Feb 25, 2012; Indianapolis, IN, USA; An overall view of the inside of Lucas Oil Stadium taken during the NFL Combine. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-US PRESSWIRE
There you have it, folks. The 2012 NFL Scouting Combine, a seven-day odyssey of notepads, spandex, and loaded questions, has finally come to an end.
For the legions of scouts and analysts that converged on Indianapolis over the past week, the task now shifts to finding a way to interpret everything they just witnessed. Well, and eliminating the mental shots of large men in tight clothes doing casual gym exercises for hours on end. Yeah, that's definitely the first step.
The Wolverines sent a trio of test subjects to Indy, and thankfully for us, all three will return home with positive vibes about their respective performances. So how did things play out? Let's get to it after the jump...
Junior Hemingway, WR (Official Combine Page)
4.53 (40-yd dash), 35.5" (vertical), 21 (bench), 6.59 (3-cone) 3.98 (20-yd shuttle), 11.16 (60-yd shuttle), 124.0"(broad jump)
Mike Martin-DT (Official Combine Page)
4.88 (40-yd dash), 33.5" (vertical), 36 (bench), 7.19 (3-cone), 4.25 (20-yd shuttle), 113.0" (broad jump)
David Molk-OL (Official Combine Page)
41 (bench), Did not take part in any other drills
What It All Means
Hemingway's trip ultimately hinged on his 40-time, so his best run of 4.53 seconds has to be viewed as a significant step in the right direction. Heck, some scouts weren't even convinced he would be able to break 4.60 (despite saying he would all along). Hemingway's supporting numbers, for a guy projected as a late round pick, were also quite a pleasant surprise. Only two players had more bench press reps at the receiver position, and not a single wideout in the class had a better three-cone or 20-yard shuttle time. The once-dubious task of proving that he is indeed an NFL-level athlete at receiver? Check.
For Martin, the combine played out much like we anticipated, as our beloved 300-pound monster had no trouble leaving scouts' jaws on the ground at every turn. He flat-out dominated each drill put before him, and is virtually guaranteed to see his stock climb for this performance alone. Martin actually turned in a better combination of athleticism and strength than most of the tight ends in this class, and that's not really something you expect to hear about a damn nose tackle.
Molk, who was extremely disappointed with his 41-rep showing on the bench, still had a nice week considering that he could have just as easily not participated at all. The right foot injury that kept him out of drills is progressing ahead of schedule, and he hopes to be able to run a 40-yard dash at Michigan's March 15th Pro Day. If not, though, there's always a chance to sneak in a private workout leading up to the draft. Molk didn't hurt his stock, but since many already knew of his brute strength coming in, he probably didn't do much to help it either.
Hemingway should be a lock for the later rounds. The kid did everything in his power to make sure he can hear his name called in April, and not many so-called possession receivers were able to showcase the type of quick-twitch speed and agility that Hemingway displayed. It's often hard to buy in with a player who had such middling production as a senior, regardless of the system or play at quarterback, so it was paramount that Junior gave NFL teams as much to chew on as possible. And because of how well he ran, he now won't have to worry endlessly about making improvements before UM's Pro Day with his career (possibly) on the line.
Martin will end up being selected earlier than everyone assumes. For the most part, defensive tackles outside of the top 15 picks are usually going to be wildcards since settling on the right one often depends on how well each guy fits into a team's system. Martin, however, was almost Ndamukong Suh-like in the way he exhibited both elite power and straight-line speed, a rare combination that should make him stand out from a few of his *ahem* fatter and slower peers when the time comes. Don't be shocked if a team falls in love with his versatility and decides that he's worth grabbing a few picks early.
Molk's inactivity meant little to nothing, and he's still a hot commodity. It was a minor blow that Molk wasn't able to take part in positional drills with so many eyes in one place, but the combine is hardly a spot for offensive linemen to take the world by storm. His performance on the bench was more than enough to satisfy the appetite of scouts and general managers anyway, and if things go to plan he'll be back on the field running in two weeks. Throughout the week as many as 11 teams told Molk's agent they were actively looking for a center, so there is plenty of demand for his services. As far as where he might rank on certain team's boards, though, Molk was rather blunt. "The fact they could consider any center better than me is pretty stupid," he said.
Which former Michigan player had the best week at the combine?
Mike Martin (37 votes)
Junior Hemingway (44 votes)
David Molk (6 votes)
87 total votes