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Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Wolverines in the NFL Combine

By now, you've probably heard about Jake Long's stellar performance at the recent NFL Scouting Combine. But a few other Wolverines apparently didn't fare so well.

NFL scout Frank Coyle picked the players who helped and hurt their draft stock as a result of the weekend combine and three Wolverines made his list, but only Long was on the "helped" side.

Regarding Long, Coyle said:

"The top offensive lineman in this year's class solidified a top 5-10 selection. He came in at 6-7 and 313 pounds, and did a combine best (thus far) 37 reps @ 225 lbs. He ran a 5.17 and 5.27."

Now the not so good news for former U-M players.

Among those who "hurt themselves," he named Michigan RB Mike Hart and WR Mario Manningham.

Regarding Hart:

"This short tailback ran poorly with 4.67 and 4.69 times in the 40. His Michigan pro day will be critical to his draft status. He also had a subpar 28-inch vertical leap and added 23 reps in the lifting."

To me this shouldn't be a surprise nor should it dissuade any team from picking Hart. If you're going to draft this kid, you're drafting him for reasons that can't be measured in these situations. Hart didn't become Michigan's all-time leading rusher because he had blazing speed. He didn't give 110% each and every game he suited up or only have three fumbles in his entire college career because he was Mr. Benchpress. He's a true competitor. Period. And I think he's going to be a sleeper for somebody that can see behind these numbers that don't tell the story of what he is all about to a team and as a competitor.

But on the other hand...

Mario Manningham's performance was summed up this way:

"This junior wideout failed to impress. He ran disappointing 4.59 and 4.6 times that may cost him a first-round grade. He also did only 16 reps and an average 32-inch vertical leap. He needs a strong showing at pro day as well."

Whereas Hart is a superstar despite his physical limitations, Manningham strikes me as a player who is as good as he is because he has all the gifts, but he's not great because doesn't give it his all. He's a kid who needed another year of college but his "me first" attitude wouldn't even let him consider it (and don't be fooled about it having anything to do with the new coaching sitch. Manningham was gone even if Pete Carroll took over in A2).


Joshua said...

Just or the record, I am Mr. Benchpress.

A2saint said...

And I'm Mr. Benchwarmer...

whetstonebuck said...

Benchpress, smenchpress. Not im-pressed.

Yer Friend,

Vernon Goulston

Vadatripp said...

Dear Whetstonebuck,

If you're going to make snide Buckeye remarks on a UM board please at least spell my name right.

Your friend,

Vernon Gholston

TitleIX said...

Like any of us are surprised Mario didn't go all out at the combine???

Interesting though how the announcers were all about rationalizing why the USC TE kept dropping balls and such--including well we'll wait til the USC Pro Day--yet the Michigan receivers get dissed.


whetstonebuck said...


Duly noted. Excellent catch.

Please replace "snide" with "attempted humor." I try not to do snide.

I even looked his name up to be sure, but apprently my fingers are in rebellion today.

whetstonebuck said...

Make that "apparently."

This is going to be a long day.

Note to self: Do not start the day by muching chocolate covered espresso beans.

whetstonebuck said...



Hey, a "long" day. Get it. I just did.

I need some serious help today.

Bigasshammm said...

It must be that TO$U education there Whet...

I am not surprised on either of these players at all. I fully expected Manningham to fail miserably at the combine and then be drafted way higher than he should have, only to fail miserably at the NFL. I never thought he was a blazing receiver nor that his skills were above the level of really anyone else on the team.

As for Hart I will also be shocked to see him go anywhere before the 5th round. True his drive and determination are second to none but his size is truly a serious limitation. Yes he had over 5k yards in college and only 3 fumbles but if you look at the biggest games of his career (TO$U) he totally failed to deliver. He'll probably make a good scout team rb and 2nd or 3rd string motivator but we will never see him in more than 40% of a teams running plays.

On a side note I read an interesting article yesterday while visiting the in-laws about the Browns interviewing Shawn Crable. Being that he is a home town kid (Massilon) I can definitely see them taking him with their 2nd or 3rd round picks. It wouldn't be a bad fit since they do need some younger linebackers but I've never been very fond of Crable either. He's always struck me as a "hitman." In the NFL though that may work out but it wasn't good for college ball. I guess we will see.

Daughter is now 11 days old and still as perfect as ever. I must be blessed or everyone was bullshitting me because she doesn't fuss. Sleeps 60% of the time. And when she's wide awake she just lays there looking around at all of daddy's MI stuff.

whetstonebuck said...


Ha, I attended a private school. Only been to Ohio once.

Congratulations on the daughter. Enjoy the time.

However, two things to be concerned about:

1. She stares at your UM stuff. Have her checked out. Not a good sign.

2. She will hit fourteen - my condolences ahead of time. There are support groups available when the time comes.

Killing My Liver said...

I hope you weren't referring to the 06 OSU game. And, remember this year he was injured, plus the field was atrocious.
That being said, Mike Hart is dead to me. His mouth cost him any support I had for him. The Cap One bowl(that I went to) sealed the deal. Too much mouth.

dabearbus said...

