On Saturday, offensive linemen and tight ends started showing off their physical mettle in front of NFL personnel (and live cable television on the NFL Network). The offensive skill positions (quarterbacks, running backs, and wide receivers) had their chances to increase their draft stock on Sunday. Two former Badgers, wide receiver Jared Abbrederis and running back James White, were among them.
Abbrederis, as noted earlier today, was the first wide receiver to run the 40-yard dashes Sunday morning. He ran an unofficial 4.50 in his first attempt, but later improved his standing with a 4.44 run in his second. His official time noted by NFL.com was 4.50.
It's a solid time for the former walk-on from Wautoma, Wis., actually the same time as former Oregon Duck speedster DeAnthony Thomas (I am not kidding you on this). Abbrederis showed his strengths in route running and footwork at the Senior Bowl practices before having to withdraw from the game with a minor hamstring injury, which obviously did not hamper the all-time receptions leader in Wisconsin history today.
In the Gauntlet drill, Abbrederis dropped one of his passes but caught the rest. He did finish in the top third of the wide receivers who participated in the 3-cone drill, along with the 20-yard and 60-yard shuttles.
In the bench press, he only performed four reps at 225 pounds on Saturday, which is the lowest among wide receivers at the Combine. NFL.com's scouting report stated he needs to bulk up and become stronger, and Bob McGinn wrote on JSOnline.com his concussion history may leave some teams weary. Per McGinn, the Burlsworth Trophy winner has added 10 pounds onto his frame, from 185 to 195, which could help alleviate some teams' concerns about being able to withstand punishing defenses in the NFL.
He did not place as well compared to the rest of the field in the broad jump and vertical jump categories (the latter being a little surprising, considering how many contested receptions he caught in his Badgers career).
Also noted for you hybrid Badgers/Green Bay Packers fans, Drafttek.com has general manager Ted Thompson and company taking Abbrederis with the 85th overall pick in the third round.
His full statistics, compliments of NFL.com:
|Rank among WR
A fun little nugget of information for all you combine-starved stats geeks out there (meant in the most loving way possible), per Mike Loyko of NEPatriotsDraft.com:
How about this then.. of top 15 40 times posted by a WR in last 5 years.. only 1 has 1000 season . @ScottHanson some debate over Julio
— Mike Loyko (@NEPD_Loyko) February 24, 2014
White, another prospect who impressed in Mobile for the Senior Bowl back in January, started off his Combine weekend with 23 reps at 225 pounds on the bench press on Saturday (yes, that is higher than Jadeveon Clowney's total, for what it's worth).
His full stats below:
|Rank among RB
White's time in the 40 placed him in the top half of the running backs seen on Sunday, and his performance on the bench showed the power the 5'9" 204 pound holds, though NFL.com lists his small arms and lack of bulk/run strength, as well as his overall lack of size, as detractors for the underrated running back. Then again, White has always had his fair share of naysayers, but he carved out a fantastic four-year career in Wisconsin. He can definitely help a team on Sundays this fall.
Also impressive for White were his times in the 20- and 60-yard shuttle runs, coming in the top ten for each drill. Overall, with this performance and winning the MOP award for the North in the Senior Bowl, White has helped himself. I'm intrigued how both Abbrederis and White will follow up their performances at Wisconsin's pro day coming up next Wedneday, March 5th.
Monday brings linebacker Chris Borland's turn in front of personnel, but he already received one of the top performers' accolades on NFL.com by benching 225 pounds 27 times, fifth-most out of the linebackers who performed the drill.
Check out all of the former Badgers' results from the four-day extravaganza here, courtesy of UWBadgers.com.