INDIANAPOLIS - The 2018 NFL Combine is underway.
This year’s event at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis runs from Wednesday, Feb. 28, through Monday, March 5.
There are several questions ahead of the combine. Digital journalists/wannabe NFL insiders Mark Bergin and Eric Heubusch try to answer some of them.
What’s your take on Louisville quarterback and Heisman Trophy winner Lamar Jackson having his mom as his representative at the combine?
Mark Bergin: It’s one way to stand out among the 18 other quarterbacks invited to the combine. There are 253 players drafted each year. Has this ever happened before?
Eric Heubusch: My mom is my biggest hype-man:
“My boy Eric is looking taller every day!”
“My son can totally out-journalism your kid!”
Bergin: Potentially, this gives Outkast’s “Ms. Jackson” a whole new meaning. It also gives André 3000 and Big Boi an excuse to make an epic remix.
Maybe Jackson is looking to save money rather than pay a percentage of his measly rookie salary to an agent.
Top picks like Matthew Stafford and Sam Bradford used to make bookoo bucks before the NFL implemented the rookie wage scale at the start of the decade.
Let's look at the contracts signed by the last No. 1 overall draft picks during the last 10 years:
- 2008: Jake Long, OT, Miami Dolphins, five years, $57.75 million
- 2009: Matthew Stafford, QB, Detroit Lions, six years, $72 million
- 2010: Sam Bradford, QB, St. Louis Rams, six years, $78.05 million
- 2011: Cam Newton, QB, Carolina Panthers, four years, $22.03 million
- 2012: Andrew Luck, QB, Indianapolis Colts, four years, $22.11 million
- 2013: Eric Fisher, OT, Kansas City Chiefs, four years, $22.19 million
- 2014: Jadeveon Clowney, OLB/DE, Houston Texans, four years, $22.27 million
- 2015: Jameis Winston, QB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, four years, $25.35 million
- 2016: Jared Goff, QB, Los Angeles Rams (from Tennessee Titans), four years, $27.94 million
- 2017: Myles Garrett, DE, Cleveland Browns, four years, $30.41 million
What’s your favorite prop bet for the combine?
Bergin: I’ll take the over on 4.45 seconds on Lamar Jackson’s 40-yard dash time. I also think Saquon Barkley runs a faster 40.
Jackson’s 40-yard dash time:
Over 4.45 seconds: 1/1
Under 4.45 seconds: 10/13
Who will have a faster 40-yard dash time?
Saquon Barkley: 1/2
Lamar Jackson: 3/2
Degenerate gamblers can also wager on NFL Network Analyst Rich Eisen’s 40-yard dash time. The over-under is set at 6.05 seconds.
Heubusch: I am thoroughly uninterested after the spectacular prop bets we had for Tim Tebow in spring training and the Super Bowl. Those were way more fun and these are LAME.
What’s your favorite combine event?
Bergin: I love watching the 40-yard dash, especially watching the lineman run. There’s nothing better than watching a fat man run!
I also love the faux outrage once the Wonderlic scores are released. Remember in 2012 how everyone came to LSU cornerback and Dallas Cowboys sixth overall selection Morris Claiborne’s defense when he scored a four out of 50 on the test?
Claiborne said he has a learning disability and then claimed he blew off the test. Why wouldn’t you do your best when interviewing for a job?
It turns out, the scores matter a great deal among quarterbacks in today’s NFL.
As detailed by Outkick the Coverage’s Clay Travis, there isn’t an active Super Bowl-winning quarterback who has scored below a 25 in the Wonderlic test.
Editor’s Note: Philadelphia Eagles and Super Bowl-winning quarterback Nick Foles scored a 29 in the Wonderlic test. His results aren’t published in Travis’ story because the story was written before Super Bowl 52.
Heubusch: I love the 40-yard dash too, and the bench press. I think this year, however, they should throw a control in the mix so the public knows how outrageous the athleticism is there. The NFL should let my dad go out there and try his best, would make great TV and could count as my father’s day gift for him.
What’s your all-time favorite combine moment?
Bergin: Chris Johnson running a 4.24-second, 40-yard dash at the 2008 NFL Combine was epic. If you took away the combine’s laser timer, I don’t think the average viewer could really tell the difference between his speed though and most other skill position players.
Tom Brady’s 5.28-second, 40-yard dash in 2000 proved anyone can overcome a poor performance in the combine.
Heubusch: Memphis and current Kansas City Chiefs defensive tackle Dontari Poe ran the 40-yard dash in less than five seconds back in 2012. Not uncommon, but Poe weighed almost 350 pounds. You could probably beat him in a game of hide and seek, but I wouldn’t bother playing tag with a man the size of a bear who can move like a rabbit.
Bergin: Poe is expected to hit free agency again too.
What should NFL teams measure that they currently don’t?
Bergin: Why not measure a quarterback’s height at eye level to see if he can see over the line of scrimmage instead of his actual height? Better yet, what about a quarterback’s release point?
Heubusch: They should measure the players' heads so the hats don’t look so weird on them at the draft.