NFL Draft prospects are still a few months from cashing their first NFL check, but many spent the last few days in Indianapolis helping to determine how big that first check will be. Players can make and cost themselves significant money at the NFL Combine and that was likely again the case this year.
That might mean improving your stock from a Day 3 to a Day 2 pick, or moving up from the middle to the top of the first round. Here is a closer look at five players who had successful trip to the Combine and five who will need to rebound at their pro days and other workouts.
Greg Robinson, OT, Auburn
Robinson came to Indianapolis as a sure-fire first-round pick, likely destined for the top 10. He left town in the discussion for the No. 1 prospect in the draft. A person his size should simply not move like he did. He weighed in at 332 pounds, but still managed to run a 4.92-second 40-yard dash. That included a time of 1.68 seconds in the first 10 yards, a telling number for an offensive lineman's explosiveness. He tested out well in the other drills and shined in the position drills. Some are now projecting him as the No. 2 pick in the draft.
Justin Gilbert, CB, Oklahoma State
Gilbert's athleticism stole the show on Tuesday. He clocked a 4.37-second 40-yard dash, the fastest of the defensive backs. That went along with a 35.5-inch vertical jump and a 126-inch broad jump. His numbers would have been impressive on their own, adding them to an exceptional position workout makes Gilbert one of the big winners. The workout may have been enough for him to claim the spot as the No. 1 corner in the draft with Bucky Brooks of NFL.com suggesting Gilbert will join the discussion as a potential top 10 pick.
Jadeveon Clowney, DE, South Carolina
Clowney blistered the 40-yard dash track with a 4.53-second showing. That would have ranked well among the running backs, but was jaw-dropping for a 266-pound defensive end. He also posted impressive numbers in the vertical jump and broad jump before opting out of the rest of the drills. Everyone knew Clowney was a rare athlete and he somehow still managed to turn heads.
Aaron Donald, DT, Pittsburgh
Clowney wasn't the only impressive defensive lineman. Donald didn't generate quite as much buzz, with the focus on Clowney, but he still ran a ridiculous 4.68-second 40-yard dash. That is a rare number for a 285-pound player. He also excelled in the three-cone drill and showed off impressive strength with 35 bench press reps. Add in an impressive positional workout and Donald improved his stock with nearly every drill.
Odell Beckham Jr. WR, LSU
The 2014 draft class is loaded with wide receiver prospects. Beckham did well to distinguish himself from the pack. He performed very well in all of the timed drills. He ran a 4.43-second 40-yard dash to go with a 3.94-second 20-yard shuttle and 10.93-second 60-yard shuttle. The athleticism was evident and he earned praise for his route running. He's now being mentioned as a possible late first-round prospect.
Ka'Deem Carey, RB, Arizona
It's impossible to deny Carey's college production, but he'll now need a solid pro day to back up his college film. Speed was one of the big questions surrounding Carey and he did little to answer the doubt, clocking a 4.7-second 40. That was one of the slower times for running backs and especially troubling for a player his size. Carey measured at 5'9 and 207 pounds. Small and slow is not a good combination for a running back.
Cyrus Kouandjio, OT, Alabama
The combine was borderline disastrous for Kouandjio. Once thought to be an elite left tackle prospect, Kouandjio struggled, ranking near the bottom of the offensive linemen in nearly every drill. The bigger problem, however, is his health. According to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network, several teams failed Kouandjio on his physical due to an "arthritic knee from failed surgery." Poor times can be somewhat made up for at a pro day workout, but a significant medical issue can take a prospect off some team draft boards entirely.
Austin Seferian-Jenkins, TE, Washington
Seferian-Jenkins is coming off a down season at Washington. The drop in production would have been easily overlooked with an impressive workout. The only problem for the big tight end is he wasn't cleared to work out. According to Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times, doctors found a stress fracture in Seferian-Jenkins' left foot. The injury prevented him from working out at the combine and could prevent him from working out at Washington's pro day on April 2. Although it's not a long-term injury, it could cause Seferian-Jenkins' stock to drop if he's unable to workout for scouts before the draft. Studying film is a key, but NFL decision makers still like to have drill times on hand before the draft.
Teddy Bridgewater, QB, Louisville
It would seemingly be hard to hurt your draft stock without doing anything, but that appears to be what happened with Bridgewater. The quarterback chose to not participate in most drills, including the 40-yard dash and the passing drills. SB Nation's Matthew Fairburn argued the pre-draft process shouldn't have a major impact on Bridgewater's stock, but that doesn't prevent things like this. Via NFL.com:
No throwing drills, no 40-yard dash, no 60-yard shuttle -- these voluntary absences have scouts wondering about his overall competitiveness. Bridgewater can certainly erase doubts by performing well at his personal workout, but questions about a possible diva-like attitude could linger.
Jarvis Landry, WR, LSU
Landy was unable to match, or even approach, the numbers of his college teammate Beckham. He ran a 4.77-second 40 and posted a vertical jump of 28.5 inches. His poor numbers will create questions of whether he is explosive enough to find success at the next level. At 5'11 and 205 pounds, he doesn't have the size to make up for a lack of explosive athletic ability. With a stocked class of receivers, many of which posted impressive numbers, the performance could cause Landry's stock to drop significantly.