February 24, 2008

It was a full day at the combine on Sunday as the skill players, as well as the signal callers, performed for NFL decision-makers. None of the top running backs disappointed and there was a lot of speed in the Dome today from the ball carriers, affirming the belief that it is a position of strength this April.

Darren McFadden, RB, Arkansas: McFadden is already the top prospect in this draft, yet he further distanced himself from the pack as his combine workout was nothing less than spectacular. McFadden weighed in at 211 pounds then ran both of his forty's in the low 4.3 second area. His fast times will get most of the headlines, yet McFadden displayed great footwork and cutting skills during the practice session and was equally effective catching the ball.

Jonathan Stewart, RB, Oregon: Stewart was another big back who amazed scouts with his speed. The junior from Oregon tipped the scales at 230 pounds, yet timed both of his forty's in the low 4.4's. He also completed 28 reps on the bench press, which topped all running backs. Stewart is likely to be rated as one of the top eight players in the draft.

Rashard Mendenhall, RB, Illinois: Mendenhall made it three for three as he timed in the low 4.4's. He had earlier weighed in at 225 pounds on Friday. Mendenhall also displayed good hands during drills. Mendenhall completed an impressive 26 repetitions on the bench press.

Joe Flacco, QB, Delaware: Flacco continued the momentum he built at the Senior Bowl. He was the most physically impressive passer at the combine and had the best arm strength. Flacco was accurate with all his throws the entire day. He impressed scouts with his ability to adjust passes to all the receivers he threw to, both fast and slow, hitting them in stride and giving them an opportunity to catch the ball.

Cory Boyd, RB, South Carolina: Boyd was considered a straightahead power back in college, yet that perception will soon change. Boyd timed his forty's at or below 4.5 seconds. He also displayed better than expected cutting skills during the practice session.

Chris Johnson, RB, East Carolina: Johnson was the fastest of all the backs on Sunday. He went below 4.3 seconds in both runnings of the forty, the best being a 4.25 on his second attempt.

Jamaal Charles, RB, Texas: The Longhorn sprint champion did not disappoint the crowd in the RCA Dome. Charles timed both his forty's in the high 4.3's.

Mike Hart, RB, Michigan: Hart looked good during the practice session, yet teams will not be able to overlook his poor forty times. Hart ran 4.65 seconds then 4.75 seconds after weighing in at 206 pounds.

Yvenson Bernard, RB, Oregon State: Bernard is known as a slippery scat back who can turn the corner. His forty times of 4.81 and 4.78 will change that line of thinking.

Josh Johnson, QB, San Diego: Johnson was out to prove he belongs with the top quarterbacks in this draft but it did not happen. His deep passes were woeful as they were inaccurate and wobbled through the air.

Matt Ryan ran the forty but did not participate in the throwing workout. He will finally pass the ball for scouts during Boston College's pro-day workout next month. ... Brian Brohm of Louisville had a solid workout, yet did nothing to dispel the belief that he does not possess a top flight arm. Brohm was unable to drive deep passes and had receivers slowing up in their routes to await the ball's arrival.

You May Like