So there were roughly 40 defensive linemen who participated in at least five of the seven NFL combine drills this past extended football weekend. Houston's Joey Mbu may be wishing he was not one of them. Take a look at these data points he put up over the weekend:
- 40 yard dash: 5.54 sec (42nd out of 43)
- 3-cone drill: 8.20 sec (36th out of 37)
- Broad jump: 97 inches (38th out of 39)
- 20-yard shuttle: 5.01 sec (37th out of 38)
- Vertical jump: 22.5 inches (39th out of 39)
- Bench press: DNP
Now, granted, the combine and the numbers you put up there are merely a fraction of your profile as a player, and many before him have overcome horrible combines to do great things (google "Tom Brady combine 40 yd dash" if you don't believe me).
But in Mbu's case, I think it's at the very least an orangey-red flag for some teams. You don't want to be the worst at your position in every combine drill, especially when you're already going into the combine hoping to answer questions about how your body type and skillset will fit in at the next level.
Will, Karl and I chatted briefly about how offputting these numbers are (or are not) after we saw the carnage.
Nic: So I know it's just combine numbers, but Mbu's performance leaves a lot to be desired.
Karl: Yeah, he is going to need an amazing pro day, or admit he has an injury.
Will: Yeah, he f***ed.
Nic: But how do you balance that with the "it's just numbers" crowd?
Karl: People want to make fun of all of the events, but those things show how much power he can develop and how quick fire he can really be; if he has no real drive (power), then he has no chance to get around an NFL level tackle Maybe he can do, like, 50 reps of 225 lbs or something?
Will: We'll never know, that's the one damn drill he didn't do was lift.
Karl: So if he's an edge rusher then the vert/broad jump almost matter more for him, and his 10-yard split on the 40.
Nic: Well, good news, six people did worse than his 1.82 sec 10-yard split.
Karl: Maybe he is just a run stopper at 6'3'' 313? I mean a 313 pound slow defensive end sounds like a terrible use of size, but a weak ass defensive tackle doesn't really hold value either. 313 can be a tackle... if he was strong. But it looks like.. he isn't?
Nic: I guess we won't really know until his pro day.
Will: Yeah I'd say he's going to Canada or the arena league.
Karl: I mean, many do go pro in something other than sports.
I guess we'll find out. Again, the combine isn't the be-all and end-all of your career no matter how bad your numbers are, but Mbu likely created more questions than he answered and will then have at least a little more pressure to perform at his pro day. To be continued...