Critics Want Improvement from Ducks’ Defensive Combine Participants

McKalie Bellew FishWrap, FishWrap Archive

The NFL Combine has concluded, and now it’s up to the scouts to crunch some numbers to decide who they want to draft for the upcoming season. We all know Marcus Mariota did very well at the combine, which was no surprise. Jake Fisher did well, too, showing great athleticism.

On the defensive side, three former Ducks participated in the combine. Although combine workouts, especially sprinting and jumping drills, generally mean very little, some people have been vocal about being underwhelmed with performances. In an article from AutzenZoo.comXavier Raymond discussed Arik Armstead, Tony Washington and Troy Hill’s combine results.

Armstead is considered a crucial and extremely relevant player entering the NFL, mostly based on his size. Raymond was surprised by Armstead’s workouts. “His 40-yard dash and bench press both seemed worse than they should have been,” he wrote.

Armstead ran a 5.10 in his 40-yard dash and recorded 24 reps in the bench press. Raymond explains that 5.10 isn’t necessarily a bad time, but it’s not a stand-out stat either. When it comes to the bench press, Raymond says players of Armstead’s size are typically expected to have about 30 reps. In regards to where Armstead will go in the NFL, Raymond said,

“Most of what you hear from Indianapolis is he has everything you want with regards to body type and physical ability but he is very raw. So it seems he’ll go to someone who thinks they can mold him into exactly what they believe he can be.”

Washington’s numbers unfortunately didn’t stand out in a good way. His 40-yard dash time was the worst out of all LBs and his bench press was 17 reps. Raymond critiqued Washington, saying,

“He will fit in on someone’s special teams and make solid depth, but there wasn’t anything about this workout that suggests he could be anything more than that anytime soon.” 

Raymond discusses that Hill had a good season opposite field of former teammate Ifo Ekpre-Olomu and so did Erick Dargan, who for reasons unknown was not invited to the Combine. “Hill’s performance at the combine did nothing to stand out,” Raymond said. He ran a 4.55 40-yard dash which, like Armstead’s time, isn’t necessarily bad but it’s not jaw-dropping impressive either. Raymond explained,

“That makes you think he’d have to land on someone’s squad as either a nickel or dime back. But with the increased talent being shuffled into the slot receiver position you have to think he’ll fit into a zone scheme and struggle to find a place on a team that uses man to man. His size suggests a move to safety wouldn’t work very well either.”

Despite the results and the critiques of these former Ducks, they are all still very likely to be drafted. Armstead is still rumored to go in the first round, and Washington and Hill will probably not go so high but should still be drafted. Raymond explained that out of all the Ducks to participate in the combine, he thinks Fisher improved his draft position the most and that Mariota solidified his.

Regardless of the projections, rumors and opinions of anyone outside the coaches and front offices of these NFL teams, there’s really no telling who’s going where until the clock starts moving come Draft Day.

Top Photo by David J. Phillip

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