Florida cornerback Joe Haden ran the 40-yard dash in 4.57 seconds, which might hurt his draft stock. (Michael Conroy/Associated Press)
The NFL combine is about numbers. How fast? How strong?
But don't read too much into those numbers.
The Jets were so impressed by outside linebacker Vernon Gholston, a Detroit native, and his 37 bench press reps at the 2008 combine, they made him the No. 6 pick. In two seasons, Gholston has 30 tackles and no sacks, and according to Jets coach Rex Ryan, this is a "make-or-break" season for him.
This year, Florida's Joe Haden entered the combine as the consensus No. 1 cornerback. But a few analysts are projecting his poor 40-yard dash time (4.57) could knock him out of the top 10.
Again, numbers don't tell the whole story. Take Oklahoma defensive tackle Gerald McCoy.
Some people were surprised he bench pressed 225 pounds only23 times, putting his strength into question.
By comparison, Nebraska defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh -- Suh and McCoy are projected, by some, to go Nos. 1 and 2 -- benched 32 reps.
"Oh, man, we're hoping somehow there's separation because in our eyes, there isn't any," Rams general manager Billy Devaney said the first day of the combine.
Devaney was going off what he'd seen onthe football field -- the true measuring stick.
Will Carroll , who writes a weekly injury column on footballoutsiders.com and is known around the league as an injury expert, has uncovered something interesting regarding Colts safety Bob Sanders .
After his latest surgery (torn bicep), Carroll reports the 5-foot-8 Sanders shrunk 1 1/2 inches since his combine measurements in 2004.
Carroll said this was because of all the impact a player sustains during his career.
Research has revealed the average player shrinks two inches during his career.
Martz in the house
NBC Chicago is reporting former Lions and current Bears offensive coordinator Mike Martz is ruffling feathers.
According to the report, Martz doesn't think tight end Greg Olsen is a good fit for his offense because he isn't a great blocker. Never mind Olsen led the Bears with 60 catches and eight touchdowns in 2009.
Olsen reportedly has caught wind of this and wants to be traded.
Did you hear the one ...
Besides their being poked, prodded and scrutinized at the combine, coaches and general managers want to know if a player can think fast.
"The Atlanta Falcons special teams coach and the Pittsburgh special teams coaches ... they sat me down and said, 'Tell us a joke,' " Michigan punter Zoltan Mesko said.
"I was like, 'Uhhh, I wasn't prepared for this.' I told this joke that was so bad and they were like, 'OK, let's just get your cell phone number and stuff for draft day.' I stopped them and said, I have to apologize for that bad joke. They were just looking at each other like, 'OK, let's move on.' "
The joke was two guys in a bar, according to Mesko.
By the numbers
6.25: Seconds it took NFL Network's Rich Eisen to run the 40-yard dash in a suit and track shoes during the combine
5.69: Seconds it took 354-pound Alabama DT Terrance Cody to run the 40-yard dash during the combine
12.3: Million viewers for the 2010 Pro Bowl, the most since 2000
Top NFL combine workouts:
Bench press (225 pounds)
|Linval Joseph||DT||East Carolina||39|
Vertical jump (inches)
|A.J. Jefferson||CB||Fresno State||44.0|
|Brandon Ghee||CB||Wake Forest||10-7|
|Jerome Murphy||CB||South Florida||10-7|
3-cone drill (seconds)
|Cody Grimm||LB||Virginia Tech||6.58|
20-yard shuttle (seconds)
|A.J. Jefferson||CB||Fresno State||4.00|
|Blair White||WR||Michigan State||4.03|
|Jerome Murphy||CB||South Florida||4.05|
60-yard shuttle (seconds)
|Blair White||WR||Michigan State||11.07|
Bears offensive coordinator Mike Martz has been entrusted with turning around an offense ranked 23rd last season. Where his offenses have ranked:
* coach; all other seasons, Martz was offensive coordinator