The NFL Combine is wrapping up, and our former Oregon Ducks have seen mixed results. It was a very good experience for Jeff Maehl and Brandon Bair, who had performances that will ensure that they are drafted, and not such a good experience for Casey Matthews.
Maehl wowed enough to take him off the draft bubble and firmly entrench him as a guy who will find a spot somewhere in the later rounds. He didn't wow anyone with his speed, with a 4.62 40 meter time, but bulked up by almost ten pounds (to 190) and set the combine record in the three cone drill at 6.42 seconds, and also had the best record of any wideout in the 60 yard shuttle (10.62). Says NFL Network analyst Sterling Sharpe:
“I like his game,” commentator Sterling Sharpe said. “He’s going to out slow some people but I like his game. He catches the football with his hands. He’s very fluid at route running. He’s a smart route runner. He doesn’t run into traffic or headaches. I like what I’ve seen from him in college.”
A bit of a backhanded compliment, yes, but its looking increasingly like Maehl will get drafted.
Brandon Bair also had a very good combine, ranking in the top ten in defensive linemen in several categories. Bair was projected a late round pick before the combine, but afterward, NFL Network lead analyst postulated:
"One of those 3-4 teams is going to scoop him up in the third or fourth round, put 20 pounds on him and all of the sudden (you have a) 6-6, 300-pound, 5-technique sitting face up on that offensive tackle"
The difference between round three and round six is a much more secure roster slot and a whole lot of money.
Unfortunately, Casey Matthews didn't get much of a chance to show what he could do, injuring his shoulder during the bench press and not getting a chance to show what he could do during defensive drills. While this is a bummer for him, he was the guy whose status was most assured, and he'll have a shot to show what he can do at Oregon's pro day.
Watch the NFL Scouting Combine Feb. 24-Mar. 1