combine Sooners At The NFL Combine

Image via steelers.com

The Sooners sent five players (if you include Damien Williams, which the program’s official Twitter account did not — for obvious reasons.) to this year’s NFL Combine. Every year I find myself drawn to the NFL Network’s excellent coverage and every year I ask myself why.

I’m a football junkie, that’s why.

I came to terms with that a long time ago. My wife on the other hand, well she’s still working her way towards acceptance. But you’re not here to read stories about my personal life, so back to the matter at hand.

For those who lead a much more exciting life than myself and haven’t been following the coverage, I wanted to throw some quick-hitters out there with respect to how the OU players in attendance performed.

* Trey Millard and Aaron Colvin attended, but as both are still recovering from ACL tears neither took part in the workouts. Have heard nothing but positive reports with respect to how both interviewed, which does not come at all as a surprise but is still good to hear.

* Gabe Ikard took part in the first group of players to workout on Saturday that included the offensive linemen, tight ends, and specialists (punters, kickers, etc.). It will surprise no one here that he impressed with his athleticism. However relevant you deem a forty time for an offensive lineman, Ikard finished with a more than respectable time of 5.13 (the best time for a lineman was Michigan’s Taylor Lewan with a 4.87).

Where Ikard really excelled however was in the agility drills like the three cone drill and the twenty yard shuttle. Ikard’s times of 7.30 and 4.37 in each respectively were the best among all offensive linemen.

His strength was a known issue going into the Combine, so the 22 reps he put up on the bench press — tied for the third fewest — wasn’t necessarily a surprise.

* Jalen Saunders ran an official 4.44 forty and while it might not have been as good a time as I saw some predicting, people have become almost desensitized to just how fast anything in that 4.4 range actually is. And that’s ignoring the fact Saunders has always seemed more quick than fast, his speed on film speaks for itself and I don’t recall many times him getting run down from behind.

It’s a good enough time, in my opinion, that I wouldn’t expect him to run at OU’s Pro Day (on March 12th).

Saunders held himself out of a number of the other drills. Not sure the reasoning on that, but as of the time of this posting I’d yet to see it being due to an injury.

* I really wasn’t sure what to expect from Damien Williams after his dismissal last season from the team. I’d heard reports that he had been working out hard, but once a kid loses the structure of the program there is no telling what direction they might go (look no further than the incredibly sad and disturbing Trey Metoyer situation).

The former OU running back looked to be in great shape and put up a very impressive official time of 4.45 in the forty, which was good enough for the fourth fastest time of any back at the Combine.

That time more than likely helped him with NFL personnel, but the common knock on Williams I’ve heard/read has been his vision and ability to recognize/explode through the hole.

The Combine continues through Tuesday — and you’ll hear plenty about it on Monday with Jadeveon Clowney working out — but the Oklahoma contingent concluded their participation with Sunday’s workouts.

I think it’s fair to say that all five OU guys in Indy helped their draft stock at least to some degree. Which for this type of event/job interview is pretty much all you can ask for as far as I’m concerned.

  • Jordan Esco

    Was happy to see this from Coach Gundy.

    https://twitter.com/OU_CoachGundy/status/437708299996131328

    Doesn’t surprise me as he’s always struck me as that type of stand-up guy, but still nice to see it out there publicly.

    • Sooner Ray

      How did Cale end up being such a better guy than his brother? Oh, I guess the schools they chose could say a lot!

    • Indy_sooner

      Doesn’t surprise me. Coach Gundy, along with Norvell are constantly hitting up their former players. I thought Damien looked pretty good running routes today. Very fluid when hitting those cones and good hands too. I missed Jalen’s run. Not sure why he missed part of the workouts.

