— These are the most volatile days for the draft stock market. In the wake of the scouting combine, the value of some players is shooting up while the value of others is spiraling down.
Here is a look at ten players whose stock was significantly affected by their combine performances. Times for 40-yard dashes are unofficial.
Jahvid Best, California RB — stock up
He might have moved from the bottom of round 2/top of round 3 to the top of round 2 with a very nice workout, including a 4.35 40. He’s a love him or hate him type of player. Some think he’s no better than a No. 2 back and kick returner. But the scouts who think he’s more than that like him more than ever now.
LeGarrette Blount, Oregon RB — stock down
After not playing most of the season because of a suspension, Blount had an opportunity to make a strong impression at the combine but failed. His 40 time of 4.72 was alarming, and he didn't look like a natural pass catcher.
Navorro Bowman, Penn State LB — stock down
It was assumed that Bowman would run better than in the 4.7s. Some teams will struggle with the dilemma of taking a linebacker who runs a 4.7 in the first round, so Bowman could have dropped into round 2, maybe behind Missouri’s Sean Weatherspoon.
Bruce Campbell, Maryland OT — stock up
If you judged Campbell on his game tape, you’d say he’s a mid-round pick. But if you judged him on how athletic he looked at the Combine, you’d say he’s a sure first-rounder. He helped his stock just by showing up for the weigh-in wearing nothing but a pair of shorts—at 6-6, 314 pounds, he has the prototype body to play tackle in the NFL. He drew more attention with a 4.85 40 (as if a 40-yard dash matters to offensive linemen), and an excellent overall workout.
Perrish Cox, Oklahoma State CB — stock down
Cox needed a strong Combine, given that he was suspended for his college team’s bowl game. But Cox was slower than expected, running a 4.55 40. One front-office man said Cox was not impressive in interviews, either.
Brandon Graham, Michigan DE/OLB — stock up
Building on the momentum he gained at the Senior Bowl, Graham had an excellent workout with a 4.67 40 and 31 bench presses at 225 pounds. He could have helped himself even more by proving he can drop and cover in linebacker drills, but he injured his hamstring and pulled out early.
Joe Haden, Florida CB — stock down
Haden was expected to be a top-15 pick, and it was assumed he would run a 4.4 40. But he ran a 4.58, and he didn’t look so hot in his agility drills either. As a result, a good chance exists he will drop out of the first half of the first round.
Taylor Mays, Southern Cal S — stock up
One personnel director jokingly said Mays won “The Combine Award.". At 6-3, 230, Mays ran the 40 in the low 4.4s. His combination of size and speed is tantalizing, even if the game tape is less so. It seems certain Mays will be gone by the mid first round after his workout.
Jason Pierre-Paul, South Florida DE — stock up
He is the kind of player who benefits most from the combine — a spectacular athlete who is a bit raw. Pierre Paul might have moved into the top ten of the draft, as he generated a buzz among scouts with a phenomenal workout, including a 4.67 40. What’s more, he demonstrated position versatility.
Damian Williams, Southern Cal WR — stock down
It’s bad enough for any wide receiver to run a 4.6 40 at the Combine, but it’s a killer for a receiver from Southern Cal. There is a stigma about USC receivers not being fast enough, and it could impact where Williams is drafted. He might have dropped from the high second round to the low second round.
Q. Could you see the Steelers signing LaDainian Tomlinson?
— Chioke Hassan, Baltimore
A. It's possible, based on their roster and the interest Mike Tomlin has. But it would be very out of character for this team. The Steelers rarely make splashy, if any, moves in free agency. They make very sound decisions and stick with their organizational philosophy.
Signing L.T. would not jibe.
A. McCoy is probably a second-round pick. He could sneak into the first round, depending on how the pre-draft process goes for him. But he isn’t considered a top prospect because he lacks size.
At 6-1, he might have a hard time seeing over blockers and pass rushers, and at 210 pounds, he may not be able to take a NFL beating. He also piled up most of his yards at Texas with short to intermediate throws. His ability to throw deep with accuracy is questionable at best. He looks like a good fit for a team that runs the West Coast offense and is looking for a quarterback to develop. He could fit with the Browns, Redskins, Vikings, Panthers or Seahawks.
A. Bryant should go in the first round because it’s a bad year for elite receiver prospects. There isn’t anyone who is clearly better. I don’t think his suspension will make his draft stock fall. But failing to play in those 10 games was a missed opportunity. So was not working out at the Combine.
A. There is a good chance Hasselbeck will be the starter in 2010 at least. There is a good chance the Seahawks will draft his eventual replacement in the top two rounds. The Seahawks have three picks in the top 40 (the sixth, 14th and 40th).
The beauty of the Seahawks’ situation is they can let the draft unfold and see what falls to them. They don’t have to be a slave to positional needs because they can improve their team at so many positions.
A. San Antonio will be a candidate for an team at some point, but not better than Los Angeles (assuming L.A. can get a stadium built). So, the league’s efforts are focused on getting a team in Los Angeles. The only problem with San Antonio is its proximity to Houston and Dallas. The Texans, and especially the Cowboys, probably aren’t thrilled with the idea of a competitor horning in on their turf. But if the other 30 teams are OK with it, it is likely that eventually a team will call San Antonio home.