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The 2015 edition of the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis is nearing an end, so inevitably we must declare who the winners and who the losers of this year’s annual event were.
The losers this year include several high-profile names and prospects we anticipated to post mind-blowing numbers, as well as some positional groups that are beginning to look weak as the NFL draft approaches.
Here are five losers from the 2015 NFL Scouting Combine:
Todd Gurley, Running Back
Gurley remains injured after suffering a torn ACL last season at Georgia, and it was a bit of a red flag he would not allow doctors at the NFL combine to inspect his leg. He’ll have to be more open with this injury to avoid teams being too skeptical about his recovery.
Overall, Gurley is the best of a solid running back class, but perhaps sets the stage for another year in which a running back doesn’t come off the board in the first round. Gurley is oft-connected with the Seahawks as a potential Marshawn Lynch successor, but may have left teams with more questions than answers after this weekend.
Devin Funchess, Wide Receiver
The Michigan wide receiver has drawn a lot of criticism after a handful of subpar measurables. Funchess clocked in a 4.70-second 40-yard dash and posted 17 reps on the bench press. So he’s a little too slow for a wide receiver and perhaps not strong enough to play tight end. That’s something he’ll need to address, and soon.
Funchess was tremendous on film, though, and that might be his saving grace. At 6-foot-4 and 232 pounds, he was a mismatch in Big Ten competition. He’ll need to improve his 40 time during the Michigan Pro Day. Otherwise, Funchess looks like he’s more of a project than a player at the next level.
Paul Dawson, Linebacker
Dawson was a stellar college linebacker at TCU, but posted a rough 4.93-second 40, a time slower than a handful of offensive linemen. It makes you wonder if he has enough speed to make an impact on the much more fast, more reactive NFL level.
Overall, Dawson’s tape shows a playmaking linebacker, one who totaled six sacks and four interceptions last season with the Horned Frogs. Poor measurables might have dropped him out of the first round, though.
Shaq Thompson, Linebacker
Thompson played at safety, linebacker, and running back at Washington, and opted to work out with the linebackers in Indianapolis. He managed a head-scratching 4.64 40 time and put up a 33.5 vertical jump.
Thompson did salvage his overall combine performance with solid numbers in position drills, but for such a hyped prospect he failed to stand out among the linebackers.
Tight end is arguably the weakest position in this year’s draft class, a year removed from four tight ends coming off the board in the first two rounds. This year, it seems awfully likely that not a single tight end gets picked in the first 32 picks.
Maxx Williams of Minnesota got off to a slow start. Both Florida State’s Nick O’Leary and Notre Dame’s Bay Koyack were simply mediocre. And that’s about that.
There is no exciting Rob Gronkowski, Jimmy Graham-esque prospects or even anyone that can scratch those players’ surface. In addition, the crop isn’t that deep. Teams in need of tight end help may be better off delving into the free-agent market.
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