Annually the Underwear Olympics (Combine) produces some shifts in the way we look at our big boards. I don't know how seismic that shift is for NFL front offices, but nonetheless, I'm sure they put some stock in the players performances in Indy. After the jump, I'll list some players that may be of interest to the Bills that helped their stock, and that hurt their stock
Kirk Cousins - QB - Michigan State - Annually, the top flight quarterbacks trek to Indy, only to decline to throw. For QB's in the second tier, throwing at the combine often helps them separate from their peers. One who helped their cause by throwing in Indy was Cousins. Already considered to be right around the 4th best QB in this draft by some, Cousins really spun the ball well in Indy. By throwing, he showed a nice mix of arm strength and accuracy. One negative of Cousins game at Michigan State was a lack of pocket poise, which cannot be cured at Indy. But by throwing, and throwing well, Cousins helped his cause in his efforts to separate himself from the rest of the second tier QBs. He made a nice case for himself to be the number 4 QB off the Board.
Michael Floyd - WR - Notre Dame - Floyd's question coming into the combine was his measurable speed. He surprised many by running a very good 40 time (4.42). Floyds timed speed might allow some more teams to overlook his lack of game speed reflected on his tape. He's still left with questions about his character based on his arrest history. The combine, though, helped Floyd show that he has all of the physical tools you seek.
Ladarius Green - TE - UL Lafayette - Many of the top tight ends disappointed (Allen, Charles) and others didn't hardly participate (Fleener). That left a void, like at the QB position, for one of the lesser tier TE to step up. I liked the performance of Ladarius Green. He came across through his workouts as a tremendously athletic tight end. His measurables were there. He displayed enough athleticism to be used in a similar way to Jermichael Finely - lining up in the slot, on the line, etc. I don't think he's quite the blocker that the Bills look for, but he seems to have the physical skill set to be a difficult matchup.
Cordy Glenn - OT - UGA - Both of the big, top flight guys who are guard/tackle types performed really well at the combine (Osemele & Glenn). I give the nod to Glenn as a riser because he showed a little more quickness. The Bills value size, and Glenn certainly has it. For him to be a possibility for the Bills, the team would have to see him as an OT, not as an OG like some times do. He has the arm length that you like to see in a tackle (35 3/4")
Brock Osweiler - QB -Arizona State - Osweiler's combine journey was curious. He chose not to throw because of a two month old sprained foot. Mind you, the sprain did not require surgery. I know there are ardent Osweiler supporters in our community. His decision not to throw raises red flags for me. A two month old sprained foot should not have held him back. It seems like just about as good a decision as getting a misspelled tattoo....... http://www.cbssports.com/mcc/blogs/entry/24156338/31925086
Ryan Tannehill - QB -Texas A&M - 9" hands?!?!?!?! How is that even possible. Daunte Culpepper had a severe case of fumbilitis because of his 9 1/2" hands being too small for the position, according to some. How can Tannehill be 6'4" and have only 9" hands. The NFL measures from the tip of your thumb to the tip of your little finger. Check your own hand. How can Tannehill have such baby hands???? That hurts his stock, IMO, since it raises the potential that he'll have fumbling problems at the NFL level.
Dwight Jones - WR -UNC - Jones has been a round 2 WR possibility floated by several Bills fans. Jones came away from the combine looking, at the very least, tremendously immature. Coming from Butch Davis's UNC program, thats not surprising. In my few years of watching the combine, I've never seen a player display such bad body language as Jones did. If you can't put on a happy face and give it all you got for your "job interview," why would any team think you'd do any better once you were hired.
Dwayne Allen - TE - Clemson - Allen was regarded as a fringe round one prospect. Though he plays well on tape, his measurables were lacking at the combine. Teams are looking for the athletic type TE in round one. Allen did not display the necessary athleticism in my opinion to warrant round 1 consideration.
Mike Adams - OT - Ohio State - I for one suggested in my last post that Adams could be a sleeper pick for the BIlls. Boy, he'll slide now. His measurable size and arm length was excellent, but in all other regards his performance was poor. His speed and agility drill bombs don't alarm me near as much as his total and complete lack of bench press power. 19 reps - come on man. This shows a lack of dedication to the weight room. Look at the bench press results of the RB's. 20 RB's did the bench press, and 13 of those 20 tied or outperformed Mike Adams bench press results. How is Adams supposed to be a top flight OT. He showed a lack of strength and a lack of athleticism. If I'm a GM, he's slipping big time on my board. He might, based on his lack of altheticism, even fall into consideration as a RT only.
Riley Reiff - OT -Iowa - Like Tannehill, one bad measurable gets Reiff on the fallers list. Like Bulaga in the past, Reiff disappointed by showing dino-arms. His 33 1/4" arm length limits his positional versatility at the next level. He's a RT, pure and simple in my book. Right tackles dont get drafted in the top 15 of the draft. If I'm the Bills at 10, I don't want Reiff. I know Bulaga slipped and ended up being a good value pick for the Packers. But Bulaga is for them and will always be a RT.
Take the combine for what its worth, Bills fans. I think it is a part of these prospects job interviews. While it wont get you hired on your own, first impressions matter, and job interviews matter. For the players listed above, in my opinion they created a first impression on teams that will help shape the "hiring decisions" of their prospective NFL employers.