USA TODAY Sports
Six former Texas A&M football players worked out at the NFL Combine this past weekend. A lot of Aggies grabbed headlines both good and bad in Indianapolis. Let's see where everyone stands heading into the Texas A&M pro day March 8th.
So, my plan was to have an update from the Combine every day. Sounded good. Oops. But before we get into Spring Football coverage which starts on Saturday, (Yes, football is coming back on Saturday!) let's get a recap of what happened in Indianapolis and some thoughts on where everyone stands after the four day event.
Stock: Stable to sliding
After Combine Projection: 1st to 4th Overall
We covered Joeckel's performance pretty well last Saturday. Luke came in a little lighter then some expected at 306 lbs. His performance was average in testing, but did record a good 3 Cone Drill time showing his athleticism and quick feet which is a must for a future cornerstone left tackle. Luke came in as the projected 1st overall pick to the Kansas City Chiefs, and most likely left the Combine still projected to go 1st overall. His positioning is helped even more by the Chiefs agreeing to a trade with the San Francisco 49ers for QB Alex Smith, meaning Kansas City won't do the stupid thing and use the pick on Geno Smith from West Virginia. The only thing you worry about with Joeckel is he didn't blow anyone away at the Combine. He didn't solidify his spot as 1st overall. Meanwhile, his competition at the position in Central Michigan's Eric Fisher and Oklahoma's Lane Johnson posted numbers near the top of every category. The gap in ranking between the players is narrowing, and who knows what Kansas City is thinking. I wouldn't be surprised at all if we hear come April the Chiefs are debating between Joeckel and Fisher. Partly because some scouts may view Fisher with more upside while Joeckel is the "safe" pick, and partly because the media will no doubt try to create some drama with the pick.
Stock: Free Falling
After Combine Projection: Anywhere from 12th Overall to Mid 2nd Round
Oye. While Ryan Swope and Christine Michael tore up the Combine, Damontre Moore felt his stock fall hard. It began with 12 repetitions of 225 pounds on the bench press. Ryan Swope had 16. Hell, I did 10 in a workout this morning. That's just not very good for a 250 pound monster at defensive end. Then his 40 YD Dash time was underwhelming at 4.95 officially. Several people have brought up questions about Damontre Moore's game tape in recent weeks, including ESPN's Todd McShay. Moore flashes at times, and for stretches during the game he is the most dominant player on the football field. Then after that stretch, he is no where to be found. That is where Moore struggles with in terms of perception. The talent is there. It has always been there. But it is about putting together those highlight reel plays for 60 minutes at a time. Teams aren't sure if he can do that, and when you post lackluster numbers showing your conditioning isn't very good even with 6 weeks to prepare for the event those concerns are only elevated. It makes those GMs go back to the tape and become more critical of Moore's play then they were before. Damontre has an incredibly high ceiling; his potential was the reason some mock drafts had him going as high as #2 overall. But he also has a very low floor, meaning his bust potential is also high. Plus, if you are a team with a high draft pick you want to draft a player that will come in, make an immediate impact, and play every down. Moore might not be able to play every down in his rookie season. It wasn't all bad for Moore. He was a top performer in the vertical jump and broad jump among defensive ends, recording the 4th best measurement in each. That showcases the explosion he has off the snap of the ball. Where will he end up? Nobody knows. The March 8th Pro Day at Texas A&M will be a big determining factor. In Gil Brandt's latest mock draft at NFL.com, Moore isn't even listed in the 1st round anymore. I don't think he will fall that far, but I do think he takes a long step back from the 2nd overall projection back in early January.
