The average NFL fan that watches his or her fair share of sports talk shows has been enveloped by the jargon of the Combine and become an amateur scout almost overnight.
We have scoffed at Notre Dame’s Manti Te’o for his “slow” 4.82-second 40-yard dash and laughed as Howard University’s Keith Pough fell backwards on his broad jump attempt.
Click on the picture below to check out Pough's awkward landing and even more embarrassing fall:
Now, as “40 times” are becoming the center of attention and players are moving up or down on the proverbial “draft boards,” let’s take a look at the prospects of the three Boston College seniors that worked out for scouts in Indianapolis this past week.
Emmett Cleary, Offensive Tackle
Cleary’s workouts did not dazzle any scouts, but that doesn’t mean much for an offensive lineman at the Combine. Unless a lineman cranks out almost 40 reps at 225 lbs on the bench press or runs an inhuman 4.8-second 40-yard dash (nearly impossible for someone the size of an offensive lineman), the workouts just give scouts a chance to see how a player moves in person. Cleary has great size for the NFL at 6-foot-7 and 315 pounds, but must work on his lower body strength and footwork to make it as a starter at the next level, according to most scouts. He’ll provide great value to a team somewhere in the late rounds and will probably hear his name called toward the end of Day 3 (rounds 4-7).
Chris Pantale, Tight End
Pantale doesn’t have the receiving numbers of Stanford’s Coby Fleener (now with the Indianapolis Colts) from last year’s draft or any other high profile tight ends, but he could provide solid value later on. He doesn’t have top-end speed, but is a semi-reliable tight end with good height (6-foot-5) and shows flashes of the strong blocking skills you’d expect from a BC tight end. Pantale figures to be a backup at the next level if he can stick around and prove his worth. Look for him to probably go undrafted in this deep tight end class and earn a training camp invite after the draft.
John Wetzel, Offensive Tackle
Wetzel is almost a mirror image of Emmett Clearly as they have identical frames (both 6-foot-5 and 315 pounds) and performed almost equally at the combine in their drills. As with Cleary, Wetzel possesses great size for the position, but Wetzel seems to be somewhat quicker off the snap, which will work in his favor. His footwork is also a concern for many NFL scouts, but his attributes should qualify him for a late-round draft pick, very close to where Cleary may be selected.
Unfortunately, BC doesn’t appear to have any top-notch recruits like Anthony Costonzo in 2011 or Kuechly last year (both 1st round picks), but three Eagles earned Combine workouts, something that not too many college players can say.
We’ll cheer them on come late April in New York just the same and hopefully we’ll see another class of Eagles playing on Sundays this upcoming season.