By Anthony Slater – Aslater@opubco.com - @anthonyVslater
Three former Sooners performed at the NFL Combine this weekend, all seemingly helping (or at least maintaining) their current draft stock.
Here’s a look at the trio:
Jones ran an expectedly slow 40-time, clocking in at 5.11 seconds, last among the 13 quarterbacks who competed. One NFL Draft analyst called the attempts ‘very upright, awkwardly run 40-yard dashes.’ Here’s the GIF of his run.
But let’s be honest, if you’re planning on drafting Landry Jones for his straight-line speed, you might as well take Tom Wort for his pass coverage skills and Kenny Stills for his punting ability.
Landry’s redeeming NFL quality is a strong arm. He can rifle balls to the outside and inside, when given time, unlike many signal callers his age.
And in that capacity, during Sunday’s throwing drills, he seems to have impressed:
But as Kurt Warner mentioned on the NFL Network broadcast, preordained throws during defenseless drills isn’t going to skyrocket Jones’ stock.
“These drills aren’t really my biggest question with him,” Warner said. “Very productive in college, lot of touchdowns and lot of success. For me, it was about big moments in big games, how he would respond in those situations. So I don’t think so much about the combine will impress people. It’ll be about the interviews and what they see on tape.”
Warner’s exactly right. That’s where Jones’ NFL future will be thrown into question. But looking strictly at this weekend’s proceedings, from what happened on the field, Jones certainly didn’t hurt himself.
The initial and unofficial reading of Kenny Stills’ 4.28 40-yard dash was eye-popping. Unbelievable, really, considering the lack of straight-line downfield speed we saw during his productive career at Oklahoma.
A bit later, the official reading came out 4.38, a more reasonable clip, but still a blazing one. It was fourth among wide receivers at the Combine, behind such burners as West Virginia’s Tavon Austin (4.34) and Texas track star Marquise Goodwin (4.27).
But even the one-second dip from unofficial to official doesn’t change the fact that Stills made some money on Sunday. Likely a lot of it, too.
With plenty more pre-Draft proceedings to take place, who knows where the former OU wideout eventually falls. But this Combine showing did nothing but help his cause.
I’m pretty sure I’ve heard Lane Johnson’s name more in the past couple months than I did during his entire career at Oklahoma.
And the Winter of Lane continued on Saturday.
Draft experts and prospective teams have fawned over Johnson for weeks, particularly his rare athleticism for an offensive tackle, and he backed it up at the Combine.
His 4.72 40-yard dash was the second fastest ever run by an offensive lineman and his 1.61 10-yard split was quicker than anyone’s, which some scouts say is more important. He outran 10 of the 13 quarterbacks, including K-State Heisman finalist Collin Klein (4.78), and skill position players such as Nebraska’s Rex Burkhead (4.73) and Missouri’s T.J. Moe (4.74).
That’s why many are projecting Johnson as a first-round pick.
Three more Sooners compete in the next couple days (Tony Jefferson, Tom Wort and Stacy McGee). Follow along here for solid updates.
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