Death, taxes, Wisconsin Badgers offensive linemen in the NFL.
Right tackle Rob Havenstein appears to be the next in proud lineage of Badgers to make an impact at the next level. On Thursday and Friday, Havenstein performed in front of hundreds of NFL personnel at the NFL Scouting Combine, one of only two Badgers at this weekend's events, but did not turn in a great performance.
NFL.com has Havenstein's measurables at 6'7, 321 pounds -- the latter being 12 pounds lighter than the 333 pounds seen on his 2014 Wisconsin athletic department profile. The three-year starter holding down the right side of the Badgers' offensive line also measured 33 3/4" arms and 9 3/4" hands.
For the workout portions, Havenstein bench pressed 225 pounds 16 times, the lowest amongst all linemen who performed at the combine. Miami's Ereck Flowers benched the most reps (37). Iowa's Brandon Scherff, known to be among one of the top linemen in the 2015 class, bench pressed 225 pounds 23 times.
Though not a drill known to accurately show athleticism of 300-pound plus men, Havenstein ran the 40-yard dash in 5.46 seconds officially, of which only eight other linemen ran slower times. Ali Marpet of little known Hobart & William Smith ran a sub-five second 40-yard dash at 4.98 seconds.
Along with tying for sixth-slowest time in the 20-yard shuttle run (4.87 sec.) and slowest three-cone drill time (8.28 sec), NFL.com's Chase Goodbread labeled him as the "Biggest Workout Loser."
The combine numbers may hurt his draft stock slightly in the eyes of some; however, there's a difference between the drills in late February and what's seen on game film. Havenstein impressed many in the Reese's Senior Bowl practices. The first team All-Big Ten honoree has "above-average power," "takes quick steps and good angles for proper positioning to wall off defenders on gap plays," and "aggressive, play-finishing demeanor on the field," per NFL.com's scouting report.
Looking at recent history amongst other former Wisconsin linemen in the chart below, Havenstein actually tested better than Frederick and Moffitt in the 40-yard dash. Florida State's Tre Jackson, a guard who coming into his senior season was one of the highest-ranked linemen and currently projects as a second- or third-round pick by CBS Sports, ran a 5.52 second dash.
Five did not bench more than 25 reps of 225 pounds, part of a stigma that many Wisconsin players don't perform well in this category (see: Jared Abbrederis and Montee Ball, who both benched the fewest reps per their positions). Havenstein did perform better in the 20-yard shuttle compared to Wagner.
|Linemen||Bench Press (reps)||40-Yard Dash (sec)||Vertical Jump (in.)||Broad Jump (in.)||Three-Cone Drill (sec)||20-Yard Shuttle (sec)||Career NFL Starts|
Stats from NFL.com
All players listed sans Moffitt -- who retired from football in 2013 -- started last season in the NFL. This list doesn't include Cleveland Browns all-pro left tackle Joe Thomas or Buffalo Bills guard Kraig Urbik, more former Wisconsin greats who've excelled and lasted for many seasons at the next level. From that same scouting report noted earlier on Havenstein:
Three-year starter who doesn't look the part in his uniform, but teams should worry more about how the dish tastes rather than how it is plated. With surprising feet to pair with good length and balance, Havenstein has the tools to be a starting right tackle in the league. He will be adequate when asked to zone block, but he can fire out and use his hips to leverage defenders out of run lanes.
Havenstein will have a chance to rectify his performance in certain drills, if he so chooses, at Wisconsin's pro day on March 11 -- one that undoubtedly will be attended by a majority of NFL scouts and personnel.