Now whether or not you think a good way to grade a defensive end is by how fast he can run 40 yards in straight line, or if working out who the next John Elway would be is by making him stand with his feet together and jump forward, is up for debate. What is certain though is that you WILL change your stock in the minds of the scouts by how well you do in the annual cattle market. With that in mind here is a snapshot of how the former ‘Dores did.
Everyone knew coming into the combine that Jordan Matthews was a fantastic route runner with big, strong hands who was capable of making every catch in the book. The question marks on Matthews were always going to be about his straight line speed, especially in a league which values big guys who are also burners. Matthews responded tremendously running (officially) a 4.46 40-yard dash, showcasing his explosiveness and putting him on par with the upper echelon of receivers on show. This was a tremendous result for Matthews who had been expected by some scouts to be in the high 4.6's and should be the starting point for him to vault into the first round of the draft.
Boyd was disadvantaged from the beginning after spending the last season out of the game. As a result he is a low round prospect at best. He did little to prove to scouts that he is worth taking a flyer on. His 4.73 second time in the 40-yard dash was not enough to show the people in attendance that he is anything more than a work in progress. This is especially true when you consider that Boyd must have known coming in that he had to put up a fast time to get his name out there. His frame alone will get him a look somewhere, but Indy was not ideal for Chris Boyd.
Ladler had a solid, if unspectacular combine performance which will move his stock up marginally in the eyes of the scouts. His 4.7 second 40-yard dash was decent, though with the range needed by safeties in the pass happy NFL people would have liked to see it a little quicker. Where Ladler really excels is in the strength department and his 24 reps of the 225 pound combine bench press bar was the second best in his position group. Ladler is a hardnosed, old fashioned safety who will find a role as an in the box run stuffer on Sundays.
Hal is fast. He is a team leader who has the advantage of being at a position group at Vanderbilt which has seen pro success recently. His problems though are physical, and ones which he cannot change the minds of scouts over. For every scout that loves his speed, there is another who will point to his short arms and small hands. These are seen as shortcomings by scouts who worry he will be physically out maneuvered at the line of scrimmage (similar to a boxer with short reach) and that he will be a liability in jump ball situations. Hal is a guy who some teams will love as a potential nickel or dime corner and who others will dismiss immediately for his perceived flaws.
Vandy Players Combine Results
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