      • Mark hale

        At 222 lbs he was fast and had soft hands catching the ball. He really helped himself

        • Indy_sooner

          Indeed. His cuts looked very natural – for lack of a better term and he looked to be in great shape. I get a feeling that he will benefit from OUs tradition of emphasizing great hands with our backs for versatility. I thought he was definitely up there with the Trey Masons et. al in that he can make you miss. His issue with not recognizing holes will ding him but he has the talent to make someone in the NFL notice, for sure- character issues aside.

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TDUvqXK4DEM DCinAZ

    Can anybody speak to what they think the fate of Brennan Clay might be? Not sure if it’s been addressed but I just can’t see him not getting a shot.

    • Shelby is a Patriot

      He’ll get a shot.

    • Sooner Ray

      It’s a shame Clay didn’t get an invite but he has a good chance of making a squad as a free agent if someone doesn’t use a late pick on him.

    • Daryl

      I have feeling that Clay could pull a Tony Jefferson. Go in drafted and then work himself into the rotation. You know he can play special teams, and he is going know all his responsibilities and do them consistently. So for sure has a shot if he lands in the right place.

      • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TDUvqXK4DEM DCinAZ

        You really think he’ll go undrafted? Man…..I just can’t see that. I think he could be a steal for somebody.

        • madbrad

          He won’t get drafted

          • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TDUvqXK4DEM DCinAZ

            He’s better than Williams though.

        • Daryl

          yes I do. The reality is that Jefferson was way more productive throughout his a career and he went undrafted, but now gets legitimate playing time.So I could I see a team drafted him, yes. But I also thought that Tony would be a 3-4th round pick too. We shall see but I hope he shows out either way. Love his game.

          • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TDUvqXK4DEM DCinAZ

            Definitely! Clay can flat out ball! I’d take a chance on him in a late round!

  • Shelby is a Patriot

    A whole article about the combine and not one mention of Manziel? nonsense!
    Joking aside, I’m very excited for Saunders, the others as well, but Jalen is going to be a steal for whoever drafts him.

  • Sooner Ray

    Really wish Trey and Aaron would have been healthy, think they both would have impressed in the combine setting.

  • EasTex

    There are a number of Sooners I hope do well at Pro Day and get drafted. Clay, of course, he is just too complete a back not to get drafted. I would like to see Bester get drafted, he didn’t get big numbers, but he was clutch in many games. Saunders may not have the height, weight, hand size or arm length they like, but the man can play. Would love to see Finch and Irwin get a shot.

    • connie usa

      Bester was a good college player, but there is no way he’s drafted. I just hope that someone gives him the chance as a FA. Ikard showed very little strength with only 16 reps. And when you’re ~300lbs and not strong, that doesn’t equate to a top 5 round draft pick. Colvin will slip to the 5th round or later since he won’t play till 2015. No way DM is drafted. Hard to explain to personnel guys why they kicked you off the team, Jalen was a good college player, but he’s very small. I know, the Amendola size guys have shown there is a place for them in the NFL, it just doesn’t happen often. I think his way to the NFL is as a ST player.

      • Indy_sooner

        Did you mean Damien Williams? Respectfully disagree, I see him getting drafted in the 6th/ 7th round, but not a UFA. I also think Ikard’s athleticism will keep him around on draft day. It was a significant reason why they took Lane last year but in his case, they will most likely look closer at the game tape and senior bowl more than this combine showing.

        • J.K. Abbott

          No doubt Indy. And Ike had 22 reps. But hey maybe connie is actually Mel Kiper or something.

          • connie usa

            Okay, I misread the reps. Not much difference between 16 reps and 22. Does that constitute saying to “lay off the crack pipe?”. 22 reps is in the BOTTOM 25% of OL. I think the best attribute for Gabe is his brain. And to compare to Lane. Really? Lane is MANY inches taller, MUCH stronger and MUCH more athletic.
            ps: I’m not Kiper, BUT my hubby did play baseball at OU. Granted, that doesn’t make me a football expert, but I have been around OU football for 30+ years.

          • J.K. Abbott

            Look Clowney had 21 reps. Does this make him a bad football player? Do you think Clowney wont get drafted because he only rep the BP 21 times??

