro Day. He was five pounds lighter and performed in all tests and drills. While not overly impressive, he put up decent numbers in the tests, claiming to be “probably around 85 percent”. His 36.5-inch vertical was impressive, while his 9’7” long jump, 4.25 short shuttle and 7.15 three-cone were middle of the pack. His 17 reps on the bench were disappointing, especially for a player who should have been able to work on his upper body strength while impeded by a leg injury. While his Pro Day salvaged his draft value, in particular I was surprised he ran under 4.6, he still is no lock to be drafted.

Cedric Humes (VaTech - 5SR) 6’1” 231 4.52 - Career stats

Failed to build on the momentum he had from the Gator Bowl through the Senior Bowl. For a player who looks like an ideal physical specimen to play RB, his physicals tests at the Combine left a big gap between perception and reality. It wasn’t just his speed, which was one of the worst among RBs, he disappointed in several of the tests. However, he was three pounds lighter at Tech’s Pro Day and improved on most of numbers. With his size, that may have been enough to keep interest in him in Day Two. Still, after a brief climb, he is back to where he was when he ended the regular season: a guy who passes the eyeball test, but has too many questions about his actual skills and ability to successfully run at the next level.

De’Arrius Howard (Arkansas - 5SR) 6’0” 228 4.54 - Career stats

A Combine snub after a great Shrine Game, Howard is kept his name in circulation with an outstanding Pro Day. His speed reports were 4.55 or less, with the best a sub-4.5, as well as a solid vertical, decent quickness, and 20 reps on the bench. With disappointing testing by some of the big backs in this class, his solid display of quickness and speed makes a Day Two pick very likely.

Chris Barclay (Wake Forest - 4SR) 5’10” 180 4.50 - Career stats

One of the biggest snubs for the Combine, Barclay measured a little smaller than expected, but blew them away with his physical tests at Wake Forest’s Pro Day. In addition to blazing 40’s, he had a 40-inch vertical, a 10-foot long jump, 4.09 short shuttle, 6.65 three-cone drill, and 16 reps – all great numbers, including the reps relative to his size. With his upside as a kick returner, he offers enough value as a change of pace back to get serious consideration and be the rare back to get drafted without a Combine appearance.

Quadtrine Hill (Miami) 6’2” 228 4.61 - Career stats

With no invite to the Combine, Hill benefited by association with every NFL team represented at Miami’s Pro Day. He capitalized on the opportunity demonstrating excellent receiving skills and hitting a solid 40 time for a FB. He also benched 16 reps and had an impressive 38-inch vertical. Overall, he showed some outstanding athleticism and is an appealing option as a tweener late Day Two.

Damien Rhodes (Syracuse - 4SR) 6’0” 211 4.55 - Career stats

After finally getting his shot as a feature back in 2005, Rhodes was unable to translate the potential he had shown as a back-up into consistent success. Always an impressive physical specimen, he missed out on one opportunity to regain draft value with Combine snub. However, he wowed them at Syracuse’s Pro Day, running at least one sub-4.5 time (some reports as low as 4.42), benching 225 21 times, a vertical of 37 ½ inches, and showing good quickness. After disappointing testing by some of the other big backs in this draft, Rhodes instantly became one of the best size/speed packages in this draft. With his special teams ability, beyond just as a kick returner, he adds immediate value and should be a Day Two pick.

Taurean Henderson (Texas Tech - 5SR) 5’9” 205 4.55 - Career stats

If I recall, Mewelde Moore ran a disappointing 40 (4.60 maybe) and still was a fourth round pick. Although Henderson didn’t test well, he once again showcased his receiving ability and has a solid body of work on film of his tremendous productivity. However, he ran his 40’s again at the Tech’s Pro Day and his best reported result was barely breaking 4.70, not good. Despite lacking quickness and pure speed, he has elusiveness and value in the passing game that still give him a chance to be drafted as third-down back.

End Game
Names likely left to be considered late Day Two as fliers, but most likely to be a priority undrafted free agent (UDFA).

DonTrell Moore (New Mexico - 5SR) 5’10” 212 4.53 - Career stats

One of the feel-good injury-comeback stories for the former top senior prospect will not have a happy ending on draft day. Measurements and tests showed he lacks the size for the workhorse back he was in college and lacks the speed or quickness to project well in any offensive back role at the next level. He is still barely a year removed from major knee surgery, so that could still be a contributing factor, but after a strong 2005 season, the expectation was he was back in shape. If he isn’t drafted, I believe he’ll be the first of the seven players in D-IA history to run for 1,000 yards in four consecutive seasons to not be.

Albert “A.J.” Harris (Northern Illinois - 4SR) 6’1” 220 4.42 - Career stats

Displayed impressive speed at NIU’s Pro Day (he was not invited to the Combine) and came in bigger than expected. Overall, his physical test results reported by were outstanding: 22 bench reps would have been third-best at the Combine among RBs, 4.18 short shuttle would have been second, 38.5 inch vertical would have tied for best, and 6.65 cone drill would have been the best. As a career back-up, he is still probably an UDFA, but he is a very impressive physical specimen who will get a chance to make a roster this fall on special teams.

