We've said it before, we love the NFL Combine. It's like the Olympics for fat dudes. Especially when we're talking about offensive linemen. Sure there are the finely tuned, statue of David type athletes like the running backs, wide receivers and defensive backs who honestly could be Olympic athletes; but I don't care about them. There's no humor there. How can you laugh at a 6'2" wideout who runs the forty in 4.3 seconds and has a vertical jump of ten feet? You can't.
But oh lord can you laugh as large, freakishly athletic, brontosuarus shaped linemen "sprint" down the track with their man-tits bouncing like a Hooters waitress during an earthquake in an attempt to run a sub three minute forty. Then there's the broad jump. How this is useful in the NFl is completely beyond me. I get that the jump gives you a measure of "explosiveness," but how this type of explosiveness is useful unless you're preparing for a live version of "Pitfall" is a mystery.
Still, they compete. They measure. They poke and prod your body and your mind. If Inception was actually possible you can bet your sweet ass that the NFL would've pioneered the science long ago. (Who's to say they haven't). And the results determine where your favorite college players will end up in the draft.
While there is comedy involved when a man pushing 400 lbs, with most of it junk in the trunk (cough... B.J. Raji... cough), runs the shuttle drill, there are some players that not only look like Olympians but perform like it who play in the trenches. One of those players is Michigan's own Stephen Schilling. As you probably recall, Schilling was in semi-seclusion in northern Siberia preparing for the NFL draft. Projected initially as a mid to late rounder at guard, Schilling took some big steps towards improving his draft stock.
Aware that the NFL Network had derived new combine tests to improve viewership of the Combine, Schilling's preparation showed this past weekend. Schilling placed third in the School Bus Toss, second in media avoidance, fourth in the I-Beam bend, tied for fourth in the 40 yard dash (among linemen), and fifth in the hot dog eating contest (narrowly following Takeru Kobayashi). Scouts were reportedly impressed with Schilling's intelligence, quickness, ability to leap tall buildings in a single bound, survival instincts and his KO of a grizzly bear a kick boxing cage match.
His actual, you know, combine results were pretty impressive as well and sem to have solidly planted Schilling in the 3rd to 4th round of the draft. The Michigan big man showed above average quickness in drills and scouts seem pretty happy with his versatility on the line, as well as his ability to pull and block in space. All in all, a pretty good showing for the four year starter.
Make sure you catch the recap of the NFL Scouting Combine Feb 24 - Mar 1 on the NFL Network.