          • connie usa

            Are you seriously comparing Ikard to Clowney? Clowney is meaner, faster, quicker, and just happens to play a different position. Do you think Ikard would be the pass rusher that Clowney is? You are comparing apples to oranges. Why not compare Ikard’s reps to the other OL? Makes sense, right?

          • J.K. Abbott

            Hey you win.

          • Ed Cotter

            Ikard is a solid, smart player. Hopefully he’ll get drafted by a team with a veteran center that he can learn under and get stronger. The combine stats don’t give the full measure of the player. JMO.

          • J.K. Abbott

            OH MY. Again sorry about my Crap pipe post. Truly uncalled for on my part. Have a nice day.

          • connie usa

            And I’m sorry too. Us Sooners need to support each other.

          • EasTex

            Sure glad y’all worked that out.

          • Sooner Ray

            Me too, I’m too old to go find another site that is laid back. Hell, this might be the one and only! LOL.

          • EasTex

            As we always used to say…
            …CHECK FIRE! CHECK FIRE! FRIENDLIES!

          • Sooner Ray

            HAHA!, My dad used to say if you shoot at your neighbor, you’re still next door.

          • EasTex

            Not if you don’t miss.

          • Sooner Ray

            Touche !

          • EasTex

          • EasTex

            You watching Daytona?

          • J.K. Abbott

            Yeah. hate to admit but I’m a fan.

          • EasTex

            I don’t watch much, not since Dale died.
            I do like the super speedways at Daytona and Talledega.

          • J.K. Abbott

            Like I said we speak the same language. Love me some Dega.

          • EasTex

            Flipping between Daytona and the NHRA at Phoenix.
            Big John Force fan.

          • J.K. Abbott

            Respect the fire out of Dale sr. and the 3 car. Don’t stone me. please don’t stone me but I’m a huge Gordo fan. Hes in the mix so I/m into it right now.

          • EasTex

            Jeff is a good guy, but I’m pulling for Jr.

          • J.K. Abbott

            No doubt and if Jeff doesn’t win it I’d love to see Jr. take the checker. Shaping up to be a good finish.

          • J.K. Abbott

            Well Crap!!!!!!!

          • J.K. Abbott

            Gordo didn’t need a restart.

          • J.K. Abbott

            Jr looking good

          • Sooner Ray

            Didn’t know John was still in the funny cars, I built sprint cars for several years and traveled around hitting a few World of Outlaw shows, never got into the strip racing.

          • J.K. Abbott

            Sweet!!!

          • EasTex

            I like racing, but side by side man to man I’m gonna whip your behind racing is my favorite.
            My Dad raced quarter midgets back in the day after WWII and into the 50′s.

          • Sooner Ray

            Those cars back then were suicide machines!

          • EasTex

            He put bearing grease on my toast and gas in my milk bottle when I was a kid.
            Force is not only still racing but doing good. He set a new all-time ET record for Funny Cars last week.
            Both his daughters race, too. One in FC and the other in Top Fuel.

          • Sooner Ray

            I knew his kids had gotten into it, guess that’s why I thought he may have retired.

          • EasTex

            What a mess with 7 to go.

          • Sooner Ray

            Seems to happen like clockwork.

          • EasTex

            By the time they get it cleared they may not be but one or two laps to go.

          • Sooner Ray

            Gonna be a green, white, checker.

          • EasTex

            Good job, Junior. Your Daddy would be proud.

          • Sooner Ray

            Absolutely!, I’ll take a Jr. win!

          • EasTex

            He earned that one.

          • J.K. Abbott

            My bottle of Chock will have to wait. Great finish though.

          • Sooner Ray

            Dale SR. was my guy for years, so I’ve gotta go with his kid.

          • EasTex

            Dale was more than a great champion, he was a fine man.

          • Sooner Ray

            I cried the day he died.