Jerod Void (Purdue - 5SR) 6’1” 216 4.54 - Career stats

A Combine snub, he performed at Purdue’s Pro Day and while some of his physical tests were good, his 40 times and bench (14 reps) were disappointing. Void does offer an appealing all-around package, he is an excellent receiver groomed in pro spread offense and outstanding special teams player (which many guys who are used to being nothing but a feature back in college are not), so I think he will get a shot at least as an UDFA.

Cornell Brockington (UConn) 5’11” 203 4.55 - Career Stats

After a breakout 2004 as a 1st Team Big East RB, he was pushed out of the picture by the return of 2003 Freshman All-American Terry Caulley from a serious knee injury and emergence of Lou Allen. Brockington finished third on the team in carries and rushing yards. As opposed to returning as a reserve or transferring down, he declared with his draft value at rock bottom. With no all-star or Combine exposure, he attended Villanova’s Pro Day on March 17th and turned in very disappointing test results. However, less than a week later back in Storrs for UConn’s Pro Day, he was a new man. He improved all his numbers, particularly his 40 time, in front of scouts from the Jets, Patriots, Dolphins, 49ers, Bears, Colts, Jaguars, Browns, Giants, Eagles and Panthers. He ran at least one sub-4.6 time (after running closer to 4.7 the week before), and reportedly may have been under 4.55. He also looked good in drills. It doesn’t seem enough to get him drafted, but he should be a priority UDFA for a team who takes a good look at what he did in 04 on film.

Prince “P.J.” Daniels Jr. (Georgia Tech - 5SR) 5’10” 211 4.56 - Career stats

I still believe Daniels is a good character guy with solid skills on the field, but all the hard work and effort in the world won’t change his sub-par physical test results. Other than 21 reps on the bench, his numbers were disappointing. He did not show improvement at Tech’s Pro Day, with his vertical the only notable number he significantly improved. He has gone from a guy who could get a look despite less than desirable measurables, to a guy who is unlikely to have his other assets overshadow his poor measurables.

William Leroy “P.J.” Pope Jr. (Bowling Green - 4SR) 5’9” 216 4.55 - Career stats

After two tremendously productive seasons, an injury-plagued 2005 left him forgotten and a Combine snub. However, he tested very well at BGSU’s Pro Day, including much better than expected speed (although he ran on AstroTurf). He is still a dark horse to be drafted, but is at least back on the radar.

Demetris Summers (3JR - formerly South Carolina) 6’0” 210 4.55 - Career stats

Since being dismissed for a second failed drug test (reportedly, and admittedly by Summers, for marijuana) by new HC Steve Spurrier a year ago, Summers appears to have taken a 180 degree turn and salvaged a chance to play on Sundays. He was not invited to the Combine, but according to his adviser, he was scheduled to meet with 15 teams in March. However, just three teams (Carolina, Oakland, and Miami) showed up on March 15th to see Summers and a few other fringe prospects work out at Plex Indoor Sports in Northeast Richland, SC. He reportedly failed to break the 4.6 mark on his two 40’s and his quickness wasn’t spectacular, but his size, build, 20 reps, and 39 ½ inch vertical were impressive. For almost the last year, he has been working out with trainer Emery Williams, who helped Derek Watson make the Buccaneers roster last year. It sounds like Summers is very healthy physically, mentally, and emotionally. He recently added an agent and, if nothing else, he has much better PR people then Maurice Clarett. He is still a dark horse to be drafted at all, with no chance to go as high as Clarett. However, he seems certain to at least get a shot as an UDFA.

Derrick Ross (Tarleton State - 4SR) 5’10” 238 4.65 - Career stats

This surprising Combine invite did not disappointing. He showed up slimmer than expected, and provided some impressive numbers in physical test, particularly his 40 speed, although his quickness showed to be unspectacular. Still a dark horse to be drafted, his solid Combine performance keeps him on the radar and makes it likely he’ll get a shot as an UDFA.

Best of the Rest
An assortment of prospects with one or more intriguing facets or familiar names, but they victims of a numbers crunch and/or the negatives currently outweigh the positives enough that right now that they will be undrafted free agents, at best, and the rest will be in another line of work this fall.

Terrence Whitehead (Oregon - 4SR) 5’10” 220 4.60 - Career stats

A thoroughly disappointing Combine, where he posted some of the worst numbers, across the board, in physical testing by a RB. He did improve his 40 time a bit on AstroTurf at Oregon’s Pro Day, but the other tests he retook yielded similar results. Overlooked in a PAC-10 stacked with great backs, he was lost in the shuffle at the Senior Bowl, as well, so he had everything riding on the Combine and his Pro Day to give scouts a reason to take notice, and he couldn’t do it. He came in smaller than advertised, as well, so he doesn’t even make a very good candidate for FB.

