RBs Slower Than Expected at Combine

In quite a contrast to last season, this year's crop of running backs looked relatively slow at the Combine. Despite the lack of speed, several players improved their draft status while the marquee running backs may have come back to the pack. Brad Wilbricht analyzes which performances will garner notice around the NFL and who might fit in with the Cardinals offense.

Georgia RB Knowshon Moreno didn't blow anyone away at the Combine, but his performance likely sustained his status as the top running back in the draft. Moreno ran a 4.6 40-yard dash and put up 25 reps in the bench press.

Moreno had been compared to the likes of San Diego Chargers RB LaDainian Tomlinson, but those parallels will likely come to an end given his lack of speed. Even with a less than stellar workout, there's virtually no chance Moreno will fall to the Cardinals at pick No. 31.

Meanwhile, Ohio St RB Chris Wells' 40-yard dash was also somewhat lackluster. Wells managed a time of 4.59 and put up 25 reps in the bench press. In addition, he tied for the lead with a 10-foot-8 leap in the broad jump. Like Moreno, Wells' inability to display better speed could cost him on draft day.

Wells certainly didn't boost his draft status but it didn't take a severe hit either. It's unlikely he'll be on the board late in round one but Arizona would be forced to take a hard look if he's available.

Shonn Greene
(AP Photo)

The slower than expected theme continued as Iowa RB Shonn Greene finished with a 4.63 40-yard dash. While the Doak Walker Award winner wasn't expected to put up a blazing time he impressed scouts by slimming down to 227 pounds. Greene's 19 reps fell a bit short in the bench press but he did manage a 37-inch vertical jump.

Given his uneventful performance there's a good chance Greene will be available late in round two or possibly into the third round. Although he's not a receiving threat out of the backfield, his powerful running style would fit the mentality of coach Ken Whisenhunt.

One player who didn't disappoint was RB Donald Brown of Connecticut. Brown raced to a 4.51 40-yard dash and led all running backs in two other categories. He topped the charts in the vertical jump (41.5 inches) and 60-yard shuttle (11.30). The quickness Brown displayed will catch the attention of several NFL teams.

Brown was considered a second-round prospect coming in but he'll keep rising with another tremendous outing at his Pro Day. Arizona GM Rod Graves could be tempted in the first round if Brown continues to perform at a high level.

RB Cedric Peerman of Virginia was one of Saturday's workout warriors, improving his draft stock in the process. His 40-yard dash time of 4.45 led the group of running backs. Furthermore, he finished second in bench press reps (27) and the vertical jump (40 inches).

Boise St RB Ian Johnson also put forth a solid effort with a 4.46 40-yard dash while racking up 26 reps in the bench press. Both Peerman and Johnson are still mid-round prospects and could be a nice bargain at that point in the draft.

Questions or comments? Contact Brad Wilbricht at brad.wilbricht@gmail.com

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