          • EasTex

            I screamed at the TV when I heard.
            I wanted Sterling Martin’s head on a pike.
            /still do

          • J.K. Abbott

            Hell yeah. Jeff gave him a good push on the restart. I promise you if he wasn’t going to win it he wanted his teammate and especially Jr. to win it.

          • EasTex

            What is Chock?

          • J.K. Abbott
          • EasTex

            Figured it was probably one of those specialty brews.
            I can’t remember the last time I had a beer, at least seven years ago.

          • J.K. Abbott

            If your ever up around McAlister you have to stop at Krebs Oklahoma and try Pete’s or any of the Italian restaurants there. You wont disappoint. Matter of fact let me know and I’ll meet you at Pete’s and we will eat and talk ball. Great eats.

          • Sonny Schovanec

            Pete’s is awesome.

          • EasTex

            The food would be great, but I should have been more clear…I just don’t drink alcohol at all. Got burned out on it long ago.

          • J.K. Abbott

            ETexas that’s not a problem. I have friends that don’t touch a drop and friends that don’t draw a sober breath after 5PM. It’s all good. How much people Drinks or doesn’t drink doesn’t make the man. Guys like you or guys like Sooner Ray who drinks Shine straight from the mason jar :) are the same in my eyes. My dad is a recovering alcoholic. We all have our vices. I grew up a Catholic so I was around it from an early age. Catholic wedding receptions can get crazy compared to weddings in other churches where the alcohol flows like mud at the reception.

          • EasTex

            Didn’t like the way it made me feel the next day anyway, then I discovered what alcohol actually is in a cellular and molecular biology class in my early 20′s. That pretty much ended any desire for me to drink.

          • J.K. Abbott

            Great finish. I’ll take a Jr. win anyday.

          • J.K. Abbott

            Dam DAm Dam!!!!

          • J.K. Abbott

            I have my bottle of Chock ready just in case. Saving it for a 24 car win.

          • J.K. Abbott

            Great finish!!! Happy for Jr..

          • J.K. Abbott

            And to think I was embarrassed to say I enjoyed watching NASCAR.

          • EasTex

            No need to be.
            My most favorite of all racing is MotoGP. I prefer two wheels over four any time.

          • Indy_sooner

            Nice.I just started riding and naturally starting to follow motoGP circuit. Of course it doesn’t hurt to host one of the circuits every August.

          • Todd Decker

            You know what they say, “you’re not at a real race if you don’t have dirt in your beer” Lol

          • sracer

            Sooner Ray, I’ve got to be familiar with you. Spent my whole life at 66th street north throwing dirt and living in jenks. I drove the usmts style mods.

          • Sooner Ray

            Doubt you’re familiar with me, I wasn’t a driver. I did the dirty work in the pits. Spent a lot of time at the Tulsa speedway as well as Creek Co., OKC., and numerous tracks in surrounding states. Even used to go to the old track at the fairgrounds.

          • sracer

            Great times at the fast 1/2 miles. Almost as good as the ou/alabama sugar bowl.

          • Sooner Ray

            My all time favorite was the Devil’s Bowl East of Dallas, put the throttle down and never lift!, but the Sugar Bowl was hard to beat for excitement.

          • Sooner Ray

            Hell yeah, looks like more rain moving in.

          • EasTex

            That last crash makes it almost certain they won’t finish before the rain comes.
            They ran so clean for so long, now all of a sudden they are banging into each other.

          • J.K. Abbott

            No Doubt ETexas. You can tell they were pushing it knowing the weather was coming in.

          • Sooner Ray

            Seems to happen every time the chiefs say weather on the headsets.

          • Shelby is a Patriot

            Pretty frustrating race as a Carl Edwards fan. Austin Dillion caused two of those wrecks at the end, as well.

          • J.K. Abbott

            Totally my fault. I know Gabe personally. Coached against him. Obviously I knew how many reps he had. I also know that Bench Press reps doesn’t make a player. See Clowney. But that doesn’t give me the right to disrespect Connie. For that I can man up and admit fault.

