The NFL scouting combine was notable in some ways for what players didn’t do.
Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III didn’t throw.
Oklahoma State receiver Justin Blackmon didn’t run.
South Carolina wideout Alshon Jeffery didn’t do anything.
But with 300 prospects testing and going through drills over four days at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, there was plenty for NFL talent evaluators to see.
Robert Griffin III
Combine notables: The Heisman Trophy winner blazed through the 40-yard dash with an official time of 4.41 seconds, although Griffin thought he was faster than that. Andrew Luck certainly did nothing to hurt himself in Indy, but Griffin showed he is at worst the second-best quarterback, and increased the value of St. Louis’ No. 2 pick, which they’re aggressively shopping.
On the Panthers’ radar? No. The Panthers signed their Heisman-winning, franchise QB last year.
School: North Alabama
Combine notables: Jenkins was grilled about his past transgressions: two marijuana-related arrests in a four-month span that got him kicked out of Florida. But he took responsibility for his mistakes, then went out and had an outstanding combine. Jenkins ran the 40 in 4.46, and his 10-yard split was the fastest of any defensive back. Jenkins looked like the second-best corner, behind LSU’s Morris Claiborne.
On the Panthers’ radar? Yes. The Panthers are intrigued by Jenkins’ abilities. But, like they did with Newton, will have to do a lot of background work.
Combine notables: Poe won the combine’s strongman competition by doing 44 reps on the 225-pound bench press. Poe followed that up by breaking 5 seconds in the 40 – a strong showing for the beefy, 346-pounder. But teams have to question Poe’s production against mediocre competition in Conference USA. He had 33 tackles, one sack and eight tackles for losses in 12 games as a senior.
On the Panthers’ radar? The Panthers don’t view defensive tackle as their biggest need. But they’ll likely give Poe a look.
School: Arizona State
Combine notables: Once considered the top linebacker prospect in the country, Burfict’s slide continued at the combine, where he was the only linebacker who failed to break 5 seconds in the 40 (he ran a 5.09). Burfict did nothing to quell concerns about his attitude, sulking after his slow 40 and blaming his college coaches for “messing him up.”
On the Panthers’ radar? Not anywhere high, if at all.
Combine notables: The 6-5, 322-pound Brockers created a buzz at the weigh-in when he was measured with 35-inch arms and a wingspan of nearly 84 inches, but that was the highlight. The player expected to wow scouts with his athleticism ran the 40 in 5.36 – the third-slowest time among the 49 defensive linemen who ran. Brockers was pedestrian in other tests, as well. But when teams turn on the tape and see his play-making ability, Brockers won’t fall far.
On the Panthers’ radar? Yes. Brockers is scheduled to visit Charlotte on March 8.
School: Ohio State
Combine notables: Adams is a giant at 6-7 and 323 pounds. But he came up small in Indy with 19 reps in the bench press, tied for the fifth-fewest among the offensive linemen. Adams, who was suspended as part of the tattoo scandal at Ohio State, has a reputation for not being a hard worker. His bench press number didn’t help.
On the Panthers’ radar? Byron Bell, the Panthers’ starting right tackle last year, is an overachiever from a small football school. They don’t need an underachiever from a big school.