Packers’ Combine Marks Provide Several Surprises

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Quinten Rollins scouting combine

Some people view NFL Combine scores as an extremely valuable predictor of NFL success, while others insist on going by their own “eye test.” My take is that combine scores (and measurements) are a valuable initial evaluation tool, but the eye test needs to be the final determinant used when appraising players and working up a team’s draft preferences.

I’ve compiled a list of players, by position and their combine marks. Most are current Green Bay Packers players and some are recent ones, the idea being that Packers fans have a fair idea of how these players actually look out on the field, so they can compare that with their combine marks.

When the Packers make their draft selections in late April, fans can compare the scores of the team’s new acquisitions with the scores of current Packers, who they will be competing against for roster spots and perhaps starting roles.

The score I decided to most rely on for this analysis is the agility score, which is the total number of seconds it takes a player to complete the 20-yard short shuttle and 3-cone drills. There’s a tendency to over-emphasize the 40-yard dash time and under-emphasize a player’s agility. For football purposes, agility is a measure of how quickly one can start and come to a stop, reverse directions, and change directions while maintaining speed. For example, receivers with high agility scores should have the ability to make sharp and explosive cuts – the type of moves that gain them separation from defenders.

Secondarily, for many positions I used the 10-yard split time – the time it takes to go the first 10 yards during the 40-yard dash. Seldom in the course of a game does a receiver, linebacker or defensive back have to sprint 40 yards, but they have to run as fast as possible for 10 or more yards on many plays.

For offensive and defensive linemen and linebackers, my secondary mark is arm length. This is important in that players with long arms can more readily keep their offensive or defensive opponent from grabbing them or making contact with their bodies while they are blocking or trying to get by a blocker. For the hybrid position of tight end, I listed agility, 10-yard sprint time and arm length.

Several players have no marks or incomplete marks. Sometimes it’s because they were nursing an injury at combine time, but in most cases players simply declined to take tests that they were not good at. Tests done at a pro day event, rather than at the NFL Combine and which aren’t always reliable, are marked with an *.

Running Backs

Agility followed by 10-yard split

  • Christine Michael: 10.71, 1.51
  • James Starks: 11.12, 1.61
  • John Crockett: 11.40, 1.54
  • Don Jackson: 11.43, 1.59
  • Aaron Ripkowski: 11.92, 1.64
  • Eddie Lacy: none, 1.65

Wide Receivers

Agility followed by 10-yard split

  • Jeff Janis: 10.62, 1.47
  • Trevor Davis: 10.82, 1.57
  • Jared Abbrederis: 10.88, 1.53
  • Davante Adams: 11.12, 1.53
  • James Jones: 11.26, 1.49
  • Ty Montgomery: 11.28, 1.59
  • Randall Cobb: 11.42, 1.56
  • Geronimo Allison: 11.68, 1.65
  • Herb Waters: none, none

Defensive Backs

Agility followed by 10-yard split

  • Morgan Burnett: 10.70, 1.57
  • Damarious Randall: 10.90, 1.56
  • Micah Hyde: 10.98, 1.59
  • Jermaine Whitehead: 11.06, 1.64
  • Demetri Goodson: 11.14, 1.62
  • Josh Hawkins: 11.31, 1.51
  • Ha Ha Clinton-Dix: 11.32, 1.60
  • Quinten Rollins: 11.38, 1.61
  • Makinton Dorleant: 11.48, 1.53
  • LaDarius Gunter: 11.59, 1.68
  • Kentrell Brice*: 12.06, 1.56
  • Marwin Evans: none, none

Offensive Linemen

Agility followed by arm length

  • Corey Linsley: 11.99, 32
  • Bryan Bulaga: 12.02, 33 1/4
  • Josh Sitton*: 12.05, none
  • Jason Spriggs: 12.14, 34 1/8
  • J.C. Tretter: 12.17, 33 3/8
  • David Bakhtiari: 12.44, 34
  • Lane Taylor*: 13.13, none
  • Kyle Murphy*: none, 33 1/2
  • Don Barclay: none, none
  • T.J. Lang*: none, none
  • Patrick Lucas*: none, none

Defensive Linemen

Agility followed by arm length

  • Dean Lowry: 11.64, 31
  • Letroy Guion*: 11.91, none
  • Nick Perry: 11.91, 33
  • Brian Price: none, 32 ¼
  • Julius Peppers: none, 34 1/8
  • Kenny Clark: none, 32 1/8
  • Mike Daniels: none, 32 1/2
  • Christian Ringo*: none, none

Linebackers

Agility followed by 10-yard split

  • Jordan Tripp: 10.85, 1.64
  • Clay Matthews: 11.08, 1.49
  • Blake Martinez: 11.18, 1.61
  • Jake Ryan: 11.31, 1.62
  • Kyler Fackrell: 11.70, 1.61
  • Joe Thomas*: 12.09, 1.58
  • Jayrone Elliott: none, none

