The annual NFL Scouting Combine is in the books and all 32 teams have left Indianapolis ready to shake up their draft boards based on what they saw and heard. All of the prospects were put through the gauntlet of tests, drills and interviews but a few players emerged from the event with more questions from scouts than answers?
Here are 10 players who failed to build buzz at Lucas Oil Stadium and could see their 2017 NFL Draft stock slip a bit:
Dalvin Cook, RB, Florida State
Cook put up a very good effort when it came to the bench press but disappointed in other areas as he competes with Leonard Fournette and Christian McCaffrey to be the first tailback taken in the draft. Despite being a little lighter than the other two, he ran a similar 40-yard dash time and was not as good in the other drills that many expected given the explosiveness he showed at FSU. It probably wasn’t enough to hold him back but Cook wasn’t the star of the group at the Combine and didn’t exactly enhance his stock based on the on-field work.
Reuben Foster, LB, Alabama
Foster was reportedly sent home from the Combine after getting into an argument with a hospital worker. He already didn’t test as he recovers from rotator cuff surgery so having to spend the rest of his time in Indy trying to set the record straight on what happened isn’t helpful. With just a few days until the Crimson Tide’s Pro Day, the pressure is on Foster to reverse the bad press from the incident and win teams back to his side. To make matters worse, others at his position probably closed the gap with him some on teams’ draft boards.
DeShone Kizer, QB, Notre Dame
Kizer has been mentioned by many to be among the top three quarterbacks but delivered an uneven performance at the Combine. While his arm did impress in terms of raw power, he wasn’t as smooth with his footwork and not as sharp as others when it came to accuracy throwing the ball. Given that his high evaluation was based mostly on 2015 tape, scouts will be scrutinizing that sub-par ‘16 film even more after this performance.
Cooper Kupp, WR, Eastern Washington
If you’re looking for a small-school draft darling, look no further than Kupp. Despite coming into the week as a possible Day 2 pick, he ran a much slower than expected 4.62 that didn’t exactly wipe away concerns about his overall speed. He still has plenty of tape of him running great routes and catching everything but he didn’t exactly help his case during testing.
Zach Cunningham, LB, Vanderbilt
Of all the linebackers, Cunningham entered the Combine with the most collegiate production and brought some quality tape with him to Indianapolis. Despite that, he didn’t help his case with a mediocre 40 time (4.67) and a rather stiff performance during drills. There are two big concerns with him and he didn’t exactly erase them with struggles in coverage drills and not looking quite as strong.
Isaiah Ford, WR, Virginia Tech
ACC fans know that Ford is quite the baller and a big reason why the Hokies had any sort of passing game prior to the arrival of head coach Justin Fuente. Despite that good film, he didn’t follow through at the Combine to check off boxes, running slightly slower than expected in the 40 and dropping a few balls when going through drills. Instead of building buzz at the Combine, Ford was stuck in neutral or reverse by not flashing.
Corey Clement, RB, Wisconsin
It seems like Wisconsin sends a big name tailback to the Combine every year and the Badgers had two representatives in 2017. Clement was the more productive between him and teammate Dare Ogunbowale but it was the latter who emerged with a better trajectory after a stop in Indy. Clement ran slower than expected and looked surprisingly stiff during drills designed to showcase his change of direction.
Wayne Gallman, RB, Clemson
Gallman got caught in a double-whammy. First his own performance was somewhat middling, running a 4.6 in the 40 and posting just a 29.5-inch vertical jump. Add that to a number of tailbacks having some impressive outings at the Combine and Gallman didn’t jump into that top group of ball carriers like some expected, but rather saw a little bit more distance open up between himself and the Fournette/McCaffrey/Cook group.
Damien Mama, OL, USC
You know things are bad when NFL Network host Rich Eisen sees your 40 time (5.84 in Mama’s case) and immediately thinks he can out run you in the same event. Given his size, that run wasn’t expected to be a big deal for the Trojans’ guard but he looked very sluggish in drills and looked like he was over things before they even began.
Chad Wheeler, OL, USC
Wheeler played well during his college career as the Trojans’ top tackle but he didn’t test very well at all. He bench pressed just 15 reps, had only decent arm length (which is very important at that position) and ran pretty slow for somebody his size. Add in a rather stiff day doing the position drills and it wasn’t the effort he wanted coming into the event.
— Written by Bryan Fischer, an award-winning college football columnist and member of the Athlon Contributor Network. You can follow him from coast-to-coast on Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat at @BryanDFischer.