Chris Taylor (Indiana - 4SR) 5’11” 216 4.46 - Career stats

For a player whose speed was expected to be one of the few commodities he had to offer, Taylor was unable to post an exceptional time on AstroTurf at Indiana’s Pro Day. Although he has very good size, he was unable to increase his exposure enough between barnstorming lower-tier all-star games and his Pro Day.

Antonio Warren (Arkansas State - 5SR) 5’10” 201 4.64 - Career stats
Shermar Bracey (Arkansas State - 4SR) 6’1” 227 4.56 - Career stats

This productive Indian duo were both mild Combine snubs. Warren, who was a Sun Belt 1st Team All-Conference RB, put up back-to-back 1,000 yard season. Bracey, his back-up, was just as productive when Warren was dinged and actually has superior measurables for the next level. I could not find Pro Day results for either (ASU’s was scheduled for March 13th), but would not be surprised to find either drafted in the seventh round. At worst, I expect both to get a shot as an UDFA.

Ryan Gilbert (Houston - 5SR) 5’10” 230 4.60 - Career stats

The LSU transfer had a breakout season in Conference USA in 2005, but was not fully recovered from knee surgery for the Combine, where he was medically excused from participating, or by Houston’s Pro Day on March 27th. His weight was down to 228 at the Pro Day. As his speed and quickness were major concerns before the knee injury, his inability to work out prior to the draft should leave him as an UDFA.

Cory Ross (Nebraska - 5SR) 5’6” 198 4.52 - Career stats

The smallest and lightest (tied) player at the Combine had an unspectacular performance in physical tests. He did not show the elite quickness and speed a player of his stature needs to have a shot at the next level. He could not help himself at Nebraska’s Pro Day, running a slower 40 than his best Combine time, on which he pulled a hamstring and was unable to run any more.

Kejuan Jones (Oklahoma - 5SR) 5’9” 190 4.55 - Career stats

After being the featured back in 2003, he took a back seat to the Adrian Peterson Experience. Demonstrated being a tremendous team player in not complaining about being passed over. Accepted his role and produced in it. As Peterson struggled with injuries in his sophomore campaign, his value was shown again in 2005. However, he came in smaller than expected at Oklahoma’s Pro Day and had unspectacular test numbers. Due to his limited physical attributes and lack of adding value as a receiver, he is looking at trying to make it as a UDFA at best, despite his toughness and excellent success as a short-yardage runner. Former teammate Donta Hickson, a part-time RB, tested slightly better.

Patrick Cobbs (North Texas - 5SR) 5’8” 190 4.60 - Career stats

With wind a factor at his Pro Day, a 4.71 was the best time he turned in, although his other tests were decent. At his size, if that number is considered sufficiently representative of his speed, the former NCAA rushing champion is not going to get a shot.

Antoine Bagwell (California University of Pennsylvania) 5’11” 185 4.54 - Career stats

Widely regarded as the top DII RB during the season, two fellow small school RB prospects have gotten more notice in the post-season. Martin Hicks outshined him in the Cactus Bowl and Derrick Ross got some notice at the Combine (neither Bagwell nor Hicks were invited). He reportedly ran well at Duquesne’s Pro Day on March 18th, but I have been unable to confirm any results. It is rare for any DII player to get drafted, so the former Nebraska recruit’s chances likely have gone from slim to none. Height and weight are estimated because I couldn’t find information of him attending any Pro Day.

Tyler Ebell (UTEP) 5’8” 190 4.48 - Career stats

He may still be impeded by a late 2005 injury, but disappointing physical testing at his Pro Day, particularly his lack of speed, and his extremely slight stature eliminate his chances of being drafted.

Seymore Shaw (Central Oklahoma - 5SR) 5’11” 220 4.59 - Career Stats

After legal and behavioral problems ended his career at Oklahoma State about a year ago, he returned to Stillwater for the first time on March 7th to participate in their Pro Day. After an unimpressive season at DII, he did nothing to stir any interest with a string of disappointing physical tests. He is unlikely to even get a shot as an UDFA.

Martin Hicks (Winston-Salem State) 5’9” 180 4.55 - Career stats

Took advantage of his first opportunity to be noticed by NFL scouts in the Cactus Bowl, but was never going to be drafted anyway. Performed well in tests at a Pro Day, but came in lacking severely in size and upper body strength.

J.R. Lemon (Stanford - 5SR) 6’1” 225 4.55 - Career stats

Despite an impressive 36-inch vertical and 24 reps of 225 among the solid workout numbers he posted at Stanford’s Pro Day, his downward spiral continued with two 40 times near 4.7. Despite his size and potential, he seems a longshot to make it as even a UDFA.