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2014 Combine performance: Tight Ends and Offensive Line

Tony Villiotti breaks down some of the weekend's performances. Tony Villiotti

Print This February 24, 2014, 02:00 PM EST

Saturday was a busy day at the Combine as offensive linemen and tight ends took to the field. With the measurements (at least for the most part) on the record and available to hardcore fans, it is time to evaluate what happened. All the data used as the basis for this article comes from nfl.com. The NFL does not, however, report the splits within the 40-yard dash. This is very meaningful information that I usually obtain from other sources, but I will have to ignore the splits as I do not yet have the information.

This article reports each player’s measurement by percentile. That is, if a player’s measurement is in the top 10% of all performances since 1999 his measurement would be reported as 10% (raw scores are reported at any number of websites and would be redundant to report here). A low score is better than a high score (e.g., 10% is better than 20%). IF “DNP” is reported in a column, it means the player did not participate in that drill.

Centers

Here is how 2014 performance as a group compared to the 1999-2013 average.

As the table indicates, 2014 performance was a mixed bag with performance in some drills being worse and others being better.

Now we turn to individual performance. The up or down arrow reflects which drills were judged to be most and least predictive of future performance in my article “2014 COMBINE VIEWING GUIDE”. An up arrow indicates most predictive and a down area indicates least predictive. The absence of the 40-yard splits prevents this from being as meaningful as it could be.

No one jumps out as having great across the board performance. One could argue that Gabe Ikard was the biggest standout as he did the best in the 20-yard shuttle and 3-Cone drills, both judged to be significant indicators of success.

Guards

Here is how 2014 performance as a group compared to the 1999-2013 average.

The 2014 group seems to be slightly faster than the average of past years but did not fare as well in the vertical jump or the broad jump.

I will not repeat the comments regarding individual performance that were made in the previous section. Here is the individual information.

Big 10 players set the pace for guards. Ryan Groy, who I have not heard discussed much at all, was arguably the best performer in the group. As someone who is a Penn State season ticket holder I must admit being pleasantly surprised by John Urschel’s performance. Conor Bofell from Iowa also did well. The Big 10 trio was joined by Xavier Su’a-Filo as the top Combine performers at the guard position.

Tackles

Offensive tackles certainly stole the show on Saturday. The players that were highly rated all did well in the Combine drills and did nothing to hurt their cause. First, here is a summary of the full group.

The only drill where 2014 did not outperform the average was in the vertical jump.

In addition to the big name guys (Taylor Lewan, Jake Matthews and Greg Robinson) who got most the attention, Joel Bitonio, Wesley Johnson and Matt Pachan also did very well.

Tight Ends

Eric Ebron was the big name going in, and he did not hurt himself with his performance.
Colt Lyerla has the best overall performance, though his off-field issues may affect his draft fate. Here is a look at the overall group.

With the exception of the 20-yard shuttle and the 3-Cone drill, the tight end group pretty much exceeded the average. The averages in those two groups were affected by fact that the top three athletes skipped the drills.

The individual performances reflect that both Lyerla and A.C. Leonard set the pace for the field. Joe Don Dunham caught everyone’s attention with his bench press but did not participate in any other drills.

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