This is the 2013 NFL Combine Field Workout Recap for the offensive linemen. Follow me @walterfootball for updates.
For a point of reference, the average 40 for interior offensive linemen at the combine last year was 5.36 and 5.47. Offensive tackles typically run a little bit faster. In the 10-yard split the average 1.79 seconds.
Arkansas Pine-Bluff offensive tackle Terron Armstead won the title as the Combine star for offensive linemen. He blazed a 40-yard dash of 4.71 seconds officially and 4.65 seconds unofficially. He ran the 10-yard split in 1.64 seconds. It was the fastest 40 time of any offensive lineman. The 6-foot-5, 306-pounder had a good showing at the East-West Shrine and has a lot of athletic upside. He used the Combine to make the case to be a mid-round pick.
After Armstead, Oklahoma offensive tackle Lane Johnson was the second-fastest offensive linemen. Even though Armstead beat him in the 40, Johnson had the best overall showing as he was phenomenal in the field work. Johnson ran the 40 at 4.72 seconds officially and 4.75 unofficially. His 10-yard split was the fastest of any of the offensive linemen at 1.61 seconds. That is a tremendous time for an offensive lineman. Clearly, Johnson (6-6, 303) is a superb athlete. In the field work he showed off great feet and jumped 34 inches in the vertical leap, a number like a wide receiver. The fast and agile Johnson showed that he has elite athleticism and helped his bid to go in the top 20.
Alabama right tackle D.J. Fluker didn't have a good day in the field work. Fluker is a mauling blocker and his skills don't translate to the Combine events. In the field drills, Fluker displayed below-average feet as he was not fluid and stiff in some of the movement drills. In the down block combo drill, Fluker was slow pulling around and looping behind the tackle. Fluker's inability to slide in the field drills illustrates why he gave up a ton of sacks last year. He is generally viewed as a top-25 pick, but his pass protection is going to need work in the NFL.
Alabama guard Chance Warmack is considered by many to be the top player in the draft at any position. He didn't stand out on Saturday. He ran the 40-yard dash at 5.49 seconds officially with a 10-yard split of 1.83 seconds. However, Warmack looked flawless in the down block drill, pulling around a tackle. Warmack is a pure football player so the Combine isn't suited to what he does well. His Combine performance will probably have zero impact on his draft stock.
North Carolina guard Jonathan Cooper is known as a great athlete with speed so it wasn't a surprise that he was excellent at the Combine. Cooper had a good good 40 time of 5.13 unofficially and 1.73 seconds in the 10-yard split. In the field work, Cooper was superb. He was fast, fluid and explosive. Cooper showed great technique in the mirror drill to drop his hips and glide with perfect knee bend. The coaches also had Cooper (6-2, 311) do some snapping at center. He surprised many with a lot of power in the bench press with 35 reps and weighing in heavier than expected. Cooper had a tremendous Combine performance that should help his draft stock.
Texas A&M left tackle Luke Joeckel is the favorite to go to the Chiefs at No. 1 overall. The Combine didn't illustrate why Joeckel is viewed that highly. He ran the 40-yard dash at an unofficial time of 5.25 seconds with a 10-yard split of 1.81 seconds. In the field work, Joeckel (6-6, 306) displayed perfect technique in the kick slide drill. It showed why he is so natural at nullifying speed rushers trying to turn the corner. Joeckel didn't blow anyone away at the Combine, but he didn't hurt himself.
Central Michigan left tackle Eric Fisher had an impressive Combine and he is making a case to be the first tackle selected over Joeckel. Fisher (6-7, 306) finished in the top 10 with an official 5.05 time in the 40. His 10-yard split was 1.70 and that was one of the better times for the offensive linemen. Fisher did well in the field work and showcased nice technique with good feet. Joeckel remains the favorite to be the first tackle selected, but Fisher is giving the Chiefs, among others, something to think about.
It isn't surprising that Wisconsin center Travis Frederick didn't run well. At Wisconsin, Frederick was a power player who didn't beat defenders with speed or agility. In the 40-yard dash he ran an unofficial time of 5.50 seconds with 1.85 seconds in the 10-yard split. Those are slower times, and Frederick has a disappointing total of 21 reps on the bench press. Frederick (6-4, 312) is in the running to be the first center selected, but he didn't help his cause in the Indianapolis.
Cal center Brian Schwenke continued to prove that he is a quality option to be a starting center in the NFL. Schwenke (6-3, 314) was explosive, fast and athletic. His official time in the 40 was 4.99 seconds with a great 10-yard split at 1.68 seconds. Schwenke continued to impress with his fluid movement and speed in the field drill. Zone-blocking teams will love Schwenke's athletic ability, and he has really helped himself at the Senior Bowl and in the Combine.
Another Combine stand out was Oregon guard/tackle Kyle Long. He had the third-fastest 40-yard dash time of 4.94 seconds. His 10-yard split was 1.8 seconds. Long looked very athletic in the field work. At 6-foot-6, 313-pounds, Long seems to have the potential to play tackle in the NFL. Long's strong performance at the Combine should help him, and it wouldn't be surprising if his stock steadily rises until draft day.
San Jose State lineman David Quessenberry continued his upward trend. He looked very good in the field work. Quessenberry (6-5, 302) moved well and ran fast in the 40-yard dash with a time of 5.06 unofficially. He has helped himself and could play guard, center or tackle in the NFL.
Notre Dame center Braxston Cave (6-3, 303) ran slowly in the 40-yard dash with a time of 5.31 seconds. His 10-yard split of 1.87 was one of the slowest times. Cave also looked stiff and slow in the field work. His knee bend needs a lot of work and he wasn't sinking his hips. Cave is going to need developmental time in the NFL.
I would bet 10 units on both the Packers and Patriots, and then 5 units on the Packers in the Super Bowl. The Packers will obviously blow out the Falcons and Tom Brady is the best QB of all time. They've both won 7 consecutive games (Rodgers and Brady) and they are both unstoppable. Rodgers will obviously throw a touchdown in the final seconds to win the Super Bowl. I would bet a million dollars that this will happen.
So Big Ben, who has struggled all year on the road despite the competition and is banged up, is just going to magically find his groove and torch us? Anything's possible, but using the Seahawks game, which was ages ago and came shortly after we had to adjust after the Jamie Collins trade, is pretty dumb on your part.