          • Sooner Ray

            Hey, it’s all cool man. I’ll just share this for what it’s worth. If I see something I don’t agree with, I skip it and look to comment to someone that says something I like. Everyone has opinions and they should have the right to post them and that includes you, me and everyone else. I just want everyone here to get along and I know you do too because we’ve talked about how good this site is so don’t sweat it, just think for a second before you act and all will be good in SOONER land bud. :-)

          • J.K. Abbott

            well stated.

          • J.K. Abbott

            Me too ETexas. I was totally at fault. I was letting the 500 rain delay cloud my thinking. I respect Connie’s opinions like every FB poster.

          • EasTex

            I knew that wasn’t like you.
            I’m wondering if they are going to finish the race, with that storm moving in.

          • Indy_sooner

            Yes, they are two completely different players one 2″ taller , both about weigh the same, but their athleticism *relative* to others in the class was very high. Ikard run a 4.37s shuttle vs. Ikard’s 4.52. The 40 is pretty useless IMO, for a C/G. No doubt his strength is average, something most of us knew with the bull rush susceptibility, but these are things he can work on. No one is saying he will crack the top three but I doubt he is still around in the 5th

        • connie usa

          Indy. Good catch. I did mean DW and not DM. And thank you for being respectful. Unlike J.K. with his “refrain from the crack pipe” comment.

          • Sooner Ray

            I’ve got my facts mixed up before connie, It’s tough sometimes on us “old timers” HAHA!

      • J.K. Abbott

        DM? Ikard only 16 reps??? Please refrain from the crack pipe before you post connie. Or at least get your facts straight. Thought I was on 247 or rivals there for a second reading this garbage.

  • Atlantasooner

    Best news on Saunders, Mike Mayock was raving about him. Mayock is a much better read on NFL evaluators real view than the 2 ESPN guys. Mayock also a big fan of Gabe Ikard.
    The Bama and ND film will really Ikard and Saunders.
    I’m not going to be real surprised if we see Damien Williams running the ball for some NFL team this fall.

  • Boomer4life

    Hope to see all these guy’s play on Sunday!

    • Sooner Ray

      We would all hope to see our guys on Sunday Boomer but the reality is things will be tough for this group. Colvin will make it in time, I think Millard recovers and contributes for someone, Jalen will get a shot on special teams but his size may be a problem. As much as I like Finch and Bester, I just don’t know if they will make a squad. I think someone will use Ikard just because he is so smart and technical. Clay should end up on a team even if it’s through a back door. Just don’t know about Williams, his speed and size may get him a tryout but his substance clause will be thicker than a Georgia biscuit.

      • Shelby is a Patriot

        I think Bester has a chance.

        • Sooner Ray

          Shelby, I think he has a chance also but the road will be tough in the NFL. I only say that because he wasn’t on the field all the time at OU so that tells me that he wasn’t an “elite” player although he made some awesome plays for the sooners. I hope I am proven to be wrong.

          • Shelby is a Patriot

            Bester is athletic as crap, though. I think he can do it.

          • Sooner Ray

            He is one hell of an athlete. If he makes the commitment and puts in the work, nothing is impossible.

        • EasTex

          If Bester can make their eyes bug out at the Pro Day, he just might.

        • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TDUvqXK4DEM DCinAZ

          I just have a feeling about Bester. He’s gonna make it.

  • Ed Cotter

    I wish all these guys good luck in the draft and that they all get to realize their dream of playing in the league. I also hope a team takes a chance on Brennan Clay. He has been a wonderful and dedicated Sooner and deserves to be drafted.

    • Sooner Ray

      Deserves is the word. Let’s hope he lands.

  • Shifty
    • Sooner Ray

      That’s funny stuff right there!

    • Ed Cotter

      Good stuff!

  • nate g

    ” Have heard nothing but positive reports with respect to how both interviewed” – How did you hear this?