Start the David Terrell comparisons now. Manningham has the same ego and the same lack of discipline. How much do you want to bet that he cruised around campus and his home town in some flashy new car (paid in full by the agent, publicist, or some other member of the entourage), prematurely celebrating his inevitable first round draft pick instead of hitting the gym like he should have? I’d put a lot on it…

As for Hart, I can’t help but feel a little for the guy. Yes, his mouth got a little out of control his senior year, and I, like many, couldn’t stand to watch him laugh and smile while he ran off the field after fumbling at the 1 in the Capital One Bowl. That said, however, the guy gave his all to Michigan Football. He played hurt, he played sick, and he never quit on us. How can you quit on him? If there’s one thing that bothers me about the Michigan fan base it’s how quick we can be to throw a guy to the wolves whenever he isn’t living up to whatever standards for excellence we have built up in our heads (either on the field or off it). Yost is right, he was never that fast, he was never that strong, but he did a lot of great things because he gave it 100%+ every time. Keep in mind this guy did more work in the off-season than anyone, at speed camp, strength training, etc. So he doesn’t have the God-given ability of a Rashard Mendenhaal. Fine. I’ll get the back of my 4 year record setting senior any day. I feel like we owe him that.

dabearbus said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
surrounded in columbus said...

did anyone expect Hart (mouth or no mouth) to look good on paper? out of high school he was under recruited because of his size & speed. the pros are even more "by the numbers". however, RB & QB are two positions where the correlation between success & draft position may be the furthest apart.

don't forget that emmitt smith ran a 4.7/40 @ his work outs. everyone laughed @ 1st year coach jimmy johnson for taking him in the first round. don't be surprised if Hart catches someone's eye & ends up being a successful pro.

side bar- no, i'm not predicting Hart as the next Smith. i am predicting a better NFL career than his combine stats would indicate.

as for manningham, he's pretty emblematic of what our program had become under Lloyd's last years. highly talented coming out of high school. no real physical improvement over the time here. no development of a work ethic. early exit to & from the nfl.

michigan had become the program where elite high school players could come, be on a "big time" team, but not have to work too much. face it, our S & C program was pretty much a joke, and people took the "non mandatory" S&C as, well, non mandatory.

the posts/interviews from ryan mundy about the differences between S&C/prep/practices @ michigan and wvu speak volumes about the work ethic being instilled here over the last few years. if a kid was self driven - jake long- they got better. if not- mario manningham- they didn't. the program itself didn't drive either.

guys like manningham & mallett didn't come to michigan to lift a bunch of weights & bust their asses. they came to play football w/ as little effort as possible. that's what they got. that's the team we got.

thank god that's all over.

jcloverboi said...

I wouldn't be surprised if Hart turned out to be a sleeper in the league--after all, Terrell Davis was taken in the 6th round, and look how that turned out.

Jim said...

Man! Beat me to the Terrell comparison. What a disappointment. He showed such astonishing flashes of dominance, but now? Meh.

Jim said...

David, not Davis...

Vadatripp said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
jcloverboi said...


I'm not sure we're talking about the same person. I'm talking about the former Bronco and SB MVP whose career was (sadly) cut short by nagging injuries.

Out of Conference said...

I think Jim was talking about David Terrell, not Terrell Davis.

I'm hopefully back for good from a unexpected hiatus due to lots of work and then the commie death flu from hell that defeats all vaccines. Note to others: Never give Orson Swindle shit on his own blog and call him a pu$$y for missing blogging time due to the flu. Karma is a bitch.

Tom C - thanks for the heads up to the Cocks players smokin' weed news alert. My head has been buried in a bed for 11 days and I missed it all.

Korematsu said...

Yost, great comments about Hart. He helped keep the program from pulling a ND/Nebraska and spiriling out of control after the first two games. He carried our team against ND and PSU. That, among many other things, showed how much of a crutch he was for us.

Tom C said...

OOC I got your back bud.

I remember the block Hart laid on that psu linebacker about midway to the qb. Kid looked like he got hit by a truck and he'll get more Hart in the pros. As for the mouth I think he needed to convince himself.

Bigasshammm said...

Whets I have a step daughter who turns 14 in June.

Loading my gun now...

whetstonebuck said...

"Whets I have a step daughter who turns 14 in June.

Loading my gun now..."


Use hot loads with silver bullets. A simple wooden stake works also, but I don't recommend getting that close.

I weep for you, my friend.

Joshua said...

Heh. An old "friend" of mine (don't know what else to call her b/c we never actually dated) had a Dad who was ex-CIA/military intelligence. Going to their house was like "Meet the Parents", he said he was a "consultant", was one of the first employees of Apple, and had knowledge about things normal people just don't. His stories are amazing. Anyway he was an amazing shot, and he used to take her dates into the garage and show them his practice target, then tell them "Don't make my baby cry." Needless to say, I'm glad he never found out we were as friendly as we were.

Joshua said...

That read kinda weird. His job title was a consultant. The Apple thing and the knowledge were facts, he didn't advertise them, I just know b/c she and I were pretty close.

TitleIX said...

14 year old girls are like bad hair cuts....
one day they'll grow out of it...

let me just say that as bad as it is to LIVE with a 14 year old girl, it is infinitely worse to BE a 14 year old girl....

compassion and gratitude BAH, C&G is the only way thru!