Fat guys and special teamers running around in tights isn’t everybody’s idea of fun, but it’s a yearly spectacle at the NFL Scouting Combine.
Friday marked the first day of on-field drills in Indianapolis, which featured offensive linemen, kickers and running backs.
Thankfully, the running backs came through with a couple of entertaining performances, and a Heisman Trophy winner had everybody’s jaw on the floor.
There were also some standout offensive linemen who will soon be millionaires when they are drafted in the first round in April.
The following players put together the most impressive showings on Friday at the NFL Scouting Combine (all combine stats courtesy NFL.com).
1. Derrick Henry is a rare, rare athlete
— NFL (@NFL) February 26, 2016
Yes. That is an apples-to-apples comparison showing Henry next to Denver Broncos linebacker Von Miller, who is one of the NFL’s most dynamic playmakers. Their physical attributes are unbelievably close.
When Henry showed up in Indianapolis weighing in at 247 pounds, everyone was shocked, including the running back out of Alabama.
“I was kind of shocked that it was 247 this morning,” Henry told a group of reporters at the NFL combine (h/t Chris Kirschner of seccountry.com). “It’ll go down by tomorrow. I don’t really stay at that weight.”
A prolific rusher for the Crimson Tide, Henry has the size of a slightly smaller Brandon Jacobs, who had a nice career (mostly with the New York Giants) punishing defenses to the tune of 60 touchdowns and 5,094 yards in nine seasons in the NFL.
But he’s not a plodding runner like Jacobs was. He showed a rare blend of power, explosion and speed on Friday, putting up top-five numbers in both the broad jump (10-foot-10) and vertical leap (37 inches) while posting a 40 time of 4.52 seconds, which is more than impressive given his size.
On top of all that, Henry looked smooth running through the drills on the field.
— NFL (@NFL) February 26, 2016
Many in the draft Twitter community will shake their heads, but Henry is going to be taken in Round 1 after the show he put on today at Lucas Oil Stadium. His size, speed, agility and unbelievable production is making any other outcome look implausible.
While it’s true Alabama featured a terrific offensive line, Henry often showed breakaway speed when given a lane. He also showed outstanding endurance and got better as games got longer last year. He’s going to be coveted, and it’s safe to say his stock is soaring.
2. Laremy Tunsil blew scouts away
“Man, he’s like a Corvette out here,” one of the NFL Network analysts said of Tunsil on Friday as the big man deftly maneuvered his body during on-field drills.
The highly-talented offensive tackle has every NFL talent evaluator drooling, and he’s making his competition look average by comparison.
I like Stanley but Tunsil moves like a TE. It's not close.
— Daniel Jeremiah (@MoveTheSticks) February 26, 2016
Blessed with prototypical size for an offensive tackle (6-foot-5 and 305 pounds), Tunsil put on a display of unrivaled athleticism and agility Friday.
Even before the combine, Tunsil was considered a legitimate challenger to be taken No. 1 overall this year, especially with the Tennessee Titans needing offensive line help and having already landed their quarterback last year in Marcus Mariota. His performance on the field Friday only further solidified him as one of the top players in the draft.
3. Jack Conklin shows off power, speed and agility
While he’ll never be able to compete with the raw abilities of Tunsil, Conklin did some really positive things Friday that only confirmed what he showed on tape this year for the Michigan State Spartans.
The offensive tackle looked smooth running the 40-yard dash, causing Bleacher Report’s Matt Miller to remark on his draft status:
Jack Conklin ran an unofficial 4.98 at 6'6", 308 lbs. Should be the first Spartan off the board.
— Matt Miller (@nfldraftscout) February 26, 2016
Conklin also looked really good on the field and showed off some raw power pushing his opponent off the line coming out of his stance.
Some believe that Michigan State quarterback Connor Cook could be taken in the first round, despite some questions about his leadership, given how desperate teams are for quarterbacks.
Before the combine, it was widely assumed that Conklin would be a late-first rounder, but after showing off a nice combination of speed, power and agility on the field he could see his stock rise.
4. Kicker Marshall Koehn made waves with blazing 40
As Rich Eisen of NFL Media always says, “Kickers are people, too.”
Koehn came out of nowhere Friday and blazed the track with a 4.61 40-yard dash time, which opened up some tired eyes early in the morning.
That 4.6 40 by Iowa's Marshall Koehn is the fastest time by a kicker in at least a decade.
— Chris Burke (@ChrisBurkeNFL) February 26, 2016
Maybe if he bulks up a bit (6-foot-1 and 197 pounds), Koehn can beat his gunners down the field on kickoffs to make a beeline towards return men.
In all seriousness, the 40 time won’t make any difference for teams evaluating the kicker. He wasn’t exactly a boomer at Iowa, where he made just one 50-plus yard field goal the past two seasons and hit just 77.8 percent of his attempts.
5. Keith Marshall had the fastest time all day
Before the running backs hit the field Friday, Todd Gurley tweeted out an interesting prediction:
The person Gurley referenced is Marshall, who darn-near matched his prediction, running the 40-yard dash in 4.31 seconds officially. It was the fastest time of the day by one-tenth of a second over fellow speedster Tyler Ervin out of San Jose State.
Marshall blends a unique combination of size (5-foot-11 and 219 pounds), speed and strength (25 reps on the 225-pound bench press). He was barely used last year until Nick Chubb’s season-ending injury. Then when he stepped into the action he produced at a high level, averaging 5.1 yards per carry and rushing for three touchdowns.
He’s likely to be a late-round pick, but perhaps the speed shown today will cause Marshall’s stock to rise enough for him to become a Day 2 pick.