October 25, 2014

The NFL Draft: Superlatives

by Chris Warner, Patriots Daily Staff

Tired of seeing the same old names on your draft list? Try these special players on for size. And strength. And speed.

Winged Mercury Award: The fastest player at the combine this year was Miami defensive back Demarcus Van Dyke, who blazed a 4.28-second 40. Because speed isn’t an issue, at 6-1, 176 pounds, perhaps Demarcus should consider making a regular appearance at his local Sunday buffet.

Hercules, Hercules Award: Oregon State defensive tackle Stephen Paea bench pressed 225 pounds 49 times. Coincidentally, that’s 49 times more than I’ve bench pressed anything over the past three years.

I guess that’s not coincidental. Ah, well.

Refutin’ Newton Award: Highest vertical jump at the combine went to Virgil Green at 42.5 inches. That, plus his 10-foot, 10-inch broad jump can be witnessed on this clip, where Green appears to float.

Some have associated Green’s name with the Pats. I don’t see that happening, but whoever gets him has a surefire jump ball play near the goal line.

Highest pro day vertical went to Arizona running back Nic Grigsby, who leapt – wait for it – 43.5 inches and broad jumped 11 feet. Now that’s just silly.

Catch That Chicken, Rocky Award: You want quick? Sure. Somehow Oregon receiver Jeff Maehl maneuvered through the 3-cone drill in 6.42 seconds. For perspective, Julian Edelman (no slowpoke himself) timed at 6.62.

Maehl looks like the type of quick-footed, overachieving receiver we could root for. Unless he goes to the Colts. Or the Jets. Or – you know what? Forget it.

Beanpole Award: Wide receiver Mantwan Harris of Albany State (GA) is listed at 6-4, 183 pounds. Thus concludes everything we know about Mantwan Harris.

Lil’ Danny Woodhead Award: This one goes to tiny Terrence Holt, Austin Peay running back. At 5-5, 175 pounds, Holt makes Woodhead look like a linebacker.

Like Woodhead, though, Holt has an outside chance to make the NFL. He led the Governors in rushing (5.4 yards per carry) and kickoff returns (over 1,100 yards total).

Jupiter Award for Best Gravitational Pull: At first we figured defensive tackle Kenrick Ellis of Hampton had the prize at 346 pounds, but then we discovered offensive lineman Cedric Mack of Florida International, who brings it home at 351.

Hey, Cedric. Have you met Demarcus Van Dyke? I didn’t think so.

Brobdingnagian Award: Biggest overall goes to an offensive lineman (yeah, go figure). Josh Davis of Georgia measured in at 6-7, 331 pounds.

For perspective, think of Glen “Big Baby” Davis on the Celtics. Now lop off two inches of height and add over 40 pounds. Low post player, indeed.

Flyweight Award: With all the heft of an electron, Henry Sailes, Tennessee Tech running back (5-6, 169) averaged over 19 yards per punt return for the Golden Eagles.

If you’ve got 22 minutes, you can see all the Sailes highlights you could ever want here. That’s right: 22 minutes. Pass the peanuts, it’s going to be a while.

Wait a minute: did Cedric Mack eat all the peanuts?

Best Football Name: We settled on Bubba Bartlett of Carroll College of Montana. As we remain suckers for alliteration, backfield Bubba bestowed blessings by being a bruising ball-player. He’s a fullback candidate at 6-1, 237.

Any pro day standouts who bested the combine numbers listed above, any all-name candidates or any physical specimens that catch your eye, please let us know.

Email Chris Warner at [email protected]