Tight Ends

Agility, 10-yard split and arm length

  • Jermichael Finley: 11.53, 1.65, none
  • Richard Rodgers: 11.70, 1.69, 32 5/8
  • Jared Cook*: 11.81, 1.60, 35 3/4

Comments

Though I’m constantly looking at combine marks, I was still surprised by several of these scores, including:

  • Running back Christine Michael, who has the reputation of being strictly a straight-line running back, has fabulous agility (though he seldom puts it to use).
  • Regarding two receivers who departed in 2016, I knew Jared Abbrederis had great agility, but not that James Jones was also right up there with him.
  • The eye test has been telling me for years that Randall Cobb is one quick and elusive dude, but the combine scores indicate well-below-average agility.
  • My eyes told me Morgan Burnett was an average athlete, but his combine agility score blew away the rest of the DBs. Micah Hyde also scored better than I would have thought at agility.
  • There’s a huge gap athletically between Damarious Randall and Quinten Rollins. I’ve indicated previously that, based on combine marks, Rollins should not have been a second-round draft pick.
  • Safety Kentrell Brice appears to be all speed and no agility.
  • Dean Lowry distanced himself from the rest of the defensive linemen – at 6’6” and 296, this guy has some moves, but also surprisingly short arms.
  • I doubt that Letroy Guion’s marks are relevant to what the big guy is still able to do now that he’s pushing 30 and this applies to all aging players.
  • Could new linebacker Jordan Tripp use his impressive agility to break into the starting lineup?

About The Author

Rob is currently twiddling his thumbs on Whidbey Island in Washington. He likes to do research, although he has no shortage of opinions. He saw his first live Packers game in 1958, the only win of the year.

9 Comments on "Packers’ Combine Marks Provide Several Surprises"

  1. KILLER

    Good article, Rob. Also a real good list of observations about the stats. The stats are lie coffee grounds and the observations are lie the deep dark aromatic delicious coffee that is produced as the steaming water runs through the coffee grounds.

    I will also add some “coffee”….

    *You commented on Lowry’s short arms but I will add that his new name, for me, will be “T Rex Arms”. 31 inch arms is about what a CB or RB would have. And he is 6’6″! It must be striking in person. Jesus, can he reach his own belly button?
    *Rollins. Wow. Small college, new to football…. AND slower AND less agile than free agent safeties… and TT took him in the second round!?! What the…!!!!?!
    *Clay Matthews’ marks need to have an asterisk next to them. He reportedly tested positive for steroid/PED use at that combine and has been linked to their use for years now. We need two sets of scores for Matthews = with steroids/PEDs and without.

    • PF4L

      Why don’t you link us the proof that Mathews “reportedly” tested positive for steroid/PED usage at the combine?

      I think it’s time for you to grow up you little internet troll addict. You want to accuse and point to positive PED test? Be a big boy and show us your source. You keep saying PED this, PED that. For what….the 50th time now? Does this somehow make you a big man in your little world? Is your cat proud of you?

      Or do nothing, and leave no doubt of your losing status in life.

      • PF4L

        Let me guess, Brian Cushing tested positive, so therefore, that is your proof that Mathews tested positive?

        What say you little man?

  2. PF4L

    Holy shit Batman……You must be in heaven once the combine comes around. So many players, so many numbers.

    Here’s what i value even more than someone’s 10-yard split time, 3-cone drill, or 20 yard shuttle time, arm length, 40 time, vertical jump, or penis length. I value someone who can make a fucking play in a NFCCG. Out of all those defensive players, out of all their combine metrics, tell me which one of them made a play against the Falcons…..i’ll wait.

    While were at it…tell me how Clinton Dix vertical jump at the combine translated to him making a play on Seattle’s 2 point attempt.

    By now, you probably have an idea how interested i am in following the NFL combine.

  3. Kato

    This I why the draft can be a crapshoot and the combine is less than a good indicator at best? The eye test, watching game tape, especially when matched up against equal opponents, and interviews are probably the most important things. 40 times are cool I guess, but is Jeff Janis worth a shit? Didn’t Emmitt Smith run a subpar 40? At the combine, these guys can show they are workout warriors. But, like PF4L said, and I don’t always agree with him, but do in this instance, can these guys make plays? Do they have football instincts, and can make the plays when they count? The packers haven’t obtained many of these guys recently, particularly on the defensive side of the ball.

  4. PF4L

    This is from NFL people, not me. But teams like the combine for 3 reasons.

    1) Teams can talk to all the players. This is besides all the investigation that goes on in delving into a players past before they hand over millions to them.

    2) They want to find out all the medical they can.

    3) Wonderlic test…how stupid are you…yes, it matters to teams.

    As these people have said…Teams researched and studied all about the players skills, before they arrive at the combine.

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