Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
The first two days of the combine are in the books and we have some significant data and measurements from the offensive linemen who are the first group to go through the combine process. On Wednesday the O-linemen were measured for height, weight, hand size and arm length and had their medical exams and team interviews. Thursday they completed the bench press portion of the combine and did more interviews. Based on the results of the physical measurements and bench press results, I will be breaking down who helped and hurt their NFL draft stock the most.
Arm length and hand size may seem like trivial measurements to some, but certain teams have hard and fast minimums that they require for every position based on historical data. I heard former Colts GM Bill Polian on the radio last week saying that they had arm length minimums for tackles (but not guards), arm length minimums for defensive ends, and hand size minimums for wide receivers and quarterbacks. It does sound a little crazy, but Polian stated repeatedly that those minimum physical characteristics were based on the data from players who have been successful in the NFL at their respective positions over the last 20 years.
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So laugh at this data if you want, but certain physical aspects are extremely important to teams and a player’s combine measurements and test results can swing his draft status by as much as a round or two, while running the risk of completely moving players off some team’s draft boards.
I’m going to start with offensive lineman and cover who helped and hurt their draft stock over the last two days. For some players it was their bench press and others their arm length or lack thereof. I’ll give my reasons for their movement on my draft board as well. If you disagree, please let me know in the comments or on Twitter.
Improved Draft Stock:
Ereck Flowers, Miami (6’6 | 329)
Arm length = 34 1/2″ | Hand size = 9 7/8″ | Bench reps (225) = 37
Won the bench press competition among the O-lineman with 37 reps. That is even more impressive considering that Flowers has the 9th longest arms among the O-linemen at the combine. Being 6’7 myself, I can vouch for the difficulty in benching with long arms. Flowers’ bench results were very impressive and his above-average arm length and ideal frame give him the physical traits to be a successful left tackle in the NFL.
Corey Robinson, South Carolina (6’7 | 324)
Arm length = 35 7/8″ | Hand size = 10 3/4″ | Bench reps (225) = 28
Weighed almost 20 pounds less than listed by most reports and looked slimmer than expected. More importantly, Robinson had the 2nd longest arms, the 7th most bench reps, and the 3rd biggest hands. He’s a bit of a project, but has the measurables, strength and athletic ability to become an elite right tackle eventually.
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Trenton Brown, Florida (6’8 | 355)
Arm length = 36″ | Hand Size = 10 7/8″ | Bench reps (225) = 20
Being the largest O-lineman is never a bad thing. Brown is not only the tallest and heaviest, but has the longest arms, and the 2nd biggest hands. He is a physical marvel whose unusual size will tempt teams to draft him earlier than expected. Brown’s ability to move in the speed and agility drills will ultimately have more impact on his draft stock, but his 36″ arm length may convince teams that he can play right tackle, when before the combine most scouts had him pegged for a move inside to guard. Getting drafted as a right tackle instead of guard could be the difference between the 3rd and the 5th round for Brown.
Tyrus Thompson, Oklahoma (6’5 | 324)
Arm length = 34 7’8″ | Hand size = 10 1/4″ | Bench reps (225) = 29
A very talented left tackle who was criticized at times for his lack of strength (and effort), but Thompson’s 29 bench reps was the 6th highest among O-linemen at the combine and his arm length was also 6th best. The combination of his impressive showing on the bench and ideal measurables will keep Thompson in the running for a left tackle projection which would boost his draft stock solidly in the day 2 range.
Laurence Gibson, Virginia Tech (6’6 | 305)
Arm length = 35 1/8″ | Hand size = 10 3/8″ | Bench reps = 24
Gibson’s stock continues to rise in the last few weeks, going from a relative unknown to a a potential mid round pick due to his surprising lateral agility. He improved his draft stock even more this week with the 4th longest arm length and top 10 hand size. His 24 bench reps is respectable considering his arm length. All of those traits are positives for Gibson, but his weight of 305 after being listed as low as in the 270s may be the biggest plus for his overall draft stock.