These is my 2012 NFL Combine Stock Report for the running backs. Follow me @walterfootball for updates.
2012 NFL Combine: Stock Report - Running Backs
Bradie Ewing, FB, Wisconsin
Charlie touched on it in his Bench Press Recap - how does a 240-pound fullback post only 14 reps of 225? Ewing had a nice 10-foot broad jump and 36.5-inch vertical, but who needs an athletic fullback? Some teams may doubt Ewing's blocking ability in the wake of this performance.
Terrance Ganaway, RB, Baylor
Terrance Ganaway ran one of the slower 40s out of the running backs (4.63), but that's OK because of his size (6-0, 239). What hurt Ganaway on Sunday were his struggles in the receiving drills. He had six receptions in 2011, so this was not a surprise. The former Bear is strictly just a two-down, plodding back. This would have been OK 15 years ago, but the NFL is a pass-first league now. Unfortunately, players like Ganaway are now afterthoughts on Draft Day.
Ronnie Hillman, RB, San Diego State
Ronnie Hillman is a favorite of Marshall Faulk's, but that apparently is because the two share the same alma mater. During the telecast, Faulk discussed a story in which Hillman fumbled on his first carry ever at San Diego State. That's not surprising considering how small his hands are (8 1/2). On the bright side, Hillman had a terrific 1.50 10-yard split in his 40, which indicates how great his burst is. In summary, Hillman had an up-and-down Combine, so his draft stock is steady.
Doug Martin, RB, Boise State
Doug Martin bulked up to 223 pounds, which indicates that he can be a three-down back. Despite the weight gain, he still ran a respectable 40 (4.47), and had quality leaps of 36 (vertical) and 10-0 (broad). He also notched 28 reps on the bench.
Don't underestimate Martin's ability to play all three downs. That could put him ahead of Lamar Miller, who doesn't share that quality. It shouldn't surprise anyone if Martin is the third running back off the board behind Trent Richardson and David Wilson.
Bernard Pierce, RB, Temple
Mike Mayock pointed out Bernard Pierce to be one of Sunday's risers. I would agree with that. The 6-0, 218-pound back had a terrific 1.52 10-yard split in his 40 (4.50). He also notched a broad jump of 10-3 and a vertical leap of 36.5 inches. Pierce predictably looked solid in the drills, strengthening his case to be a second-day draft choice.
Chris Polk, RB, Washington
Chris Polk looked slow and sluggish during the Senior Bowl, prompting the Sun Tan Man to call him the most disappointing player in Mobile. Polk made amends, running a solid 4.46 in Indianapolis. He also was decent in the drills, though it's worth noting that his vertical (31.5) and broad (9-3) were among the lowest out of the players at his position.
Chris Rainey, RB/KR, Florida
The 40 isn't a big deal in the grand scheme of things, but it is to players like Chris Rainey, who are draft purely based on speed. He notched a 4.37, which would be good for most running backs. Rainey, however, had to be much closer to 4.30. Making matters worse, Rainey had some drops during the drills.
Robert Turbin, RB, Utah State
Robert Turbin turned some heads at the Combine when he mustered a Moses Malone 4.44 40 despite being 5-10, 222. He also had impressive vertical (36) and broad (10-2) numbers. Teams that put stock into triangle numbers undoubtedly are intrigued.
David Wilson, RB, Virginia Tech
No running back was more impressive than David Wilson in Indianapolis. He blew up the Combine for a number of reasons:
First, Wilson's measurables were off the charts. He notched a 4.40 40, a 41-inch vertical and an 11-foot broad jump. Second, Wilson was terrific in the receiving drills. He caught 22 balls as a junior in 2011, so his pass-catching ability didn't appear to be the strength of his game. If his Combine performance is any indication, that's definitely not the case, and he can be a quality receiving running back as a professional.
Last, it's worth noting that NFL teams were highly impressed with Wilson in the interviews. Wilson reportedly was the only prospect to show up in a suit (Armani, to boot) to all of his meetings, while most of his peers wore sweats. He was a professional both on and off the field this weekend, which could help him be the second running back off the board in the 2012 NFL Draft.
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