This is the 2013 NFL Combine Field Workout Recap for the running backs. Follow me @walterfootball for updates.
2013 NFL Combine: Field Workout Recap - Running Backs
Auburn's Onterio McCalebb created a bunch of headlines during his tests. He blazed a 4.34 time in the 40-yard dash - one of the fastest times of any player thus far in the 2013 Combine. McCalebb (5-10, 168) had an insane time of 1.45 seconds in the 10-yard split. He had a decent showing in the field-receiving work, but did have a dropped pass. McCalebb used the Combine to help himself to get drafted and could cause some teams to re-evaluate him in the weeks to come.
Even though McCalebb generated the most attention, Arkansas' Knile Davis was the running back who had the best Combine performance. He was truly a workout warrior. The 5-foot-10, 227-pounder blazed a jaw-dropping 4.37 time in the 40-yard dash and then led all running backs with 31 reps on the bench press. Davis did a decent job of catching passes in the field drills, too.
Davis had significant injuries in his playing career, but he had a season of big production in 2010. Davis showed a great combination of size and speed at the Combine, which should really help him to get more consideration from teams.
Texas A&M's Christine Michael was another size and speed standout. His 40 time of 4.54 seconds left him tied for 10th. Michael (5-10, 220) was fourth on the bench press (27 reps), second in the broad jump (125 inches) and led all of the backs on the vertical jump (43 inches). Michael had a great East-West Shrine week, too, and his Combine should build on that to help him get selected in the mid-rounds.
North Carolina's Giovani Bernard is in the running to be the second running back selected. He had a solid day in Indianapolis. His 40 time of 4.53 seconds was in the top 10 among the running backs. Bernard (5-8, 202) also did well in the receiving drills and showed advanced route-running with good hands. He didn't dominate the Combine, but had a solid showing.
Oregon's Kenjon Barner used the Combine to help his cause. The 5-foot-9, 196-pounder tied for sixth with a 40 time of 4.52 seconds. What really set him apart was his work in the receiving drills. He was excellent at running routes and showed off good hands. Barner had a solid showing on the bench press (20 reps) a few days earlier. Barner had a strong Senior Bowl and has continued to show that he could be a sleeper mid-round pick.
UCLA running back Johnathan Franklin was another player from the Pac-12 who is continuing to improve his stock since the end of the season. Franklin put up an official time of 4.49 seconds in the 40-yard dash. He looked good in the receiving drills as well, but that was expected. The former Bruin made a few nice hands catches. Franklin has improved his standing over the last few months and could sneak into the second day.
Wisconsin running back Montee Ball ran slowly with a 40-yard dash time of 4.66 seconds. The 5-foot-11, 214-pounder wasn't expected to turn in a blistering time, but the slow 40 could be taken as proof that he lacks the speed and explosion needed to gain yards on NFL defenses. Ball also needs to develop his ability to contribute to the passing game. Still, there are lot of advocates for him, and he looks likely to go on the second day of the draft, despite an underwhelming Combine.
Fresno State running back Robbie Rouse hurt his draft stock with a slow 40 time. The 5-foot-5, 190-pounder had the slowest time of any running back at 4.8 seconds. Rouse is obviously extremely undersized; running slowly is a bad combination. In his defense, he is quicker than fast and played faster than that in college. However, translating his physical skills to the NFL doesn't bode well for Rouse.
The Combine was quiet, but successful, for Michigan State's Le'Veon Bell. The 6-foot-1, 230-pounder tied for sixth in the 40-yard dash with a time of 4.52 seconds. He also had a good total in the bench press (24) and was solid as a receiver. If Knile Davis hadn't been such a workout warrior, Bell probably would have been the big back who earned the most acclaim.
Two SEC running backs put together productive days in Indianapolis. Vanerbilt's Zac Stacy and Florida's Mike Gillislee both ran the 40 in 4.55 seconds. Gillislee looked good in the receiving drills, while Stacy was impressive on the bench press (27 reps). Both runners are third-day sleepers who could surprise in the NFL.