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NFL Combine: Harlow & Bolden Update

The offensive players have finished up at the NFL Scouting Combine, and two former Oregon State players have done what they can to impress coaches and scouts. Sean Harlow had a decent enough performance on Friday while Victor Bolden Jr. started slowly but steadily improved on Saturday. Both Beavers probably helped their visibility with the Combine workouts, and the next step is impressing at the Oregon State Pro Day.

Let’s do a quick recap of action from the past two days.

Sean Harlow (Offensive Lineman #21)

Height: 6’4”

Weight: 303 lbs.

Hands: 9.5”

Arm Length: 32”

Bench Press: 26 Reps. There is no question about Harlow’s upper body power and ability to lock out pass rushers. The 26 reps on the bench press may not have been the greatest numbers, but they still showed off some of his power.

40-Yard Dash: 5.15 Seconds. For a big man, Harlow can move quite well. His 5.15 seconds on the 40-yard dash placed him at eighth in the offensive line group. Plus, Harlow was only .07 seconds slower than Colorado quarterback Sefo Liufao, who is 71 pounds lighter.

Vertical Leap: 30.5 Inches Harlow’s 30.5 inches on the vertical leap tied for third in the offensive line group. The funny thing is that he out jumped multiple running backs like De’Veon Smith from Michigan and Jamaal Williams from BYU. Not too shabby for a man with a recently healed broken leg.

Broad Jump: 105 Inches.

3-Cone Drill: 8.16 Seconds

20-Yard Shuttle: 4.81 Seconds

Victor Bolden Jr. (Wideout #3)

Height: 5’8”

Weight: 178 lbs.

Hands: 9”

Arm Length: 31.125”

Bench Press: 9 Reps

40-Yard Dash: 4.55 Seconds. Honestly, this time was a surprise given Bolden’s natural speed and history as a track star. He is a quick football player, and this slower time just doesn’t add up. Bolden is quite fast, and it’s not a simple matter of practice speed vs. game speed. Granted, any number of factors (stance, nerves, etc.) can completely disrupt a successful 40-yard dash. I would expect Bolden to run closer to 4.45 during the Oregon State pro day.

Vertical Leap: 32 inches. Bolden’s vertical was in the back half of the receiver group at only 32 inches, but that’s not entirely surprising considering his smaller size. Explosiveness can only make up so much for those genetic deficiencies. On the plus side, he still leapt 2.5 inches higher than WSU’s Gabe Marks, who has a three-inch size advantage.

Broad Jump: 117 inches. Apparently, 117-119 inches was a very popular range for the wideouts. Six players tied for second with 119 inches, four tied for third with 118 inches, and three tied for fourth with 117. Bolden was amongst those with 117 inches.

Gauntlet Drill: This drill tests a receiver’s ability to catch a pass, turn around, catch another pass, and take off running across the field while quarterbacks throw footballs from multiple directions. Speed, hands, and the ability to follow directions all play a major role. Bolden was one of the better performers in the first group of wide receivers as he showed off solid hands and quickness. During his second attempt, Bolden caught his first two passes, double caught the third as he left it get too close to the body, but finished by catching the rest of his passes.

Misc. Drills: Bolden also took part in the various quarterback drills throughout the day, but these didn’t have any official stats to track. During the Seven-Step Drop drill, Virginia Tech quarterback Jerod Evans threw a low pass on a deep in-breaking route. Bolden reached down and caught the ball before it hit the ground and ended up in a forward roll. He still made the catch.

Bolden also made a beautiful adjustment during the Five-Step Drop drill (to the left sideline) where he leapt into the air and spun 360 degrees while making the catch behind him. Bolden somehow managed to get his feet in bounds to complete the NFL-style reception. The same drill to the right sideline was a smoother catch as Bolden caught the ball in stride and turned upfield toward the end zone.

Corner Route Drill: This drill tests both the quarterback and the wide receiver’s ability to capitalize on a deep ball. The wideout starts by running toward the center of the field, but he cuts the route back at the 30-yard line and heads toward the sideline. The quarterback tries to hit the receiver in stride around the 50-yard line.

Bolden’s first attempt at the corner route didn’t go as planned as he took a more shallow route toward the sideline. Mitch Leidner of Minnesota threw a dart that fell incomplete well to the inside. The second attempt was even worse as Bolden came up limping on the sideline after his route. He dove for a pass and landed on his knees and face. Bolden limped off the sideline before taking a seat to recover.

The tweak didn’t seem to be too serious given the lack of information from any official channels. I reached out to NFL Media’s Daniel Jeremiah to see if he had any insight but didn’t get a response. Until we hear otherwise, we will go with the assumption that Bolden will be recovered and ready for Oregon State’s Pro Day.

The Combine continues with the college defenders, but Oregon State doesn’t have another player hitting the field until Monday when Treston Decoud makes his debut. Will the star corner make a big impression in a stacked secondary class?

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