Before the 2010 NFL Combine, Mississipi State safety Kendrick Lewis was regularly appearing in the top three to four rounds of the many NFL draft projections. But after a relatively poor showing in the 40-yard dash (4.77 seconds) at the Combine, Lewis' stock fell off to that weird draft edge often described as 7-FA, or "at best the guy may get drafted." You'll remember that the Kansas City Chiefs ended up drafting Lewis in the middle of the 5th round of the 2010 NFL draft.
KCChiefs.com had a story about Lewis and the Combine last year and it quoted Scott Pioli who said, "Kendrick Lewis was a guy who was thought pretty highly of up until his workout. At the combine he ran a 4.77, and it killed him. He dropped like a stone."
As much as fans can complain about the workout warrior college prospects shooting up the NFL draft boards in late February, there is also a flip side to the Combine workouts. Players like Kendrick Lewis, who are really great players, get devalued because of a bad 40-yard dash time or a low number of bench press reps.
Of course, if you're Scott Pioli, you don't stop at a Combine workout. Pioli said the Chiefs took a closer look at Lewis post-Combine, after admitting that Lewis' 40 time dropped him on the Chiefs' draft board. Pioli said, "I"m a firm believer in tape, not just numbers, and while I didn't completely ignore (the times) -- because when you saw the speed it affected him on our board -- you go back and do more work on the guy."
Pioli did just that and found out that Kendrick Lewis had a flare of up knee tendinitis at the Combine, which obviously affected his speed.
So keep an eye out for players like Kendrick Lewis - players who the Chiefs may get on the cheap because of a bad NFL Combine. For me, this is just as much fun as watching the movement at the top of the draft board.