The NFL held its annual combine at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis this past weekend. Professional football hopefuls from across the country gathered to interview with NFL personnel departments and conduct workouts under intense scrutiny. Every single movement in each drill is analyzed ad nauseum, and the data gleaned from the workouts and the interviews is used by television pundits to attempt to project the clandestine movements of general managers and head coaches with regard to the building blocks of their future. The Brigham Young Cougars had the honor of having five players invited to the NFL combine, and most of those players have graded fairly well, all considered, as mid round grades, with the exception of Kyle Van Noy, who is projected as a late first round or second round pick. Let's take a closer look at the measureables for each BYU player at the combine as well as the results of their workouts. All official results for the combine can be found for each prospect here.
Cody Hoffman, WR.
Hoffman probably did the least to help himself of any of the BYU players who received an invitation. He measured well, at 6'4" and 223 lbs, 33 ¼ arm length and 9 ¾" hand width. The workouts didn't help Hoffman's stock, though. He missed top performance in any of the drills, with a 4.65 40 yard dash time, and had a disappointing 27.5" vertical, very low for an NFL wide receiver. The scouts were also disappointed with his lack of explosion off of the line and the crispness of his routes. He received a 5.05 grade and may be a third day pick, or an undrafted free agent.
Eathyn Manumaleauna, DL.
Manumaleauna had a solid combine. While he didn't over perform, he didn't underperform either. He measured 6'2" and 296 lbs, with 21 ¼" arm length and 10" hands. He ran a 5.16 40 yard dash, and managed 29 repetitions of the 225 lbs. bench press. He impressed for his size with a 28" vertical leap as well. Teams are looking at him as either a 4-3 tackle or a five-technique in a 3-4 defense. Graded out at 5.15.
Daniel Sorenson, S.
Sorenson may have convinced some teams that he will be able to make a living for himself on special teams. He measured 6'1" and 205 lbs with 31" arms and 8 ½" hands. The small hands are a cause for concern for scouts, as a safety is expected to have good ball skills. His 4.65 second forty time won't turn many heads, but he's fast enough to survive. A 32" vertical leap and a 9' 6" broad jump do more to help his prospects. Scouts feel he has tight hips and may struggle in coverage. Sorenson received a 5.05 grade.
Devin Unga, ILB.
Unga came to the combine, but did not participate in drills. He measured 6'1" and 231 lbs with 31 3/8" arms and 10" hands. Unga's age is cause for concern with scouts, who believe that because he turns 27 in December that he may have peaked. Scouts do like him as a special teamer and a backup in a 3-4 defense. Received a 5.2 draft grade.
Kyle Van Noy, OLB.
Van Noy did not disappoint scouts at the combine. Flaunting a full beard that likely made Honor Code officers livid, he displayed great size at 6'3" and 243 lbs with 31 5/8" arms and 9 5/8" hands. He was a top performer in the 40 with a time of 4.71 and a respectable 32.5" vertical. He also managed to match top prospect Jadeveon Clowney in the bench press with 21 reps. Scouts feel that Van Noy has the ability to play in either a 3-4 or a 4-3 scheme, but is ideally suited for a 3-4 on the right side. He also excites scouts with his ability to both rush the passer and play in coverage. Grades out at 5.55.
All in all, BYU's prospects have represented themselves and the school very well. Even though they may not all be drafted, they all seem to have impressed scouts enough to earn places on NFL rosters eventually. The success of the prospects from this year's draft class will be a powerful tool in recruiting for Bronco Mendenhall. Prospective recruits will be able to look at Cougars in the NFL and that will help influence recruits' decisions to attend BYU.