After Combine Projection: Middle 2nd -- Late 3rd Round
Who knew a white boy could run? Ryan Swope's 40 YD Dash time of 4.34 blew up twitter on Sunday. It even caused some like @HeismanPundit to say 40 YD Dash times are bogus and they are made up to create hype around the NFL Combine. Really, he was just pissed off he saw Ryan's skin color, his beautiful Bama Bangs and characterized him as slow. Or quicker than fast. Whatever. Maybe Swope just had a cheetah taped to his back. Ryan did put on quite a show in measurement drills, but he did struggle a bit in the gauntlet and with the jugs machine actually trying to catch the football. Where Ryan can improve and help his draft stock even more is showing he is a true receiver by having great hands and running clean routes. He has struggled with both in his A&M career. For teams to really draft Ryan high, they have to see him as more than a slot receiver. Either way, word is coming out that a couple of teams have a 2nd round grade on Ryan as of right now.
Stock: Climbing after oversleeping
After Combine Projection: 2nd Round -- 4th Round
For all the love Ryan Swope's workout got, Christine Michael's was better. 4.54 40 YD Dash (10th), 27 reps of 225 (4th), 43 inch vertical jump (best ever recorded by a running back), 10'5" broad jump (2nd), 6.69 second 3 Cone Drill (1st), and 4.02 20 YD shuttle (1st). That is 3 top positions, setting one record and coming in 2nd place in another. Just an incredible workout. But it hasn't been the talent you have to worry about with Christine. It's two things: (1) injury history and (2) senior year issues. Christine can't help his injury history. It is what it is. Just hope those NFL doctors gave his former broken leg and torn knee ligaments the okay. Then those senior year issues that caused him to play sparingly and not at all in the Cotton Bowl? The past is the past and he just has to tell teams the truth with what really happened and how he will be a professional at the next level. I'm rooting for C-Mike in the NFL. He can be a beast and Pro Bowler if matched up in the right offense. That is why his projection is so wide right now -- some teams will fall in love with him as a running back, others may not even have him on their board. Especially when stories come out of him sleeping through two interviews. But, it only takes one team to fall in love with you and take you early.
Stock: Stable to sliding
After Combine Projection: Mid 3rd Round -- 4th Round
It is so hard to get a good read on where Sean Porter stands right now. In terms of the Combine, Porter came in weighing 230 pounds and put up decent numbers in the 40 YD Dash (4.75), Bench (22 reps), and was a top performer in the vertical (35") and broad jump (119"). Porter created some early buzz at the Senior Bowl, but got injured and didn't play in the actual game. The question for me is where will Porter end up playing? He's a great blitzer and very agile. But his size is a concern at only 6'1". He won't play OLB in the 3-4 like he did at Texas A&M, and isn't that experienced at OLB in the 4-3 especially in coverage. I think he ends up playing weakside linebacker for a team running the 4-3 defense, but it is going to take the right team to draft him. A team not concerned with his size and that can fit him into their system of defense. I think he is worth a 3rd round pick, but wouldn't be surprised if he lasts until the 4th round. His size alone could take him all the way to the 5th round, but I doubt it.
Stock: Who is this guy? (Rising)
After Combine Projection: 5th-6th Round
I was really interested to see how Jonathan Stewart would do at the NFL Combine. Out of all the Aggies there, I think he helped himself the most. Stewart ran a surprising 4.68 official 40 YD Dash which was 7th among all linebackers who tested. I thought he was a 4.75 guy personally, but what do I know? He also put up solid numbers in the broad jump and 3 Cone Drill. If you have watched the weekly football press conferences, then you know he also more than likely aced his interviews with teams as well. While guys like LSU's Keith Minter, Georgia's Alec Ogletree, and Florida's Jon Bostic will be the first off the board at the position, Stewart will see his name called later on. The most important thing is that I guarantee Stewart will see his name called. For guys that get chosen later in the draft, they will be expected to contribute on special teams. With Stewart's 4.68 40 time, there is no doubt teams will give him that chance to do so and play on the kickoff and punt units. It's all about getting a chance and Stewart has been a late riser in his career. If Stewart can learn to better fight off blockers and not get lost in the wash, a team might get a late round steal.