Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Combine big, but numbers don't always add up

INDIANAPOLIS — Football fans see the NFL's annual scouting combine as merely a numbers game that comes down to the times, jumps and drills they witness on television.

NFL executives are more interested in getting behind-the-scenes answers through medical checks and personal interviews.

It's a delicate balancing act.

"When we finally get the measurables on the underclassmen, when we find out where they are medically, where they are physically, where they are with the interviews, then we'll have a better idea (of where they rank)," ESPN draft analyst Mel Kiper Jr. said Monday; players begin arriving in Indianapolis today.

The workouts matter. Chris Johnson's draft skyrocketed after he set a combine record with a 4.24-second 40-yard dash in 2008. Cornerback Byron Jones rose up draft boards after a record broad jump of 12 feet, 3 inches last February. Both wound up being first-round picks.

The ramifications for those who underperform or sit out can be damaging, too. In 2014, quarterback Teddy Bridgewater decided not to throw in Indy, then had a less-than-stellar pro day at Louisville. The result: A candidate to go No. 1 overall fell to 32nd, costing him big bucks.

This week, two of this year's top-rated linebackers, UCLA's Myles Jack and Notre Dame's Jaylon Smith, have a lot at stake. Both tore knee ligaments in the fall and this week will be the first time NFL doctors have a real chance to get a peek at their recoveries.

Eagles: Malcolm Jenkins agreed to a five-year contract worth $40.5 million, making him one of the league's highest-paid safeties, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported. Jenkins, 28, was about to enter the final season of a three-year, $15 million deal he signed as a free agent in 2014.

Jets: Antonio Cromartie, a 10-year veteran cornerback, was released on Monday. The move clears $8 million, Cromartie's 2016 salary, in cap space.

Obituaries: Former defensive back Mike C. McCoy, who played eight seasons with the Packers, died at age 62. The team didn't give a date or cause of death but said in a blog post that Mr. McCoy was diagnosed with dementia in the past decade. … Harry Hulmes III, a former Giants assistant general manager who spent more than 50 years in pro football, died Sunday, the team said. He was 88; the team gave no cause of death.

Combine big, but numbers don't always add up 02/22/16 [Last modified: Monday, February 22, 2016 10:00pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Timmy Claus is coming to town

    Blogs

    The circus is coming to town.

    Well, close enough.

    Timmy the Tebow is coming to Tampa Bay.

    It’s true. At least it could be. St. Timothy has been promoted by the New York Mets to high Class-A Port St. Lucie. If he stays promoted, Tebow should be in Tampa Bay for eight games beginning August 10 …

    Coming soon: Tim Tebow will hit Tampa Bay in August.
  2. Ranking Malik Zaire among 2017's top transfer quarterbacks

    Blogs

    The Florida Gators' Malik Zaire is among many transfers who could become starters at their new school. Here's how he stacks up in our rankings of top transfer quarterbacks:

  3. Lightning re-sign Yanni Gourde to two-year, one-way deal

    Blogs

    Just three years ago, Yanni Gourde was fightning to stay in pro hockey.

    Yanni Gourde seized his moment with six goals in 20 games as a callup last season.
  4. Next up in Bucs renovations? A $20 million indoor practice facility

    Bucs

    Renderings of the Bucs' new indoor practice facility (Courtesy of the Bucs)
  5. Lightning re-signs Andrej Sustr to one-year, $1.95 million deal

    Blogs

    The Lightning locked up another piece of its blueline Monday, re-signing defenseman Andrej Sustr to a one-year, $1.95 million deal.

    Andrej Sustr 14 points in 80 games last season, a minus-10.